How to Become a Teacher in Tennessee

Tennessee currently boasts a student population of around 912,000 students, who are serviced by nearly 1,700 public schools throughout the state. Those who are interested in becoming a teacher in Tennessee will need to familiarize themselves with the requirements of the state. The process of earning a Tennessee teaching license begins with the proper education, but it doesn’t stop there. Completion of examinations and additional steps may be needed before an aspiring teacher can apply for one of the teaching positions in the state. Read on for information on how to become a Tennessee certified teacher.

Education Requirements

Teachers in Tennessee must have a bachelor’s degree and complete an educator preparation program approved by the State Board of Education. They must also pass the required Praxis Series exams and be recommended by an institution of higher education with an approved teacher education program.

Tennessee Teaching Certification

To be certified as a teacher in Tennessee, applicants must have competed an educator preparation program from an accredited institution and hold a bachelor’s degree. They must also be recommended for licensure by their college’s certification officer or dean of education. The only alternative license available in Tennessee is the Transitional License, which is issued to an individual who is employed as a teacher while still completing specific licensure requirements and is only valid for a year.

Required Tests

Applicants for certification in Tennessee must pass the appropriate Praxis II: Principles of Learning and Teaching exam and the designated specialty area exams.

State Certification Reciprocity

Tennessee recognizes certification from all states through either an interstate agreement or National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education agreement. Out-of-state applicants will have to prove they have three years of teaching experience, show that they completed an approved educator preparation program, or complete appropriate Praxis II exams to be certified in Tennessee.

Helpful Resources

Aquinas College

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4210 Harding Pike
Nashville, TN 37205
(615) 297-7545

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Masters
  • Post-Masters

Austin Peay State University

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601 College St
Clarksville, TN 37044
(931) 221-7011

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors
  • Post-Masters

Belmont University

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1900 Belmont Blvd
Nashville, TN 37212-3757
(615) 460-6000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Doctoral
  • Masters

Bethel University

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325 Cherry Ave
McKenzie, TN 38201
(731) 352-4000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Masters

Bryan College-Dayton

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721 Bryan Drive
Dayton, TN 37321
(423) 775-2041

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Masters

Accrediting Agency:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Carson-Newman University

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1646 S Russell Ave
Jefferson City, TN 37760
(865) 471-2000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Doctoral
  • Masters

Christian Brothers University

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650 East Parkway South
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 321-3000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Masters

Cumberland University

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1 Cumberland Square
Lebanon, TN 37087
(615) 444-2562

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Masters

East Tennessee State University

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1276 Gilbreath Drive
Johnson City, TN 37614
(423) 439-1000

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors
  • Post-Masters

Fisk University

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1000 17th Ave North
Nashville, TN 37208-4501
(615) 329-8500

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors

Johnson University

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7900 Johnson Dr
Knoxville, TN 37998
(865) 573-4517

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Masters

Accrediting Agency:

  • Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation

King University

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1350 King College Rd
Bristol, TN 37620-2699
(423) 968-1187

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Masters

Lane College

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545 Lane Ave
Jackson, TN 38301-4598
(731) 426-7500

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors

Accrediting Agency:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Le Moyne-Owen College

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807 Walker Ave
Memphis, TN 38126-6595
(901) 435-1000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors

Accrediting Agency:

  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Lee University

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1120 N Ocoee St
Cleveland, TN 37311
(423) 614-8000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Masters
  • Post-Masters

Lipscomb University

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One University Park Drive
Nashville, TN 37204-3951
(615) 966-1000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors

Martin Methodist College

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433 West Madison Street
Pulaski, TN 38478-2799
(931) 363-9800

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors

Maryville College

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502 E Lamar Alexander Pky
Maryville, TN 37804-5907
(865) 981-8000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors

Memphis College of Art

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1930 Poplar Ave
Memphis, TN 38104-2764
(901) 272-5100

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Masters

Middle Tennessee State University

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1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
(615) 898-2300

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors
  • Post-Masters
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