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Professional Certification Handbook

Texas State University offers several professional certification programs for students who have teaching experience, certification, and/or a master's degree.

Admission Dates, Requirements, Program Advisors, and More Information


  • Master Teacher Certificates: Effective September 1, 2019, as mandated by House Bill 3, the State Board of Educator Certification may no longer issue a new or renew a master teacher certificate.
    • Candidates currently enrolled in a Texas-approved master teacher preparation program must complete all requirements for certificate issuance (including passing the test and submitting a complete application for certification with recommendation from the Educator Preparation Program) before September 1, 2019. To allow time for the Educator Preparation Program to evaluate your eligibility, submit the TEA application for issuance of a certificate no later than Monday, August 26, 2019.
  • Background Checks: A Background Check is not required at the point of Admittance. However, please be aware the Texas Education Agency (TEA) requires multiple background checks for progression through the Educator Preparation Program and ultimately for issuance of a certificate. Pursuant to Texas Administrative Code 249.16, you may be ineligible for issuance of a certificate upon completion of the Educator Preparation Program due to offenses considered to relate directly to the duties and responsibilities of the education profession. If you have a criminal history, the Office of Educator Preparation (OEP) recommends you
  1. review Texas Administrative Code 249.16, Eligibility of Persons with Criminal History for a Certificate for more information about specific offenses considered to relate directly to the duties and responsibilities of the education profession;
  2. pay for a Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation from the Texas Education Agency;
  3. schedule an appointment for free legal counseling services through Texas State University’s Attorney for Students; and,
  4. disclose this information to your Graduate Advisor or the director of the Office of Educator Preparation at Texas State University.
  • Credit for Military or Non-Military Service, Training, or Education: Candidates may be able to apply prior or ongoing military or non-military training or education toward educator preparation program requirements for professional certificates. Such training or education may not count toward internship or practica requirements and must have been provided by an approved EPP or an accredited institution of higher education within the past five and be directly related to the certificate being sought. Candidates prior coursework will be evaluated by academic advisors and/or OEP staff. For the Superintendent Certificate, candidates may also apply to the Texas Education Agency to have prior or ongoing military or non-military managerial experience approved in lieu of the Principal Certification requirement. 


Follow the instructions below for each step on the pathway toward your certification: applying to your program, registering for coursework, applying for certification testing, and applying for issuance of a certificate.

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  • When to Apply

    The Texas Education Agency (TEA) requires any student seeking certification through Texas State University to be admitted to the university and to the Educator Preparation Program.

    • After you have decided on the certificate you want to pursue, submit your application materials to the Graduate College by the appropriate deadline.
    • When you apply to your program through the Graduate College, you are automatically applying to the Educator Preparation Program.
    • Your program's designated Graduate Advisor (a faculty member in the program) will evaluate your application.

    How to Apply

    • Submit the ApplyTexas application and all required materials. If you need assistance, contact the Graduate College.
    • Accept the Offer of Admittance to the Educator Preparation Program. If the Graduate Advisor approves you for admission, you will receive an email from The Graduate College offering you admittance to the Educator Preparation Program. The state of Texas requires that you (1) accept this offer of admittance into the Educator Preparation Program and (2) pay a non-refundable Texas Education Agency (TEA) fee.
  • Required Coursework

    Be sure to follow your Degree Audit and communicate regularly with your Graduate Advisor regarding course requirements. Please keep in mind that certification requirements are subject to state and federal law, regardless of catalog year.

    Course Load

    Nine hours is considered full-time for graduate level courses; however, students may take more or less, depending on personal preference, program requirements, and/or Financial Aid requirements.


    See the Academic Calendar for registration periods.

    Watch the Office of the Registrar's Bobcat Schedule Builder Video.

    It is up to you to register for 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, contact the Department of Curriculum and Instruction by email

    • Be sure to include your A0#
    • Course Requesting
    • Reason for the override.
  • About the TExES Exams

    Depending on the certification, the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) or the Texas Examinations for Master Teachers (TExMaT) is the state required exam for professional educator certificates. Each program has its own set of criteria for eligibility for certification testing.

    NOTE: For school counselor, reading specialist, principal, or superintendent, you must pass the appropriate TExES or TExMaT exam to be eligible for probationary certification and internship.

    When to Apply

    Once you satisfy the criteria listed below for your program, submit the application for Test Approval.

    School Counselor: COUN 5338 + Practice Exam.

    Reading Specialist: Enrollment in/Completion of RDG 6333.

    Principal: Apply at beginning of last semester; test approval will be granted after completion of EDCL 6358 (School Law) and EDCL 6387 (Principal Practicum Part I).

    Superintendent: Apply during final semester; test approval will be granted after completion of program coursework and enrollment in second semester of Practicum.

    How to Apply

    1. Know your TEA ID#. If you do not know your TEA ID#, you may submit a request to retrieve it through the TEA Helpdesk.
    2. Go to ePortfolio and log in. Create an application for approval to test. If a Practice Exam or Plan of Study is required, upload documentation to the application for Test Approval. 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.
    3. Apply for Special Accommodations (optional). Please review the Pearson website and/or ETS website (where applicable) for testing accommodations. Offerings include, but are not limited to, separate testing room, extra testing time, or a reader or recorder for eligible test takers.
    4. If you need to retake a failed exam, complete the online Retake Request Form immediately upon receiving failed exam scores. See Retake Request Form.
  • How to Prepare for the Certification Exam

    See the test preparation resources listed in Study for Exams.

