Your Path from Bachelor’s Degree to Teaching Certification

Nothing compares to graduation day. Getting through college requires plenty of hard work and commitment, and now you have your bachelor’s degree. But perhaps your true dream has been to teach others in a particular subject. How can you transition from a bachelor’s degree to a teaching certification? It takes a few steps, but you can achieve your goal by following the steps laid out in this article.

With a current bachelor’s degree in education

If you’ve already completed your bachelor’s degree in an education field, obtaining your teacher certification will vary somewhat depending on the state you reside in. Your post bachelor teaching certificate can be obtained by following the rules of your specific state. If you were to teach in Texas, for example, there is a four-part process. Whereas if you live in Nevada or Louisiana it would be three.

Bachelor’s degree in another field of study

Perhaps you want to teach in California, and have your bachelor’s degree in a field that isn’t specifically education. But you want to teach. Like many states, California has an alternative certification program.

How long does the process take to earn a teaching certificate?

It will vary somewhat from person to person, depending on how quickly you’re able to meet the requirements.

For a person in Washington state, for example, the process is two-fold to becoming a teacher. You must complete an endorsement, which is what you want to teach, in addition to a state-approved preparation program for teachers. You can find these programs at Washington State University, as well as other colleges. The number of credit hours for an endorsement is about the same as any other major would be.

However, if your desire is to teach in an area where you don’t have formal education, it could take up to two years to finish the endorsement program along with the teacher preparation program.

State breakdown of steps to obtain a teaching certificate

Each state can vary slightly in its requirements for teacher credentialing. See a breakdown below of each of the states’ basic requirements:

Alabama

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field - Complete two-fold process of Alabama Prospective Teacher Program, which addresses basic skills in addition to skills in a specific subject matter

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study - Attend an Educator Preparation program or obtain a master’s degree in education - Alternative Baccalaureate-Level Certification involves passing the Alabama basic skills assessments listed above in addition to 12 semester hours of the educator preparation program - Receive an offer of employment from a public school in Alabama to qualify for this path, and the school can request a Special Alternative Certificate on your behalf

Alaska

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Pass a Basic Competency Exam
  • Pass Exams related to your content area

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • As of 2016, no alternative routes to a certificate in teaching were recognized in Alaska. However, if you have a bachelor’s degree, you can return to school for a teacher preparation program

Arizona

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Pass the Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments
  • Finish the Arizona Teacher Preparation Program

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Two year teacher preparation program
  • Complete three semester hours of the English immersion training program approved by the state
  • Pass the Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment in your particular focus area

Arkansas

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete a teacher preparation program as part of your undergraduate work
  • Pass the Pre-Professional Skills test, Praxis II test in your area of focus, and another Principles of Learning and Teaching Exam

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Complete Arkansas Professional Pathway to Educator Licensure program
  • Pass Praxis I and II examinations
  • Teach full time, while being mentored and participating in online instruction
  • Receive a professional provisional teaching license after completing three years of full-time experience

California

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Finish the state-approved teacher preparation program.
  • Pass examinations that will address basic skills as well as any subjects you’re planning to teach
  • Apply for certification

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • You must already possess a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science with a GPA that falls in the acceptable range
  • You must pass a basic skills test called the CBEST
  • Complete the CSET test
  • Preparation before the classroom involves instruction in pedagogy, managing a classroom, designing a lesson, working with English as a second language students, and other topics related to teaching
  • Obtain employment with a participating public school district and teaching in the area in which you want to earn your credential
  • Earn your preliminary credential
  • After completion of the final coursework, you’ll receive a Professional Clear credential

Colorado

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete an approved teacher preparation program
  • Demonstrate knowledge in the area you’ll be teaching, either by previous education or through exams

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Must demonstrate that you have knowledge in an approved endorsement area either by education or examination.
  • Enroll in alternative teacher preparation program
  • Be employed as a teacher

Connecticut

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • State approved teacher preparation program
  • Pass Praxis I and Praxis II, which address both basic skills and the subject area you’re planning to teach

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Connecticut offers the Alternate Route to Teacher Certification, which is a weekend program.
  • Must have completed specific courses, depending on the area you’d like to teach.
  • Need at least a 3.0 GPA
  • Must pass Praxis I and Praxis II

Delaware

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete approved teacher education program
  • Pass Praxis I and Praxis II

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Choice of three alternative certification programs
  • Must pass Praxis I and II

Florida

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete the state-approved teacher preparation program
  • Pass Florida Teacher Certification Exams
  • Apply for certification

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Join the alternative certification program
  • May be able to get your post bachelor teaching certificate online through certain programs
  • Take the Florida Teacher Certification Exams
  • Start teaching and obtain a temporary certificate

