Certification occurs through the New York State Education Department’s
Office of Teaching Initiatives. As such, all information provided on
these pages is subject to change and all users should consult the
Office of Teaching Initiatives regularly for updates. Their website is
located at http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert
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NYS Certification Requirements & Certification Types
Certification Reciprocity with other states
New York State Certification Requirements
Who needs to be certified?
Classroom teachers, administrative and supervisory personnel, teaching
assistants, and pupil personnel service professionals are required to
hold a Certificate issued by New York State in order to be employed in
the State’s public schools. In addition, New York State also requires
that Coaches, Visiting Lecturers and teachers of Adult, Community and
Continuing Education obtain a Special License.
The NYCDOE continually offers workshops to assist those who are
interested in becoming state certified teachers. Click here to access
the Road to New York State Certification Workshop Schedule and
What are the types of certificates?
Initial: The Initial certificate is the entry-level classroom teaching
certificate in New York State and is issued for a specific
subject/grade level (e.g. Biology 7-12). An Initial certificate is
valid for 5 years with the possibility of a one-year time extension.
YOU MUST OBTAIN A PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATE DURING THIS TIMEFRAME
TO REMAIN EMPLOYED BY NYCDOE.
Professional: The Professional certificate is the second-level
classroom teaching certificate and is issued to a holder of an Initial
certificate upon the completion of the educational and experience
requirements for the Professional certificate. The Professional
certificate is continuously valid dependent upon the completion of
required professional development hours on a 5-year cycle over the life
of the certificate.
Transitional: The Transitional certificate is a credential issued in
specific situations to candidates who have not yet met the requirements
for an Initial classroom teaching certificate, but who have an
employment and mentoring commitment from a public school district and
who may be enrolled in a special program to complete the academic
requirements for the Initial certificate.
Provisional: The Provisional certificate is the entry-level certificate
in New York State for certification in pupil personnel service titles
and administrative and supervisoryservice titles. The Provisional
certificate is valid for 5 years. (Prior to February 2, 2004, the
Provisional certificate was the entry-level certificate for classroom
teaching titles, issued for a specific subject/grade level, such as
Biology 7-12. In very limited circumstances, the Provisional
certificates continues to be issued in classroom teaching titles.)
Permanent: The Permanent certificate is the second-level certificate in
pupil personnel service titles and administrative and supervisory
service titles and is issued to holders of a Provisional certificate
with the completion of educational, experience, and testing
requirements for the Permanent certificate. The Permanent certificate
is continuously valid with no further requirements. (As of February 2,
2004, the Permanent certificate continues to be issued in classroom
teaching titles to holders of Provisional certificates in those titles.)
Internship Certificate: This is based on a request from a
college/university on behalf of students who have completed 50% of
their master’s degree in education and who do not already possess a
provisional or initial certificate. The college requests this
certificate from the NYS Education Department for students who have job
commitments while they are completing their master’s degree.
Colleges may also require one or more of the NYS Teacher Certification
exams as additional criteria for the Internship Certificate. This
certificate is valid for two years, upon which time the college should
submit an application for the Initial Certificate.
Teaching Assistant: The Teaching Assistant certificate authorizes
individuals to provide direct instructional services to students under
the general supervision of a certified teacher. There are four levels
issued: Level I, Level II, Level III, and Pre-Professional.
Access forms and applications from the State at:
What are some of the recent changes that have been made to
Click here to download Regulations Governing Teacher Certification in
New York State: A Comparison of Key Changes
What are the requirements to become certified?
The requirements for certification fall into the following general
• Academic preparation - degree/coursework, student teaching
• Assessment - selected tests in the New York State Teacher
Certification Examination Program Series
• Experience - teaching/other work experience
•Additional requirements - Child Abuse Identification workshop, School
Violence Prevention and Intervention (SAVE) workshop, moral character
How can I get my credentials reviewed?
If you are not in a state approved college education program and would
like to have your transcripts evaluated and apply for state
certification based on your current credentials you may follow one of
1. If you have a nomination letter from a Principal or ROC, you may be
scheduled for a transcript evaluation if requested by a region after
meeting the following preliminary requirements:
Completion of all 3 certification exams
• Completion of all 3 certification exams
• Completion of student teaching or 40 days of sub service in the
subject area and level being sought
• Completion of Child Abuse Identification workshop and School
Violence Prevention (SAVE) workshop
• Minimum 2.5 BA degree GPA
You must complete this process before you may teach in New York City
schools, under No Child Left Behind guidelines.
2. If you do not have a nomination letter but would still like your
transcripts evaluated for state certification, you must submit to the
New York State Department of Education an application for Initial
Certification along with your official transcripts that show conferral
of your degree along with a $100.00 money order. The state will
also need proof of completion of both the child abuse identification
and school violence prevention (SAVE) workshops. Passing scores
on all required exams is necessary for Initial Certification.
You can download the application from
www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert. We recommend submitting your
application as soon as possible as it may take the state up to six
months to process your application. Be sure to make copies of all
documentation for your records and mail your materials via Return
Receipt from the U.S. Post Office.
The New York City Department of Education offers workshops for
uncertified teachers to learn more about the paths to certification and
teaching in New York City schools. Click here to access a list of
upcoming dates and to register.
I have certification in another state. Can I teach in New York City?
New York State has reciprocity with more than 30 states. For more
information go to http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/
How does No Child Left Behind Affect Certification?
The Federal law, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), supports the development
of a high-quality teaching force. Teachers hired after the start
of the 2002-03 school year and working in schools supported by Title 1
Funds should be “highly qualified” (HQ) at the time of
hire. Almost all incumbent teachers, regardless of Title 1
funding, must be HQ by the end of the 2005-06 school year.
NCLB requires that all teachers of core academic subjects – English,
reading/language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics
and government, economics, history, geography and the arts (art, dance,
music, theater/public speaking and drama) – be HQ. The three
basic requirements are:
1.Possess a bachelor’s degree;
2.be fully state certified/licensed to teach; and
3.have demonstrated sufficient subject matter competency.
HQ is defined by assignment and newness to the profession. There
has not been a final determination yet on the HQ requirements for
special education teachers in grades K-12.
Be on the alert in late May for detailed information on NCLB and
a downloadable HQ Status Form for all teachers of core academic
subjects to assess their HQ status.
To learn more about NCLB implementation in New York State, visit
For a complete guide to state certification please go to: