Graduate Students Seeking Teacher Certification: Step by Step Instructions
As a master's level student seeking teacher certification, you must apply for admission to the Graduate College AND immediately apply for admittance to the Educator Preparation Program. The courses required for certification will be outlined on your Certification Plan, which you must apply for after admittance to the Educator Preparation Program. In addition to the Steps outlined below, you are required to 1) follow your Degree Audit and Certification Plan 2) know your Graduate Advisor and reach out when you have questions; and 3) check your Texas State email daily (even during holidays and between semesters).
Teacher Recruitment Program
If you are seeking certification through the Teacher Recruitment Program (TRP) at the Round Rock campus, click here.
Please note: criminal background checks are required for progression through the Educator Preparation Program. Based on information recorded in your criminal history, you may be ineligible for issuance of a certificate upon completion of the Educator Preparation Program. If you have a criminal history, the Office of Educator Preparation (OEP) recommends you pay for a Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation from the Texas Education Agency, schedule an appointment for free legal counseling services through Texas State University’s Attorney for Students, and disclose this information to the OEP.
What to Teach
It is important to decide which certification area you want to pursue before you start the application process. The type of application you must submit, the length of time you spend in the program, and the number of classes you must take all depend on your academic background and the certification area you choose to pursue.
- Think about what age group you want to teach: EC-6 grade students are typically 4 - 11 years old; 4-8 grade students are typically 9 - 13 years old; and Secondary grades (6-12, 7-12, or 8-12) are typically 12 - 18 years old.
- Review your own transcript (Texas State will not pre-evaluate you transcript before you apply to the university and the Educator Preparation Program). You must have a minimum of 12 credit hours in the subject you want to teach--or 15 credit hours for any math and science certificates--just to be admitted.
- Review the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills as well as the Tests at a Glance manuals to determine what you will be tested on for any given certificate.
- Job demand varies from year to year and district to district, but you can get an idea of what is in demand by browsing the job postings of schools and districts where you might like to teach.
- Review the list of available certificates at Texas State University.
Paths to Certification
There are multiple paths to teacher certification in Texas. At Texas State University, individuals with a bachelor's degree can earn certification through the following options:
- Master's with Teacher Certification
- Teacher Certification Only
- Second Bachelor's Degree
Ours is a University-Based program, so certification options require approximately 15 - 48 credit hours of coursework + student teaching. Successful candidates generally complete the program somewhere within 1.5 - 3 years, depending on the certification.
Please email the Office of Educator Preparation for more information about the certification areas you are interested in and the various options for earning teacher certification.
You must have earned a bachelor's degree from an Accredited College or University.
A minimum of a 2.75 GPA on the last 60 undergraduate semester hours of letter-grade work earned at a four-year college or university before receipt of a Bachelor's (plus any previously completed graduate work).
You must have evidence of completed coursework, with a grade of "C" or better, to demonstrate competency in the following areas:
Certification-specific Content Hours
15 semester credit hours in the subject-specific content area if you are seeking certification in 4-8 Math, 4-8 Science, 4-8 Math/Science, 6-12 Physical Science, 7-12 Math, 7-12 Life Science, 7-12 Chemistry
12 semester credit hours in the subject-specific content area for all other certifications
C's or better in any 6 credit hours coded 060 or 070 Core Curriculum (e.g., History or Political Science).
C's or better in any 6 credit hours coded 010 Core Curriculum (e.g., English Composition I, II).
C or better in any 3 credit hours coded 040 Core Curriculum (e.g., Philosophy, Language, or Culture).
C or better in any 3 credit hours coded 020 Core Curriculum (e.g. College Algebra or Survey of Contemporary Mathematics).
B or better in 3 hours of Oral Communication COMM 1310, (TCCNS SPCH 1311), COMM 2338 (TCCNS SPCH 1315), or COMM 2315 (TCCNS SPCH 1318).
If you received a C you must email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a "C in COMM Interview" with the Office of Educator Preparation to determine if a C is acceptable for admittance.
