Prospective Students

Teacher Certification

For Undergraduate & Post-Baccalaureate Students seeking an initial Texas teaching credential

SO YOU WANT TO BE A TEACHER?

The credential required to teach any grade from pre-kindergarten through grade 12 in a Texas public school is a teaching certificate. The certificate identifies both the grade range and at the middle and high school levels the subject/content area. The four grade ranges are:

  • Early Childhood through 6th grade (EC - 6)
  • Grades 4 - 8
  • Grades 7 - 12
  • Grades 8 - 12

*See the 'Admissions' tab on this page for details about admission into the Teacher Education program.

The particular subject/content areas for which SMU offers teacher certification preparation are:


Subject/content areas include:

  • Art
  • French
  • Music
  • Spanish
  • Theatre
  • Generalist

  • Generalist - This certification is a prerequisite certification that a teacher must acquire before obtaining any of the following supplemental certifications, listed below.
  • English Language Arts and Reading
  • English Language Arts and Reading/Social Studies (*)
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics/Science (*)
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Students seeking certification in middle school (grades 4-8) must have successfully completed at least six credit hours in each of the following areas of study: English, math, science, and social studies.

(*) If there are two areas of study listed, than one must be a major, and the second must have at least 12 credit hours.

 

  • Business (6-12)
  • Chemistry (7-12)
  • Computer Science (8-12)
  • Dance (8-12)
  • English Language Arts and Reading (7-12)
  • History (7-12)
  • Journalism (8-12)
  • Life Science (7-12)
  • Mathematics (7-12)
  • Physics/Mathematics (8-12) (*)
  • Physical Sciences (6-12)
  • Science (7-12) (**)

Students seeking certification in high school (grades 7-12) must major in the subject in which they are seeking certification.

(*) If there are two areas of study listed, than one must be a major, and the second must have at least 12 credit hours..

(**) Major could be in any science discipline (biology, chemistry, physics, or Earth/Space) plus completion of 12 hours in a second science discipline and 6 hours in each of the other two science disciplines.

These additional areas listed are for post-baccalaureate students:

  • American Sign Language (EC-12)
  • Health (EC-12)
  • Physical Education (EC-12)
  • Social Studies (8-12)
  • Technology Applications (EC-12)

Post-baccalaureate students seeking certification in middle school (grades 4-8) must have successfully completed at least six credit hours in each of the following areas of study: English, math, science, and social studies. Post-baccalaureate students seeking certification in high school (grades 7-12) must have completed at least 24 credit hours in the subject they want to teach with at least half of those hours in upper division courses.

In both certification areas, there can be no final grade lower than a C (2.0) on the transcript. If a potential post-baccalaureate student does not meet these qualifications, s/he should meet with the secondary education adviser regarding the Pre-Admission Content Test (PACT).



What You Need to Do at SMU to Pursue Teacher Certification


As early as possible in your college career and as soon as you know that you might like to be a teacher, schedule an appointment with one of the Department of Teaching and Learning Advisers by calling 214-768-2346.

In the state of Texas, students cannot major in education. They can, however, earn a minor in education at SMU by completing the 24 credit hours of education course work for teacher certification. As a result, students have the advantage of pursuing a program of work which includes an academic major as well as preparing to teach. This allows students to have two career options.

Certification Requirements:

(*)TExES exams are the state teaching exams administered to those seeking teacher certification. Students take two exams, a content knowledge exam (EC-6 Generalist, 4-8 Generalist, or content area exam in secondary field) and the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (EC-12) exam.


Additional Resources:


TExES Tests at a Glance

TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY'S "Becoming a Classroom Teacher in Texas"


How much will the program cost?

Graduate students in the program take advantage of SMU's "Master Educator" rate. The tuition rate for academic year 2013-2014 is $541 per credit hour. The tuition rate for 2014-2015 will be $568 per credit hour.

There are additional fees for the following:

Click here to view parking fees.

Financial Aid

Students who are admitted to a degree program (M.Ed., M.Ed. with Certification, M.Ed. in Reading and Writing, or the M.B.E.) and who enroll for a minimum of 6 hours in any one term may be eligible to apply for federal financial aid. Applicants may submit forms to financial aid before being accepted into the program. Students interested in applying for Direct Loans from the federal government can submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/. The deadline for the summer term is April 1, and the deadline for fall and spring terms is June 15.

Click here for more information about financial aid.

