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Alabama Teacher Certification Program Overview with Course Info

Alabama has 26 schools that offer teacher certification programs. Learn about the degree programs, tuition information, and program options for 10 of the largest schools to make an informed education decision.

Essential Information

The 10 largest schools in Alabama that provide teacher certification programs are all 4-year, public universities, and all 10 schools are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The focus, cost, and length of these programs vary, providing a variety of options for students who wish to pursue teacher certification in the state of Alabama.

Alabama State University

Montgomery, Alabama is home to Alabama State University and enrolls more than 5,000 students each year. Degree offerings for teacher certification at ASU include a comprehensive list of certification programs to prepare students for all three classes of certification. There are undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees offered in teaching, administration, educational leadership, and school psychology: The B.S., M.eD., Ed.S., and Ed.D. are offered in areas of emphasis including biology, English, early childhood education, health, mathematics, social science, and physical education.

Auburn University

Auburn University's main campus is located in the small city of Auburn, Alabama. More than 25,000 students are enrolled at this public university that offers a comprehensive range of degree programs including teacher certification programs. There are 22 bachelor, 13 alternative master, 31 traditional master, and 22 doctoral degree programs as well as 18 education specialist degrees. Some of the graduate programs, including agri-science education, elementary education, French education, and special education have a distance learning option. Additionally, 2 undergraduate minors and 1 graduate minor are offered along with 7 graduate certificates to supplement other courses of study in the education department. As a land-grant institution, Auburn University is committed to the betterment of the local community through research and outreach, and the education department of this school is also committed to this mission. Among the outreach efforts at Auburn are the summer reading program and summer enrichment program where students in the education department can gain experience teaching and tutoring local children.

Auburn University at Montgomery

Auburn University at Montgomery is considerably smaller than its parent institution with 5,305 students, and offers 5 graduate degrees in the department of education that can be completed completely online. Bachelor's degrees in childhood education, secondary education, physical education and exercise science, and special education are available at this school as well as 4 different master's of education programs and 7 different education specialist degrees. All three types of Alabama state certification are available to AUM.

Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville State University takes it name from the small Alabama suburb in which it is situated. JSU offers traditional and online programs in its College of Education and Professional Studies, and it aims to prepare teachers to be effective problem-solvers, and thoughtful decision-makers. The Bachelor of Science of Education is offered in a variety of fields leading to teacher certification, and there are more than 10 Master of Science in Education program choices ranging from school counseling to library media. There are also 5 education specialist degree programs offered at JSU, all of which can be completed online.

Troy University

Troy University is located in rural Troy, Alabama, and it enrolls more than 26,000 students. Troy University offers a wide variety of online and distance education programs in many departments, including education. Troy University began as a teacher's college in 1887, and in the 1950's began a long relationship with the U.S military, which has grown to include partnerships with military bases all over the world where active duty military can work to earn degrees through Troy's Global Campus and e-Troy, its online division. The College of Education at Troy offers undergraduate and graduate certification programs for students hoping to earn teaching licensure in various areas. Troy offers the Associate of Arts in General Education, Bachelor of Arts in Education, Bachelor of Science in Education, Master of Science in Education, and Education Specialist programs at its Montgomery campus. Some specializations within these degree offerings are also offered through Troy's Global Campus or e-Troy.

The University of Alabama

The University of Alabama is located in Tuscaloosa, and with more than 30,000 students, it is the largest school in Alabama offering teacher training. UA offers the Bachelor of Science in Education in 6 different areas of emphasis including elementary education, foreign language instruction, physical education, music education, and special education. This undergraduate degree program prepares students for Class B certification. Graduate students may also pursue an alternative certificate program to earn a master's degree and obtain initial (class A) licensure. Other graduate programs available in the education department at this school include the Doctorate of Education, the Doctor of Philosophy in Education and the Master of Arts in Education. These graduate degree offerings may be pursued in many areas including educational psychology, elementary education, secondary education, educational leadership, instructional leadership, music education, human performance, and special education.

University of Alabama at Birmingham

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is located in a mid-size city and enrolls more than 17,000 students. Both undergraduate and advanced degrees are offered at this school, and the education department offers programs that lead to teacher certification through the following degrees: The B.S., M.A., Ed.D, and Ph.D. are offered in many subject areas. The graduate studies department also offers post-master certificates and the Educational Specialist degree. This department also offers non-certification programs that may prepare students to work in health related programs, wellness agencies, or community education. Educational minors in athletic coaching, exercise science, and health education are also offered at this school.

