Educator Certificationc/o Texas Education AgencyEducator Certification & Standards1701 North Congress AvenueWBT 5-100Austin, Texas 78701-1494512-936-8400
Becoming a Classroom Teacher in Texas
In general, there are five basic requirements for someone new to the field of education to become a certified teacher. These requirements are not necessarily completed in sequence and it is recommended that you discuss your plans to become a teacher with an Educator Preparation Program (described below) early in the process.
The five basic requirements are:
- Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree
- Complete an Educator Preparation Program
- Pass Appropriate Certification Exam(s)
- Submit a State Application
Further details on each requirement:
- Bachelor’s Degree - You must earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. The only exemption from the degree requirement is for individuals seeking Career and Technical Education certification to teach certain courses. Texas institutions do not offer a degree in education. Instead, every future teacher must select an academic major of interest and, as described below, complete educator preparation courses.
Educator Preparation Program - You must complete educator preparation through an Approved Educator Preparation Program. These programs are offered through colleges, universities, school districts, regional service centers, community colleges, and other entities. Undergraduates typically enroll in an approved program at the college or university they are attending. Alternative Certification Programs, which may or may not be associated with a university or college, have been established and approved for those who already hold a bachelor’s degree.Certification Exam(s) - You must pass the appropriate teacher certification exam(s) for the subject and grade level you wish to teach. Your Educator Preparation Program will help you determine the appropriate certification exam(s). You will need authorization from your program prior to test registration.State Application – To obtain a standard certificate after passing the appropriate exam(s) and completing all program requirements, you must complete the application process. Consult with your Educator Preparation Program on how to complete this process. Important items in the application process include fingerprinting and a background investigation.Fingerprinting – All first-time applicants for an initial credential must be fingerprinted as part of a national criminal background check. A $42.25 fingerprinting fee will be charged.
- The Texas Administrative Code requires that candidates for an undergraduate university program, alternative program, or post baccalaureate program is accredited or have a degree from a university that is accredited by an accrediting agency, as recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). Please review the information on the THECB website for current recognized accrediting agencies (outside source).
Becoming Certified through an Alternative Certification Program
For additional information regarding requirements, you may refer to Title 19 Texas Administrative Code, §230.413.