Georgia

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program
  • Pass Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators
  • Apply for certification

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Complete an alternative teaching certification program
  • Pass Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators
  • Receive a temporary and non-renewable certificate while you work toward your official certification

Hawaii

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Accredited teacher education program
  • Pass CORE assessment test, Principles of Teaching and Learning assessment, and PRAXIS tests for specific subject area
  • Apply for either a provisional license, standard license, or advanced license, depending on your qualifications

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Enroll in Hawaii Alternative Program for Shortage Areas
  • Complete same testing as above

Idaho

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program
  • Take the required tests for Idaho, which vary based on elementary, secondary, or special education focus
  • Apply for initial certification

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Join the Idaho Alternate Authorization-Content Specialist program.
  • Pass Praxis II test in chosen subject area
  • Have an employer who is ready to hire you to teach
  • Start a teacher preparation program at a university

Illinois

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Pass applicable exams, which vary depending on whether your focus is elementary, secondary, or special education
  • Apply for certification

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Must pass basic skills tests as well as those pertaining to the subject you want to teach
  • Attend a teacher preparation program
  • Apply for provisional alternative educator license
  • Pass Teacher Performance Assessment in second year

Indiana

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Participate in an Indiana Educator Preparation Program
  • Obtain passing scores on the Indiana CORE Academic Skills Assessment
  • Apply for certification

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Must pass same tests as traditional educational pathway educators
  • May join Transition to Teaching program to obtain certification
  • May receive emergency permit in schools where shortages exist. You must be working toward traditional certification while using this permit

Iowa

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete a teacher preparation program in Iowa
  • Take the required assessments included in the teacher preparation program
  • Must receive recommendation for licensure from official at the teacher preparation program

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study - Join teacher intern program, which includes 12 semester hours of classroom work in addition to 50 hours of field work - Must pass same tests as required for traditional path educators

Kansas

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Attend approved teacher preparation program
  • Must pass Praxis assessments
  • Apply for licensure

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Must pass Praxis assessments
  • Complete teacher preparation program
  • May choose Restricted Teaching License path to licensure
  • Must be accepted to alternative route program at a Kansas university

Kentucky

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Confirm that your education was obtained through an approved education preparation provider
  • Complete all required exams that are appropriate to the field of study you plan to teach
  • Apply for certification

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • One option is by documenting exceptional work experience in your current field of employment
  • In Jefferson County Public Schools, you may obtain alternate certification through their local district training program
  • Another option allows a person who works in a field other than education to obtain a temporary teaching certificate
  • Must complete these or a similar approved program, in addition to passing the appropriate exams for your particular field of teaching

Louisiana

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Attend an accredited teacher education program
  • Must pass Praxis I and two components of Praxis II
  • Apply for certification

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Must pass Praxis exams
  • Must complete teacher education program
  • Complete yearlong residency

Maine

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete a teacher preparation program approved by the state
  • Pass Praxis exams based on your field of teaching

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • May choose conditional certification, which allows you to teach for a limited time in Maine
  • Take courses aimed at receiving your regular teaching certificate while using the conditional one for your employment
  • Praxis testing is required

Maryland

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete an approved teacher preparation program
  • You can be exempt from the Praxis I test with adequate scores on the ACT, SAT, or GRE
  • Must take Praxis II test that is applicable to the area you desire to be certified in

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Must pass Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators test
  • Enroll in an alternative teaching certification program
  • Resident Teacher Certificate allows you to teach while fulfilling the requirements to obtain a standard teaching certificate

Massachusetts

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Pass all required Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure exams and obtain the SEI endorsement
  • Complete an approved educator preparation program in Massachusetts

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Attend an approved post-graduate program that includes teacher preparation
  • Pass all the same tests that a traditional pathway candidate would take

Michigan

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete an approved preparation program
  • Complete six semester hours of reading courses for elementary and three semester hours for secondary
  • Finish class in CPR and First Aid
  • Pass basic skills examination and Michigan Test for Teacher Certification

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Obtain an interim teaching certificate to work full-time as a teacher while pursuing your official certification
  • Must pass same tests as candidate with a bachelor’s in education field

Minnesota

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Must complete and receive a recommendation from an approved preparation program
  • Pass the NES Essential Academic Skills test, the MTLE content knowledge test for your subject area, and the MTLE pedagogy test

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Pass all the same exams as a traditional candidate
  • Complete an alternative teacher preparation program, which may be either a certificate or a master’s degree

Mississippi

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete Mississippi teacher preparation program
  • Pass the Praxis exams appropriate for your field of teaching

