Alternative Teacher Certification Program for STEM - University of Houston
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Alternative Teacher Certification Program for STEM

STEMPro: Transforming STEM Professionals into Culturally Responsive STEM Teachers

Seeking Future Secondary STEM Teachers: Full Funding Available

The Alternative Certification Program for STEM teachers is managed by the teachHOUSTON program at the University of Houston. The certification program targets college students in their senior year, as well as college graduates of all ages with a STEM background (15 hours of math or science1), who aspire to become secondary STEM teachers.

At teachHOUSTON, we pride ourselves on preparing highly effective, student-centered, teacher leaders in secondary STEM education since 2007. Our success is a combination of our attention to quality and the unique structures of support that nurture students throughout the program and after they graduate.

1 For formal admission, there a required courses for each certification area:

  • Chemistry 7–12: Introduction to Chemistry and an advanced chemistry lecture and labs
  • Life Science 7–12: Biology, Geology or Earth science equivalent and Ecology lectures and labs
  • Mathematics 7–12: Geometry or Trigonometry, Calculus, & Statistics
  • Physics/Mathematics 7–12: Geometry or Trigonometry, Calculus, & Introduction to Physics and an advanced Physics lecture and labs
  • Science 7–12: Biology, Chemistry and Physics lectures and labs

Please complete the following interest form to contact us about obtaining alternative secondary STEM teaching certification or use the “Apply Now” button to submit an application directly to our program. NOTE: All applicants must also submit an application to University of Houston to be part of the cohort.

STEMPro Interest Form

Apply Now

Benefits of Alternative Teacher Certification

In this accredited program, participants receive the expertise, quality and support provided through a traditional teacher education program such as teachHOUSTON. The program’s expedited plan allows you to obtain certification in nine months.

How is this Program Different from Other Alternative Certification Programs?

The program provides observations and teaching experiences in secondary public-school classrooms. Not all alternative certification programs have practical teaching experience.

You will have the opportunity to student teach for an entire semester under the guidance of a mentor teacher and university supervisor. This experience is critical for your future success and is not offered by other programs.

teachHOUSTON provides extensive assistance with job placement. Currently, all participants certified through this program have obtained jobs.

In addition to providing scholarships to all eligible candidates, teachHOUSTON has unique partnerships with school districts in the Greater Houston area to provide funded placements, called paid yearlong residencies, amounting to $10,000 per semester. NOTE: Interested applicants must select this option on their application.

About the Alternative Certification Program

The program, a partnership between the UH’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the College of Education, is supported by grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education. Our Frequently Asked Questions page outlines many aspects of the program.

Length of Teacher Certification Program: 9 months

Teacher Certification Received: Certifications are available in areas of 7–12 Chemistry (240), 7–12 Mathematics (235), 6–12 Physical Science (237), 7–12 Physics/Mathematics (243) and 7–12 Science (236).

Instruction Model:

  • Fall Semester: Daytime, face-to-face classes (Tuesdays) and authentic field experiences in local public school districts (Monday–Friday)
  • Spring Semester: Evening face-to-face classes (Thursdays) and authentic field experiences in local public school districts (Monday–Friday)

Cohort Eight to Begin Fall 2024

Up to 25 applicants will be selected for each alternative teacher certification cohort.

Courses and mentoring will focus on topics such as:

  • Student-centered lesson planning in STEM
  • Classroom management
  • Using technology in meaningful ways with students
  • Developing 21st century skills

Interested in teaching? Complete our application below for the Fall 2024 cohort.

Selection Criteria

Applicant Requirements:

  • Must have a strong interest in STEM education.
  • Undergraduate students with no more than two semesters of coursework remaining.
  • All college graduates with a STEM background (15 approved hours of math or science1).
  • 2.5 cumulative and content GPA or a passing score on TX-PACT content exam.
  • For the federally funded scholarship, applicants must be designated as US citizens or permanent resident alien.
  • For yearlong paid placements, applicants will complete an additional selection process determined by the district personnel.

Application Process

Please complete the following interest form to contact us about obtaining alternative secondary STEM teaching certification.

Please note the University of Houston admissions requirements and deadlines for the category that best describes your admissions status. Prospective students must apply to the university by the admissions deadline regardless of when you are interviewed for this program. You can find UH Admissions information at the link provided. Please contact us at if you have any questions about the admissions process.

Apply Now

Application Deadlines

  • April 15, 2024 (International students, i.e. degree was completed at an institution outside of the US)
  • May 3, 2024 (Current UH senior and all Post-bac applicants)
  • August 9, 2024 (For visiting student designation; Please note, TX-PACT exam scores will be due by this date for admissions.)

NOTE: Yearlong paid residencies are provided on a first-come basis.


Please direct questions and inquiries to

Funding Agencies


This project is supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation (DUE 2153754). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Department of Education

Grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education.