Becoming a Teacher

The University of Texas at Austin offers several different paths to teacher certification. You have the flexibility to choose a major that fits with your interests and complete a professional development sequence that will give you preparation in the classroom.

    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 to which college and major you should apply.

    There are several types of teacher certifications:

    • 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)
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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 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.

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    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. 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.