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Get Certified to Teach in Texas

Wondering how to become a teacher in Texas? Bookmark this page or download the full PDF Guide.
Download the Guide

Get Certified to Teach in Texas

Wondering how to become a teacher in Texas? Bookmark this page or download the full PDF Guide.
Download the Guide

To get certified to teach in Texas:

Note: We do our best to keep all information updated, but because certification requirements are regularly reviewed and revised, it is best to confirm requirements with your educator preparation program and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) before applying.

Which statement fits you best?

In Texas, teachers are awarded certification that allows them to teach a specific set of grades and subjects.

If you know what you’d like to teach—the grade level and subject matter—your next steps are to:

  • Identify your certification area (next section).

  • Select an educator preparation program that offers your desired certification area.

  • Apply to your educator preparation program.

Note: Each certification area requires its own set of exams. Don't forget to keep an eye on their deadlines!


  • I already know what subject/grade I want to teach

  • I’m open to teaching different subjects

  • I'm already certified to teach

Choosing a Certification Area

Once you know your grade and subject preferences, you can select a certification area. We've compiled all of them below.

Pro Tip: You can obtain endorsement certifications in different subjects throughout your teaching career. You don’t have to get all your certifications at once. ?

In some cases, you may have multiple certification options to choose from. For example, if you want to teach fourth, fifth or sixth grade, you could get (a) a certification for PK-6th grade and/or (b) a certification for 4th-8th grade.

These are the most common certification areas in Texas, per the State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC):

To use this tool:

  • Select the grade(s) and/or subject(s) you're interested in teaching, and the chart will update to show you what certifications you need.
  • Hover to explore additional notes and details.
  • Core Subjects

  • Core Subjects (Single)

  • Enrichment Subjects (Single)

  • Academic Specialty

  • Career and Technical Education

Your Pathway to Teaching

With requirements under your belt, you're ready to start your journey to becoming a teacher in Texas.
  1. Gain admission into an accredited university and earn a bachelor’s degree.

    Texas accepts degrees from a large number of universities, but you should confirm that yours is accredited by one of the Texas-approved accreditation agencies.

    Note: If you have a bachelor’s degree from outside of the U.S., it is possible to meet this requirement if the educator preparation program you apply to deems your degree from a foreign credential evaluation service equivalent to an accredited program.

  2. Gain admission into and graduate from an approved Texas educator preparation program.

    You can meet this requirement either as part of your undergraduate coursework (e.g. earning a BA in Education) or by applying to and graduating from a post-baccalaureate educator preparation program after earning your BA degree.

    Browse programs now with the Houston Program Explorer.

  3. Pass Texas certification exams.

    You’ll have to pass one or more exams that evaluate your knowledge of teaching and the subject area(s) you wish to teach. Depending on your education preparation pathway, passing this test might be an eligibility requirement to apply to a program, or you might end up taking it after enrolling. Tests usually cost $131 each, and you are allowed up to five attempts to pass.

    Pro Tip: You may see these exams referred to as the Pre-Admissions Content Test (PACT) and the Texas Examinations for Educator Standards (TExES), but they are exactly the same. The different names just refer to when you take the exam: If it’s prior to admission, it’s referred to as the PACT, but otherwise it’s called the TExES. See Texas Educator Certification Testing for more details.

  4. Submit a state application.

    After you meet the three requirements above, it’s time for you to formally apply for your teaching certificate. First confirm with your educator preparation program that you are eligible to apply and utilize any supports they can provide in the process.

    Pro Tip: Download this resource from the TEA for instructions on creating an account and applying through the online portal.

  5. Complete fingerprinting for a criminal background check.

    You are required to complete a fingerprint check for $49 (initial payment through the TEA online application portal), and any criminal history you have will be evaluated on a case by case basis by the TEA.

Additional Resources

Looking to dive a little deeper?
  • About Post-Graduate "Alt Cert"

    Dig into the details about the post-graduate alternative certification route. Learn more.

    Learn More
  • About the Residency Model

    Read the National Center for Teacher Residencies's resource on the residency model in general, as well as residency programs available in Texas. Learn more.

    Learn More
  • Texas-Approved Prep Program Database

    Access a full database from the Texas Education Agency of all Texas-approved educator preparation programs. Learn more.


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