Teacher Certification

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

Rice University Teacher Education offers two options for Rice undergraduate students or post-baccalaureate career changers interested in a career in education. Students may choose to earn either a Texas teaching certificate (in a specified field) or a Texas teaching certificate and a Master of Arts in Teaching. With either option, our dedicated faculty offer pre-service teachers an exceptional amount of personal contact, coaching, support and supervision. Teacher candidates receive a support team of a field supervisor, a mentor and a cooperating teacher for multiple semesters of observation and teaching experiences. Additionally, program support continues with an internship experience that hones strong analysis of student work, classroom management, and parent-teacher relationships, and an alumni network for collaboration and support.

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 simultaneously completing their bachelor’s degree. 


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/.

Title II Report

The Higher Education Act (HEA) of the U.S. Congress requires each institution of higher education with a teacher preparation program that enrolls students receiving federal assistance under this act to report annually "to the State and the general public" certain information. This information includes the pass rate of their program completers on assessments required by the state for teacher licensure or certification, the statewide pass rate on those assessments, and other basic information on their teacher preparation program.

Rice University’s Teacher Education Program is accredited by the state of Texas. The first year pass rate for program completers on assessments required by the state for 2014-2015 was 100%, compared with 94% for the overall state pass rate. Thirteen students were enrolled in the program in 2014-2015. Student teachers spent an average of 40 hours per week in supervised student teaching with a student/faculty ratio of 1.3-to-1. Rice teacher education program graduates are regularly recruited by school districts in Houston and the surrounding areas because of their innovative ideas, content knowledge, expertise, leadership abilities, and dedication to the teaching profession

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