Teacher Education Certification Program

UT 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 and delivered through the UT Dallas Teacher Development Center (972-883-2730) in coordination with the other UTD academic programs that provide the content for the teaching fields. The Teacher Certification Program uses the total resources of the University rather than relying on a school of education. The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board have approved the content and procedures of these curricula.

Initial teaching certificates may be earned by UTD 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. Texas law requires persons seeking educator certification to perform satisfactorily on comprehensive examinations. The educator preparation program is required to determine the candidate's eligibility to test. The SBEC web site (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 have an academic major and a minimum of 24 semester hours of appropriate course work in the teaching field, a reading course in the content area, and 18 semester hours of professional education, including student teaching. All UTD student teacher candidates must have passed both state required examinations prior to being placed in a student teaching assignment. Certification for grades 8 - 12 is offered in the following fields:

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

Grades 4-8 Certification

Undergraduate students must have an academic major with a minimum of 24 semester hours of appropriate coursework in the teaching field, two reading courses and18 hours of professional education, including student teaching. In addition, candidates must pass state required TExES examinations for Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities and content in the appropriate certification area prior to student teaching.

Certification fields for Grades 4-8:

  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • Social Studies
  • English Language Arts and Reading
  • Generalist - because this certificate qualifies a candidate to teach multiple subjects, additional academic course work is required in order to prepare the candidate for the rigorous, broad-based "Generalist 4-8" TExES examination.

Early Childhood - Grade 6 Certification


The Generalist Certification is the only certification available for students interested in Early Childhood - Grade 6. 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 Behavioral and Brain Sciences if they seek degrees that lead to teaching certification in EC-Grade 6.

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).

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 UT Dallas are required to pass 18 semester hours of appropriate professional development courses, including six semester credit hours of student teaching. In addition to the professional education courses, state requirements for courses in Reading are required for each certification level. Candidates must also demonstrate computer literacy, effective public speaking and complete twelve semester hours of English.


Upon admission to the University, undergraduate students should meet with an academic 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 to develop a certification plan after they have been admitted to the university through the Office of Enrollment Services.

Post-Baccalaureate students must meet the 24 semester hour requirement in the appropriate teaching field. A certification plan will be developed based on an evaluation of the student's transcript. 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, effective public speaking, and complete 12 semester hours of English. All students must fulfill the UT Dallas requirement for student teaching or supervised internship.

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

Guidelines are in compliance with Chapter 227 of the Texas Administrative Code and the HEA Title II accountability requirements.

Students seeking Texas teaching credentials at UT Dallas must meet the following requirements:

  • Provisional Admission - Entitles a prospective student who has applied for admission to UT Dallas to be advised for a certification plan and/or to take the initial courses related to certification.
  • GPA of 2.75 overall or on last 60 hours of coursework.
  • Undergraduate students must have 54 semester hours of undergraduate coursework. This should include 12 semester hours at UTD with no grade below a "C".
  • Post-Baccalaureate students must have an undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited university.
  • TASP/THEA - Unless exempt, a candidate must pass the TASP/THEA with the following minimum scores: 260 in Reading, 240 in Math, and 240 in Writing.

You are exempt from taking the TASP/THEA if you meet the qualifying standards on the GRE, GMAT, ACT, SAT, or exit-level TAKS.

  • GRE: A minimum Verbal score of 450 and a minimum Quantitative score of 450 for a combined Verbal/Quantitative minimum score of 900.
  • 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: Tests taken before September 1, 2005: A total score of at least 1100 with 550 minimums in the math and verbal sections of the test. After September 1, 2005: A total score of 1650 with 550 minimums in the math, critical reading, and writing sections of the test. (Scores can be no more than five years old).
  • TAKS: Students with TAKS scores of 2200 in English/Language Arts and Math as well as a score of 3 in the writing sample (which is often not printed on your high school transcript, but can be found on the TAKS score report) are TSI/THEA exempt. TAKS scores can be no more than three years old.