If you received a D or F or do not have a speech class, you may provide evidence (course description or syllabus) of another course in which speeches or presentations were a significant portion of the grade; or you may submit evidence (service record, letter from an employer, or CV) of classroom teaching experience (i.g., teacher's aide, substitute teacher, college TA, or corporate trainer).
For international post-baccalaureate students who graduated from a non-U.S. institution the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT (internet-based) is required. All four sections of the TOEFL must be taken, and you must have a minimum score of 24 for speaking, 22 for listening, 22 for reading, and 21 for writing (TOEFL score requirements are subject to changes by the Texas Education Agency). You are required to have an official score on file with the Graduate College before your application will be evaluated. Please Click here to check the Graduate College website for additional information.
Note: All admittance requirements must be complete prior to receiving the TCERT Cohort Code in your Banner file. TCERT Cohort designation is required to register for certification courses. Special certification programs, such as Career Alternatives in Special Education (CASE) and Certification and Master of Education (CMED), or Teacher Recruitment Program (TRP) have different and/or additional admission requirements as stated in the guidelines for these programs.
When to Apply
After you have decided on the degree and certificate you want to pursue (see previous steps), submit your application materials to the Graduate College by the appropriate deadline (scroll down to Deadlines).
How to Apply
Visit the Graduate College Programs page. Select the program to which you want to apply, scroll down to Application Requirements and make sure you complete all requirements by the deadline.
If you need assistance navigating the ApplyTexas application, please contact the Graduate College.
When to Apply
Once admitted to the Grad College, you must immediately apply to the Educator Preparation Program (This is different from the ApplyTexas application you submitted to the Grad College).
How to Apply
Click Here for more information and to apply to the Educator Preparation Program.
Email questions to email@example.com.
When to Apply
Graduate and Post-baccalaureate teacher certification students must apply for a Certification Plan immediately after admission to the Grad College and after admittance to the Educator Preparation Program. The Certification Plan is a Texas Education Agency (TEA) required document that specifies the coursework, student teaching or internship, and tests that teacher candidates must complete to be eligible for teacher certification in the state of Texas (tea.texas.gov "Becoming a Certified Texas Educator through a University Program").
How to Apply
Click here to read the instructions then complete the form and pay the non-refundable $75 application fee.
Additional Content Courses
Students seeking secondary or all-level certification, this is the point at which your transcript will be officially evaluated by a faculty member from the appropriate secondary department to determine if you are required to take additional undergraduate subject-specific coursework. These additional courses are referred to on your Certification Plan as Content courses. The undergraduate Content courses may not be available online or in the evening, and some are only offered once a year in the fall or spring. Please be aware that state requirements for certification differ from university requirements for degree completion; therefore, even if you have a bachelor's or master's degree in the field for which you are seeking certification, you should expect to take (or possibly repeat) some additional undergraduate Content courses.
NOTE: If you simply need an updated copy of your Certification Plan, email a request to firstname.lastname@example.org (include your Student ID).
Master's Degree with teacher certification students must follow their Certification Plan (see previous Step) and Degree Audit. ALL courses listed on a student's Certification Plan must be completed before Student Teaching (or internship). Please note: Non-certification courses may be completed before or after Student Teaching, but no courses are allowed during Student Teaching.
Nine hours is considered full-time for graduate level courses; however, students may take more or less, depending on personal preference or financial aid requirements. The master's degree with teacher certification program generally follows the Graduate Catalog where applicable; however, certification requirements are subject to state and federal law, regardless of catalog year.
See the Academic Calendar for early and late registration periods.
Watch the Office of the Registrar's How to Register video.
It is up to you to pick your classes each semester, and you can read the course descriptions and pre-requisites here in the online catalog.
If you have trouble registering for a CI, RDG, or SPED course, complete the Dept. of Curriculum and Instruction Override Request Form.
For students seeking secondary and all-level certification, if you have trouble registering for an undergraduate Content course, contact that specific department for an override request.
A minimum of 30 hours of field experience observation is required; we encourage students to complete this requirement the semester before Student Teaching. Students may take other courses along with the field experience courses.
There are two ways to gain field experience:
This option requires an application a semester in advance.
