Teacher Certification

Overview

Washington University's teacher preparation programs provide the pedagogy, professional, and subject area education that qualifies a student for certification to teach in Missouri public schools. On the recommendation of the Department of Education, the Missouri State Department of Education issues a teaching certificate to an individual who successfully completes a Washington University teacher preparation program. Teacher certification in Missouri has reciprocity with many states, but a few states may require additional testing or study to qualify for certification.

Subject competency requirements for each certification area are mandated by the State of Missouri and can be found on the state Missouri Department of Education web site.

Regarding subject area education, teacher education majors must select specific courses within their subject area major to meet Missouri certification requirements. Given the variety of courses and semesters when they are offered, please consult an education advisor about these requirements as soon as possible, preferably by the end of your second year.

We offer the following certification options for students whose goal is to become classroom teachers:

Elementary (Grades 1-6)

Certification Offered

  • Elementary Education

Certification Options

  • Bachelor of Arts degree
  • Master of Arts in Education degree
  • Post-Baccalaureate (leads to certification without a degree)

Middle School (Grades 5-9)

Certification Offered

  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Science

Certification Options

  • Bachelor of Arts degree
  • Post-Baccalaureate (leads to certification without a degree)
  • Master of Arts in Teaching degree
  • Master of Arts in Education degree in combination with Innovative Teacher Certification (for teachers currently in a classroom)

High School (Grades 9-12)

Certification Offered

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Earth Science
    • Physics
  • Social Science

Certification Options

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Post-Baccalaureate (leads to certification without a degree)
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Master of Arts in Education: Innovative Teacher Certification (for teachers currently in a classroom)

Subject Certificate (K-12)

Certification Offered

  • Art
  • Dance
  • Foreign Language
    • Chinese
    • French
    • German
    • Japanese
    • Latin
    • Russian
    • Spanish

Deaf and Hearing Impaired (B-12)

A Master’s of Science degree in Deaf Education is offered in the PACS Program in the School of Medicine for students interested in pursuing special education certification to teach children with hearing impairments.

Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification Program: Secondary (9-12) & Middle School (5-9)

Certification Areas

To achieve certification through this program, students will need to fulfill Missouri’s educator preparation requirements in two areas: the teaching subject area and professional education.

Washington University offers post-baccalaureate secondary teacher certification programs in the following areas:

  • Secondary (9-12) teaching areas: English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics, and Social Science
  • K-12 teaching areas: Art, Classics (Latin), Dance, and Modern Foreign Languages (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish)
  • Middle School (5-9) teaching areas: English, Social Science, Mathematics, Science

This program assumes that entering students already have a Bachelor’s degree with a major (or the equivalent of a major) in the subject area they wish to teach. Students should expect to take some subject area course work to meet Missouri’s state requirements.  If you would like information about specific subject area course requirements please contact an education advisor.

Program of Study

The actual number of credit hours necessary for certification depends on the student's background and program. Upon admission to the Post-Baccalaureate program, each student's transcripts are evaluated by an advisor in the Department of Education to determine the courses needed for certification.  Students who have no prior course work in education should plan on a minimum of 30 credit hours in education courses for elementary and secondary certification and 45 for middle school. 

The education course work requires two semesters of field experience observation and a semester of student teaching.  Please be aware that the first field experience course requires 30 hours of observation in a K-12 classroom during the semester and the second field experience course requires 50 contact hours. The student teaching semester is full-time for 12-14 weeks during the following semester.  Teacher candidates cannot work during the day for the duration of student teaching.

Program Completion

The Post-Baccalaureate program for secondary education can generally be completed within two years (and a semester or two longer for middle school).  Most education courses are offered at least once a year; several are offered twice. Some subject specific coursework may not be offered if there are no known students in that subject area.  Only those courses needed to complete certification requirements are considered part of the program. Thus, a person can prepare for a career in education while continuing to work until the semester of student teaching.

Upon satisfactory completion of all the requirements for the Post-Baccalaureate program, students are recommended for teacher certification to the State of Missouri.

Admission Requirements

Admission is based upon a strong undergraduate record or significant experience which suggests future success in the teaching field. Applicants must hold a bachelor's or higher degree with an overall GPA of 3.0 and a minimum of 3.0 in the subject area to be taught.

Please contact an education advisor prior to applying.

Prospective students must submit:

  • A completed application with personal essay. 
  • Official transcripts of all previous college work.
  • Three completed reference forms from academic or professional sources.
  • Passing scores on the Missouri Content Assessment in the subject area(s) for teaching certification. Please contact an education advisor for more information about this assessment.

Once an applicant has submitted the necessary documentation by University College’s enrollment deadlines, the Teacher Education admissions committee will consider the application at the next scheduled meeting and subsequently notify the applicant of its decision.

Please contact an education advisor for more information.

Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification Program: Elementary (1-6)

The deadline for admission is June 1. Admissions occur once a year.

Program of Study

The actual number of credit hours necessary for certification depends on the student's background and program. Upon admission to the Post-Baccalaureate program, each student's transcripts are evaluated by an advisor in the Department of Education to determine the courses needed for certification.  Students who have no prior course work in education should plan on a minimum of 48 credit hours in education courses.  The Post-Baccalaureate program for elementary education assumes that entering students will already have a Bachelor’s degree completed.  Coursework from this degree may count towards the general course requirements set by the State of Missouri.  Professional Education coursework covers three areas including Foundations of Education, Curriculum & Instruction, and Student Teaching.  Please contact an education advisor for information on specific course requirements.

The education course work requires two semesters of field experience and a semester of student teaching.  Please be aware that the first field experience course requires 30 hours of observation in a K-12 classroom during the semester and the second field experience course requires 50 contact hours. The student teaching semester is full-time for 12-14 weeks during the following semester.  Teacher candidates cannot work during the day for the duration of student teaching.

Program Completion

The Post-Baccalareate program for elementary education will take a minimum of two years (including summers) to complete with a rigorous course schedule.  The program timeline can be extended if needed.  Most education courses are offered at least once a year, while some are offered twice.  Not all required classes will be available every year; therefore, it is imperative that students create and keep to a plan agreed upon with their program advisor.  Only those courses needed to complete certification requirements are considered part of the program. Thus, a person can prepare for a career in education, while continuing to work until the semester of student teaching.

Upon satisfactory completion of all the requirements for the Post-Baccalaureate program, students are recommended for teacher certification to the State of Missouri.

Admission Requirements

Admission is based upon a strong undergraduate record or significant experience which suggests future success in the teaching field. Applicants must hold a bachelor's or higher degree with an overall GPA of 3.0 and a minimum of 3.0 in an appropriate subject area.

Please contact an education advisor prior to applying.

Prospective students must submit:

Once an applicant has submitted the necessary documentation, the Teacher Education admissions committee will consider the application at the next scheduled meeting and subsequently notify the applicant of its decision.  Admissions will occur once a year, with an application deadline of June 1.

Please contact an education advisor for more information.

Title II Report (pdf)