Appropriate documentation is required to qualify for the exemptions from TASP/THEA. The Official TASP/THEA Test Study Guide may be purchased in the UTD Bookstore. TASP/THEA registration forms are available in the Teacher Development Center, Founders North 3.118 or through the Learning Resource Center in the McDermott Library at (972) 883-6707.

  • Undergraduate students should meet with a faculty advisor in their academic major to develop a degree plan, indicating to the advisor their interest in pursuing 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 UT Dallas are advised in the Teacher Development Center.

Official Admission

  • Meet all requirements for "Provisional Admission."
  • Complete an application for admission to the Teacher Development Program. A committee of faculty, administrators, and public school educators will review all applications before students can proceed in the program.
  • Complete American Public School (ED 3314) and Educational Psychology (ED/PSY 3339).
  • Undergraduate students must successfully complete 12 semester hours of approved courses at UT Dallas. (Students must have met the requirements for Provisional Admission, completed American Public School (ED 3314), Educational Psychology (ED/PSY 3339), and have a 2.75 GPA before re-enrolling in Classroom Management, Methods and C&I courses.)

Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES)

All candidates for initial teacher certification must pass two TExES certification examinations:

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

Students must be officially admitted to the Teacher Development Program to take the TExES certification examinations. For information on TExES registration and eligibility, please review the Teacher Development Center web site - www.utdallas.edu/teach/ or contact the Teacher Development Center. TExES preparation manuals can be downloaded from the web at www.texes.ets.org/ or www.sbec.state.tx.us/. Students should access this information before or during the first semester of enrollment at UT Dallas. Students are encouraged to prepare early for the content related specialization TExES examination and to take the PPR TExES exam during or immediately after completing Classroom Management. Practice tests are available through the Teacher Development Center or the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website.

Requirements for Student Teaching

Applications for student teaching 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.

A committee of faculty, administrators, and field placement educators will review all applications for supervised student teaching or Post-Baccalaureate internships. All candidates must have exhibited professional maturity, acceptable class attendance, and meet the following requirements.

  • Adhere to the Code of Ethics and Standard Practices for Texas Educators as listed in Appendix III in the student teacher handbook
  • Meet all requirements for official admission to the teacher certification program.
  • Pass both required TExES exams.
  • Complete all required course work in teaching field with a 2.75 minimum GPA.
  • Have no grade lower than a "B" in Classroom Management, C&I or Methods courses.
  • Have no grade lower than "C" in other required certification courses.
  • Request a student teaching assignment where no family member works or attends.
  • Clear district criminal background check.
  • Register for student teaching (6 semester hours). A student teaching fee will be included in the total registration charges.
  • Pay tuition expenses before beginning official student teaching assignment.

UT Dallas Requirements for Teacher Certification

  • A 2.75 GPA in all professional education coursework and in content areas.
  • Grade of "A" or "B" in Classroom Management, C&I or Methods courses.
  • No grade lower than "C" in other required certification courses.
  • Professional education coursework taken at UT Dallas.
  • Computer literacy and effective public speaking demonstrated either by completion of appropriate coursework or a letter of competence.
  • 12 semester hours of English with no grade lower than a "C".
  • 40 clock hours of early field experience.
  • Grade of "A" or "B" in Student Teaching.

Application for Certification

Students who successfully fulfill all requirements for Texas teacher certification (GPA, course work, TASP/THEA and TExES examinations, etc.) should apply for certification on the State Board for Educator Certification website (www.sbec.state.tx.us/). The Certification Officer will access student online applications and, upon verification of requirements, will make recommendations for certification online. Students will immediately receive an email from the certifying agency verifying recommendation. Official Certificates are mailed by the state agency within six weeks.

Contact Information

UT Dallas Teacher Development Center
Founders North Building FN 3.118
(972) 883-2730 phone
(972) 883-4330 fax