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

Milligan College

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1 Blowers Blvd.
Milligan College, TN 37682
(423) 461-8700

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Masters

Southern Adventist University

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4881 Taylor Cir
Collegedale, TN 37315-0370
(423) 236-2000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

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

Tennessee State University

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3500 John A. Merritt Blvd
Nashville, TN 37209-1561
(615) 963-5111

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

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

The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga

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615 McCallie Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37403-2598
(423) 425-4111

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

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

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville

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527 Andy Holt Tower
Knoxville, TN 37996
(865) 974-1000

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors

The University of Tennessee-Martin

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544 University Street
Martin, TN 38238-0002
(731) 881-7000

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Masters

Trevecca Nazarene University

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333 Murfreesboro Rd
Nashville, TN 37210
(615) 248-1200

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

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

Tusculum College

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60 Shiloh Road
Greeneville, TN 37743
(423) 636-7300

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Masters

Accrediting Agency:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Union University

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1050 Union University Dr
Jackson, TN 38305-3697
(731) 668-1818

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

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

University of Memphis

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Southern Avenue
Memphis, TN 38152
(901) 678-2000

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

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

Vanderbilt University

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2101 West End Avenue
Nashville, TN 37240
(615) 322-7311

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Doctoral
  • Masters

Welch College

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3606 West End Ave
Nashville, TN 37205-0117
(615) 844-5000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors

Accrediting Agency:

  • Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation
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