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Certification Requirements

Applications for Pennsylvania teacher certification will be evaluated in accordance with the following requirements of 22 PA Code Chapter(s) 49 and 354 established by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education. 

 

Broad Requirements for Instructional and Educational Specialist Certifications
  1. Hold a Bachelor's Degree: Baccalaureate degree awarded (either prior to admission to the program or as part of the program) or for vocational subject areas, two years of full-time wage earning experience in the area of the certificate requested.

  2. Completion of an approved program of study leading to certification in the area of certificate requested:

    • State-approved teacher education program completion, including a supervised student teaching experience, leading to a comparable certificate.
    • Affirmation/recommendation of successful completion from the certification officer at the college/university/educational entity on an application form designated by the Bureau or through the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) for provisioned users in TIMS.
    • For active/valid out-of-state instructional certificate holders, with two (2) years of successful classroom experience, program verification will not be needed. A copy of your certificate and verification of the two years of experience will be required.

  3. Hold a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA): A 3.0 overall cumulative GPA as noted on Bachelor's or Master's transcript is required for an initial certificate in Pennsylvania. Active/valid out-of-state instructional certificate holders, with two (2) years of successful classroom experience will not be evaluated for the 3.0 GPA requirement.

    The cumulative GPA must be indicated on the college transcript. If it is not indicated on the college transcript, the overall GPA may be supplied in a letter from the college or university for out-of-state applicants. For applicants completing their program through a Pennsylvania entity approved to offer the program, the affirmation/verification should be completed through TIMS.

NOTE: All references to a GPA are relative to a 4.0 scale. Applicants with credits on other scales must have the equivalent GPA.

Please refer to Certification Testing and Scores for further information on GPA.

A list of frequently asked questions regarding the GPA-Praxis testing requirements can be found under Frequently Asked Questions.

Successful completion of Pennsylvania required tests: All candidates for certification must meet the qualifying score for all applicable tests at the time their application for certification is received by the Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality. The required tests and qualifying scores may change as tests are reviewed and updated. Additional information regarding test score validity may be found in CSPG 21 - Testing.

Identify the certificate type (see Types of Certificates in Pennsylvania)  in which you are interested and then refer to the Testing Requirements by Certificate Type document to identify tests needed.

NOTE:  Active/valid out-of-state instructional certificate holders, with two (2) years of successful classroom experience do not need to take the pre-professional skills test (PAPA), but must complete the content area test for the certification area requested.

Test codes, vendors and cut scores required for certification can be found on the Certification Testing and Scores document.

  1. Meet all Pennsylvania requirements related to citizenship, moral, ethical and physical/mental fitness.

 

Broad Requirements for Administrative and Supervisory Certifications
  1. Hold a minimum of a Bachelor's degree or higher.

  2. Completion of an approved program of study leading to certification in the area of certificate requested.

  3. Experience: The experience qualifications vary based on the credential being requested. Review the various options at Certificates for Administrative, Supervisory, Superintendent.

  4. Successful completion of Pennsylvania required tests.

Interstate Agreement: Both testing and GPA requirements are considered ancillary to the Interstate Agreement and states are permitted to ask that both requirements be met before a certificate is issued. The terms in the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement provide a common vocabulary which Member Jurisdictions agree to use in disseminating information nationally and internationally.

For more specific information, select one of the following:

For additional information, please contact:

Division of Certification Services
 

Pennsylvania Department of Education - School Leadership and Teacher Quality
333 Market Street | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.728.3224

Certification, Application or Technical Questions - Please submit a Help Desk Ticket.