Student sitting at a desk, working on her computer.

Certification FAQ for Undergraduate and Graduate Students

When should I apply for certification?

Near the end of your program.

Can I apply even though my degree hasn’t been awarded yet?

Yes, but remember that we cannot recommend you until you have graduated and submitted all required materials. Until that time your application status will be “Not Ready for Review”.

How do I apply for my certificate?

The application is submitted online via the state’s TEACH system.

I’ve just graduated - which certificate do I apply for?

The overwhelming majority of Education graduates will be applying for Initial certificates but, in some cases, graduates of Alternative certification programs may already qualify for their Professional certificates.

What’s the difference between the Initial and Professional Certificate?

An Initial Certificate is good for five years, whereas the Professional Certificate is non-expiring.

How do I qualify for a Professional Certificate?

To qualify for a Professional Certificate you must have three years of full-time teaching experience in your area of certification and one year of professional mentoring.

Must I obtain my Initial Certificate before I can apply for my Professional?

No. If you meet the requirements you may bypass the Initial and go right to the Professional.

What materials are required for certification recommendation?

  • Required Workshop Certificates
    • Identification and Reporting of Child Abuse and Maltreatment
    • School Violence Prevention and Intervention
    • The New York State Dignity for All Students Act (DASA-Training in Harassment, Bullying, Cyberbullying and Discrimination in Schools: Prevention & Intervention).
  • Required Certification Exams
    • Teacher Performance Assessment (EdTPA)
    • Educating All Students Test (EAS)
    • Content Specialty Test (CST) (depending on your area of concentration)
    • Search Certification Requirements.

I’m filling out my application and being asked for a program code? What is that?

Program code is a unique numeric identifier specific to the recommending university. It also indicates your program, certification area, and campus.

How do I know what my code is and where do I find it?

You may find our list of codes based on your campus here:

I received my Initial Certification and am now ready to apply for my Professional Certificate. Is there a different program code for that?

No, codes are program-specific.