The advisers in the Department of Teaching and Learning program work with students seeking admission as well as those who are already in the program. Each teacher certification student MUST meet with an adviser each semester before registering; it is mandatory that one of the designated advisers (see below) approves a student's selection of courses.

Scheduling an Advising Appointment

Contact the Department of Teaching and Learning at 214-768-2346.

Adviser: Early Childhood - Grade 6

Dr. Kay Kuner
E-mail: kkuner@smu.edu

Adviser: Middle School & High School

Ms. Kathy Barrett
E-mail: kbarrett@smu.edu

Before enrolling in the Department of Teaching and Learning program, students must provide the following:

Undergraduates:

  • Successful completion of 45 credit hours
  • Successful completion of prerequisite EDU 2350 - Educational Psychology with final grade no lower than a B- (2.7) 
  • For those applying for EC-6 grades, at least 3 credit hours each in English, math, history and science with no grade lower than a C (2.0)
  • For those applying for middle or high school, at least 12 credit hours in a declared teaching field major with no grade lower than a C (2.0)
  • Current unofficial transcript
  • An overall GPA of 2.50
  • Letter of reference from an employer or professor
  • Pass scores on the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) - Required scores: Reading - Minimum 260, Writing - Minimum 220, and Math - Minimum 230. THEA can be waived with a copy of SAT or ACT. SAT required scores of at least 1600 with equal parts of 500+ and ACT required scores of at least 23. Scores from any of these tests are accepted if taken within the last 5 years.
  • Official interview with advisers in the Department of Teaching and Learning office
  • Written essay
  • Personal Character and Professional Fitness Statement
  • Completion of application packet documents

Post Baccalaureates:

  • Official transcript(s) showing degree confirmed. Transcripts from countries outside the USA must be accompanied by official evaluations of the transcript by a recognized SMU evaluation agency.
  • If Baccalaureate Degree is conferred from an institution of higher education outside the United States, evidence must be provided to establish English language proficiency by one of the following: 1) Completion of a graduate degree at an institute of higher education in the United States or 2) Verification of satisfactory scores on an English language proficiency examination approved by the Texas Education Agency.
  • For those applying for EC-6 grades, at least 3 credit hours each in English, math, history and science with no grade lower than a C (2.0)
  • For those applying for middle or high school, a major or at least 24 credit hours (half of which must be in upper division courses) in an approved teaching field with a GPA of at least 2.0
  • International students applying from countries where English is not the native language are required to provide scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  • An overall GPA of 2.50
  • Letter of reference from an employer or professor
  • Pass scores on the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) - Required scores: Reading - Minimum 260, Writing - Minimum 220, and Math - Minimum 230. THEA can be waived with a copy of SAT or ACT. SAT required scores of at least 1600 with equal parts of 500+ and ACT required scores of at least 23. Scores from any of these tests are acceptable if taken within the last 5 years.
  • Official interview with advisers in the Department of Teaching and Learning office
  • Written essay
  • Personal Character and Professional Fitness Statement
  • Completion of application packet of documents

Special Note: The required courses in the teacher education program at SMU are 5000-level courses. Education courses taken at other institutions generally are not eligible to fulfill SMU's program requirements.

Graduate Students

Please refer to the graduate admissions page for detailed information.

Required Courses for Undergraduate Minors and Post-Baccalaureate Students

Click on course titles below to link to descriptions.

Prerequisite (Undergraduates Only)

Elementary (Early Childhood - Grade 6)

Additional Requirements

  • Completion of 6 hours of mathematics, including MATH 1305 - Math for Elementary and Middle Grades Teachers with final grade no lower than a C (2.0)
  • Completion of 3 hours of social studies and PLSC 3387 Political Geography with a final grade no lower than a C (2.0)

Secondary (Middle and High School)

Special Note: The required courses in the teacher education program at SMU are 5000-level courses. Education courses taken at other institutions generally are not eligible to fulfill SMU's program requirements. Some courses might be eligible for "free elective" credits.

Qualifying Exam

The Qualifying Examination measures a student's knowledge and understanding of academic and professional responsibilities in his field of specialization.

Master of Education students and Non-degree Certification students must take and pass the SMU Qualifying Exam in their content area before receiving approval to take the state examination. After successfully passing the SMU qualifying exam, students should follow the directions on the State Board for Educator Certifications website for state examination dates, registration information, and other program services. (http://texes.ets.org).

For the qualifier calendar, click here.

To register for a qualifier, click here.