Becoming a Teacher

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Become a Teacher
Inspire students as an educator

Steps to Become a Teacher

The University of Texas at Austin offers multiple paths to be certified by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), giving you the flexibility to choose a major that fits your interests. As you progress through your degree, you will need to complete a Professional Development Sequence that will prepare you for the classroom and to take the certification exams TEA requires of Texas teachers. Our graduates’ exam passing rates for these tests typically exceed 95%. 

We offer several teacher preparation programs:

  • Early Childhood – 6th grade (Pre-Kindergarten - 6th grade)
  • All-Level Certification (Pre-Kindergarten - 12th grade)
  • Middle School Certification (4th grade – 8th grade)
  • Secondary Certification (7th grade – 12th grade)



Step 1. What Do You Want To Teach?

The first step to becoming a teacher is to decide which grade level and what subject you plan to teach. This will help you to determine which college and major best fits your interests.

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Step 2. Talk to Your Advisor

Whether you major in the College of Education or another college, your advisor will be able to walk you through the process of becoming a teacher. This is necessary to ensure that you are taking the right courses early on so that you can enter a Professional Development Sequence (PDS).

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Step 3. Apply to the Professional Development Sequence

Every University of Texas at Austin student who wishes to teach in Texas will complete a Professional Development Sequence through the College of Education. The PDS is a teacher preparation program that includes classroom experience and student teaching. This experience is necessary for the College of Education to recommend you for teacher certification to the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

Most professional development sequences require prerequisite teaching courses. Students generally enter the PDS after a few semesters of coursework.

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Step 4. Participate in Mandatory Seminars, Training

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.

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Step 5. Apply for TExES Certification Test Approval

In order to apply for a TExES certification exam, you must be recommended by the College of Education certification officer. You should contact the certification officer near the end of your professional development sequence.

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Step 6. Take TExES Certification Tests

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, as well as supplemental exams for English as a Second Language, Bilingual, or Special Education.

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Step 7. Apply to Graduate

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.

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Step 8. Apply for Teacher Certification

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.

Caricature of Bevo teaching

Step 9. Start Your Career

Our vast alumni network and local connections with Austin ISD can help you secure a 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 our career services center, attend a career fair, or consider furthering your education with a graduate degree. A degree in education opens many doors for possible career opportunities beyond teaching.

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