Procedures for Teacher Certification at the Graduate Level

An applicant who desires to work on teacher certification at the graduate level can do so in the following areas: Bilingual EC-6 Core Subjects, Bilingual 4-8 Core Subjects, Bilingual 7-12 Supplemental, ESL EC-6 Core Subjects, ESL 4-8 Core Subjects, ESL 7-12 Supplemental, 4-8 Math/Science and 4-8 Language Arts/Reading/Social Studies. Applicants who hold a bachelor's degree should apply as a graduate degree-seeking student to the Graduate Program Committee for the M.A. in Bicultural-Bilingual Education, or the M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language, or the M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction for teacher certification. A student who is simultaneously seeking a master’s degree should apply for admission to the master's degree program.

Students interested in graduate teacher certification programs must complete both an application for admission to the Graduate School and an application packet for admission to the Teacher Certification Program. Admission to COEHD does not automatically admit a candidate to graduate level Teacher Certification, nor does the completion of degree requirements guarantee completion of Texas certification requirements. However, students must be accepted to graduate school before they can be accepted to the Teacher Certification Program. Students must meet the requirements for graduation for the M.A. in Bicultural-Bilingual Education, the M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language, or the M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction, and also meet the TExES state requirements for certification to complete their program.

A graduate student who wishes to work on a program to meet the requirements for teacher certification must be admitted as a graduate degree-seeking student or special graduate student (not a special undergraduate student). He or she must apply to the College of Education and Human Development Advising and Certification Center for an official analysis of the requirements that must be met before he or she can be recommended for certification.

Information and application materials for graduate teacher certification is located on the COEHD's Certification Programs website. Upon review of the application for teacher certification by the department Coordinator, potential candidates will be notified of their status with regard to admission to the Teacher Certification Program.  

Any student seeking a teaching certificate in the state of Texas must meet the basic state requirements for admission to the Teacher Certification Program as well as the UTSA admission requirements. Applicants must have acceptable identification to support fingerprinting and testing. Refer to the following websites for acceptable identification:

For further information on these and other requirements, please review the application materials located under COEHD's Certification Programs website.

Criminal History Checks

UTSA students must submit to a criminal history background check every semester they interact directly with any minor(s) or legal adult(s) of diminished capacity as a requirement for course completion. Students who are unable to meet the criminal background check standards for the school districts may not be able to complete a course or the Teacher Certification Program. An Independent School District (ISD) or other school field-based entity may deny placement of students with a criminal background. If a student is rejected twice by districts in one semester because of criminal history, students will not be able to continue in the program until such time as the criminal background check is cleared. If the offense is one that will preclude field work altogether, the student will be dismissed from the Teacher Certification Program. In accordance with Sec. 53.021, Texas Occupation Code, the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) may suspend or revoke a teacher certificate or refuse to issue a teacher certificate for a person who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor for a crime that directly relates to the duties and responsibilities of the teaching profession. Applicants must have acceptable identification to support fingerprinting and testing. Please refer to the websites listed in the section above for acceptable identification.  Additional information may be found on the COEHD website.

Criminal History Policy and Acknowledgement

The College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) prepares educators and professionals for fields which require fieldwork, internship, practicum, service-learning and/or clinical teaching. Placements occur in educational, clinical, health care facilities, hospitals, and/or medical settings which require a criminal background check. UTSA is required to inform students of the requirements set forth by the Texas Occupation Code, Chapter 53, Sections 53.001 through 53.105.

All COEHD prospective students in a licensure or certification program are required to acknowledge that they have been made aware of these requirements and that they have read the COEHD Criminal History Policy. For more information and for completing the acknowledgement form, please visit the Office of Professional Preparation, Assessment, and Accreditation in the College of Education and Human Development.

Fitness to Teach Policy

The College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) has a responsibility to the educational community to ensure that individuals whom the University recommends to the State of Texas for teaching certification are fit to join the teaching profession. All teacher candidates in the UTSA Teacher Certification Program are expected to demonstrate that they are prepared to teach children and youth. This preparation results from the combination of successful completion of University coursework and the demonstration of important human characteristics and dispositions all teachers should possess. The UTSA Fitness to Teach policy addresses these important aspects of teacher preparation. The Fitness to Teach policy can be accessed from the COEHD website.

Recommendations for teacher certification (to the Texas Education Agency) are made by the College of Education and Human Development Certification Officer only after all requirements have been met and the student has officially requested such recommendation.

Information summarizing education certificate and endorsement requirements is available from the College of Education and Human Development Advising and Certification Center and online at the COEHD website under Certification Programs.

Programs are subject to change without notice due to changes in the state’s certification and/or program approval requirements.