State-Approved Online Teaching Degrees for Certification
This comprehensive list allows prospective students to find online teaching degrees that lead to licensure by state. As every state has unique requirements and certification is essential for a teaching career in a public school, it is critical that students graduate from a state-approved program. There are 63 schools with online programs that meet requirements across 31 states; any state not listed does not approve online teaching degrees for certification.
Many of the schools on this list offer online master's degrees that lead to teacher certification. Several schools also offer online bachelor's degrees in various concentrations such as elementary education, early childhood education, and special education.
Those interested can also browse a comprehensive, alphabetical list of online teacher programs.
In the state of Alabama, students must have passing scores on both the Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program (APTTP) basic skills test and all of the required PRAXIS content exams for the subject(s) they wish to teach. Students must also pass a background check and hold at least a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited university or college. In addition to a formal college degree, students must also graduate from a teacher preparation program that is either NCATE or regionally accredited and typically includes coursework in student teaching, educational theory, and classroom skills. The state of Alabama requires a transcript to show the student's graduation date as evidence of program completion. Teaching in the state of Alabama will require at least 32 semester hours in an academic major as well as 19 semester hours in upper-level coursework.
In order to be licensed to teach in the state of Arizona, students must earn a minimum of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Students are also required to have passing scores on the Arizona Education Proficiency Assessments (AEPA), background clearance, and completion of an accredited teacher preparation program. In addition, the state requires all teachers to complete a Structured English Immersion (SEI) training course that is approved by the state and includes three semester hours or 45 actual hours of teacher training. According to the Arizona Department of Education, students must also complete the AZ Constitution and U.S. Constitution requirements, either through passing scores on the AZ Constitution and U.S. Constitution exams or through college coursework in both areas.
The state of Arkansas requires all of its teachers to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university, a teaching license awarded by the Department of Education in another state, completion of an Arkansas Department of Education-approved teacher preparation program, and successful completion of the state-required background check at the time the student applies for teaching certification. Forms can be obtained by calling the AR Department of Education or at a local Arkansas school district office. In addition, students will need to show proof that they successfully passed the exams that were required. If coming from another state, students must also show that they passed for licensure out-of-state. Keep in mind that these requirements might replace exams required for licensure in Arkansas, depending on the subject area. All students seeking licensure in secondary social studies, middle school, elementary school, or early childhood must complete a three-hour course about Arkansas history before they will receive a standard teaching license in Arkansas. The course can be taken at a local university or college in the state.
Requirements approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) include a minimum of a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, completion of a teacher preparation program approved by the CCTC, and a successful background clearance check after which the student will receive a Certificate of Clearance provided by the CCTC. Students are also required to meet the state's basic skills requirements by one of the following methods: passing the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST), passing the CSET: Multiple Subjects Plus Writing Skills Examination, passing the CSU Placement Examinations or CSU Early Assessment Program, achieve a qualifying score on the ACT or SAT, pass Advanced Placement (AP) examinations, or pass a basic skills examination from another state. Students who are seeking multiple subject credentials must also pass the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA); CA BASP students are not required to take the RICA. The state also requires completion of Developing English Language Skills and foundational computer technology coursework as well as at least two semester units on the principles and provisions of the U.S. Constitution.
The state of Colorado requires its teachers to meet several requirements, including completion of a regionally-accredited teacher preparation program, completion of a bachelor's degree program, and background clearance resulting from the state's required background check. Students must also pass one of three basic skills exams, including Core Academic Skills for Educators, Program for Licensing Assessments for Colorado Educators (PLACE) Basic Skills, and PRAXIS I, Pre-Professional Skills Test. Students seeking licensure in early childhood education must pass the PLACE Early Childhood Education exam as well as the PRAXIS II in multiple subjects or content knowledge. Students wishing to teach secondary subjects must pass the PLACE exam in their respective subjects or pass the PRAXIS II in these areas.
The state of Delaware requires its students to hold at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college. Students must first register in DEEDS and submit their name, education information, contact information, and experience and complete an application for a certificate or license. Proof of student teaching is also required, as is passing scores on the PRAXIS Core Academic Skills for Educators exam in math, reading, and writing as well as the PRAXIS I: Pre-Professional Skills Tests (PPST). Note that applications cannot be processed until the Delaware Department of Education receives all documentation listed on the application. Upon the completion of the evaluation process, students will receive their student licenses via email or an evaluation that states the requirements that still need to be met.
Students interested in teaching in the state of Florida must first obtain a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited university or college. In addition, aspiring teachers must complete a state-approved teacher program as well as a major course of study in the same subject area for which the student is seeking a Florida license. The state also requires passing scores on the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations in one of 42 subject areas as well as tests in the areas of professional preparation (pedagogy), subject area knowledge (content), and general knowledge (basic skills). Students must be employed in a school and successfully pass a background check conducted by the school system to which they are applying.
As is the case with all states in the U.S., students pursuing a career in teaching in Georgia must first earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. In addition, students must complete an education program in the specific course area in which they are seeking a Georgia teaching license. There are separate areas, basic skills and content knowledge, on the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) that students must pass, and students must also demonstrate professional standards of conduct as evident from a state-conducted background check. The GACE tests include early childhood education, special education, middle grades science, middle grades mathematics, secondary science, secondary mathematics, and social science. Georgia also requires students to have recent experience or study, so candidates must complete out-of-state teaching or coursework within the past five years.
In order to teach in the state of Idaho, students are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree and must complete specific coursework depending on their desired teaching level. For elementary education, students must complete 24 credit hours relating to elementary education skills and subject matter. For secondary education, 20 credit hours must be completed in instructional technology and the specific subject matter that he or she plans to teach. For special education, 30 credit hours are required in special education. Additionally, teachers in Idaho are required to take and pass the Praxis II: Subject Tests in their specialty area. Finally, students must complete an accredited Teacher Certification Program, which can be completed online or on-site, and will include educational theory, classroom skills and student teaching.
In addition to holding a bachelor's degree, Iowa also has the following requirements for elementary education (K-6) teachers: coursework in teaching methods and content for social studies, children's literature, science, math, elementary curriculum, child development, reading and language arts, as well as at least two courses in physical education, health, music, or art. In addition, students are required to devote at least 12 semester hours to a formal interdisciplinary program or to a specialization in a single discipline. To receive a license in a specific subject area for grades K-8, teachers who want to specialize in music, physical education, health, art, history, social studies, math, science, speech communication/theater, foreign language, reading, or English must complete 24 semester hours in the subject area. For secondary education students wishing to teach math or English for grades 5-12, 24 semester hours in these areas are also required. Social science and physical science teachers must complete 24 semester hours in addition to coursework in a sub-category such as world history or psychology for social sciences, or chemistry or biology for physical sciences. Teachers who wish to instruct science classrooms must earn 30 semester hours in the field of science in addition to 15 credit hours in their specific content area.
Students must attend an accredited university or institution and earn their bachelor's degree prior to seeking a teaching license or certification from the state of Kansas. While Kansas does not list specific credit hour or course requirements, each university or college teacher preparation program will have its own requirements. Two elements are typically included: fieldwork and curricula. Fieldwork often includes student teaching and field observations, and curricula often includes instruction on preparing students to implement, design, and research experiences in their field of study, pedagogy, or the science of teaching, and teaching fundamental skills. In addition, unlike other states that require exams to show competency in the desired subject area as well as basic skills, Kansas does not require the latter. Instead, students must successfully pass the PRAXIS II Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) test and the PRAXIS II: Subject Tests in their subject areas.
To earn a teaching credential in Kentucky, students are required to hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. The state issues three levels of certification: Rank III is issued to newly graduated students with a four-year degree, Rank II requires at least 32 semester hours of graduate credit or a completed master's degree, and Rank I requires completion of 60 semester hours of graduate credit or a completed master's degree. In addition, students must receive certification for the subject areas and/or grade level they plan to teach. For elementary school, grades 1-6, required coursework includes all subject areas that are taught at these levels. Teaching middle school, grades 5-9, requires a major in either science, social studies, math, or English so long as the major includes 30 semester hours of coursework. Teachers for secondary school, grades 8-12, must complete a 30-credit-hour major in their specific subject area. Those teaching specialty subject areas such as art and music might need to meet additional requirements.
Louisiana requires its teachers to obtain a bachelor's degree prior to seeking licensure or certification. Teaching in Louisiana consists of one semester of student teaching, 180 hours of field experience, education coursework, and a specific area of focus. The state issues three levels of teacher certification. Valid for three years, the Level 1 Professional Certificate is issued to new teachers that have just graduated from an accredited institution. Renewable every five years, the Level 2 Professional Certificate is issued to teachers who have passed the Louisiana Teacher Assistance and Assessment Program (LaTAAP) and who have at least three years of experience. Finally, the Level 3 Professional Certificate is given to those who have passed the LaTAAP, who have five years of experience in their certification area, and who have completed a master's degree from an accredited university or college.
In addition to a bachelor's degree, aspiring teachers in Maryland are required to complete additional undergraduate coursework. For early childhood certification in preK-3rd grade, students must complete a supervised student teaching experience, 27 semester hours of professional education coursework, nine semester hours of coursework in both social studies and English, and a minimum of 12 semester hours of coursework in both science and mathematics. Teachers in grades 1-6, or elementary education teachers, must complete 48 semester hours in a subject area taught in elementary school, 27 semester hours of professional education courses, nine semester hours of coursework in both social studies and English, and a minimum of 12 semester hours in both science and mathematics. Secondary education, grades 7-12, requires a supervised student teaching experience, 21 semester hours of professional education courses, and 30 semester hours in the area in which the teacher plans to instruct.