This is a very hands-on, immersive field experience that takes place during the school day on a school campus. Please read the Blocks Information page carefully for instructions and application deadlines. Placements are handled by the Department of Curriculum & Instruction.
This option requires an application at the beginning of the semester.
You enroll in a specific course and complete the 30 hours of field experience on your own as partial fulfillment of the course requirements. If you choose this route, read the Field Experience Guidelines thoroughly. Placements are handled by the Office of Educator Preparation.
Please check the registration dates in the Academic Calendar posted on the Registrar's Office Website www.registrar.txstate.edu.
About the TExES Exams
The Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) are the state-required examinations for all Texas educators. Your Certification area and level will determine which tests you will be approved to take. NOTE: If you plan to participate in an internship in lieu of student teaching, you must pass all TExES exams required for your certification area before applying for internships (see Step "Apply for Student Teaching").
When to Apply
After you have submitted your application for field experience (whether it is for field based blocks or the stand-alone course), also immediately apply for approval to take your TExES teacher certification exams. This does not mean you have to take your exams right away; it simply gives you the ability to register for your exams. The Office of Educator Preparation encourages all teacher candidates to pass their TExES exams prior to Student Teaching, if possible.
How to Apply
Know your TEA ID#. If you do not know your TEA ID#, you may submit a request to retrieve it through the TEA Helpdesk.
Read the instructions on the Test Approval page, log into ePortfolio, and create an application for approval to test. Please keep in mind that test approval is a manual process and may take up to 10 business days. Test approval cannot be granted over holidays or weekends.
Apply for Special Accommodations
Please review the ETS eligibility requirements for testing accommodations. ETS offers Extended Testing Time, Extra Breaks, Screen Magnification, Oral Interpreter, Braille Slate and Stylus--among other accommodations--for eligible test takers. But you must start this process FAR IN ADVANCE. Visit the ETS page for instructions.
When to Register
After you receive an email from the Office of Educator Preparation granting you test approval, follow the instructions in the email to register for your exams. You may register for a date a few weeks in advance. Test Centers fill up quickly, especially in the summer months, so do not wait until the last minute to register.
How to Register
Visit The Educational Testing Service (ETS) to register for your exams. You may need to first create an account using your TEA ID number. Contact ETS directly if you have any registration issues: 1.800.205.2626 or email@example.com.
Where and When to Test
The College of Education hosts a Testing Center right here on campus in the Education Building on Woods Street. If you want to test here, choose the San Marcos site when you register through ETS. However, ETS has locations all over the state so that you can test at a location convenient for you.
You cannot see test dates or locations until you start the test registration process in ETS. If a location does not appear for the date that you choose, it either means there is no test offering at that Test Center on that date or that the location has filled. Please register early.
These videos provide critical information regarding Student Teaching and the application process for Student Teaching. The links will be live throughout the semester, so you can return to the information as often as needed.
Student Teaching: Planning, Preparation, and Information
Student Teaching: Planning, Preparation, and Information
11. Apply for Student Teaching (during 1st 12 class days of fall or spring semester before student teaching)
Student Teaching is the state-required culminating experience of the teacher certification process. This is an immersive semester of experience in one of Texas State’s partner districts where you will work with a cooperating teacher of the district's choosing and a trained Texas State University faculty member. All coursework on the Certification Plan must be completed prior to the Student Teaching semester, and students must not register for any additional classes during the Student Teaching semester (or internship*).
NOTE: Student Teaching requires the commitment of a full-time job, but it is unpaid and only 6 credit hours of coursework, making it part-time university enrollment. An internship is paid, but also only part-time university enrollment.
When to Apply
You must apply for Student Teaching (or internship*) and register for the appropriate EDST course(s) in advance. The application for Student Teaching is open for the first 12 class days of each long semester for the upcoming fall or spring semester. For example, if you plan to student teach in the fall, submit your application the spring semester prior; if you plan to student teach in the spring, submit your application the fall semester prior.
How to Apply
- Click Here to apply. NOTE: The Student Teaching application is semester-specific, and you must submit a new application if you fail to complete Student Teaching, or if you are doing a year-long internship.*
- Contact the Financial Aid office after applying for Student Teaching to discuss how part-time status will affect your aid.
