TEACHER CERTIFICATION FOR CURRENT STUDENTS
The University of Houston College of Education guides our students through the process to become certified teachers in Texas. You must be certified to work as a public school teacher in the state in most cases. Private schools can set their own requirements.
As part of our award-winning program, you’re joining a network of alumni working in schools across the Houston region. We’re proud to have you and encourage you to stay informed about certification requirements.
IMPORTANT STR EXAM UPDATE
House Bill 3, passed during the 86th Texas Legislature, established the requirement that all teacher candidates who teach students in grades pre-K-6 demonstrate proficiency in the science of teaching reading on a new, stand-alone certification exam. This requirement takes effect on January 1, 2021. Please visit the Science of Teaching Reading (STR) Exam webpage for additional information about the STR exam timelines, requirements and content.
After being admitted into the University of Houston, you also must be admitted into the College of Education’s teacher education program if you want to seek certification. This applies whether you’re a teaching major, education minor or graduate student. This is a requirement set by the Texas Education Agency for all teacher education programs across the state.
Don't worry: The College will reach out to you about taking care of this process. UH typically has a high admission rate for those who meet the state requirements.
- You should receive an email with the teacher education application prior to “pre-teaching,” typically before junior year begins. You must fill it out.
Basic requirements to get into the teacher education program include:
- Cumulative GPA and content GPA of 2.5 or higher
- Interview with faculty
- Writing assessment (taken in the College’s CITE lab)
- Coursework content hours met
- For EC-6 generalist and most other areas: minimum 12 credits earned
- For math (4th-8th and 7th-12th) and science (4th-8th and 7th-12th): minimum 15 credits earned
- The following courses are checked:
- Reading: ENGL 1303, ENGL 1304, any other reading class
- Math: MATH 1311, MATH 1312, MATH 2311 or 1330, CUIN 2320 or MATH 2303, any other math class
- Science: SCIENCE D, GEOL 1330, CHEM 1301, BIOL 1310, any other science class
- Social studies: POLS 1337, POLS 1336, HIST 1377, HIST 1378, any other social studies class
Requirements to be eligible to student teach include:
- Complete 80+ field experience hours.
- Take benchmark exams to prepare for state certification exams (both the PPR/Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities exam and the content-area exam).
- The College schedules these for you at the UH Testing Center during CUIN 1103 (PPR) and EDUC 3101 (content exams).
*Note: The teacher education program will notify you at each milestone of what is required from you before advancing to the next phase. Please regularly check your email.
To earn certification, basic requirements include:
- Complete all program requirements, including coursework and student teaching.
- Pass the state certification exams.
- Learn more about testing and setting up required accounts online.
- Apply for certification through your TEAL (Texas Education Agency) account.
- When you apply for certification, you also will be prompted to pay for fingerprinting.
- Certification exams cost $78, and fingerprinting costs $40.25. After you have paid online through your ECOS account, you will receive an email from IdentoGO, the state vendor, for how to get your fingerprinting done. A school district also may upload your name for fingerprinting. It takes about three to five days for your results to show in your TEA account. Note: Fingerprints completed any other way will not be accepted.
- You must hold a Social Security Number to be fingerprinted and to be certified.
- If you do not have a SSN when you apply for your TEAL account, TEA will issue a “P” number that allows you to take your certification exams.
- If a school district is willing to sponsor your work visa, then, according to TEA, once you are issued your work visa, a SSN will be issued. Please let the College of Education Certification Office know once you have your SSN.
- Earn your bachelor’s degree.
- UH will recommend you for certification to TEA. It takes about 24 to 48 hours to show up online on the State Board for Educator Certification website.
- If you want additional certifications or supplementals, once you are a certified teacher, you should apply to take the appropriate exam and apply for certification on your own. You will not need to go through UH for approval.
The Texas Education Agency provides additional information on teacher certification.
IMPORTANT REMINDERS AND TIPS
- Make sure you have set up your TEAL account!
- Are you an undergraduate student or graduate student? Be sure you’ve completed all the steps in our Teacher Certification Checklist.
- What exams should you take to get certified? Check the Required Exam Chart for teacher certifications offered by UH.
Feel free to reach out if you need help.