Specific entrance, retention, and exit criteria apply for ALL Teacher (Educator) Preparation Programs offered at Penn State. Based upon current Pennsylvania Standards for Teacher (Educator) Preparation Programs and Penn State graduation requirements, all candidates seeking entrance to a specific teacher preparation program (or major) must meet the following criteria.

Entrance Criteria 

[Participation in the Entrance to Major (ETM) process is initiated via LionPATH]


  1. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00.*
  2. Qualifying scores from one of the Basic Skills Testing options. This requirement may be satisfied by Praxis Core. For more information on this requirement, please contact your academic advisor.
  3. For Secondary Education (SECED) and World Languages (WL ED) programs – Documentation of at least 40 hours of volunteer or paid education work experience with learners of the age group the candidate plans to teach, with younger learners in the candidate’s intended content area, or with adults with special needs. Part of this experience should include working with some learners who come from backgrounds that are different from the candidate’s. These experiences must be post high school.
  4. A grade of “C” or better in all specified courses, including English 015 or 030, three credits of literature, six credits of quantification, and practica. (Specific Quantification courses necessary for ETM may be prescribed by major/option. See checksheet or degree audit).
  5. Completion of an early field experience specified by the certification program. (except Special Education students, who complete an early field experience after ETM) **
  6. Completion of core Education courses specified by the certification program. **
  7. Completion of additional credits as specified by the certification program. **
  8. Completion of at least 48 credits.
  9. Approval from the professional education advisor or the head of the pertinent certification program.

*Based on Title 22 Pennsylvania Code Chapter 354.31 (4), (5) and (7).

** See accompanying entrance criteria table.

Retention Criteria

Candidates must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 to meet the retention criteria. 

Exit Criteria

Eligibility for a teacher certificate is based on:

  1. Successful completion of a Teacher (Educator) Preparation Program with the conferral of a baccalaureate degree. (Vocational Certificate candidates: See Advisor).
  2. A minimum 3.00 cumulative grade point average.
  3. A grade of at least “C” or better in all specified courses, including practica.
  4. Approval by (a) the pertinent program representative and (b) the University Certification Officer.
  5. Successful completion of any clearances, tests, and any other requirements as specified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).

Testing Requirements for all Instructional I Teacher Certification Programs

Candidates must apply for teacher certification using PDE’s online Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) before a certifying officer for Penn State can recommend them for certification.