Emails and Key Dates
Students are asked to declare a target Student Teaching semester when they are admitted to the Educator Preparation Program. The Office of Educator Preparation (OEP) uses this information to start emailing students the fall or spring semester prior to a student's anticipated Student Teaching semester. Students should check their Texas State email for critical information and a PDF of Key Dates.
Please direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Internship (Probationary Certificate)
Some students with a bachelor's degree who pass all the TExES exams required for their certification area may be eligible for a year-long, paid internship with one of OEP's partner districts, in lieu of Student Teaching.
If you want to participate in an internship, you must be admitted to the Educator Preparation Program and actively enrolled at the university as a certification-seeking student. (NOTE: This means that masters-degree-seeking students who graduate prior to starting an internship must apply to the university for re-admission.)
In addition to the above-listed requirements for Student Teaching, TEA and Texas State stipulate that you must meet the following criteria to participate in an internship:
Completion of all coursework on Certification Plan
Minimum GPA of 2.75
Passing scores on all TExES exams per certification area (including appropriate supplemental exams if seeking an EC-6 certificate)
Application for Student Teaching
Job offer from one of OEP's partner districts
Completed Statement of Eligibility Form on file with the OEP
State application for Probationary Certification (via TEA)
Registration for appropriate EDST courses
Step by Step Instructions
The fall or spring semester prior to beginning your internship, you must
- Click here to read the TEA Guidelines for internships: specifically, review "Becoming a Certified Texas Educator through a University-Based program," steps 5-6.
- Pass the TExES Exams: When you apply for Field Experience (or Field Based Blocks), also apply for Test Approval. Register for the exams, and pass all TExES exams required for your certification area (including appropriate supplemental exams if seeking an EC-6 certificate).
- Apply for Student Teaching: The application period is the first 12 class days of the fall or spring semester prior to starting your internship.
- Submit an application for each semester of internship: submit an application the semester prior to beginning the internship, and another at the beginning of your internship for the upcoming semester.
- IMPORTANT: Indicate in the "notes" section of the Student Teaching application that you are seeking an internship.
- Contact the Financial Aid office to discuss how part-time status will affect your aid.
- Register for the appropriate coursework: 6 hours of EDST for each semester of internship.
- Request a Statement of Eligibility Form & Apply for Jobs:
- Immediately after you pass your TExES exams, email your Student ID and a brief request for a Statement of Eligibility Form to email@example.com.
- OEP will return the form to you so that you can begin applying for internship positions at OEP's partner districts.
- Submit the state application for Probationary Certification (through your TEA account):
- When you have a job offer, have the district complete the Statement of Eligibility Form and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- When you return the form to OEP, the Certification Officer will recommend you for a one-year Probationary Certificate.
- NOTE: Your Probationary Certificate is valid for one calendar year. In order to qualify for standard certification, you must successfully complete your internship and submit the state application (via TEA) for standard certification.
- You may start your internship!
- Visit the OEP "Resources" page and review the Teaching Intern Documents. You will need these documents throughout your internship. Print them for future reference!
- Submit the Internship in Brief document to your principal.
When to Apply
Complete the TEA application for teacher certification online after 1) You have passed yours exams AND 2) at the end of Student Teaching (or one calendar year after the start date of your internship). Please be aware your application cannot be processed until "CR" has posted to your transcript for the EDST courses (this may be 2-4 weeks after you finish Student Teaching).
How to Apply
Read the instructions on the How to Apply for Certification page. Then submit the TEA state application for standard certification.
You must pay TEA fee for your certificate(s) and fingerprinting.
Texas State's Certification Officer will review each application individually and make recommendations for certification after all of the following have been completed:
- You have passed all of the required certification exams.
- You have completed and have a credit (CR) for student teaching.
- Your previously earned bachelor's degree is on file with the university.
If you meet all of the requirements, you will receive an email from TEA confirming the recommendation, which may serve as a verification of completion of all certification requirements for job applications and interviews.
Your Teaching Certificate will be accessible online through TEA a few days at after the Certification Officer's recommendation. If not, contact TEA directly: 512.936.8400.