"We are here to offer this life, which came into the world by itself, the means necessary for its development, and having done that we must await this development with respect."

Dr. Maria Montessori

Frequently Asked Questions

What sets UMA apart?

  • UMA adheres to the original tenets of the Montessori principles of education; we intentionally do not blend other methods into the program, so as not to create a “watered-down” version of the Montessori philosophy.
  • UMA insists on the “inner preparation” of the adult and requires that each student reflect back on his/her own early childhood experiences. This is a critical aspect of Montessori teacher preparation, which must not be overlooked or understated in the course curriculum of Montessori Teacher Certification.
  • UMA provides a comprehensive 10- to 12-month program with exceptional attention to detail. Students receive a thorough understanding of the adult-child relationship as well as a complete knowledge of the physical layout and operation of an authentic Montessori environment.
  • UMA gives individual guidance to each student in training. The UMA staff is deeply committed to every student’s success; a personal relationship is established and continued throughout the years ahead in one’s life-long Montessori journey.
  • Will I be fully certified as a Montessori teacher?

    Yes, absolutely.

    UMA is licensed by the State of Washington, which grants to the UMA graduate full certification as lead teacher in a Montessori primary classroom, in the United States and worldwide. Our graduates have had excellent success in securing employment, due to the global demand for well-trained Montessori educators.  We recommend that you research individual hiring needs and practices in your community, to reassure your success for employment.

    Are you affiliated with any other organizations?

    Yes, we are.

    UMA is an independent Montessori organization. We are licensed by the State of Washington Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, since 1988, to provide Montessori teacher training and certification for the primary-age level. UMA serves on the board of the Pacific Northwest Montessori Association and is a long-standing member of the Northwest Career Colleges Federation. UMA is also an approved provider for Independent and Public School Districts in the USA, to train teachers for teacher certification in the Montessori method.

    Do I need to intern at a Montessori school to complete my certification?

    No, but....

    This is not a requirement, however, there is no substitute for “hands on” experience.  We highly recommend that you seek an internship, assistant, or volunteer position in a Montessori classroom setting while participating in the UMA program. This allows you to experience and put into immediate practice your written training. 

    How many instructors will be evaluating my assignments?

    You will be assigned one primary and one co-evaluator. This provides consistency, a balanced perspective, and allows you to establish a personal rapport. UMA evaluators are committed to each student's success by offering individual encouragement and guidance.

    Will I have to take a written exam at the end of the course?

    No exams.

    Each assignment is comprehensively evaluated for effort in research and thorough understanding of the Montessori philosophy, method, and application. Unsatisfactory work will be addressed and resubmitted.  Your “final” will be an open-book review.

    Will you allow me to complete the course in 6-8 months?


    Rushing you through the course would be jeopardizing the quality of the program. For your benefit, and the benefit of children, we will not compromise our standards of excellence. This course may be comfortably completed within 10 - 12 months if proceeding at a consistent pace.

    The director of a Montessori school informed me that they hire only graduates from their own training background. Is this the norm?

    No, it is not the norm.

    This is not the norm, although it does happen.  Any Montessori school or organization claiming exclusivity is, unfortunately, out of harmony with the Montessori community at large. Our code of ethics encourages our graduates to respect and support any organization that advocates the true principles of Montessori.

    When may I start the course?


    There are three (quarterly) starting dates during the year – September 15th, January 15th, and April 15th. Upon acceptance into the program, the first set of lessons will be made available within one week prior to your official starting date, to allow you to prepare ahead.