How to Become a Teacher

Each state in the U.S. has different requirements for becoming certified to teach.

Washington State

The first WA State teacher certificate issued to a new teacher is called the Residency Certificate and this is issued to most first-time applicants for regular teaching certificates.

In order to be a candidate for a WA State teaching certificate, you must:

  1. Earn a bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university. (Seattle University is a regionally accredited university.)
  2. Take the WEST-B Basic Skills exam and the NES/WEST-E content knowledge exam for the endorsement areas you would like to earn.
  3. Complete any state-approved teacher preparation program. A complete list of currently approved programs in Washington State may be found on the PESB website. There are a wealth of programs in the Seattle-Tacoma-Everett-Bellingham region.

Seattle University offers two undergraduate programs that result in a Washington State Elementary Teaching Credential:

Already have a bachelor's degree? Visit the College of Education's Master in Teaching program. 


All Other States

For the most current information on teaching certification requirements for a particular state, it is recommended that you contact the state's department of education. The U.S Department of Education maintains a list of contact information for each state here. Another website that offers state-specific teaching certification requirements is Certification Map.


Certification Options

As you decide which teaching preparation program is best for you, carefully consider the outcomes of each program. For more information on various pathways to teaching, visit the PESB website.  



With Us


Marie Choksi

Pre-Education Advisor Casey 110