To earn a teaching license or certificate in Michigan, students must complete an accredited certification program and standardized tests. Michigan offers a Professional Education Certificate, renewable every five years, and a Provisional Education Certificate, valid for up to six years. In order to move from a Provisional to a Professional certificate, students must complete at least 18 credit hours of coursework in a specific study area above the bachelor's degree. For their first three years, new students are required to go through a mentoring/induction program. In addition, while some states are very specific in their credit-hour and course requirements, Michigan does not state what is expected of its aspiring teachers. However, the state uses the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC), and depending on the level of certification, there are three separate levels: the secondary-level certification, the elementary-level certification, and the basic skills portion.
Students wishing to teach in Minnesota must show competency by passing the basic skills portion of the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations (MTLE) test as well as the MTLE pedagogy test and the MTLE content knowledge exam. All students must earn a bachelor's degree and pass a state-approved teacher preparation program in order to attain their certification, and while Minnesota does not state specific credit-hour or course requirements, students may need to examine the requirements of the university or college teacher preparation program in which they will be enrolled. Beginning teachers who have successfully completed this program receive the First-Time Full Professional Minnesota Education License, which can be renewed every five years after the teacher meets the requirements for professional development.
In order to obtain a teaching certificate in Mississippi, students must earn a minimum of a bachelor's degree in addition to passing grades on the PRAXIS II Principles of Learning and Teaching Test for competency in the appropriate subject area, the PRAXIS II: Subject Tests, and the Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST). Students should note that they must also complete a state-approved teacher certification program that can be taken on-site or online. These courses typically include a fieldwork component of student teaching in the area as well as a classroom skills and educational theory seminar. There are also several alternate teacher certification routes available for those wishing to pursue a different method of obtaining a license in Mississippi.
New teachers in the state of Missouri are awarded a four-year Initial Professional Certificate. Those who have met the state requirements for full teaching certification, including mentoring for two years, receive a 99-year Continuous Career Education Certificate so long as professional development requirements are met and performance evaluations are satisfactory and a permanent Career Continuous Professional Certificate. Undergraduate requirements for secondary education are extremely specific depending on the content area in which the teacher will be instructing, and students can expect to add as much as 30 to 40 additional coursework hours to their total semester hours. In addition, students must pass the College Basic Academic Subjects Examination in order to be accepted into a teacher education program.
In order to become a teacher in Nebraska, students must have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher. The degree should include a Teacher Education Program and must be issued by a state approved college or university. In addition, students must successfully complete a Human Relations and Special Education Training Requirement as well as the basic skills competencies on the Praxis Series I Pre-Professional Skills Test. They must also have earned college credits or been employed as a teacher within the past five years.
Students who wish to become teachers in New Hampshire must have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university. In addition, the student must successfully complete the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators. Students who are seeking a teaching position that is content specific must also complete the Praxis II. A master’s degree from an accredited college or university does not waive the Praxis Core test for educators or the Praxis II for content specific positions.
In New Mexico, students must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university. Each teaching license has its own testing requirements: Early Childhood (Ages Birth through 3) – Essential Academic Skills Subtests I, II and II as well as the New Mexico Assessment of Teacher Competency in Early Childhood. Elementary Education (Grades K through 8) – Essential Academic Skills Subtests I, II and II, Assessment of Professional Knowledge Elementary, Elementary Education Subtests I and II, and Essential Components of Elementary Reading Instruction. Grades PreK through 12 Teaching – Essential Academic Skills Subtests I, II and II, Assessment of Professional Knowledge Elementary or Secondary, and Content Knowledge Assessment if the student requires additional endorsements on their license in a particular subject. Middle Level Education (Grades 5 through 8) - Essential Academic Skills Subtests I, II and II, Assessment of Professional Knowledge Elementary or Secondary, and Content Knowledge Assessment if the student requires additional endorsements on their license in a particular subject. Finally, Secondary Education (Grades 7 through 12) - Essential Academic Skills Subtests I, II and II, Assessment of Professional Knowledge Secondary, and Content Knowledge Assessment if the student requires additional endorsements on their license in a particular subject. Additional endorsements are available after the student successfully completes the Content Knowledge Assessment in that subject. In order to qualify for additional endorsements, students must have earned 24 semester hours in the content area or must take and pass the content knowledge assessment in the subject.
