All Majors & Minors

Teaching Certification

Ursinus College is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to offer initial Teacher Certification in a variety of subject areas:

  • Chemistry (7-12)
  • Physics (7-12)
  • Biology (7-12)
  • General Science (7-12) (offered only in conjunction with Biology, Chemistry or Physics certification)
  • Mathematics (7-12)
  • English (7-12)
  • Social Studies (7-12)
  • Latin (K-12)
  • German (K-12)
  • French (K-12)
  • Japanese (K-12)
  • Spanish (K-12)
  • Health and Physical Education (K-12)
  • Environmental Studies (K-12)

NOTE: The department does not offer certification in elementary education (though as noted above, some subject area certifications span grades K-12).

To pursue one of these subject area certifications, students must major in that subject and complete nine Education courses totaling 38 credits: EDUC-210, EDUC-265, EDUC-320, EDUC-350, EDUC-360, EDUC-375, EDUC-443, EDUC-405 (student teaching, 12 credits), and EDUC-406. See recommended course sequences below. (NOTE: Students seeking certification in Health and Physical Education are required to complete HEP-355 and 356 instead of EDUC-350 and 443.)

Our student teaching cohort at our Celebration of Achievement in Student Teaching event.

Field Experiences

Most Education courses require field experience hours in local public schools. Students must arrange transportation for all field experiences and student teaching. To be eligible to visit schools and complete these required hours, students must obtain the necessary security clearances: 1) Act 34, Pennsylvania State Criminal History Record; 2) Act 114, FBI Fingerprints (Federal Criminal History Record); 3) Act 151, Pennsylvania Child Abuse Background Check; and 4) Tuberculosis test. 

Teaching Certification Requirements

Admission to the Program

Students must fulfill the following requirements—usually by the end of sophomore year—before being admitted into the teaching certification program:

  • Completion of 48 hours of college-level study;
  • Completion of CIE-100 and CIE-200 (fulfills Pennsylvania state English requirement);
  • Completion of one course in mathematics/statistics and one four-credit Q course; or two four-credit courses in mathematics/statistics;
  • Completion of EDUC-210 (usually in the 2nd or 3rd semester);
  • Passing scores on either the Pre-Service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) or ETS core exams in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics; or qualifying SAT or ACT scores. Scores should be submitted to the Education department by the end of sophomore year.
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.00

Admission to Student Teaching

Students must fulfill the following requirements in order to be eligible for student teaching:

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.00
  • GPA of 3.00 in Education courses (210, 265, 320, 350, 360, 375, and 443. Health and Physical Education candidates: HEP-355 and 356 instead of EDUC-350 and 443)
  • Specified GPA in the candidate’s major department/certification area
  • Completion of EDUC-350 and EDUC-443 (or equivalent HPE methods courses) with satisfactory evaluations from Ursinus Education faculty and field placement teachers (for EDUC-443), in terms of performance and professionalism.
  • Application for EDUC-443 and Student Teaching: to be completed and approved by the Education department during EDUC-350 (HPE candidates complete the application during or upon completion of HEP-355/356). 
  • Recommendation by the candidate’s major department and approval by Education department faculty, based on academics and professionalism. 
  • Completion of a new set of security clearances, by spring break (fall student teaching) or fall break (spring student teaching)


Students must meet the following criteria to apply and be recommended for certification:

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.00 at the end of student teaching, including the grade for EDUC-405 (Student Teaching) and EDUC-406 (Professional Applications)
  • Grade of B or higher in student teaching
  • Satisfactory PDE 430 Evaluation by college supervisor
  • Passing score on Praxis II (Content Area) exams (NOTE: Post-baccalaureate students must take and pass Praxis II before being placed for student teaching.)
  • Demonstration of good moral character as defined by the PA Department of Education

Reciprocal agreements extend certification eligibility to more than forty other states, though some states require additional standardized tests. Candidates who wish to teach outside Pennsylvania should contact state education departments for further information. Eligibility for permanent certification in any state depends upon successful full-time teaching and professional development requirements which vary among individual states.

Teacher Certification Course Sequence

The following are the recommended course sequences for teacher certification. Students and advisors should consult the Education department, especially in cases that do not conform to these sequences. All Education coursework must be completed prior to student teaching. Advising sheets for each certification subject area are available through the Education Department. Please contact Carol Royce for additional information.

Note: Field experience hours in local public schools are required in EDUC-265, 320, 350, 375, and 443. Students must arrange transportation for all field experiences and student teaching. 

The courses listed below are four credits unless noted otherwise.

First Year

Fall or Spring:

EDUC-210 Foundations of Education

Sophomore Year

Fall or Spring: (Check with Education Department for current schedule.)

EDUC-265: Educational Psychology (5 hours field experience; clearances required)

EDUC-320: Diversity of Learners (10 hours field experience; clearances required)

Junior Year


EDUC-350: Curriculum and Instruction (15 hours field experience; clearances required)

EDUC-360: Teaching English Language Learners (2 credits)


EDUC-375: The Inclusive Classroom (15 hours field experience; clearances required)

EDUC-443 Methods Practicum (2 credits) (25 hours field experience; clearances required)

Senior Year

Fall or Spring:

EDUC-405/493 Student Teaching (12 credits)

EDUC-406 Professional Applications (2credits)

Note: EDUC-405 and EDUC-406 must be taken concurrently and should not be scheduled during a student’s participation in athletics or employment. No other courses, day or evening, may be scheduled. While most students complete student teaching during their senior year, some students elect to student teach in a 9th semester; see the Education department for details.

Health and Physical Education (HPE) certification students do not take EDUC-350 and EDUC-443; instead, they should take HEP-356 (fall semester only; 28 hours field experience) and HEP-355 (spring semester only; 12 hours field experience). Both courses require clearances.  Please contact the HEP department for information on when these courses are offered.