Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives


Teacher Certification

Degrees are awarded by Southwestern University, while certification is awarded by the State of Texas. Therefore, a student may seek certification upon completion of an approved degree, the completion of a state-approved teacher certification program, and the receipt of a satisfactory score on the TExES examinations.

Teacher certification standards are established by the State Board for Educator Certification. Any change in these standards must be reflected in Southwestern’s certification requirements; therefore, any modification in the state law affecting certification requirements takes precedence over statements provided here.

Students seeking certification major in Education or Music Education. Education majors certify for Elementary, Middle School, Secondary, or All Level. Music Education majors and students seeking certification in Generic Special Education, Art, Spanish, Health and Physical Education certify for All Level.

Students seeking elementary/middle school certification major in Education and choose either Elementary (early childhood (EC) –grade 6) or Middle School (grade 4-grade 8) level teacher certification. Students who major in Education and who are seeking the 4-8 certification must choose a content area from the following: language arts, math, science, math/science combination or social studies.

Students seeking secondary or all-level certification typically major in Education and in addition must complete at least 24 credit hours of study in a subject field (such as History, English, Mathematics, etc.). The exception to this is that Music Education students must major in Music Education rather than Education. Many Secondary and All Level students choose to complete enough additional subject credit hours (beyond the 24 hours) to receive a second major in their content area/teaching field. Specific information on courses required for elementary, intermediate, secondary and all-level certification programs is listed below.

In completing the requirements for their respective degree programs, students must meet the requirements necessary for Texas teacher certification as well as the requirements for the Southwestern degree. Exemption from a University graduation requirement may not satisfy state certification requirements.
Completion of a degree with teacher certification may require an extra semester of work. In fall of the senior year, placement in a field-based program will require students to return to Georgetown prior to the beginning of public school, which precedes the start of Southwestern University classes.

Existing certification programs include elementary/primary (EC-grade 6), elementary/intermediate (grades 4-8), secondary (grades 8-12) and all-level (art, health, music, physical education, Spanish, and generic special education). Students may obtain detailed descriptions of each certification program from the Education Department. Interested students are strongly encouraged to contact a member of the Education Department, even if they are assigned to another adviser. Doing so will allow them to receive current information on the new certification programs and guidance in selecting other courses which are aligned with state certification requirements.