Educator Programs and Certification Overview

Special Education

Shannon Hewgley

Certification Officer
Shannon Hewgley


The University of Texas at Austin offers state and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) approved teacher preparation programs. The College of Education works with students across campus so that they can become certified teachers in early childhood, elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. We also have programs that prepare students for administrative and other support roles in schools.

Our teacher preparation programs, rated as “Accredited” by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for the last 10 years, are available to everyone regardless of where you are in your academic career. We offer paths to certification for undergraduates, postbaccalaureates, graduate students, and working professionals.

A young boy with short, curly hair and dark skin holds up a book in a classroom.

Teacher Preparation Programs for Undergraduate Students

Students seeking initial teacher certification in any K-12th grade area and a bachelor's degree can enroll in one of the university's undergraduate certification degree programs.

A diverse group of students collaborate on a project at a table.

Teacher Preparation Programs for Those Seeking a Graduate Degree

We offer graduate programs for those seeking both a master’s degree and initial teacher certification in English, social studies, special education, natural sciences, or physical education.

A diverse group of teenage girls listen to dark-skinned student teacher during a discussion session.

Postbaccalaureate Teacher Certification Options

If you already have a bachelors' degree and wish to become a certified teacher, you may apply to the university as a non-degree seeker. You will enroll in courses and a professional development sequence that will qualify you for the teacher certification exams.

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Administrator, School Counselor, and Librarian Programs

The university offers options to become a certified principal, a school counselor, a superintendent, or a school librarian. A graduate degree and teaching experience are required in order to pursue these certifications in Texas.

Professional Development Sequence for Teaching Certification

In addition to completing your coursework, you must apply to and complete the Professional Development Sequence (PDS). Please note that all students entering the PDS must have access to a laptop.

The PDS provides you with plenty of classroom experience through fieldwork, observation, and student teaching. You will work closely with mentors who will guide you as you develop your teaching skills.

By the time you are finished, you will be well prepared to take the exams required for teacher certification in Texas. The passing rate for our graduates typically exceeds 95%.

Please note that TEA charges students in the teacher preparation program fees that must be paid in order to be officially certified. More information about the certification fees is available on our wiki.

University Recommendation

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.