Becoming a Texas Teacher

Making a Difference through Education

For 130 years, we’ve helped prepare teachers to change the world. Many of us have our own stories about a teacher who made a difference in our lives and we value the role teachers play in our society as we work towards achieving equity and inclusivity for all. We look forward to helping you grow into a leader that sparks minds and ultimately shapes our society in the classroom and beyond.

The University of Texas at Austin offers multiple paths to be certified by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) as a teacher, giving you the flexibility to choose a major that best fits your interests and career goals.

As you progress through your degree plan, you will join a cohort of classmates with similar interests in a teacher preparation program that will prepare you for the classroom and to take the certification exams TEA requires of Texas teachers. UT Austin College of Education graduates’ exam passing rates for these tests typically exceed 95%.

Do you know what grade level and what subject you plan to teach?

If so, excellent! Go on to Step 2. If not, these pages list all of the teacher preparation programs available across UT Austin and will direct you to the appropriate websites as you consider your options.

Whether you choose to major in the College of Education or another college at UT Austin, your advisor will walk you through the process of becoming a teacher. This is necessary to make sure that you are taking the right courses at the right time.

The teacher preparation program in the College of Education is called the Professional Development Sequence (PDS). Once accepted to the PDS, you will join a cohort of students lead by a cohort coordinator that you will take classes with for the rest of your undergraduate program, giving you a great opportunity to work with and meet future colleagues and friends.

Every University of Texas at Austin student who wishes to teach in Texas will need to complete a teacher preparation program. Teacher preparation programs at UT Austin consist of specific coursework, classroom experience, and student teaching in order to be recommended for certification by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

While you’re in the PDS, there will be opportunities for you to attend mandatory seminars and training that cover important topics in education. These seminars are meant to prepare you for issues in the classroom beyond academics and teaching.

Once you successfully complete all of the steps to become a teacher and the certification requirements, you may be recommended for certification to the TEA by our certification officer. Be sure to reference the Certification Checklist on our wiki for additional information.

The Office of Educator Testing in the Texas Education Agency oversees the requirements for testing. You will take the exam based on what you plan to teach. Elementary teachers will take the core subjects exam and supplemental exams for English as a Second Language, Bilingual, or Special Education.

Undergraduate students in the College of Education must apply online to graduate during their final semester of coursework. The online Graduation Application is available from the twelfth class day (fourth class day in summer) until the mid-semester deadline. Be sure to reach out to your advisor if you have any questions.

You can apply for teacher certification in Texas through the TEA website after you have passed all the required certification exams, completed the TEA certification application, finished all coursework, and completed the TEA required fingerprinting process. A social security number is required as a part of the fingerprinting and certification processes.

Our vast alumni network and connections with local school districts can help you find the right teaching position when you graduate. In fact, 95% of those who responded to a survey sent to alumni who graduated 2016-2017 reported that they were teaching the following year. Visit with Career Engagement, attend a career fair, or consider furthering your education with a graduate degree. A degree in education opens doors for career opportunities beyond teaching.