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AZ Teaching Certification and Degree Requirements

Research education degree programs in Arizona, which currently has thirteen colleges offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, tuition info and program options for nine of these schools and decide which program is right for you.

Essential Information

4-year schools and universities in Arizona offer a variety of teaching programs that prepare students for certification. These programs are available at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. A number of specializations are available, including special education and early childhood education. In some cases, students will need a previous degree to enter a teaching program, or may need to earn another degree concurrently. Students are also often required to complete student teaching. Additional requirements vary by program. Read on to learn about these programs and their tuition requirements to make an informed decision.


American Indian College of the Assemblies of God

In Phoenix, students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Elementary Education at the American Indian College of the Assemblies of God. The 128-credit hour degree program includes study of education, reading and phonics, and classroom management as well as two terms of student teaching.

Arizona Christian University

At Phoenix's Arizona Christian University, aspiring students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in either elementary education or secondary education. In the elementary education major, specializations include English/communications, mathematics, science and social studies; secondary education specializations include the same options as well as biology and business. Each program has separate requirements, but common course topics cover testing and assessments, curriculum and classroom management. Students must also complete a semester of student teaching.

Arizona State University

Tempe-based Arizona State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Education in multiple specializations, including special education, secondary education, elementary education with a concentration in English as a Second Language/bilingual education and educational studies as well as early childhood and early childhood special education. Each specialization has its own requirements, but each leads to full teaching certification.

On the graduate level, ASU offers Master of Education programs in special education, curriculum and instruction: early childhood education, elementary education and secondary education that prepare students for teacher certification.

Dine College

In Tsaile, aspiring teachers can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education as long as they have an Associate of Arts in Elementary Education or an Associate of Arts in Education. They must also be members of the Navajo nation and complete state and Navajo nation background checks. The B.A. in Elementary Education program introduces students to concepts of special education in indigenous classrooms, bilingual teaching methods and literacy. Students begin field experiences in their first semester and take on a student teaching assignment in a K-8 school in their final semester of study.

International Baptist College

In Chandler, students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Teacher Education with an emphasis in elementary or secondary education. Students must complete student teaching, observation and 40 credit hours in education courses, as well as ministry preparation courses. In the elementary education emphasis, students take courses in the fundamental elements of fine arts and teaching methodologies for math, reading and writing. The secondary education emphasis includes courses in Christian school administration, legal aspects of teaching and educational testing and assessment.

Northern Arizona University

Flagstaff's Northern Arizona University offers a Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.) in Early Childhood Education or Elementary Education as well as a Master of Education in Elementary Education, all of which prepare students for certification. The bachelor's program in early childhood education is intended for students who already hold an associate degree. Courses include integrated literacy, early childhood mathematics and structured English immersion in early childhood settings. Students in the elementary education program can choose from concentrations in history/social studies, humanities, language/cultural diversity, mathematics or science, or they can earn an early childhood certificate. Teacher preparation for the secondary school level also is available, though it must be pursued in conjunction with a bachelor's degree in another subject.

The master's program in elementary education covers teaching methods and teaches students to critique various approaches to teaching. Master's candidates also complete a student teaching experience.

Ottawa University - Phoenix

Through its School of Education, Phoenix-based Ottawa University offers Bachelor of Arts programs in 14 subject areas, including elementary education, early childhood/special education, and secondary education with focus areas in music, history, English, business and mathematics. These degree programs have their own separate requirements, but all education majors take courses in technology for educators, trends for the teaching profession and teaching exceptional children as well as complete field and clinical experiences.

Prescott College

This 4-year private, not-for-profit college in Prescott offers on-campus Bachelor of Arts programs in elementary and secondary education. The college also features hybrid bachelor's degree programs in special education, early childhood education, early childhood special education, elementary education and secondary education. On the master's level, students can pursue a degree in elementary education or secondary education; these programs also require limited residency. All of these undergraduate and graduate programs prepare students for certification.

University of Arizona

In Tucson, students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Special Education and Rehabilitation through a 60-credit program that prepares them to work with K-12 students with emotional and behavioral disorders, mental retardation and various types of learning disabilities. A Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education is also available. Graduates of this program are eligible to teach children from birth to age eight.

A third degree program, a B.A. in Elementary Education, is an option for individuals interested in teaching grades 1-8. Students can opt to take this program with 2-3 semesters of extensive fieldwork, which culminates in a Structured English Immersion Endorsement and an Elementary Certificate 1-8, or they can choose to earn a Bilingual Endorsement or English as a Second Language (ESL) Endorsement alongside their degree.

On the graduate level, students can take part in Teach Arizona, a 1-year master's program that prepares those with a bachelor's degree in any field to teach on the secondary level. Students can choose from a dozen areas of concentration, and they'll complete half-day student teaching assignments over the course of a year. Master of Arts in Special Education programs that lead to certification are available in cross-categorical special education and education of deaf/hard of hearing students.

Career Requirements

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that a bachelor's degree is the lowest level of education required to teach professionally. States require that aspiring public school teachers obtain a license from the state they wish to teach in. Private school teachers often do not need to be licensed. The Arizona Board of Education offers certification for early childhood education, elementary education and secondary education, each with a 3-year initial licensure. Statewide, there are thirteen schools that offer degree programs leading to certification.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Teaching Certification Degree Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)
American Indian College of the Assemblies of God 4-year (primarily associate), private-not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education $11,700*
Arizona Christian University 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with multiple specializations,
Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with multiple specializations
$23,110*
Arizona State University 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Arts in Education with multiple concentrations,
Master of Education with multiple concentrations
$10,158 (in-state, undergraduate),
$25,458 (out-of-state, undergraduate),
$11,304 (in-state, graduate),
$23,274 (out-of-state, graduate)*
Dine College 4-year (primarily associate), public; remote rural Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education $725*
International Baptist College 4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Teacher Education $10,500*
Northern Arizona University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education or Elementary Education,
Master of Education in Elementary Education
$10,358 (in-state, undergraduate),
$23,348 (out-of-state, undergraduate),
$9,071 (in-state, graduate),
$18,182 (out-of-state, graduate)*
Ottawa University - Phoenix 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Arts with multiple education concentrations $11,760*
Prescott College 4-year, private not-for-profit; small city Bachelor of Arts with multiple education concentrations,
Master of Education with multiple concentrations
$27,503 (undergraduate),
$19,704 (graduate)*
University of Arizona 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Science in Special Education and Rehabilitation,
Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education,
Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education,
Master of Education in Teaching and Teacher Education,
Master of Arts in Special Education
$11,403 (in-state, undergraduate),
$32,630 (out-of-state, undergraduate),
$12.048 (in-state, graduate),
$30,370 (out-of-state, graduate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.


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