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Virginia Teacher Certification



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To become a certified teacher in Virginia, 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

Candidates pursuing their initial Virginia teacher certification must complete their license application and meet the one of the following requirements:

  • Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program that includes student teaching. If you have completed a Virginia-approved program, please request that your Virginia teaching license application be submitted by the college/university.
  • Hold a current and valid license from another state with comparable endorsement(s) and/or teaching area(s).
  • Be employed full time as a teacher under contract by a Virginia school division.

Background Check

The Virginia Department of Education does not require candidates to submit to a background check or fingerprint clearance to obtain their teaching license. However, individual school districts may conduct a background check as part of the hiring process. Contact your local school district for more information regarding their requirements.

Virginia 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 Virginia’s undergraduate prerequisites for some of the most popular specialty areas:

  • Elementary Education: Individuals seeking licensure with endorsements in early/primary education, elementary education, and middle education may meet requirements through the completion of an approved program or, if employed by a Virginia public or nonpublic school, through the alternate route to licensure. Components of the licensure program include a degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the liberal arts and sciences (or equivalent), professional teacher’s assessments requirement prescribed by the Board of Education, specific endorsement requirements, and professional studies requirements.
  • Secondary English/Language Arts:Endorsement requirements: The candidate must have: 1. Graduated from an approved teacher preparation program in English; or Completed a major in English or a minimum of 36 semester hours of coursework distributed in the following areas:
    • Literature: 12 semester hours. Courses must include: (1) Survey of British literature; (2) Survey of American literature; (3) World literature; and (4) Literary theory/criticism.
    • Language: 6 semester hours. Experiences shall include: (1) The development and nature of the English language, including some attention to comparative English grammar; and (2) A grammar course integrating grammar and writing.
    • Composition: 6 semester hours. Experiences shall include: (1) The teaching of writing, based on current knowledge and most effective practices, including the use of technology for this purpose; and (2) An advanced composition course – expository and informational writing.
    • Oral language: 3 semester hours. Experiences shall include the teaching of oral language in groups, as well as attention to oral language as used in both formal and informal presentations. e. Electives from the areas listed above: 9 semester hours
  • Secondary Mathematics:Endorsement requirements: The candidate must have: 1. Graduated from an approved teacher preparation program in mathematics; or 2. Completed a major in mathematics or 36 semester hours of coursework distributed in each of the following areas:
    • Algebra – Experience shall include linear (matrices, vectors, and linear transformations) and abstract algebra (ring, group, and field theory). A college or university may integrate the competencies within specified coursework and document the completion of these competencies;
    • Geometry – Experience shall include Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries;
    • Analytic geometry;
    • Probability and statistics;
    • Discrete mathematics – Experience shall include the study of mathematical properties of finite sets and systems and linear programming;
    • Computer science – Experience shall include computer programming; and
    • Calculus – Experience shall include multivariable calculus.

    Algebra I (add-on endorsement) requirements: The candidate must have: 1. Completed an approved teacher preparation program in Algebra I; or 2. Completed the following requirements. The candidate must have: a. A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university and an endorsement in a teaching area; and b. Completed 24 semester hours that include coursework in each of the following areas: (1) Elementary functions and introductory college algebra; (2) Trigonometry; (3) Linear algebra; (4) Calculus; (5) Euclidean geometry; (6) Probability and statistics; (7) Discrete mathematics; and (8) Computer science.

  • Secondary History/Social Science: Endorsement requirements: The candidate must have: 1. Graduated from an approved teacher preparation program in history and social sciences; or 2. Completed 51 semester hours of coursework distributed in the following areas:
    • History: a major in history or 18 semester hours in history (must include coursework in American history, Virginia history, and world history);
    • Political science: a major in political science or 18 semester hours in political science to include coursework in American government (state and local government);
    • Geography: 9 semester hours; and
    • Economics: 6 semester hours.

    Add-on endorsement requirements in history, political science, geography, and economics. The candidate must have: 1. An endorsement in history, political science, geography, or economics; and 2. Completed 21 semester hours of coursework in the additional social science area (history, political science, geography, or economics) sought.

