Teacher Certification for Undergraduate Students

Teacher Education seeks to engage, prepare and support teacher leaders for student-centered classrooms in a diverse society.

 

The Teacher Certification Program for Undergraduate Students is a 30-hour program that fulfills all requirements for a Texas Standard Teaching Certificate. Coursework includes professional education courses and extensive field experiences. The program is designed for students who are interested in pursuing teacher certification at the secondary level.

Our dedicated faculty offers new teachers an exceptional amount of personal contact, coaching, support, and supervision through this rigorous academic program. Teacher candidates receive a support team of a field supervisor, a mentor and a cooperating teacher for multiple semesters of observation and teaching experiences.

Professional education courses include extensive study of the structure, culture, and curriculum of secondary schools and their diverse students; and the developmental psychology of children and adolescents. 

The program is designed for students completing a bachelor’s degree who are interested in pursuing teacher certification at the secondary level.

Application forms may be obtained through the Education Program office at education@rice.edu.

In support of the application, candidates must submit:

  • Official transcripts of previous university studies which reflect a minimum of 24 hours of content area courses in your selected teaching field
  • Proof of SAT or ACT scores
  • Three letters of reference accompanied by the forms provided in the application packet (minimum of two references must be academic)
  • Overall 2.5 GPA or higher
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA in the content area
  • Applications submitted during sophomore year
    • Minimum 12 credit hours in the content area (15 for math and science) completed before admission

The Texas Education Agency requires candidates to undergo a criminal background check prior to field-based experience, prior to clinical teaching, and prior to being hired as a first-year teacher.

Interview

In addition to the above-mentioned criteria, applicants will be required to participate in an interview conducted by members of the program faculty and staff.

Application Deadlines

January 15 - Fall semester admission and early admission (classes start in summer)

March 15 - Late fall semester admission (classes start in fall)

October 15 - Spring semester admission

Interested candidates who have missed the application deadline should contact the Education Department at 713-348-4826 for additional options.

Texas Teacher Certification

In the Teacher Certification program, students complete 24 hours of professional education courses and a field-based practicum in addition to 24 hours of content courses in their chosen teaching field; 12 hours must be upper-level. Certification students must choose at least one content teaching field from the list of state-approved teaching fields.

Undergraduate 5-year MAT

Rice University’s 5-Year Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is a 36-hour degree program that affords the opportunity for motivated undergraduate students to earn graduate credit toward their MAT while concurrently completing their bachelor’s degree. Please note that no courses can be used to simultaneously satisfy both an undergraduate and graduate degree.  

Practicum

In the spring semester of senior year, students complete a field-based practicum in a Houston-area public school. Teacher candidates receive a support team of a field supervisor, a mentor and a cooperating teacher to guide them through their practicum. Students will have extensive opportunities to hone their pedagogy skills during this experience.

Professional Portfolio

All students are required to create a digital professional portfolio. The portfolio represents the culmination of experiences, chronicles your growth in attaining the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful as a new teacher, and it reflects your understanding of teaching and student learning.

Course Specialties/Teaching Fields:

  • Art, EC-12
  • English Language Arts and Reading, 7-12
  • History, 7-12
  • Spanish, EC-12
  • Mathematics, 7-12
  • Science, 7-12 (Eligible to teach the following subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science, Environmental, Astronomy)
  • Social Studies, 7-12 (Eligible to teach the following subjects: Economics, Geography, Government, History, Psychology, Sociology)

View Undergraduate Plan of Study Tool

Certification Requirements for a Texas Secondary Certificate

All students working toward a Texas Teaching Certificate must:

  1. Meet all admissions requirements and be formally admitted to the Rice Teacher Certification Program.
  2. Pass the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) test (Reading, Mathematics and Writing).
  3. For a practice THEA exam and registration see thea.nesinc.com. Printed registration forms are available from the Teacher Education Office, Rice University or from National Evaluation Systems, Inc., P. O. Box 140347, Austin, TX 78714- 0347. Exemption is possible, for example, if SAT or ACT scores are high enough and taken within the past five years or for an earned bachelor's degree.
  4. Successfully complete the requisite number of professional education courses.
  5. Complete field-based experience and observation hours:  a minimum of 75 hours of field-based experience. Observation hours are arranged through other courses, field-based experience is arranged through Curriculum Development when the student works with his/her cooperating teacher in a public school classroom.
  6. Create a professional portfolio.
  7. Complete secondary student teaching Practicum (six semester hours).
  8. Pass Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities TExES and pass content test in chosen teaching field.
    • Registration and study guides are available at texes.ets.org/texes and in the Teacher Education office.
  9. Complete the Application for Certification available on the Texas Education Agency website at tea.state.tx.us/.

Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers

The Rice teacher preparation program has been recognized by the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation as an exemplar teacher prep program in the state. This honor allows our students (Texas residents) who are pursuing teacher certification to apply for the Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers. If selected by the foundation, fellows will receive a scholarship of $8000 per year for up to four years, as well as ongoing training and development opportunities, mentorship from sitting public school educators, and involvement in a statewide aspiring teachers network facilitated by Raise Your Hand. 

Master of Arts in Teaching for New Teachers

For those seeking a career change and who are interested in pursuing graduate study in education, the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) for New Teachers is the preferred route. This program fulfills all requirements for a Texas Standard Teaching Certificate at the secondary level. Coursework includes professional education courses, advanced content coursework, and extensive field experiences that pave the way for a fulfilling, new career in education. STEM professionals who enter the program will have opportunities for credit courses and professional development through the Rice University K-12 Initiatives. Please schedule an advising appointment to discuss your individualized plan of study.

Schedule Advising Appointment