Making the difference 

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
  • Kindergarten through 12th grade (K - 12)

The Texas Education Agency provides a snapshot of this certification process, Becoming a Certified Texas Educator Through a University Program.

The Department of Teaching & Learning offers future educators multiple routes to preparing for certification as an undergraduate or post-baccalaureate student, and each of them concludes with student or intern teaching.

Undergraduate Major in Educational Studies

This program is designed as a major for SMU undergraduates who have already declared a primary major. The Educational Studies Major will prepare students to pursue teaching careers in the private and public sectors, graduate work in the social sciences, and informal education paths in non-profit organizations. Participation in the Educational Studies major does not guarantee a teaching position. The prospective student must fulfill all entrance requirements in order to be admitted into the Teacher Preparation Program. 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 the Department of Teaching and Learning Adviser by emailing Samia Siddiqui

  Credit Hours Outside Simmons Credit Hours Within Simmons/EDU
Early Childhood - 6th Grade (EC - 6)
Middle Grades 4 - 8
Secondary Grades 7 - 12
Kindergarten - 12th Grade (K - 12)

Admission requirements include the following:

  1. Successful declaration of a primary major at SMU
  2. Successful completion of 12 credit hours (considered “pre-major” hours by Texas teacher standards)
  3. Current unofficial transcript
  4. An overall GPA of 3.0 and content specific GPA of 3.0 is preferred.  Consideration will be given to candidates with overall and content minimum GPAs of 2.5.
  5. Qualifying SAT/ACT/TSI scores. SAT=1600 (prior to March 2016) 1100 (March 2016); ACT=23; TSI=R:351, M:350, W:5
  6. Letter of reference from an employer or professor
  7. Official interview with advisers in the Department of Teaching and Learning office
  8. Written essay

Application Deadline

Applications for the Teacher Preparation Program are reviewed throughout the year on a rolling basis. Please schedule an appointment with the Department of Teaching and Learning Adviser, Samia Siddiqui, prior to submitting your application.

Educational Studies Degree Plans

SMU Student Handbook and Resources

The SMU Student Handbook is a guide to information and services available to SMU students. Information provided relates to the rights and responsibilities of students in the SMU community, both on and off campus. The Handbook includes the Student Code of Conduct, the University Conduct Review Process, Honor Code, and information/expectations that SMU needs to communicate to its students.

All candidates pursuing recommendation for teacher certification must undergo a criminal history background check prior to clinical teaching and employment as an educator. If a candidate has any reservations about their criminal background check, a preliminary evaluation can be obtained before applying to the SMU Teacher Preparation Program.  For further information, go to the Texas Education Agency sites, Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation and National Criminal History Checks.

Applicable resources of our program, specific information for admitted students, as well as our policies, program performance, and Texas educator employment projections can be found at Teacher Preparation Program.

Music Education with Teacher Certification Preparation

Students interested in a teaching career in early-childhood through 12th-grade music programs should pursue the Bachelor of Music in Music Education (Teacher Certification) program through the Meadows School of the Arts. This program combines conservatory-level music experiences, research-proven teaching methodologies, and a strong liberal arts education with practical experiences in public schools to develop leaders in the field of music education. To learn more, please visit Meadows’ Bachelor’s in Music Education or the Bachelor’s in Music Education section in the Undergraduate Catalog.