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Teacher Education Certification Program

U.T. Dallas offers a rigorous university-based teacher certification curriculum and has built an outstanding reputation for producing excellent teachers.

Coursework and field experiences leading to teacher certification are planned delivered through the U.T. Dallas Teacher Development Center (972-883 2730) in coordination with the other Schools in the relevant disciplines. A model is used which calls upon the total resources of the institution rather than relying on a school of education. The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board have reviewed the content and procedures of these curricula.

Initial teaching certificates may be earned by undergraduates, concurrently with their degree studies, or by graduates from this or other institutions. Additional teaching field(s) may be added to valid certificates presently held.

As of September 1, 1999, all Texas teaching credentials must be renewed every five years. SBEC (State Board for Educator Certification), working in conjunction with the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, has revised the rules governing educator preparation, shifting the process away from a prescribed schedule of required classes and semester hours to a standards-based system that identifies the knowledge and skills required for a beginning teacher in Texas. These standards are aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, the state’s required curriculum for public school students. SBEC reduced the types of certificates offered but each new certificate requires a greater breadth and depth of knowledge on the part of the beginning teacher. This greater breadth also enables the teacher to teach more than one subject in their teaching field. Rather than a rigid list of courses, Texas law now requires persons seeking educator certification to perform satisfactorily on comprehensive examinations. The educator preparation program is required to determine their candidate’s eligibility to test as part of the registration process for these testing programs. The SBEC web site (http://www.sbec.state.tx.us/) is the best source of up-dated information.

Certification Subject Areas

The following are subject areas in which The University of Texas at Dallas offers approved teaching fields leading to teacher certification.

Grades 8-12 Certification

Undergraduate students must complete at least 24 semester hours of appropriate course work in each teaching field, a reading in the content area course, 18 semester hours of professional education, including student teaching, and pass the two required state comprehensive examinations (TExES). Certification for grades 8 - 12 is offered in the following fields:

English Language Arts and Reading
Social Studies
Computer Science
Life Sciences
Physical Sciences

Grades 4-8 Certification

Undergraduate students must have an academic major with 24 hours of appropriate coursework in the teaching field, complete 18 hours of professional education, including student teaching, nine semester hours of reading, six semester hours of mathematics above the core, and three semester hours of science above the core. In addition, candidates will be required to pass examinations for Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities, and content TExES examinations in the appropriate certification area.

At U.T. Dallas, the Grade 4-8 certification program, just like the Grade 8-12 certification plans, calls upon the total resources of the university rather than relying on a school of education. Students will need to consult closely with undergraduate advisors in their university academic school to design an appropriate degree plan.

Certification fields for Grades 4-8:

  • Science (4-8) (Science Education in the School of Natural Science and Mathematics)
  • Mathematics (4-8) (Science Education in the School of Natural Science and Mathematics)
  • Social Studies (4-8) (School of Social Sciences)
  • English Language Arts and Reading (4-8) (School of Arts and Humanities)
  • Generalist (4-8) (School of General Studies) – because this certificate qualifies a candidate to teach multiple subjects in a middle school, additional academic course work is required in order to prepare the candidate for the rigorous, broad-based “Generalist 4-8” TExES examination.

Early Childhood - 4 Certification


The Generalist Certification is the only certification available for students interested in Early Childhood – Grade 4. The content related TExES for this certificate will test for a broad-based content mastery. Students are advised to work with advisors in the School of General Studies or the School of Human Development if they seek degrees that lead to teaching certification in EC-Grade 4.

Undergraduate students need to consult with the appropriate academic program to design an undergraduate degree plan. All teacher certification candidates must register with the Teacher Development Center and take their upper-level professional development and education related course work and field experiences through the Center and the School of General Studies. It is the responsibility of the Teacher Development Center to assure that content and the professional development curricula meet the certification accountability requirements outlined in the Texas Education Code and monitored by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC).

U.T. Dallas does not currently certify teachers in Reading, Physical Education, Bilingual Education, Special Education, Speech, Journalism, Art, or Music.

All Teaching Fields

All undergraduate students must meet the 42-hour core curriculum for The University of Texas at Dallas. All candidates for certification at U.T. Dallas are required to pass 18 hours of professional development courses, including six hours of student teaching. In addition to the professional education courses, state requirements for courses in Reading are offered for each certification level. Also, candidates must demonstrate computer literacy and effective public speaking.


