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Alternative Teacher Certification

Become a K-12 teacher in just 12 months with Rice University’s Alternative Teacher Certification program.

Embark on a new career as a K-12 educator. The Alternative Teacher Certification program (non-credit, non-transcribable) at Rice’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies prepares new graduates and career changers for the rigors of the classroom. Students will meet Texas Education Agency requirements and complete a paid teaching internship, supervised by Rice faculty.


apply online

Resuming an application: To resume an application, please log in to your student portal. You will find a saved instance of your application in the tab titled “My Applications”.

In support of the application, candidates must submit:

  • Passing scores on Pre-Admission Content Test (PACT) if the minimum credit hour requirement is not met
  • Official transcripts of all university studies, 2.75 or higher GPA
  • Three letters of reference (include recommender evaluation form)
  • Statement of intent
  • Admission interview
  • Writing prompt
  • Criminal background check/Fingerprinting* (optional)
  • Complete Breakthrough online application (if applicable)
  • $85.00 application fee

Application Deadlines

Summer Entry: January 15
Late Deadline Entry for Summer: March 15
Spring Entry: October 15

apply online

Resuming an application: To resume an application, please log in to your student portal. You will find a saved instance of your application in the tab titled “My Applications”.



Details on Fingerprinting & Criminal Background Checks

Candidates will not be issued either a probationary or a standard teaching certificate from the State of Texas without the fingerprinting/criminal background check. Candidates may apply for the criminal background check prior to submitting an application into an educational preparation program, but must be done prior to being on any school campus with the program.  If the results of the process are unsatisfactory, the candidate may petition the TEA for reconsideration of the results.

For further information about preliminary checks:

Criminal history record information includes both conviction and arrest records. The State of Texas (by House Bill 1508 in 2017) the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) require that an educator preparation program inform all certification program applicants and candidates about the State’s rules on criminal background checks from the Texas Occupations Code Chapter 53, the Texas Education Code Chapter 22.0831 and the Texas Administrative Code, Part VII, Chapter 227, Subchapter B. For further information about criminal history checks see TEA’s Investigations web page:

A school district may deny placement of a participant with a criminal background.



Rice University is committed to keeping the costs of the Alternative Teacher Certification program as low as possible to attract the most qualified people to teach in Houston-area public schools. The tuition for this non-credit, alternative teacher certification program is $5655 ($5499 + $156 activity fee).  Other fees like books, exam fees, certificate fees, parking, etc. are not included in the tuition fees.

 Field Experience

 30 (minimum)

 Curriculum Design  180
 Internship Fall Semester  90
 Internship Spring Semester  45

Plan of Study Details

  • Includes state of Texas teacher certification
  • Complete minimum 300 clock hours of (non-credit) coursework and 30 hours of field observations.
  • Summer – curriculum design and practice teaching at a local school or through the Breakthrough Houston summer internship.
  • Prepare for and pass TExES exam in content area. (Passing of the content exam is necessary to secure a teaching position for the internship and for approval of teaching certificates.)
  • Fall and Spring
    • paid internship for one full school year at a Houston area public or TEA accredited private school.
    • Complete coursework on teaching strategies, special learners, and pedagogy. 
    • Prepare for and pass Education Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) portfolio test. 
Passing of edTPA test and the completion of your first year of teaching with principal approval for your continued work as a teacher are necessary for approval for standard teacher certification.

A Long History. A Bright Future

Rice University has a rich history of bringing great minds together in service to society, with a 55 year history in the education field. Yet, we don’t rest on our laurels. We push forward so that we may go further and expect our students to do the same.

Small Classes. Big Results.

Your time is valuable. Your educational experience should be personal. We work one-on-one with students to ensure their success.

Locally Grown. Globally Recognized.

We focus on producing graduates who can think critically, work practically and become leaders in the education field. We strive each day to offer students the very best education that Houston has to offer.


Alternative Teacher Certification Information Sessions

The Alternative Certification program through Rice University’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies is non-credit, non-transcribable.