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Iowa Teacher Certification



logo Become a Teacher in IowaThis page is sponsored by Rossier Online, a master level teaching degree program delivered online that enables you to earn a Master’s degree and teaching credential. Learn more about how the University of Southern California can help you become a transformative teacher in Iowa.

 

To become a certified teacher in Iowa, you will need to fulfill all prerequisite coursework, teacher preparation, and testing requirements.

Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible, and we are dedicated to updating the site with new information on a regular basis. To stay up-to-date with the latest in teacher certification, please complete the form in the right sidebar.

Certification Requirements

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners requires the following for all candidates seeking an Iowa teaching licensure:

  • Proof of bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university
  • Completion of state and/or regionally approved teacher preparation program
  • Completion of approved human relations course component
  • Completion of teaching endorsement requirements
  • Completion and passing of mandated tests in which the candidate is currently licensed, or completion of Iowa mandated tests [link to Iowa CertMap state tests section]
  • Meets recency requirement: teaching experience of six college credits within the past five years

Iowa Teacher Prerequisite Coursework

All states require that certified teachers at a minimum have a Bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas. Here are Iowa’s undergraduate prerequisites for some of the most popular specialty areas:

  • Elementary Education:
    • English K-8: Completion of 24 semester hours in English and language arts to include course work in oral communication, written communication, language development, reading, children’s literature, creative drama or oral interpretation of literature, and American literature.
    • Mathematics K-8: Completion of 24 semester hours in mathematics to include course work in algebra, geometry, number theory, measurement, computer programming, and probability and statistics.
    • Science–basic. K-8: Completion of 24 semester hours in science to include course work in biological and physical sciences. 12 hours in physical sciences, 6 hours in biology, and 6 hours in earth/space sciences.
    • Social Sciences – History. K-8: Completion of 24 semester hours in history to include at least nine semester hours in American history and nine semester hours in world history.
  • Secondary English/Language Arts
    • Completion of 24 semester hours in English to include course work in oral communication, written communication, language development, reading, American literature, English literature and adolescent literature.
  • Secondary Mathematics:
    • Completion of 24 semester hours in mathematics to include a linear algebra or an abstract (modern) algebra course, a geometry course, a two course sequence in calculus, a computer programming course, a probability and statistics course, and coursework in discrete mathematics.
  • Secondary History/Social Science:
    • All Social Sciences: Completion of 51 semester hours in the social sciences to include: 9 semester hours in World History, 9 semester hours in American History, 9 semester hours in Government, 6 semester hours in Sociology, 6 semester hours psychology other than educational psychology, 6 semester hours in geography, and 6 semester hours in economics
    • American government: Completion of 24 semester hours in American government or 30 semester hours in the broad area of social sciences to include 15 semester hours in American government.
    • American history: Completion of 24 semester hours in American history or thirty semester hours in the broad area of the social sciences to include fifteen semester hours in American history.
    • Anthropology: Completion of twenty-four semester hours in anthropology or thirty semester hours in the broad area of social sciences to include fifteen semester hours in anthropology.
    • Economics: Completion of twenty-four semester hours in economics or thirty semester hours in the broad area of the social sciences to include fifteen semester hours in economics, or thirty semester hours in the broad area of business to include fifteen semester hours in economics.
    • Geography: Completion of twenty-four semester hours in geography or thirty semester hours in the broad area of the social sciences to include fifteen semester hours in geography.
    • Psychology: Completion of twenty-four semester hours in psychology or thirty semester hours in the broad area of social sciences to include fifteen semester hours in psychology.
    • Sociology: Completion of twenty-four semester hours in sociology or thirty semester hours in the broad area of social sciences to include fifteen semester hours in sociology.
    • World history: 5-12. Completion of twenty-four semester hours in world history or thirty semester hours in the broad area of social sciences to include fifteen semester hours in world history.
  • Secondary Science:
    • Biological: Completion of 24 semester hours in biological science or thirty semester hours in the broad area of science to include fifteen semester hours in biological science.
    • Chemistry: Completion of 24 semester hours in chemistry or thirty semester hours in the broad area of science to include fifteen semester hours in chemistry.
    • Earth science: Completion of 24 semester hours in earth science or thirty semester hours in the broad area of science to include fifteen semester hours in earth science.
    • General science: Completion of 24 semester hours in science to include course work in biological science, chemistry, and physics.
    • Physical science: Completion of 24 semester hours in the physical sciences to include course work in physics, chemistry, and earth science.
    • Physics: Completion of 24 semester hours in physics or 30 semester hours in the broad area of science to include 15 semester hours in physics.

Iowa Teacher Preparation

Teacher preparation includes the completion of an accredited teacher education program.

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Typically teacher education programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork. The curricula often includes instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy (or the art and science of teaching), and preparing students to research, design and implement learning experiences in their field of study. The fieldwork component can include field observations, student teaching, and an internship.