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Candidates must have passed Praxis Core Skills test or have a score of at least 21 on the ACT or equivalent
  • Complete a year-long Mississippi alternate teacher preparation program, or may obtain master’s degree

Missouri

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete teacher preparation program
  • Pass the Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments and Missouri General Education Assessment
  • Complete Missouri Pre-service teacher assessment during your field experience

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Choose from several options for obtaining your teaching certification while working in the classroom
  • Pass all the same tests as a traditional candidate

Montana

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Must pass Praxis exams, including the part applicable to your field of teaching
  • Complete National Board Certification Program

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Apply for class 5 provisional license
  • Complete teacher preparation program within 3 years or the provisional license expires. It cannot be renewed

Nebraska

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete teacher education program
  • Complete human relations training
  • Complete special education training
  • Passing scores on Praxis exams
  • College credits or employment within past 5 years

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Pass all the same tests as a traditional candidate
  • Choose an option among several paths to alternative certification

Nevada

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete Nevada teacher preparation program
  • Pass Praxis I and II
  • Apply for certification

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Complete alternative route to licensure program
  • Pass same tests as traditional candidate

New Hampshire

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete a teacher preparation program
  • Pass Praxis I and II exams

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Choose one of five options for alternative certification

New Jersey

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete online teaching certification program
  • Pass Praxis exams

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Complete New Jersey’s Alternate Route Program

New Mexico

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete state-approved teacher preparation program
  • Must pass National Evaluation Series, Academic skills subtests, and Assessment of Professional Knowledge related to your area of teaching

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Enter program for 2-year alternative licensure

New York

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete teacher preparation program
  • Pass Academic Literacy Skills Test, Educating all Students test, and the appropriate content specialty test

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Contact a college offering alternative teacher preparation programs

North Carolina

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete state-approved teacher education program
  • Pass Praxis testing

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Complete Lateral Entry alternative teaching certification program
  • Complete approved teacher preparation program

North Dakota

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete teacher education program
  • Pass all Praxis tests

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Pursue an alternate access license in an area where a educator shortage exists
  • Complete a teaching degree program over the next three years

Ohio

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete approved teacher preparation program
  • Pass required Praxis exams

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Complete teacher preparation program
  • Pass required Praxis exams
  • Choose from two options for alternative teacher certification

Oklahoma

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete Oklahoma-approved teacher preparation program
  • Pass Oklahoma General Education Test, Oklahoma Subject Area Test, and Oklahoma Professional Teaching Exam

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Pursue certification through Alternative Placement Program for Teacher Certification or another suitable option

Oregon

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Attend a teacher preparation program
  • Pass the National Evaluation Series tests, content area tests, English to speakers of other languages test, and civil rights test

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Choose one of three paths to alternative teaching licenses in Oregon

Pennsylvania

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Attend a teacher preparation program
  • Pass Praxis I and II

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Attend a teacher preparation program
  • Complete alternative certification program in as little as one year

Rhode Island

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Take state-approved educator preparation program
  • Pass applicable Praxis exams

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Complete approved alternate educator certification program
  • Pass Praxis II

South Carolina

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete an approved educator preparation program
  • Pass the Praxis exams

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Pass Praxis exams
  • Complete one of several options for alternative teacher certification.

South Dakota

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Pass the Praxis exams
  • Must have completed six educational credits within the past five years.
  • Complete teacher preparation program

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Have an offer of employment with a SD public school
  • Pass Praxis exams
  • Complete South Dakota’s Alternative Certification Program
  • Complete teacher preparation program

Texas

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete an approved Educator Preparation Program
  • Pass Texas’ certification exams, which may be different depending on the area you’re desiring to teach
  • Submit a state application
  • Pay for fingerprinting so a criminal history check can be conducted

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Decide on grade levels and subject areas you’re interested in teaching
  • Select an approved alternative certification program
  • Obtain a teaching position that fits your credentialing needs
  • Apply for a probationary certificate

Utah

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Attend state-approved teacher preparation program
  • Pass Praxis exams

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Complete steps in Utah’s Alternate Path to Licensure Program
  • Pass Praxis exams

Vermont

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete state-approved teacher preparation course
  • Pass Praxis exams

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Participate in License by Evaluation or Peer Review program

Virginia

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete teacher education program
  • Pass the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment along with the Praxis exams

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Participate in Virginia Career Switcher Alternative Route to Licensure Program

Washington

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Washington-approved teacher preparation program
  • Pass Washington Educator Skills Test, Praxis I, a subject-area version of the Washington Educator Skills Test

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Choose one of four alternative certification routes for Washington

West Virginia

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete approved teacher preparation program
  • Pass the Praxis exams

