Adding teacher certification is similar to adding a minor.  This page provides a quick overview of teacher certification requirements: courses, tests, practicums, student teaching, and portfolios.  Details can be found in the topics under "Teacher Certification" in the navigation menu.

Program Standards

Teacher education begins with the program standards that you will have to meet to be certified for licensure.  As you work toward meeting these standards, you must demonstrate that you are mentally and physically able to carry out the duties and responsibilities of a classroom teacher.  More...


Major in certification area

To be certified to teach in the public schools, you must complete a degree with a major in your certification area.  Students who want to be certified in a second area must add a second major or minor to their degree.  Students pursuing elementary certification may complete any major in the College or Conservatory.  Requirements for your certification area can be found under Major/Minor Requirements in the navigation menu.

General education requirements (recently changed!)

New: Students who are student teaching in Spring 2020 or later can satisfy certification requirements by completing Lawrence's GERs for the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Music degree.  Anyone student teaching in Fall 2019 or earlier must satisfy the previously state-mandated general education requirements that include a math course, a course in both life science and physical science, and a course in non-Western history or cultureMore...

Teacher education courses

Before you may student teach, you must complete four teacher education courses (EDST 180, 350, 440; EDUC 430 or 431) plus the teaching methods course(s) for your certification area(s).  For elementary certification, you must also take a reading course (EDUC 412).  More...

GPA & Tests

You must have a composite GPA of 2.75 to be admitted to the Teacher Education Program and to be certified for licensure.  To student teach, you must have a major GPA of 3.00 or pass a subject area test (more...).


Course Practicums

Before you can student teach, you must complete a minimum of 100 practicum hours in school classes related to your subject area.  Each teacher education course includes a 20-hour practicum; together these provide sufficient hours to meet the requirement.  More...

Other Experience with Children/Youth

You should also seek other experience working with children or youth, such as through tutoring, coaching, teaching music lessons, volunteering in an after-school program, working at a summer camp, etc.  More...

Student Teaching

Elementary (preK-6)

To be certified in elementary education, you must complete a 5th-year apprenticeship that includes methods instruction.

Secondary (5-12) and All Levels (K-12)

To be certified in subjects at the secondary level or all levels (K-12), you must complete one semester (18 weeks) of student teaching in your certification area.  Student teaching is usually done in the fall (August to January) of the senior year or after graduation (13th term), although student teaching in the spring (January to June) is also possible.  You may student teach near Lawrence, in Chicago, or internationally.  More...


Pre-Student Teaching Portfolio

Before you may student teach, you must submit a Pre-Student Teaching Portfolio for review by the department.  This portfolio documents your progress toward meeting the program standards.  It includes evidence of content knowledge (transcript and test scores), pedagogical ability (lesson plans and assessments from your education courses), and professional conduct (practicum evaluations).  More...

Final Teaching Portfolio (with edTPA)

Upon completion of student teaching, you must submit a Final Teaching Portfolio that provides sufficient evidence that you meet the program standards for certification for licensure.  This portfolio includes the edTPA (artifacts and commentaries on planning, instruction, and assessment), reflective essay, and student teaching evaluations from your cooperating teacher and university supervisor.  More...