    When to Register for Certification Exams

    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 for Certification Exams

    Visit the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program hosted by Pearson to register for your exams. You must first first create a Pearson testing account using your TEA ID number.

    Where to Test

    Pearson has locations across the state so that you can test at a location convenient for you.

    Retake a Failed Test

    In compliance with Texas Education Agency (TEA) rules, candidates are allowed five (5) attempts to pass a certification exam. If you fail an exam, you must seek approval from your Educator Preparation Program to take the exam again. Although you must wait 45 days to sit for the exam, you can submit the Retake Request Form immediately upon receiving failing scores.

    1. Download your Exam Score Report(s) for the failed attempt(s) from the Texas Education Certification Examination Program (Pearson).
    2. You will need to attach these to the Retake Request Form.
    3. Submit the Retake Request Form.


  • Internship Prerequisites

    In order to be eligible for Internship, a student must meet the following requirements:

    • passing score on required exam (see previous steps for test approval and registration); and
    • completion of all coursework (or approval from the appropriate Graduate Advisor to take a final course with an Internship); and
    • Job Offer from school district; and
    • Statement of Eligibility on file with the Office of Educator Preparation; and
    • Probationary Certification.

    Request Statement of Eligibility Form

    Immediately upon passing your TExES or TExMaT exam, email the Office of Educator Preparation with your name, Student ID (Axxxxxxxx), and a brief email requesting a Statement of Eligibility Form.

    The Certification Officer will review your eligibility for internship and send the form via your Texas State email account. You may use the form to apply for internships. When you have a job offer, have the district complete the form and return it via email to

  • When to Apply for Probationary Certification

    A Probationary Certificate is required to participate in an Internship. After you pass your TExES exam and immediately upon requesting your Statement of Eligibility Form (see previous step), you may submit the state application for Probationary Certification.

    How to Apply for Probationary Certification

    1. Click here to log into your TEA account, submit the application for Probationary Certification, pay fees, and meet the requirements for a criminal background check.
    2. Your application will be reviewed by the Certification Officer after the Statement of Eligibility form has been completed and returned by a school district. If you meet the requirements, you will be recommended for a one-year Probationary Certificate (see previous step, "Request Statement of Eligibility" for eligibility requirements.)
  • Certification Requirements

    Below is a general summary of requirements for certification. Not all professional certificates require every item on the list. Before submitting the state application for certification, please review the TEA website for details regarding certification for Student Services certificates and Principal and Superintendent certificates.

    • Teaching service record on file with the Graduate College showing required number of years of teaching experience; and
    • Evidence of existing certificates on file with the Graduate College; and
    • Satisfactory completion of all Educator Preparation Program coursework; and
    • Passing scores on current, valid state certification exams; and
    • Credit awarded for Practicum and/or Internship; and
    • Master's Degree on file with the university or "Degree Awarded" date on Texas State transcript.

    When to Apply

    Submit the state application for full certification near the end of your last semester in the program (last semester of internship for school counselor, reading specialist, principal, and superintendent). IMPORTANT NOTE about Master Teacher certificates: Pursuant to House Bill 3, the Master Teacher certificates will no longer be offered or renewed effective September 1, 2019. To allow time for the Educator Preparation Program to evaluate your eligibility, the last date to apply for issuance of a Master Teacher certificate is Monday, August 26, 2019.

    How to Apply

    1. Log into your Texas Education Agency Login (TEAL) portal and follow the instructions below. NOTE:If you have technical issues with the application, submit a request with screenshots to the TEA Helpdesk or call 512.936.8400.

    2. Login using your previously created username and password. If you do not remember your login, submit a request to the TEA Helpdesk.

    3. When you log in to TEAL,click on the "Educator" link in the center of the page.

    4. Verify your personal information, click "Continue."

    5. Click on the Applications tab and select Standard Texas Certificate Program.

    6. The entity to select is based on your program:

    Your program Your "entity"
    Master's + Principal Texas State University (University Based)
    Master's + Superintendent Texas State University (University Based)
    Master's + School Counselor Texas State University (University Based)
    Master's + Reading Specialist and Master Reading Teacher

    1st application: Texas State University (University Based)

    2nd application: Texas State University (Master Teacher)

    Master's + Master Math Teacher Texas State University (University Based)
    Principal certification-only Texas State University (Alternative Program)
    Superintendent certification-only

    Texas State University (Alternative Program)

    Reading Specialist certification-only

    Texas State University (Alternative Program)

    Master Reading Teacher certification-only

    Texas State University (Master Teacher)



    Pay the fee for the standard certificate, preferably online.

    • State Law requires all teachers to complete a fingerprinting and background check, even if you have already done so for student teaching. See instructions on TEA website, Requirements for Certification Applicants.

    • Contact TEA directly if you need assistance with the TEA application: 512.936.8400.