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

  • Contact school which has an approved program of alternative certification
  • Be employed to work where there is a shortage of certified teachers
  • Receive alternative teaching certificate
  • Complete program for an initial provisional teaching certificate

Wisconsin

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete approved educator preparation program
  • Pass Praxis exams

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study

Select and complete an alternative certification program that is state-approved - Must pass Praxis exams

Wyoming

Bachelor’s Degree in Education Field

  • Complete an approved educator preparation program
  • Receive a recommendation for licensure from the program
  • Demonstrate knowledge of US and Wyoming constitutions
  • Must pass Praxis exams

Bachelor’s Degree in Another Field of Study Choose one of two main options for alternative certification in Wyoming - Pass Praxis exams

Works Cited:

Texas Education Agency. Retrieved on April 6, 2018 at https://tea.texas.gov/Texas_Educators/Certification/Initial_Certification/Becoming_a_Classroom_Teacher_in_Texas/

US Dept of Education. Retrieved on April 6, 2018 at https://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/

Teach. Dallas Fort Worth. Retrieved on April 6, 2018 at https://dallasftworth.teach.org/becoming-teacher/teaching-certification-texas#pathway

Texas Educator Certification Testing. Retrieved on April 6, 2018 at http://cms.texes-ets.org/epp/epppact/

California Teacher Corps. Retrieved on April 6, 2018 at http://www.cateachercorps.org/alternative_certification/how_it_works.html

Washington State University. Retrieved on April 7, 2018 at https://education.wsu.edu/undergradprograms/teachered/certification/faqs/

Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at https://www.ctc.ca.gov/credentials/teach

Florida Teachers. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at https://florida.teachersoftomorrow.org/florida-teacher-certification

Georgia Professional Standards Commission. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at https://www.gapsc.com/ProspectiveEducator/StepsToTeach/Home.aspx

Illinois State Dept of Education. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at https://www.isbe.net/licensure

Indiana Core Assessments. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at https://www.in.nesinc.com/

Iowa Board of Educational Examiners. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at http://www.boee.iowa.gov/require.html

Kansas State Dept of Education. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at http://www.ksde.org/Agency/Division-of-Learning-Services/Teacher-Licensure-and-Accreditation

Kentucky Dept of Education. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at https://education.ky.gov/teachers/NxGenProf/Pages/Certification.aspx

Teach Louisiana. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at https://www.teachlouisiana.net/

Dept of Education Massachusetts. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at http://www.doe.mass.edu/licensure/academic-prek12/teacher/license-types.html#initial-license

Michigan Dept of Education. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-5683_14795---,00.html

Minnesota Dept of Education. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at https://education.mn.gov/MDE/lic/train/ Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at https://mn.gov/pelsb/aspiring-educators/apply/

Mississippi Dept of Education. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/OEL

Missouri Dept of Elementary and Secondary Education. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at https://dese.mo.gov/educator-quality/certification/teacher

Office of Public Instruction. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at http://opi.mt.gov/MTLicensingFAQ

Nebraska Dept of Education. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at https://www.education.ne.gov/tcert/

Nevada Dept of Education. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at http://www.doe.nv.gov/Educator_Licensure/

New Mexico Public Education Dept. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at https://webnew.ped.state.nm.us/bureaus/licensure/

NYSED. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/rightpathway.html

Public Schools of North Carolina State Board of Education. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/licensure/

NDESPB. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at https://www.nd.gov/espb/licensure/license-information

Ohio Higher Ed. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at https://www.ohiohighered.org/education-programs/teaching-in-ohio/how-do-i-become-a-teacher

South Carolina Dept of Education. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at https://ed.sc.gov/educators/teaching-in-south-carolina/aspiring-educators/

Utah Board of Education. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at https://www.schools.utah.gov/curr/licensing

Virginia.gov. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/teaching/licensure/

OSPI Washington state. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/Teacher.aspx

Wisconsin Dept of Public Instruction. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at https://dpi.wi.gov/tepdl/pathways

Wyoming Dept of Education. Retrieved on April 8, 2018 at https://edu.wyoming.gov/educators/

Nedda
Nedda Gilbert

Ms. Gilbert is a certified social worker and 30 year educational consultant with an interest in helping college-bound and graduate school students manage the process and stress of admissions effectively. She is one of the senior founding managers of the Princeton Review Test Preparation Company, and the author of The Princeton Review Guide to the Best Business Schools and another book, Business School Essays that Made a Difference (Random House). She is a guest contributor to Forbes Magazine on college and college life. Ms. Gilbert is also certified as a collaborative family law professional in New Jersey. She received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and MS from Columbia University.