While the involvement in an education program may seem financially daunting, a number of financial resources specifically for teachers exist around the country. For more information on this, visit our page on scholarships for teachers. For more scholarships for teachers exclusive to the State of Iowa, visit our Iowa State Scholarships pages.

Alternative Certification

Graduates of accredited colleges or universities whose bachelor’s degree was not in education, and who have not yet earned a traditional teaching certificate, can still receive an alternative teaching certificate by satisfying certain requirements. Click here for information about alternative certification in Iowa.

Iowa Required Tests

Basic Skills Assessment

Iowa does not require teaching candidates to take a Basic Skills Assessment.

Praxis II

In order to become a certified teacher, the Iowa Department of Education requires that all teaching candidates take one test in pedagogy and one test in content. Those pursuing special education certification have separate test requirements.

Praxis II: Pedagogy

Qualifying Score

Test Requirement(s)

Certification Area

159

Principles of Teaching & Learning: Early Childhood

Early Childhood Certifications

159
165
163
162

Principles of Teaching & Learning: Early Childhood, or
Principles of Teaching & Learning: Grades K-6, or
Principles of Teaching & Learning: Grades 5-9, or
Principles of Teaching & Learning: Grades 7-12

K-12 or B-21 Certifications

165

Principles of Teaching & Learning: Grades K-6

All K-6 or K-8 Certifications

163
162

Principles of Teaching & Learning: Grades 5-9, or
Principles of Teaching & Learning: Grades 7-12

All 5-12 Certifications

163
162

Principles of Teaching & Learning: Grades 5-9, or
Principles of Teaching & Learning: Grades 7-12

All 9-12 Certifications


Praxis II: Content Area(s)

Qualifying Score

Required Test(s)

Certification Areas

168

Early Childhood: Content Knowledge

Early Childhood Teacher, PreK-K

168

Early Childhood: Content Knowledge

PreK – Grade 3 Teacher, PreK-3

170

Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education

PreK – Grade 3, Including Special Education

151
162

Elementary Education: Content Knowledge

Elementary Classroom Teacher K-6

See Iowa’s Requirements for specific test information

Early Adolescence, K-8

See Iowa’s Requirements for specific test information

Secondary Education, 5-12

Special Education (“Stand Alone”) Endorsement: Test requirements for candidates who are certified only in special education and not other content area(s).

Qualifying Score

Required Test(s)

Certification Area

162
160

Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge, and
Special Education: Education of Deaf/Hard of Hearing Students

Deaf or Hard of Hearing (Birth-21)

168< br/>159

Early Childhood: Content Knowledge, and
Special Education: Preschool/Early Childhood

Early Childhood Special Education

162
162

Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge, and
Special Education: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications

Instructional Strategist I: Mild/Moderate (K-8) and/or (5-12)

162
154
151

Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge, and
Special Education: Teaching Students with Behavioral Disorders/Emotional Disturbances
–OR–
Special Education: Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities

Instructional Strategist II: BD/LD K-12

162
165

Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge, and
Special Education: Core Knowledge and Severe to Profound Applications

Instructional Strategist II: MD K-12

162
165

Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge, and
Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications

Instructional Strategist II: Physically Handicapped K-12

162
163

Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge, and
Special Education: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments

Visually Impaired B-21

Iowa Certification Reciprocity

Iowa will accept some teaching credentials from the following states. Contact the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners to inquire about your specific situation. Iowa is one of the states that does not participate in the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement, meaning that the majority of the 50 states do not accept teaching credentials from the state of Iowa. Please see our interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.

Alabama

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Kansas

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Michigan

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Iowa Teacher Salary

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: Iowa provides no support for teachers teaching in high needs schools but differential pay for teachers teaching in shortage subject areas
  • Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: Iowa has strong induction policies in place
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: The average elementary school teacher in Iowa makes $44,040
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: The average secondary teacher in Iowa makes $44,080
  • Teacher Salary vs. State Average Salary: The average teacher in Iowa makes 108% of the salary of the average worker in Iowa
  • Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: The average teacher in Iowa receives 15 weeks of vacation per year

Applying for Certification

Teach Iowa

TeachIowa.gov is a statewide job posting database managed by the Iowa Department of Education and the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners. Teach Iowa’s system allows potential teachers to register and apply for job openings within the Iowa public school system, education agencies and participating non-public schools.

Background Clearance

All candidates pursuing their Iowa teaching license must pass a background check and fingerprint clearance in order to be deemed eligible for employment within the Iowa public school system. Please visit the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners to find out how to order a background check.

Iowa Substitute Teacher Requirements

Please click here to learn more about how to become a substitute teacher in Iowa.

Contact Information

      Iowa Department of Education

      Grimes State Office Building

      400 East 14th Street

      Des Moines, Iowa 50319

      (515) 281-5294 – Contact

Additional links