Penn GSE

Urban Teaching Apprenticeship


Students are recommended to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for instructional 1 teacher certification when they have completed the degree requirements and passed all portions of the Praxis or other required examinations mandated by PDE. 

In addition, students are required by PDE to have completed the following academic requirements in their undergraduate coursework

  • one course in English or American literature
  • one course in writing
  • one standard, college-level math course, and
  • a second math-intensive course (which could be another standard math course, or a math-intensive course, such as micro- or macro-economics or statistics).

These requirements can also be met through Advanced Placement credits, which must be evident on an applicant’s transcript. Students are urged to complete these courses prior to the July program start date.

PDE also requires of each middle level and secondary education student the equivalent of an undergraduate major in the academic area in which she/he wishes to obtain teaching certification, with a particular distribution of those major courses. This distribution is subject-specific. All teacher education applicants’ transcripts are reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure that these distributional requirements have been satisfied.

In addition to pre-requisite courses, PDE requires that applicants for instructional 1 certification be either US citizens or permanent residents. It is possible to successfully complete the master’s degree program without obtaining PA certification. International students who complete our program often return to their countries to help prepare teachers there or to pursue a teaching career in their home country. While some US private, independent or public charter schools may not require instructional certification, it can be challenging to identify a professional career teaching in Pennsylvania. Other states may not require citizenship as a condition of certification.  Student teachers must also submit three valid background checks/criminal history clearances and a recent TB test report in order to student teach.

While we offer faculty recommendation for Pennsylvania instructional certification, many of our students obtain Pennsylvania certification and then move to other states and international settings. There is a NASDTEC Interstate Agreement to facilitate movement by teachers among states. We recommend, therefore, that students obtain Pennsylvania certification even if they plan to teach in other states.