  • Secondary Science:
    • Biology endorsement requirements: The candidate must have: 1. Graduated from an approved teacher preparation program in biology; 2. Completed a major in biology or 32 semester hours in biology, including genetics/molecular biology, botany, zoology, anatomy/physiology, ecology and other preparation consistent with the competencies for the endorsement; or 3. Earned an endorsement in another science discipline and at least 18 credits in biology, including preparation in each of the following areas: genetics/molecular biology, botany, zoology, anatomy/physiology, and ecology.
    • Chemistry. Must have: 1. Graduated from an approved teacher preparation program in chemistry; 2. Completed a major in chemistry or 32 semester hours in chemistry, including inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and analytical chemistry and other preparation consistent with the competencies required for the endorsement; or 3. Earned an endorsement in another science discipline and at least 18 credits in chemistry, including preparation in each of the following areas: inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and analytical chemistry.
    • Earth science. Must have: 1. Graduated from an approved teacher preparation program in Earth science; 2. Completed a major in geology or environmental science with at least one course in each of the following: oceanography, meteorology, and astronomy, and a course in geology for environmental science majors, or 32 semester hours in Earth sciences, including geology (18 semester hours), oceanography, meteorology, and astronomy and other preparation consistent with the competencies required for the endorsement; or 3. Earned an endorsement in another science discipline and at least 18 credits in Earth sciences, including preparation in each of the following areas: geology, oceanography, meteorology, and astronomy.
    • Physics. Must have: 1. Graduated from an approved teacher preparation program in physics; 2. Completed a major in physics or 32 semester hours in physics, including mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and optics and other preparation consistent with the competencies required for the endorsement; or 3. Earned an endorsement in another science discipline and at least 18 credits in physics, including preparation in each of the following areas: mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and optics.

Virginia Teacher Preparation

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

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. The Virginia Department of Education publishes a list of approved certification programs (scroll down the page). Learn more about earning your alternative teaching certification in Virginia here!

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 specific to the State of Virginia, visit our Virginia Teacher Scholarships page.

Virginia Required Tests

Virginia’s DOE requires all teaching applicants to complete the Praxis Series tests before obtaining their Vermont teacher certification. Applicants are required to complete a Basic Skills Assessment (CORE) as well as any required Content Area assessments.

Basic Skills Assessment

Qualifying Score

Required Test(s)

Certification

TBD
TBD
TBD

178
176
178

CORE: Reading
CORE: Writing
CORE: Mathematics
or
Praxis I Reading
Praxis I Writing
Praxis I Mathematics

Required for entry into any state-approved teacher preparation program.

As of January 2014, Praxis I tests will no longer be accepted.


Content Area Assessment

Qualifying Score

Required Test(s)

Early Childhood & Elementary Certification

143

Elementary Education: Content Knowledge

Early/Primary Education (PreK-3)

157

Reading for Virginia Educators: Elementary & Special Education

Elementary Education (PreK-6)


Qualifying Score

Required Test(s)

Middle School Education (6-8) Certification

164

Middle School English Language Arts

English Language

163

Middle School Mathematics

Mathematics

162

Middle School Science

Science

160

Middle School Social Studies

Social Studies


Qualifying Score

Required Test(s)

Secondary Education (7-12) Certification

155

Biology: Content Knowledge

Biology

157

Business Education: Content Knowledge

Business Information & Technology

153

Chemistry: Content Knowledge

Chemistry

156

Earth & Space Sciences: Content Knowledge

Earth Science

TBD

172

English Language Arts: Content Knowledge
or
English Language, Literature, & Composition: Content Knowledge

English

150

Family and Consumer Sciences

Family and Consumer Sciences

147

Marketing Education

Marketing Education

147

Mathematics: Content Knowledge

Mathematics

147

Physics: Content Knowledge

Physics

161

Social Studies: Content Knowledge

Social Studies

162

Technology Education

Technology Education


Qualifying Score

Required Test(s)

Special Education Certification

157

Reading for Virginia Educators: Elementary & Special Education

General Curriculum

157

Reading for Virginia Educators: Elementary & Special Education

Hearing Impairments

157
168

Reading for Virginia Educators: Elementary & Special Education
Braille Proficiency

Visual Impairments

Visit Virginia’s Praxis Requirements for a complete list of available assessments.

Virginia Certification Reciprocity

Virginia will accept some teaching credentials from the following states. Contact the Virginia Department of Education to inquire about your specific situation. Please see our interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.

Alabama

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Illinois

Indiana

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Virginia Teacher Salary

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: Virginia provides differential pay support for teachers teaching in high needs schools and differential pay and loan forgiveness for teachers teaching in shortage subject areas
  • Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: Virginia has strong induction policies in place
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: The average elementary school teacher in Virginia makes $60,390
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: The average secondary teacher in Virginia makes $60,450
  • Teacher Salary vs. State Average Salary: The average teacher in Virginia makes 134% of the salary of the average worker in Virginia
  • Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: The average teacher in Virginia receives 15 weeks of vacation per year

Applying for Certification

How to Apply Online

TeachVirginia

TeachVirginia is an online job bank that allows licensed educators to register, search and apply online for open teaching positions within the Virginia public school system.

Job Bank and Electric Hiring Hall

Virginia’s job bank and hiring hall (powered by Teachers-Teachers.com) allows teaching candidates to upload their resumes and search for job opportunities within the Virginia public school system.

School Division Websites

Licensed Virginia educators may search individual school districts’ websites for contact information and information regarding potential job opportunities.

Virginia Substitute Teacher Requirements

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

Contact Information

      Vermont Department of Education

      Division of Teacher Education and Licensure

      PO Box 2120

      Richmond, Virginia 23218

      804-371-2471 – Contact

Additional links