Education in the classroom

To become a certified teacher in Pennsylvania, a person needs to earn a bachelor’s degree, complete an approved teacher preparation program, pass a certification test, and receive an instructional certificate from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). Read more about this process. 

Instructional certificate

As defined by PDE, “The Instructional certificate is issued to a person whose primary responsibility shall be direct contact with learners in teaching-learning situations.” Upon completion of their education program and passing a certification test, graduates will apply for an instructional certificate in their respective subject area.

  • Early Childhood Education B.A. with Grades PK-4 Certification Program leads to the instructional certificate  Grades Pre-Kindergarten-4 (2825). 
  • Early Childhood Education B.A. with Grades PK-4 & Special Education PK-12 Certifications Program leads to the instructional certificates Grades Pre-Kindergarten-4 (2825) and Special Education PK-12 (9231).

Educator tests

Assessment of Basic Skills for Education Students

Act 55 of 2022 Basic Skills Assessment Moratorium waived the requirement to satisfactorily complete the assessment of basic skills for 3 years from July 8, 2022 through July 8, 2025. This applies to all students who enter preparation programs during this period as well as otherwise qualified candidates for licensure who make application during this period.  

Certification tests

Test for the instructional certificate Grades Pre-Kindergarten - 4 (2825)

PECT PreK-4  with the passing score: Module 1: 197; Module 2: 193; Module 3: 193.

Tests for the instructional certificate Special Education PK-12 (9231)

Special Education: Foundational Knowledge (5355) with the passing score 145. Note that Special Education: Core Knowledge and Application (5354) was discontinued on 8/31/2023.

Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge (5511) with the passing score 150.

Obtaining an instructional certificate

An application for instructional certificate(s) is submitted in Teacher Information Managing System (TIMS). View application fees here.


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Education Programs