Upon admission to the University, undergraduate students should meet with a faculty advisor in the major field to develop a degree plan, indicating to the advisor that the student is seeking teacher certification. Students must then apply for admission to the teacher education certification program, meet program GPA and THEA requirements, and complete a Certification Plan through the Teacher Development Center

Post Baccalaureate Program

Persons who already have baccalaureate degrees may seek teacher certification. They should consult with an advisor in the Teacher Development Center after they have been admitted to the university through the Office of Admissions to develop a certification plan. Post-baccalaureate students may complete the required 18 semester hours of professional education course work at the graduate level and apply most of these hours toward a Masters of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies degree or they have the option of taking many of these courses at the undergraduate level if they do not wish to pursue a masters degree. Students who plan to take the professional development core as graduate courses must pass the TExES content examination for their teaching. See the U.T. Dallas Graduate Catalog for details.

Post-Baccalaureate students must meet the 24 semester hour requirements in the appropriate teaching field. A certification plan will be developed based on an evaluation of the student’s transcript and score on the TExES content examination. When appropriate, students may take the required courses in their teaching field(s) at the graduate or undergraduate level. Post Baccalaureate students must demonstrate computer literacy and effective public speaking. All students must fulfill the U.T. Dallas requirement for student teaching or supervised internship.

Guidelines for Admission to The University of Texas at Dallas
Teacher Certification Program

In compliance with Chapter 227 of the Texas Administrative Code and the HEA Title II accountability requirements, The University of Texas at Dallas Teacher Development Center has established guidelines for writing certification plans and officially admitting a student to the Teacher Certification Program.

Every student seeking teaching credentials at U.T. Dallas must meet the following requirements.

Provisional Admission

Entitles a prospective student who has applied for admission to U.T. Dallas to be advised for a certification plan and/or to take the initial courses related to certification:

  • THEA– Unless exempt from THEA by the program, a candidate must pass the THEA with a score of 260 in Reading and 240 in Math and 240 in Writing*.

    Exemption from THEA: You are exempt from taking the THEA if you meet the qualifying standards on the GRE, GMAT, ACT, SAT, or exit-level TAAS.

    • GRE: A minimum 450 on the verbal and 450 quantitative sections.
    • GMAT: A minimum combined score of 510 on the verbal and quantitative sections.
    • ACT: A composite score of 26, and English and Math sub scores of at least 22 (Scores can be no more than five years old).
    • SAT: A total score of at least 1100 with minimum scores of 550 in both the verbal and math tests. (Scores can be no more than five years old).
    • TAAS: A minimum writing score of 1780 and a Texas Learning Index (TLI) score of 89 in reading and 86 in math. (Scores can be no more than three years old).
    • TAKS: 2200 in Math and/or 2200 with a Writing subscore of at least 3 in English/Language Arts (ELA)*. Keep in mind that these exemptions excuse students from having to take a state-mandated test only. They may still have to meet institutional prerequisites or testing requirements.

      Appropriate documentation is required to qualify for the exemptions from THEA
      The Official THEA Test Study Guide may be purchased in the UTD Bookstore: THEA registration forms are available in the Teacher Development Center, MC2.402 or through the Learning Resource Center.
  • GPA of 2.75 overall or on last 60 hours of coursework.
  • 12 semester credit hours of English with no grade lower than a “C”.
  • Undergraduate students should meet with a faculty advisor in the major field to develop a degree plan, indicating to the advisor their interest in pursing teacher certification. Students can then make an appointment for certification plan advising with the Teacher Development Center whenever they are ready to take upper-division courses. Freshmen should not register for education courses.
  • Post-Baccalaureate students interested in teacher certification at U.T. Dallas are advised in the Teacher Development Center.

Official Admission

A U.T. Dallas undergraduate student must do the following to be officially admitted to the Teacher Development Program and be considered a candidate for certification:

  • Fill out an application for admission to the Teacher Development Program (available on the web site for U.T. Dallas Teacher Development Center – http://www.utdallas.edu/teach/). A committee of faculty, administrators, and public school educators will review all applications before students can proceed in the program.
  • Have successfully completed the following courses: Education Psychology (ED 3339) and American Public School (ED 3314 or ED 53XX) at UT Dallas.
  • Candidates must be officially admitted into the U.T. Dallas Teacher Certification Program before they can register for the appropriate Classroom Management course or any Curriculum and Instruction Methods Course, Student Teaching or Post-Baccalaureate Supervised Teaching Internship.

