- Teacher Certification Map
- Become a Teacher in Pennsylvania
Click to jump to section Pennsylvania Prerequisite Coursework Pennsylvania Teacher Preparation Pennsylvania Required Tests Pennsylvania Application Requirements Pennsylvania License Endorsements Pennsylvania Certification Reciprocity Pennsylvania Additional Resources & Links
To become a certified teacher in Pennsylvania, 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.
A few quick notes on Pennsylvania's teaching landscape:
- Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas:Pennsylvania provides loan forgiveness support for teachers teaching in high needs schools and loan forgiveness and differential pay for teachers teaching in shortage subject areas
- Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: Pennsylvania has strong induction policies in place
Step One: Prerequisite Coursework
Important Note: Education licensure requirements and salary statistics (for teachers and administrators) are subject to change. CertificationMap.com makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 3/22/2016
The first step to getting certified as a teacher is choosing a specialization and/or grade level and earning your bachelor's degree. Pennsylvania requires that certified teachers at a minimum have a bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA and have completed an approved program of teacher education. Keep in mind, however, that Pennsylvania currently has a two-tier certification system. Level I is the first tier of certification and is valid for six years of teaching service. By the end of these six years, you must complete at least 24 credits of post-baccalaureate coursework to obtain your Level II certification, or second tier certification.
Pennsylvania does not have credit hour requirements, but does have subject requirements. Each teacher education program will have its own set of coursework requirement to complete the program.
Visit The Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs database to verify whether or not your institution is accepted.
Step Two: Teacher Preparation
Next, you'll need to complete an approved teacher preparation program. Visit Pennsylvania Department of Education's Certification Preparation Programs page to find a state-approved teacher preparation program in Pennsylvania. After, make sure to notify your certification officer at the college/university/educational entity on an application form designated by the Bureau or through the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) to verify successful completion of the preparation program. You can learn more about using TIMS by clicking here.
Typically teacher education programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork involved in an accredited teacher preparation program. 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.
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 state of Pennsylvania officially recognizes ABCTE certification as a route to earning your Pennsylvania teacher certification. Click here to find out more about Pennsylvania Alternative Certification programs.
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 Pennsylvania, visit ourPennsylvania Teacher Scholarships page.
Step Three: Required Tests
Next, you'll need to complete assessments of basic skills, professional knowledge and practice and subject matter knowledge.
To satisfy your basic skills requirement, complete the Pre-service Academic Perofmrance Assessment (PAPA) modules in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics.
- Visit www.pa.nesinc.com to register for test code PA701.
- Scores must be electronically submitted directly to the Pennsylvania Department of Education Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality from the test vendor.
- A minimum score of 220 is required on each module. A composite scoring option is available.
Visit the Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests website for more information on state testing requirements and registration dates.
PAPA: Reading, Writing, Mathematics
PAPA: Reading, Writing, Mathematics
Secondary Certificates 7-12
Step Four: Application Requirements
Finally, submit a completed licensure application to get the show on the road! You can create an account with the Time Information Management Systems (TIMS) to begin your licensing application.
Make sure you have all your supporting documents! Here's a complete checklist of things you need to submit along with your license application for first-time applicants:
Step Five: License Endorsements
In addition to your teaching license, if you would like to earn additional endorsements to your valid Pennsylvania teaching license, complete the appropriate Pennsylvania Department of Education-approved content exam.
Visit Pennsylvania Department of Education's Instructional Add-ons page to find out more.
Pennsylvania Certification Reciprocity
Pennsylvania will accept some teaching credentials from all but the following states: Alaska, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, and Oregon. Contact the Pennsylvania Department of Education to inquire about your specific situation. Please see our interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.
School of Leadership and Teacher Quality
333 Market Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17126
717-728-3224 – Contact
- Pennsylvania Teacher Tenure
- Troops to Teachers Pennsylvania: In Pennsylvania, Troops to Teachers is managed by the Pennsylvania and New York Region Office
- Teachers Test Prep: Free online Praxis Study Guides and Praxis Practice Tests, and a variety of preparation options to meet your individual needs, including prep classes, private tutoring, and online prep.