Preparation for Teacher Certification

Students seeking certification to teach in Texas public schools for elementary (early childhood through grade six) must earn the Bachelor of Science in Applied Learning and Development in the College of Education and must meet the appropriate state certification requirements.

Students seeking certification to teach in Texas public schools for elementary (early childhood through grade six), middle school (grades four through eight), secondary (grades six through 12, seven through 12, and eight through 12), or all-level (early childhood through grade 12) must earn a bachelor’s degree in the field they intend to teach and must meet the requirements for teacher certification. Students seeking teacher certification for either middle school or secondary math or science must follow the curriculum prescribed by the UTeach-Natural Sciences program. Students seeking teacher certification for middle school or secondary in English for language arts, social studies, or languages other than English must follow the curriculum prescribed by the UTeach-Urban Teachers or UTeach-Liberal Arts programs. Students seeking teacher certification for all-level in art, music, or theatre arts or secondary in dance must follow curriculum prescribed by the UTeach-Fine Arts program. Students seeking teacher certification for other areas should consult an adviser in the major department about degree requirements and a teacher certification adviser in the College of Education about certification requirements.

Middle School, Secondary, and All-Level Teacher Certification

All teacher certification programs for middle school, secondary, and all-level are based on degrees with academic majors in the student’s chosen teaching field. Requirements for students seeking teacher certification for middle school, secondary, and all-level include all courses required for the student’s major in the College of Education, College of Fine Arts, Jackson School of Geosciences, College of Liberal Arts, or the College of Natural Sciences, as well as the preprofessional and professional education courses.

UTeach-Urban Teachers

UTeach-Urban Teachers is a teacher preparation program for students seeking teacher certification for secondary in English or social studies. Information is available on the UTeach-Urban Teachers website and from the College of Education advising office.

UTeach-Fine Arts

Program advising for students seeking teacher certification for all-level in art, music, and theatre arts or secondary in dance is provided in the College of Fine Arts. Information is available at https://finearts.utexas.edu/students.

UTeach-Liberal Arts

UTeach-Liberal Arts is a professional teacher preparation program for liberal arts students pursuing academic majors in Arabic, Chinese, economics, English, French, history, geography, German, government, Japanese, Latin, Middle Eastern Studies, Russian, and Spanish. Students may seek certification to teach middle school or secondary.

UTeach-Liberal Arts offers a four-semester program for undergraduate students and a three-semester program for postbaccalaureate students. Admission into the program is required. Undergraduate students may enter the program as early as the second semester of their freshman year. More information about UTeach-Liberal Arts and the admission process is available at https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/uteach/.

UTeach-Natural Sciences

Students seeking teacher certification for middle school or secondary in mathematics, computer science, science, or engineering must follow the curriculum prescribed by the UTeach-Natural Sciences program, a collaborative partnership between the College of Education and the College of Natural Sciences. Program advising is housed in the College of Natural Sciences. 

Certification Requirements

Information about legal requirements for certification to teach is available from the College of Education certification officer, George I. Sánchez Building 216, or from the Texas Education Agency. Application for the certificate should be made at the College of Education Certification Office, George I. Sánchez Building 216.

State of Texas teacher certification requirements are governed by the Texas Education Agency and are subject to change. Students must adhere to current teacher certification requirements, even if they differ from those listed in the University catalogs.

In accordance with state law, the commissioner of education may suspend or revoke a teaching certificate or refuse to issue a teaching certificate for a person who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor for a crime that directly relates to the duties and responsibilities of the teaching profession.

Students who have completed all necessary academic requirements for teacher certification must also achieve a passing level of performance on the required state certification examinations and complete fingerprinting requirements. See State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) at http://www.tea.texas.gov for details. In addition, students seeking bilingual education certification or certification to teach French or Spanish in elementary, middle school, or secondary must earn a passing score at the advanced level on the appropriate language test. Field observations and practical classroom teaching in community and school environments are required of all students seeking teacher certification. Accountability information for the teacher preparation program is given in General Information.

Minimum Scholastic Requirements

In addition to meeting the minimum coursework and scholastic requirements for the degree, students seeking teacher certification for middle school, secondary, and all-level must meet other requirements to take the prescribed work in professional development. Students seeking teacher certification must be approved by the College of Education for the Professional Development Sequence. Admission to the Professional Development Sequence is restricted; information about admission requirements is available in the College of Education, Office of the Dean, George I. Sánchez Building 216.

Teaching Fields

All teacher certification candidates for middle school, secondary, and all-level must earn a degree in their primary teaching field by meeting all of the requirements for the appropriate major. While completing these requirements, the student seeking teacher certification must take a core set of courses in the major that fulfill certification requirements. This certification core includes at least 24 semester hours in a single teaching field or 48 semester hours in a composite teaching field, and incorporates the state-specified essential knowledge and skills needed for successful teaching in the field. Often, the student’s major department requires more than these 24 semester hours, but the certification core in the major field must be taken.

Students seeking teacher certification for middle school may choose from the following teaching fields:

  • English language arts and reading
  • social studies
  • mathematics
  • science

Students seeking teacher certification for secondary may choose from the following teaching fields:

  • dance
  • English language arts and reading
  • history
  • social studies
  • computer science
  • mathematics
  • science

Students seeking teacher certification for all-level may choose from the following teaching fields:

  • art
  • languages other than English (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin, Russian, or Spanish)
  • music
  • physical education
  • special education
  • theatre arts

Areas for Teacher Certification recommendation:

College of Education

College of Fine Arts

Jackson School of Geosciences

College of Liberal Arts

College of Natural Sciences

Education Career Services

Candidates for teacher certification should register with Education Career Services at the beginning of their student-teaching semester. Education Career Services provides job placement services such as resume writing workshops and critiques, interview preparation workshops, individual mock interviews, school district panels, networking opportunities, and job fairs. Additional information is available on the Education Career Services website at https://education.utexas.edu/about/college-offices/career-services.

Criminal History Acknowledgement

As required by HB1508, teacher certification applicants need to be aware of the following:

  • In order to earn a state of Texas teacher certification, you must pass a criminal history background check.
  • If you have been convicted of an offense that is considered not appropriate for an educator, you could be ineligible to earn a teacher certification from the state of Texas.
  • You may request a Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation from the Texas Education Agency. More information about the Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation is online at https://tea.texas.gov/Texas_Educators/Investigations/Preliminary_Criminal_History_Evaluation-FAQs/.