GPA Requirements for Teacher Certification

Students must maintain a 2.75 GPA in all professional education course work and in teaching fields. Grades of “D” are not acceptable in the content teaching field(s) or in professional education coursework. A grade of “C” is not acceptable for Classroom Management or Curriculum and Instruction Methods courses. All core professional education coursework must be taken at U.T. Dallas. Students must participate in 40 hours of structured field experience in area school districts that are partners with U.T. Dallas. See course descriptions for these requirements.

Requirements for Admission to Student Teaching and Post-Baccalaureate Internships

Student teaching or a supervised internship will be required of all students in the U.T. Dallas Teacher Certification program. Applications for student teaching or a supervised Post-Baccalaureate Internship will be accepted at one of several information sessions held early in each long semester (before October 15 in the fall and before March 15 in the spring). For further information contact the Teacher Development Center.

Students must complete all required coursework prior to student teaching and must have a GPA of 2.75 in teaching fields and have passed both appropriate state mandated exit examinations. All candidates must have exhibited professional maturity, acceptable class attendance, and maintained a “B” or better in Curriculum and Instruction and Classroom Management courses in order to be placed in a student teaching assignment. All students must adhere to the highest ethical standards in order to receive a grade in student teaching. A committee of faculty, administrators, and field placement educators will review all applications for supervised student teaching or Post-Baccalaureate internships.

Post-Baccalaureate students working toward initial certification at the Master’s Degree level and who meet U.T. Dallas standards, may be eligible for substituting current teaching experience for student teaching. See the U.T. Dallas Graduate Catalog for details.

A student teaching or internship fee will be included in the total registration charges. Students must be registered before they can begin their student teaching.

Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES)

All persons completing Texas teacher training programs for initial Texas certification must pass proficiency test(s) in their field(s) of certification. All candidates for initial teacher certification must pass:

  1. Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities test at the appropriate level, and;
  2. Content specialization test.

It is the responsibility of the teacher preparation program to determine when a student is prepared to take the examination. The University of Texas at Dallas has aligned education courses with the competencies identified as critical for teachers and offers preparation seminars at least once each semester for U.T. Dallas students. For information on TExES registration and eligibility, please review the Teacher Development Center Website – http://www.utdallas.edu/teach/ or contact the Teacher Development Center. TExES preparation manuals are available in the U.T. Dallas and Off Campus bookstores and can be downloaded from the web at http://www.sbec.state.tx.us/. Students should access this information before or during the first semester of enrollment at U.T. Dallas. Students are encouraged to prepare early for the content related specialization examinations. Students must pass both examinations prior to being placed in a student teaching or supervised internship assignment.

Application for Certification

Students who successfully fulfill all requirements (GPA, course work, TExES examinations, and student teaching) should apply for certification on the State Board of Educator Certification website. It is very important for a student to review this site for current requirements because fees and procedures do change. The law now requires that all candidates for teacher certification have a clear criminal background search via a national finger printing process. Once all forms have been properly processed, the U.T. Dallas Certification Officer can access student online applications and, upon verification of requirements, will make recommendations for certification online. Recommended students will immediately receive a “verification of recommendation” email from SBEC. Official Certificates are mailed by SBEC within four weeks.

General Information
American Studies
Gender Studies
Interdisciplinary Studies


This catalog is a general information publication only. It is not intended to nor does it contain all regulations that relate to students. The provisions of this catalog do not constitute a contract, express or implied, between any applicant, student or faculty member and The University of Texas at Dallas or The University of Texas System. The University of Texas at Dallas reserves the right to withdraw courses at any time, to change fees or tuition, calendar, curriculum, degree requirements, graduation procedures, and any other requirements affecting students. Changes will become effective whenever the proper authorities so determine and will apply to both prospective students and those already enrolled.

Statement on Equal Educational Opportunity
The University of Texas at Dallas is committed to an educational and working environment that provides equal opportunity to all members of the University community. In accordance with federal and state law, the University prohibits unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, and veteran status. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is also prohibited pursuant to University policy.