How to Become a Teacher in Pennsylvania

A Pennsylvania teaching license is conferred by the state’s Department of Education, which regulates the requirements for licensure as a Pennsylvania certified teacher. Students interested in becoming a teacher in Pennsylvania have a bevy of educational options to choose from, as Pennsylvania hosts one of the larger systems of higher education in teaching. Pennsylvania’s Department of Education has operated new application systems since phasing out the Teacher Certification System (TCS) in December 2011. Applications for the Pennsylvania teaching license are now processed by the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) and the Professional Educator Records Management System (PERMS).

Education Requirements

To become a teacher in Pennsylvania, you will first have to gain certification to teach through Pennsylvania’s Department of Education. According to the Department of Education, educational requirements for teacher certification generally include: completing a bachelor’s degree, successful completion of a state approved teacher certification program (a student teaching experience). Students must hold an overall 3.0 grade point average, and must also take required state examinations per subject area.

Pennsylvania Teaching Certification

Pennsylvania doesn’t make it easy to become a teacher, but the state provides many resources that can aide all prospective Pennsylvania educators to certification and licensure. Types of certifications available in the state are found here, and basic information and exhaustive links from The Department of Education can be found by clicking here. Recent updates to teacher certification can be found here.

Generally, an applicant must hold at least a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 minimum GPA. Additionally, prospective teachers must undergo a student teaching program approved by the state. All applicants for licensure must pass Pennsylvania’s required examinations, which can be found here, for specific certification requirements. Certification in Pennsylvania from start to finish is found by clicking here.

Required Tests

Pennsylvania’s Department of Education keeps its testing requirements for various teacher certification in the state listed here. All current testing requirements for Pennsylvania teachers are organized by prospective certificate type here. General teaching certificates will require Basic Skills Assessment and Subject Area exams where necessary. High GPAs can offset need for these tests. Official information can be found here.

State Certification Reciprocity

Reciprocity can be granted in Pennsylvania with teaching certificates from some states. Other requirements, such as testing and examinations may exist. Out of state certification holders are not required to meet Pennsylvania’s 3.0 GPA minimum. More information and certification requirements for reciprocity are found here.

Helpful Resources