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Undergraduate Teacher Certification Requirements

We offer a number of certification and degree programs that prepare students for teacher certification. 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 the appropriate teaching certificate.

Drexel Program Requirements

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

State Certification Information

Required Clearances

All students are required to obtain and submit updated and current copies of the required clearances to the School of Education annually in order to participate in classroom observations and student teaching in Pennsylvania. All full-time undergraduates will receive assistance in gaining these clearances during their first term. Non-PA students should contact their state's department of education or school district office for a list of clearances required in their state.

Instructional I Certification

This initial certification qualifies a teacher to teach for a maximum of six years. The six years need not be continuous. To continue teaching after the six years are completed, the teacher 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’ degree
  • Completion of an induction program (generally provided by the teacher’ school of employment)

Elementary Certification (Grades PreK–4) and Special Education Certification (Grades PreK–8 and Grades 7–12)

The Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests (PECT) are required for Grades PreK–4 and Special Education. All undergraduate and dual degree BS/MS students are required to pass the Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) basic skills exam. In addition, 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:

Middle Level Certification (Grades 4–8) and Secondary Certification (Grades 7–12)

All undergraduate and dual degree BS/MS students seeking certification in middle (grades 4–8) or secondary (grades 7–12) levels are required to pass exams from the PA Education Certification Tests (PECT) and the Praxis II Series. Students must pass both the Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) basic skills assessment exam and the appropriate Praxis II Content Knowledge test for each area of certification they wish to obtain.

For more information about examinations and registration:

Act 48 Requirements

To maintain Instructional I and Instructional II Certifications, the PDE requires a teacher to complete one of the following every five years:

  • Six semester-hour (or nine quarter-hour) credits. Credits must be acquired from an accredited, four-year, degree-granting college or university.
  • 180 hours of professional development
  • A combination of credits and professional development hours every five years.

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.

Download the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Frequently Asked Questions about Act 48 [PDF].