The first step to becoming a teacher in New York is to complete a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university. Teaching certificates are divided into major groups or categories such as Classroom Teacher or Career and Technical Teacher. In addition, certificates are issued based on grade level and subject area that the student hopes to teach. Students are required to complete a student teaching practicum and must provide official CLEP, DANTE or ACTFL exam scores. Students must also complete the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity edTPA examination in order to become a certified teacher in New York. In addition, they must complete the Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST), Educating All Students Test (EAS) and Content Specialty Tests if they intend to seek positions as teachers of specific subjects.
Students who wish to become teachers in North Carolina must have completed an approved teacher education program at an accredited college or university. Students must also complete the Praxis II and the Pearson Test for North Carolina Foundations of Reading and General Curriculum. Licensure can also occur if a student completes an alternative licensure program in another state and meets federal standards as a “highly qualified” teacher in addition to holding a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university.
In Ohio, students who wish to obtain teaching licensure must have completed a bachelor’s degree program or higher at an accredited college or university. Only official transcripts with the degree awarded clearly described are accepted as proof of college graduation. Ohio does not accept grade reports as proof of graduation. Students who have less than three years of out-of-school teaching experience should apply for a four-year resident educator license and verification of that experience is not required as part of the initial application. Students must pass the Ohio Assessments for Educators Evaluation Systems Group of Pearson Professional Knowledge Assessments and content tests. They are also required to pass the Praxis II subject assessments if they are applying to teach specific subject matters. Students must also pass tests in World Languages provided by ACTFL. These tests include the Oral Proficiency Interview and the Writing Proficiency Test.
In order to obtain an apprentice license from the Tennessee Department of Education, students must be at least 18 years of age and hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. In addition, students must have completed an educator preparation program that is approved by the state and be recommended by the program to be licensed as a teacher. Students must pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators and the Principles of Learning and Teaching examinations. Students who wish to specialize in licensure areas must pass additional Praxis tests for those specific licensure areas. These specialty examinations include: Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Education/Special Education, Elementary Education, Middle School Education, Secondary Education, All Grades, English as a Second Language, Special Education, and Career and Technical Education.
In order to become a certified teacher in Texas, students must obtain a bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Students who wish to teach health science technology or trades and industrial education are not required to obtain a bachelor’s degree in order to be certified. Students must also complete an Approved Educator Preparation Program. Students must also pass the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards examination.
Students who wish to teach in Virginia must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher which includes an approved teacher preparation program. Students who attend college in other states may qualify for a Virginia license if they complete a teacher preparation program through an accredited college or university. Students must pass the Professional Teacher’s Assessment and must complete professional studies coursework as part of their education. Students who wish to teach early, elementary or middle grades must complete 18 semester hours of study that include Human Growth and Development, Curriculum and Instructional Procedures, Classroom and Behavior Management, Foundations of Education, and Reading. Students who wish to be certified in Special Education must complete 18 semester hours that include courses such as Human Growth and Development, Curriculum and Instructional Procedures, Classroom and Behavior Management, Foundations of Education, and Language Acquisition and Reading. Those who wish to be certified to teach at the secondary or adult level must complete 15 semester hours which must include courses in Human Growth and Development, Curriculum Instructional Procedures, Classroom and Behavior Management, Foundations of Education, and Reading in the Content Area. Students must also complete one year of classroom teaching under the supervision of a fully-licensed teacher.
In order to teach in the state of Washington, students must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university. In addition, they must complete a state approved teacher education program which can be completed in any state as long as it meets criteria set forth by the state of Washington. Out-of-state applicants must also pass a basic skills test and an endorsement content knowledge test within 12 months of obtaining a temporary permit to teach. Students may seek Professional Certification by completing the ProTeach Portfolio or a comparable program in another state. They may also qualify to apply for the Professional Certification by obtaining certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. In order to receive Professional Certification, the student must also take coursework in issues of abuse and demonstrate an understanding of the need for teachers to report abuse, whether physical, emotional, sexual or substance abuse, in order to assist children who may be victimized.
Certification as a teacher in Wisconsin requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree as well as completion of an approved educator program. Prior to applying for admission to an educator preparation program, students must pass competency tests in communication skills. Tests approved for use to verify communication skills include a composite score of 23 with a minimum score of 20 on the ACT, a composite score of 1070 with a minimum score of 450 on math and verbal on the SAT, and a composite score of 298 with a minimum core of 150 on verbal and 145 on math on the GRE. Students must also receive the following scores on the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators examination: 156 for Reading, 162 for Writing, and 150 in Mathematics. Students must pass subject area Praxis II tests in their chosen subject. In addition, students who wish to become elementary teachers must take the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test and receive a score of 240 or higher. World language teachers must receive a passing score on the ACTFL World Language Tests in both an Oral Proficiency Interview and a Writing Proficiency Test.