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Graduate Teacher Certification Requirements

Drexel University School of Education

Once a student has successfully completed their course of study and all exams required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), Drexel recommends the student to the PDE for issuance of the appropriate teaching certificate.

Instructional I Certification
Pennsylvania’s initial state certification is known as “Instructional I” and is valid for a total of six years. (The six years need not be continuous.) To continue teaching after six years, teachers must receive an Instructional II Certification.

Instructional II Certification
The Instructional II Certification is considered a “permanent” certification. (It must, however, be renewed every five years through the fulfillment of continuing education requirements.) A teacher applying for Instructional II Certification must have:

  • Instructional I Certification
  • A minimum of three years and a maximum of six years of teaching experience on an Instructional I Teaching Certificate
  • 24 semester-hour (or 36 quarter-hour) credits beyond a bachelor’s degree
  • Completion of an induction program (generally provided by a teacher’s school of employment)

Exams for Elementary Certification (Grades PreK–4)

The PA Educator Certification Tests (PECT) are required for Elementary Certification (Grades PreK–4). Students are required to take the appropriate exam for each area of certification sought.

For more information about examinations and registration, visit the PA Educator Certification Tests (PECT).

Exams for Secondary Certification (Grades 7-12)

All Post Bachelor’s students seeking certification in Secondary Certification (Grades 7–12) are required to pass the Praxis II Series. Students must pass the appropriate Praxis II Content Knowledge test(s) for each area of certification they wish to obtain.

Please note that students pursuing the Environmental Education certification are required to pass the Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge and the appropriate Praxis II test(s).

For more information about examination and registration, please visit the Praxis Series.

Maintaining a Valid Certification through Act 48

To maintain Instructional I and Instructional II Certifications, the PDE requires a teacher to complete the minimal equivalent of six semester-hour (or nine quarter-hour) credits, 180 professional development hours, or a combination of credits and professional development hours every five years. College credits must be acquired from an accredited four-year, degree-granting college or university.

Note: For those working to acquire Instructional II Certification, the 24 semester credits or 36 quarter credits needed to apply for Instructional II may also count toward Act 48 requirements. Undergraduate credits from a community college may not be counted toward Act 48 credits for Instructional II Certification.

For more information and to apply credits to your state record, visit the PA Department of Education Act 48 Continuing Professional Education.