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Completed Approved Preparation Program Outside of PA

  1. Verify that your state is part of the National Association Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement. If your state is not a party to the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement, your certification program will be evaluated against PA certification program guidelines.

  2. Identify the comparable Pennsylvania certificate for which you will be applying (see Types of Certificates).  Special note:  PDE no longer issues the Special Education PK-8 or 7-12 certification areas.  PDE began issuing the Special Education PK-12 certificate 1/1/22.  Refer to CSPG 61 (Grade-Level Scope of Certificates section) for more information. 

  3. Obtain all official transcripts (both bachelors and beyond). If submitting transcripts electronically, do not submit your transcript request until you have submitted your application in TIMS. A bachelor's degree from a nationally accredited college/university is a base requirement for certification. These will be used to verify:

    • Bachelor's degree conferral
    • 3.0 cumulative degree GPA
    • Program completion and/or required coursework for certification
    • Student teaching/internship/practicum or field experience

  4. Obtain a photocopy of your current and valid state certificate comparable to the PA certificate you are seeking if available.

    • For School Speech and Language Pathologist certification or School Social Worker certification, also submit a photocopy of your ASHA and/or PA Department of State license if applicable.

  5. Obtain a completed Education Preparation Program Verification Form, PDE338A​ (PDF) as proof of completion of an educator preparation program approved for certification in the state in which the program was completed.

  6. Confirm that the required tests have been completed and reported to PDE directly from the test administrator [basic skills assessments in reading, writing and mathematics (PAPA, CORE, SAT or ACT); Fundamental Subjects (for all subject areas PK-12); and the content area test(s)]. For current test information, refer to Test Requirements.

    • If submitting SAT scores to meet the basic skills assessments, obtain your paper score report in a sealed envelope from the testing agency.
    • If submitting ACT scores, they need to be submitted electronically to PDE (code 1909) or a paper score report in a sealed envelope from the testing agency.
    • You must take the PA required tests and meet the PA qualifying score. No other tests can be substituted or exceptions made. 
    • The basic skills assessments are not required for post-baccalaureate program completers or for applicants who hold a conferred master's degree. The basic skills tests may still be requested in your TIMS application as the determination to waive the basic skills requirement is not made by TIMS. It is determined by the certification specialist at the time the application is evaluated.

  7. Complete and submit the application in TIMS.

    • All applicants for initial certification in PA must apply for a Level I credential type.
    • After completing the payment selection and successfully SUBMITTING your application in TIMS, you will be provided a link to the application cover sheet. First upload all applicable documents possible. Follow directions for submitting transcripts. If documents cannot be uploaded or sent electronically, include the cover sheet with the documents and mail to the address indicated on the cover sheet.
    • All certification requirements including testing should be met for all subject areas applied for before submitting the required documentation for review.
    • Electronic payment (see Application ​Fees) accepted in TIMS.