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Degree and Certification Plans

The following sections are included on this page:

Before you will be eligible to become a certified teacher, all requirements for your degree or certification plan must be met.

Our teacher preparation programs are designed purposefully so that later courses build on the knowledge and skills learned in earlier courses. Your degree or certification plan will list courses to be taken in a specific order and in a specific block partnered with other courses. Courses that are prerequisites are typically scheduled so they cannot be taken together.

Barring any special circumstances, you should make every effort to follow the order and grouping of courses as specified by your degree or certification plan. Taking courses out of order can result in not completing all prerequisites in a timely manner, which in turn could require additional semesters of enrollment. In general, summer courses are offered as a way for students to “make-up” courses missed from blocks. Because of the compressed nature of the summer sessions, it is impossible to offer entire blocks of courses during the summer.

You are responsible for being aware of university and college regulations regarding the standard of work required to continue in the university and college, as well as the requirements for your specific program, including coursework, prerequisites, and the proper sequence of courses in the program. This information can be obtained in the University of Houston Undergraduate and/or Graduate catalog, the current University of Houston class schedule, and your degree or certification plan. 

These degree plan templates are offered for your planning purposes only. You should schedule a meeting with your advisor immediately upon being accepted into the Teacher Education Program to file your official degree plan, and then every semester after that to ensure you are meeting all required benchmarks.

A student may petition the Department of Curriculum and Instruction to declare a major in Teaching and Learning or a minor in Education. Students must earn a minimum 2.50 grade point average in all courses attempted at this university.

College of Education Sample Degree Plans/Academic Maps

EC-12: Meet with your academic advisor in your major department for degree plan information.

Graduate Certification Plans

Graduate Students and Post-Baccalaureate students who wish to receive a professional or teaching certificate must first apply for a Certification Plan. After receiving the certification plan, students may petition for additional credit using the certification plan petition. (Undergraduate College of Education Teacher Education students need not complete this form.)


Undergraduate EC-6 and 4-8 Candidates

Beginning Fall 2012, teacher candidates intending to teach elementary or middle grades will declare initially as a “Pre-Teaching” major. Upon successful completion of required benchmarks as part of the formal Teacher Education Program application process, students will then become eligible to change majors to Teaching and Learning, in order to earn a B. S. degree. Teacher Education coursework is typically taken once university core coursework is complete, generally in the Junior and Senior years.

In the Pre-Teaching semester, undergraduate students will work with their education advisors to complete a degree plan. A degree plan is the contract with the university detailing the coursework and other requirements that must be completed in order to qualify for a degree and for certification. If you are transferring in coursework from another institution or another major, see your advisor to be sure that all of the coursework has been successfully transferred. If you require a substitution course, complete a General Petition and submit to your advisor so your request can be approved and filed. All courses listed on the degree plan must be completed in order to graduate. (Note: If you have reconsidered your intentions of becoming a teacher, please see your advisor to discuss changing your major early enough to avoid too many additional hours for a new degree.)


Post-Baccalaureate EC-6 and 4-8 Certification Candidates

Post-baccalaureate students will apply for a certification plan in Farish 160 or on the Teacher Education Website. A certification plan is the contract with the university detailing the coursework and other requirements that must be completed in order to qualify for certification.


Masters/Certification EC-6 and 4-8 Candidates

A Master’s degree and a certification plan are two separate items, and each has its own requirements. Students are strongly encouraged to look into combining these two programs because many courses required for the certification plan can also be taken to satisfy requirements for a Master’s program. Masters/Certification students will apply for a certification plan in the Office of Student Services in Farish Hall 160 or on the Teacher Education Website. Masters/Certification students should see both their graduate program advisor and an education advisor, located in Farish Hall room 160.

Graduate Students and Post-Baccalaureate students who wish to receive a professional or teaching certificate must first apply for a Certification Plan. After receiving the certification plan, students may petition for additional credit using the certification plan petition. (Undergraduate College of Education Teacher Education students need not complete this form.)


Undergraduate and Graduate 8-12 and EC-12 Candidates

Secondary and EC-12 candidates will obtain a major degree plan through their major college and should follow all policies and deadlines required by that college. Some secondary and EC-12 programs list education courses on the major degree plan. If that is the case with your major program, you will simply follow that degree plan and seek advising from the education advisors when it is necessary. Other secondary and EC-12 programs require their majors to apply for an Education Minor in order to be eligible for certification. If your major program requires an Education Minor, you will complete an application for an Education Minor with your education advisor. (For secondary degree plan information for teachHouston, please see the program website at http://teachhouston.uh.edu/)


Probationary Certificate Information

If you are being considered for employment on a Probationary Certificate within a school district, or if you are a full-time teacher of record at an accredited school, please call the Certification Officer at 713-743-4998 for more information on probationary certificates.

If you relocate after you have received your certification plan, please notify your advisor in writing of your new address and/or telephone number.


Applying for Certification

Certification is a process through which the State of Texas will authorize you to teach in a designated age level and content area. Certification is separate but related to your degree at the University of Houston. Once you complete our state-approved teacher preparation program, including all coursework on your degree or certification plan and all required benchmarks, our institution will recommend to the State Board for Educator Certification that you have completed all requirements and are eligible to be certified.

It is vital that you stay in contact with your education advisor and follow your degree or certification plan closely so that you do not miss any requirements, which could delay your certification.

Applying for Your Standard Certificate

Applicants applying for Texas teaching certificate must meet state and university program requirements.

  • You must have a degree or certification plan on file with the Teacher Education program.
  • You must complete all coursework listed on your degree or certification plan. Course substitutions must be documented by petition.
  • Your degree must be conferred if you are in a certification program that is a part of a baccalaureate or master’s degree.
  • You must pass all TExES exams required for your certification area.
  • If you are a Post Baccalaureate student using teaching experience in place of Student Teaching, please submit a signed service record from your district’s Human Resource office showing at least two years of teaching experience for documentation.
  • You must apply for certification online at the Texas State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) website.

Recommendation by the University of Houston takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks from the time you apply online. If you do not receive a certificate within three months of your application being processed by the University of Houston, you should contact the SBEC at 1-888-863-5880 to insure completion of the certification process.

The information below applies to students who have completed a significant portion of the UH Teacher Education program or a Professional Certification Program. If you have a question about how to get started in a certification program please visit an undergraduate advisor or graduate admissions advisor.

Certification Checklist

The Certification Checklist will help you to meet the requirements for certification.