Teacher Certification

Degrees are awarded by Southwestern University, while certification is awarded by the State of Texas. 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 in Education or Music Education. Education majors certify for Elementary, Middle School, Secondary, or All Level. 

Students seeking elementary/middle school certification 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 28 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 28 hours) to receive a second major or a second degree in their content area/teaching field. 

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 additional time. 

Existing certification programs include:

  • Elementary/Primary (EC-grade 6). All EC-6 students are dual certified in self-contained classroom and special education. 
  • Middle School (grades 4-8)
  • Secondary (grades 7-12)
  • All-level

Applications are due at the Spring Semester of your Sophomore year.