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Admission Policies and Procedures

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The Teacher Education Program is divided into four semesters, Pre-Teaching, Developing Teaching, Student Teaching 1, and Student Teaching 2 with course content and field experiences aligned with state competencies and national standards. All teacher candidates will apply to the Teacher Education program according to their degree or certification plans.

Elementary and middle school candidates should declare the Pre-Teaching major initially. Upon successful completion of benchmarks including coursework in the Pre- Teaching semester, elementary and middle school candidates will officially be able to declare the Teaching and Learning major and will complete an official degree plan. Content majors (8-12 and EC-12) must meet with major advisors to obtain an updated degree audit and then meet with an education advisor to apply for an education minor (8-12) by the end of the first semester in the Teacher Education Program.


Pre-Teaching is the first step in your journey to becoming a teacher at the University of Houston. This entire semester is considered the “application semester” to the Teacher Education Program.

Potential candidates may enroll in Pre-Teaching coursework upon 1) seeing an education advisor and 2) attending a Pre-Teaching Orientation.

In order for the program to communicate with you, regarding deadlines, orientations, and other required information, please join the Teacher Education Listserv from the link on the right navigation.

During your Pre-Teaching semester, you will work towards formal admission into the Teacher Education Program by getting to know faculty, confirming your decision to pursue a career in teaching, and by meeting these program and coursework benchmark requirements:

  • Attend the Teacher Education Program Orientation;
  • Be admitted to and in good standing at the University of Houston
  • Meet the requirements for enrollment into the University of Houston. The undergraduate catalog includes general admission and application requirements. The graduate catalog includes the general admission policy for each individual college or graduate program.
  • Demonstrate basic skills proficiency, noted on transcripts of undergraduate students as Texas Success Initiative (TSI). (If post baccalaureate students have not demonstrated TSI proficiency during undergraduate coursework, the THEA or MAT exam is required. Graduate applicants should take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), with scores of 30% in each category and 3.5 or higher for the Analytical Portion within 5 years of the application date)
  • Demonstrate an overall 2.50 GPA;
  • Pass Writing Assessment;
  • Participate in Admission Interview;
  • Successful completion of all Pre-Teaching courses, with a grade of C- or better (grades below C- must be retaken).
  • Positive recommendations based on Professional Attributes;
All applicants who did not graduate from native English-speaking countries are additionally required to provide adequate proof of their English proficiency through the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with minimum requirements of 213 on the computer-based test, 550 on the paper-based test, or 79 on the Internet based TOEFL (iBT). Information regarding TOEFL is available on the Website: Applicants are expected to complete the Test of Written English portion of the TOEFL whenever it is included as part of the exam. The score must not be more than two years old. Photocopies or other duplication of scores are not acceptable. It should be sent directly to the university from the testing center. See the Teacher Education website for information on TOEFL/IELTS exemptions.

Formal Admission to the Teacher Education Program

Students apply to the Teacher Education Program during their Pre-Teaching semester ( Junior year semester 1) and are formally admitted during the Developing Teaching semester (Junior year semester 2).

Formal admissions requires documentation of the following criteria:

  • coursework completion;
  • 2.50 overall GPA;
  • passing scores on the Texas Success Initiative (TSI complete which includes mathematics, reading and writing assessments);
  • completion of writing assessment;
  • completion of a certification (PPR) benchmark exam
  • Pre-Teaching Field Experience Observation Hours (24)
  • participation in an admissions interview
  • participation in an admission review/audit prior to student teaching

For admission information for teachHouston, please see the program website at

Other Options for Completing the Student Teaching Requirement


Prior Teaching Experience

Post-Baccalaureate and Graduate students who are teaching on a probationary certificate or a teacher of record at an accredited school may substitute two years of full-time experience at a grade level specified by the certification plan for student teaching. When applying for certification, you will be required to submit a service record from your school district’s human resources department showing two years of teaching experience. This service record must be signed by the human resources department and reflect the grade level you have taught for those two years.

Student Teaching at Another Institution

It is the policy of the College of Education at the University of Houston that the coursework in the two Student Teaching semesters must be completed at this institution.

Only in extraordinary circumstances (e.g., family illness, transfer of spouse) will a University of Houston student be allowed to student teach through another university.

State law requires that student teaching must be completed in the state of Texas. Students who believe that their individual situation warrants special consideration should submit a letter of petition to the Teacher Education Program Coordinator stating their case with supporting documentation.

If the request is granted, the student is then required to provide the Teacher Education Program Coordinator with information from the host institution that has agreed to supervise the student teaching experience. This should include the policy of that university regarding visiting student teachers and the name, address, and telephone number of a contact person at the institution.

After the candidate’s petition and application for student teaching have both been approved, a letter will be sent to the contact person at the host school stating that the student teacher is eligible to student teach. The requirement of 14 weeks of student teaching (or two 7-week student teaching experiences, in the case of two certification areas), will be explained. The letter will also state that the student is required to enroll for six hours of student teaching at the University of Houston.

The University of Houston will serve as the certifying institution. The student teacher is responsible for seeing to it that the responsible party at the host institution submits letter grades for student teaching to the University of Houston at the completion of the session. (Note: If the institution does not issue grades and only gives a pass/fail, you will need to choose another institution.)

Please contact the Teacher Education Program Coordinator if you have any questions concerning this policy.

Visiting Student Teachers from Other Institutions

As a courtesy to other universities, students from other institutions may be allowed to student teach through the University of Houston in exceptional cases (e.g., family illness, transfer of spouse). Students who believe that their individual situation warrants special consideration should prepare a letter for the Director of Student Teaching stating their case. If the request is approved, the student must submit the Visiting Student Teacher application to the Director of Student Teaching office with a non-refundable check for $50.

In addition, the student must provide the Director of Student Teaching with a letter from their university indicating (1) that they have completed all requirements and are eligible for student teaching and (2) that the university approves of student teaching through the University of Houston.

A non-refundable fee of $600 is charged for this service by the University of Houston. This fee is due no later than 10 days after the date of the acceptance letter from the Director of Student Teaching. The acceptance letter and signed agreement form will be sent via email once the application is approved.

The visiting student teacher will register with their university, which will serve as the certifying institution. The University of Houston will find a classroom placement for the student and assign a supervisor. At the completion of the student teaching, grades will be sent to the certifying institution to indicate that the student has completed his/her student teaching requirement. The student will follow the University of Houston program and be required to complete all activities assigned to our traditional students. The University of Houston cannot be responsible for completing any other university’s forms and assignments.

Prior Training and Education

In accordance with 19 TAC §228.35(a)(5)(A), TEA requires that each educator preparation program must implement specific criteria and procedures that allow: 

 (A) military service member or military veteran candidates to credit verified military service, training, or education toward the training, education, work experience, or related requirements (other than certification examinations) for educator certification requirements, provided that the military service, training, or education is directly related to the certificate being sought; and 

 (B) candidates who are not military service members or military veterans to substitute prior or ongoing service, training, or education, provided that the experience, education, or training is not also counted as a part of the internship, clinical teaching, or practicum requirements, was provided by an approved preparation program or an accredited institution of higher education within the past five years, and is directly related to the certificate being sought. 

Teacher Candidates who meet one of these requirements should submit a general petition along with supporting documents to their College of Education advisor. Teacher Preparation Program faculty will review the documents and communicate to teacher candidates if credit can be obtained.