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Washington State University
College of Education

Teacher Certification Frequently Asked Questions

Teacher Certification FAQs 


How do I become a teacher? I already have a bachelor’s degree.

Teacher certification in Washington is two-fold. Teacher candidates must complete the requirements for at least one endorsement, the area the candidate wants to teach, and a state-approved teacher education program. Washington State University offers more than twenty endorsement programs and offers teacher education programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The number of credits required for each endorsement varies, but they are roughly equivalent to a major.

How long does it take to become a teacher if I have a bachelor’s degree?

The length of time it takes a teacher candidate to complete certification requirements vary from person to person. If the candidate has a bachelor’s degree in an approved endorsement area they may only need to take a couple of courses, pass the content exam to qualify for the endorsement, and complete a teacher education program. If a person wants to be endorsed in an area in which they do not have formal education, it could take two years to complete the endorsement requirements in addition to a teacher education program.

What is the fastest route to be a teacher?

Typically WSU’s Master in Teaching (MIT) is the most efficient route to becoming a certified teacher for individuals who already hold a bachelor’s degree.

What if I do not want another master’s degree?

Traditionally the Master in Teaching (MIT) is still the most efficient route to teacher certification. However, the undergraduate program is an option but it will typically take more time and is not at the same rigor as the graduate level program.

Does WSU offer a post-baccalaureate program?

WSU does not have a specific post-baccalaureate program. However, our undergraduate program can be completed by those who already hold a bachelor’s degree.

Will it take me more than a year to complete?

WSU’s teacher education programs take 15 months to two years depending on the program.

Does WSU offer an online teacher certification program?

No. Most educators believe the integrity of teacher education programs are compromised when offered online.

Thirty years ago I finished everything but student teaching at WSU. I would like to be a teacher. Can I come back and just student teach?

Students are given five years, from their admission date, to complete the program under the requirements in place when they were admitted.

If I complete WSU’s program can I teach in another state?

Teacher certification is regulated at the state-level. Candidates who want to teach in another state should contact the new state’s teacher certification governance agency to determine what is required. Typically states will allow out-of-state candidates one to three years to meet any outstanding requirements as long as the teacher completed an accredited teacher education program.

Is WSU’s program accredited?

Yes, WSU’s teacher education program is state-approved by the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB).