Similar to many professions, teachers and other education personnel are required by law to obtain credentials to demonstrate professional competencies and knowledge in their chosen area.  In Pennsylvania, educators are awarded CERTIFICATE(S).  The certificate demonstrates that an individual has met all the required coursework, field experiences, and testing requirements and is qualified to teach or practice in their chosen field.

The certificates are issued by Pennsylvania’s Department of Education (PDE) Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality in compliance with the rules and regulations specified by the State Board of Education at the time of application.  

To qualify for a Pennsylvania Certificate you must:

  1. Complete an approved education preparation program at the Bachelors, Graduate or Post Baccalaureate level in your subject area. Your initial teacher preparation program must include a student teaching experience. 
  2. Meet all Certification Testing requirements established by the PA State Board of Education.
  3. Meet all other requirements established by the PA Code of Professional Practice and Conduct for Educators.
  4. Submit an online application for certification via PDE's Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) - MyPDESuite
  5. Receive the recommendation of your preparing college/university.

Citizenship Requirements

Currently, applicants for Pennsylvania teacher certification must be:

  1. a US Citizen 
  2. hold a valid immigrant visa, known as a Green Card.  A Green Card grants the owner “Resident Alien” status with permanent permission to live and work in the US. 

The exception to this requirement are foreign nationals who are applying for a foreign language teaching certificate area.  English is not considered a foreign language for a foreign national applicant.

Find Out More

Additional information regarding certification is available at the Pennsylvania Department of Education website.  Temple University undergraduate and graduate students with questions about certification should contact the Certification Office at 215-204-8011.