Teacher Preparation and Certification Programs

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

WA 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. 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 programs that result in a Washington State Elementary (K-8) Teaching Credential: a BA in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies with Specialization in Elementary Education (K-8) and a BA in Humanities for Teaching with Specialization in Elementary Education (K-8). 

Alternatively, if you have not completed a WA state-approved program, you could also qualify if you 1) can demonstrate at least 3 years of K-12 teaching experience outside of WA, and 2) have a teaching certificate from another state.

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.  


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