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Graduate Teacher Certification Requirements

Drexel University’s School of Education offers a number of post-baccalaureate and graduate certification programs that prepare students for teacher certification. Once a student has successfully completed the 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

A candidate’s typical initial certification is known as “Instructional I” and qualifies teachers to teach for a maximum of six years. The six years need not be continuous, but they represent the total number of active years of teaching on the Instructional I. To continue teaching after the six years are completed, teachers must receive an Instructional II Certification.

Instructional II Certification

The Instructional II Certification is considered a “permanent” certification. 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)

Program Requirements

The School of Education requires that students have a “B” average (3.0 GPA) in content courses needed for teacher certification in addition to a grade of “B” or better in each core pedagogy course required for certification.

Required Clearances

All post-baccalaureate and graduate students are required to obtain and submit copies of the following clearances to the School of Education at the time of acceptance to the program in order to participate in classroom observations and student teaching in PA. All students (PA and Non-PA) must obtain the FBI clearance. Non-PA students should contact their state's department of education or school district office for a list of clearances required in their state.

  • Child abuse
  • Criminal history
  • FBI clearance
  • Tuberculosis (TB) (required by some school districts)
  • Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse Training Certificate

Elementary Certification (Grades PreK-4)

The PA Educator Certification Tests (PECT) are required for Elementary Certification (Grades PreK-4). Students will be required to take the appropriate assessment exam for each area of certification they wish to obtain.

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

Secondary Certification (Grades 7-12)

All post-bachelor’s students seeking 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.

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

Act 48 Requirements

To maintain Instructional I and Instructional II Certifications, the PDE requires a teacher to complete the minimal equivalent of 6 semester-hour (or 9 quarter-hour) credits, 180 credits of professional development, 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 towards 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.