University of Alabama in Huntsville

Huntsville, Alabama is home to the University of Alabama's Huntsville Campus, where more than 7,600 students study to earn undergraduate or graduate degrees. UAH offers the following degrees in the liberal arts department: the B.A in elementary education, the B.A. or B.S. in secondary education, the M.A. or M.S in education (resulting in alternative 5th year certification), and the M.A or M.S in education (resulting in advanced certification). Undergraduate and graduate certification programs that offer supplemental certification in specialized areas like music education, and special education are also available. An integral part of the teacher education program is the field experience program, which provides teacher candidates the opportunity to experience a variety of different school settings, and to work with diverse groups of students with varying language skills and academic levels. After at least 200 hours of field experience, in which teacher candidates take on progressively more responsibility for planning and instruction, students in the teacher education programs at UAH are also required to complete a student teaching internship.

University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is located in the small city of Florence and offers bachelor, and master degrees and post-master certificates. UNA offers 21 undergraduate programs that lead to the Class B teaching certificate, 12 alternative master degree programs that lead to the Class A certificate, 19 traditional master degree programs that also lead to a Class A certificate, and 3 education specialist degree programs leading to the Class AA certificate. Areas of emphasis for these degrees include math, English, geography, history, instructional leadership, Spanish, and visual arts, to name a few. The University of North Alabama also requires a clinical experience element in its teaching preparation programs. This includes 64 classroom participation hours, 45 hours in a diverse title I school, 120 practicum participation hours, and a semester-long teaching internship. This clinical experience can give students a chance to plan curriculum, observe diverse learning environments, and conduct instruction.

University of South Alabama

Mobile Alabama is home to The University of South Alabama where more than 14,000 students study to earn certificates, bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees, as well as post-baccalaureate certificates and post-master certificates. The College of Education at the University of South Alabama offers programs in counseling, early childhood education, educational media, leisure studies, and more. There are 5 degree options for students pursuing teacher certification: The Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Master of Education, Education Specialist, and Doctor of Philosophy are offered either in the leadership and teacher education department or in the professional studies department and cover 14 different specializations from which prospective students can choose.

Career Requirements

To obtain certification, students must file an application for licensure with the state within 60 months of completing an approved teacher certification program. There are 3 categories of licensure in Alabama, and each category has different educational and training requirements. For holders of teaching licenses that have expired, or for students who have completed degree programs more than 60 months prior to applying for licensure, additional coursework may be required for renewal. Read about the 10 largest schools in this state offering degrees that lead to teacher certification, and then use the comparison table to weigh the details, like cost, location, and program offerings.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Teacher Certification Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Alabama State University 4-year public; mid-sized city Bachelor of Science in Education,
Master of Education,
Education Specialist,
Doctorate of Education
$19,137 in-state,
$26,070 out-of-state*
Auburn University 4-year public; small city Bachelor of Science in Education,
Master of Arts in Education,
Education Specialist,
Doctor of Education,
Doctor of Philosophy in Education
$29,794 in-state,
$47,410 out-of-state*
Auburn University at Montgomery 4-year public; mid-sized city Bachelor of Science in Education,
Master of Education,
Education Specialist
$18,870 in-state,
$29,730 out-of-state*
Jacksonville State University 4-year public; small suburb Bachelor of Science in Education,
Master of Science in Education,
Education Specialist
$21,132 in-state,
$28,332 out-of-state*
Troy University 4-year public; rural Associate of Arts in General Education,
Bachelor of Arts in Education,
Bachelor of Science in Education,
Master of Science in Education,
Education Specialist
$18,933 in-state,
$25,821 out-of-state*
University of Alabama 4-year public; small city Bachelor of Science in Education,
Master of Arts in Education,
Doctorate of Education,
Doctor of Philosophy in Education
$28,422 in-state,
$44,202 out-of-state*
University of Alabama at Birmingham 4-year public; mid-sized city Bachelor of Science in Education,
Master or Arts in Education,
Doctor of Education,
Doctor of Philosophy in Education
$24,661 in-state,
$34,549 out-of-state*
University of Alabama in Hunstville 4-year public; mid-sized city Bachelor of Arts in Education,
Bachelor of Science in Education,
Master of Arts in Education,
Master of Science in Education
$24,480 in-state,
$35,974 out-of-state*
University of North Alabama 4-year public; small city Bachelor of Science in Education,
Master of Arts in Education,
Master of Science in Education,
Education Specialist,
Doctor of Education
$18,090 in-state,
$24,186 out-of-state*
University of South Alabama 4-year public; mid-sized city Bachelor of Science in Education,
Master of Science in Education,
Master of Education,
Education Specialist,
Doctor of Philosophy in Education
$20,252 in-state,
$27,284 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator


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