There are several routes to obtain certification. Refer to Out of State Prepared for more information about which route is best for you.
Pennsylvania along with most states and U.S. territories have signed an Interstate Certification Agreement to recognize current and comparable state-approved programs. Candidates from participating states must still meet other Pennsylvania requirements such as student teaching, GPA and PA testing.
For more information, refer to your TIMS summary page or Certification Testing and Scores.
All Pennsylvania required tests must be taken and passed before a certificate can be issued. All required tests should be completed before your application is evaluated by PDE.
The testing company reports your official scores electronically to PDE if you specify PDE as a score recipient when you register for your tests. If you have already taken your tests and did not request PDE as a score recipient, contact the appropriate company and request that your test scores be submitted directly to PDE. A photocopy of your test scores cannot be accepted as official.
Yes, if it is the exact same test name and code required in Pennsylvania. You must meet the Pennsylvania qualifying score. Other states’ tests may be accepted for
instructional certification if specific requirements are met. Refer to Holds
an Active/Valid Professional Level Certificate with Two Years of Successful
Experience In the Area For Which I Am Applying.
After you pay for and submit your application in TIMS, you will be provided with a cover sheet that indicates which documents are required for submission. Most documents can be uploaded directly into your application or submitted electronically. If you have documents that cannot be uploaded directly or submitted electronically, they must be submitted to PDE via mail with the cover sheet. You should also refer to the directions listed under the Out of State Prepared section of the PDE website for more specific information and details.
No. Submit clearance documents to PDE only if you answered "yes" to any of the background questions on your application. Check your TIMS coversheet for a list of required documents. Also refer to the Good Moral Character Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
No. There are no provisions for a temporary certificate while an application is under review. You may not begin teaching until your certificate is issued. To substitute, a public school may ask you to obtain an emergency permit by submitting an emergency permit request through TIMS.
Check all details regarding your application from your TIMS dashboard - select "Track Progress" under the Comments section.
No. Paper certificates are no longer printed and mailed. You must log back on to your TIMS dashboard to print an unofficial copy. Certification can only be verified through TIMS or the public link Search for an Educator.
If you have questions regarding the certification process, contact the Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality.