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Foreign-Educated Teacher Certification Applicants

This page was updated on May 26, 2020.

Individuals educated in a country other than the United States (U.S.) may be eligible for public school educator certification in Pennsylvania provided they meet all of the following:

  1. Earned a degree that is the equivalent of a U.S. baccalaureate degree or higher;

  2. Completed an educator certification program that meets Pennsylvania Subject Specific Program Framework Guidelines;

  3. Obtained satisfactory scores on the Pennsylvania certification assessment(s);

  4. Demonstrated proficiency in speaking the English language if required (see English Proficiency information below);

  5. Meets all other requirements.

Citizenship
When applying for certification, you must:

Exceptions:

  • World language instructional certificate
  • Letter of Eligibility (LOE)
  • Commission Qualification Letter (CQL)

Application Process
Complete an application for a Pennsylvania certificate online via the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) and submit the following:

  1. Foreign Evaluation Report - All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by a professional credential evaluation agency accredited by the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE); National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES); or an agency approved by another U.S. state department of education in order to obtain the approving state's educator credential. This evaluation must show the U.S. equivalent of foreign degrees plus a course-by-course evaluation showing semester hour college credit and cumulative GPA.

    The original or notarized photocopy of the foreign evaluation report must be submitted with photocopies of the foreign credentials. 

    Please contact us if you wish to utilize the services of an agency that is not a member of AICE or NACES to make sure it is recognized. Pennsylvania does not endorse or recommend any individual credential evaluation service.

  2. Transcripts- Official transcripts for any coursework completed in the U.S.

  3. PDE 338A Form - Only required if you completed an educator certification program in the U.S.

  4. PDE 338V Form - Only required if you have an active, professional level certificate from another U.S. state and two (2) years of successful classroom teaching experience.

  5. Test Scores - Official scores must be received directly (electronically) from the test vendor. See Certification Testing for further information on the tests required.

  6. Citizenship - U.S. citizenship OR a signed affidavit Declaration of Intent to Become a Citizen of the United States form and a photocopy of the front and back side of your permanent resident immigrant visa.

  7. English Proficiency Test - Non-U.S. citizen applicants educated solely in a foreign country where the primary and official language is not English must demonstrate proficiency in understanding and speaking the English language. An advanced-mid score is required on the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) English Language, Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI or OPIc). You may register for this test via the ACTFL website.