What Are School Certification Programs?

A school certification program leads to graduates being certified or licensed to teach school. Institutions offer a variety of school certification programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels in teaching elementary, middle or high school.

View popular schools

School certification programs can prepare individuals to teach at the elementary or middle school levels. There are also master's degree programs that provide advanced education for teachers at all levels.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

School Certification Program Defined

University and college Departments of Education generally offer school certification programs to prepare individuals for various roles in the industry. These programs meet the requirements for taking teacher certification exams and may be available at the undergraduate or graduate levels. Students may choose to become certified to teach a particular subject.

Elementary School Certification

Students interested in teaching elementary school are generally certified to teach grades K-8. Typically, students combine a major or a bachelor's degree in education with professional educational studies courses. Students are required to complete a mandated number of hours of classroom teaching. Education courses may include:

  • Education theory
  • Practical teaching methods
  • Child development
  • Education psychology
  • Teaching reading

Middle School Certification

Middle school certification programs generally certify students to teach grades 5-9. Students may earn a bachelor's in education or middle school education with teacher certification, depending on the school. Programs vary, but students may be required to specialize in one or two content areas. Program may only be available in specific content areas, such as social studies, English or math. A program may have core courses, which are general education courses, education courses and content area courses. Some of the courses that focus specifically on education may cover topics like:

  • Curriculum for middle school
  • Adolescent learning
  • Teaching middle school math
  • Instructional media

Secondary School Certification

In secondary school teacher certification programs, teachers are prepared to teach at either the middle or high school levels. Graduates are certified to provide education for students between grades 7 and 12. These programs typically include a mixture of education-related and supervised teaching experience. Aspiring teachers are typically required to choose a specialization area, such as:

  • English
  • History
  • Chemistry
  • Life Science
  • Mathematics
  • Social Sciences
  • Foreign Language

Master of Arts in Teaching

Some schools offer teaching certification within broader master's degree programs in teaching. Prospective students need to have a bachelor's degree to enroll in a master's in teaching. Students may enroll in a school certification program to become licensed to teach high school, middle school or elementary school, as well as early childhood while working on a master's degree. At the middle and high school levels, students are required to become certified in one or two content areas. Courses within these programs typically fall into four broad categories:

  • Foundational education courses
  • Courses in teaching certain grade levels
  • Content area courses
  • Experiential courses

Aspiring teachers need to become certified, and there are licensure training programs that can prepare teachers to work at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Certification preparation may also be included within master's degree programs in teaching.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • MSHS Medical Laboratory Sciences
    • MSHS in Immunohematology and Biotechnology
    • MSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences
    • MSHS in Translational Microbiology
    • MA in Education and Human Development in Secondary Special Education and Transition Services
    • MA in Education and Human Development in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
    • BSHS in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management
    • BSHS in Medical Laboratory Sciences
    • BSHS in Biomedical Informatics

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Business Administration with a General Business Specialization
    • Master of Business Administration - Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise Concentration
    • Master of Business Administration - Finance Concentration
    • Master of Business Administration - Human Resource Management Concentration
    • Master of Business Administration - Hospitality and Casino Management Concentration
    • Master of Business Administration - International Business Concentration

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • BA: Criminal Justice
    • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
    • BA: Liberal Studies
    • BA: Psychology
    • BA: Psychology - General
    • BS: Computer Science
    • AA: Criminal Justice
    • AA: Liberal Arts
    • AA: Business Administration
    • AA: Information Technology
    • AA: Cybersecurity

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Business Administration
    • Associate in Business Administration Management
    • Associate in Medical Assisting
    • Associate in Network Administration
    • Paralegal
    • Diploma in Accounting
    • Diploma in Business Administration
    • Diploma in Medical Office Professional
    • Diploma in Pharmacy Technician
    • Certificate in Phlebotomy
    • Diploma in Medical Billing and Coding

    What is your education level?

    • MA in Communication
    • Master of Liberal Arts
    • MA in Science Writing
    • MS in Applied Economics
    • MS in Geographic Information Systems
    • MS in Bioinformatics

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Finance
    • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
    • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Science in Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice Path, Executive Leader Specialization
    • Doctor of Nursing Practice
    • Master of Science in Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice Path
    • Master of Science in Legal Studies
    • MS in Psychology
    • MBA
    • Master of Public Health
    • MBA - Human Resources
    • MBA - Health Care Management
    • BS in Liberal Studies
    • BS in Business Administration
    • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Investment Career Focus Area
    • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
    • BS in Nutrition Science
    • BSFIN in Accelerated MS Finance
    • AAS in Business Administration - Business
    • AAS in Legal Support and Services
    • AAS in Business Administration
    • AAS in Business Admin-Office Management
    • AAS in Criminal Justice
    • AAS in Accounting
    • Medical Office Administration Certificate
    • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services
    • Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate Certificate
    • Medical Billing and Coding Certificate
    • Family Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate
    • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
    • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership
    • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Ecclesial Leadership
    • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Entrepreneurial Leadership
    • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Individualized
    • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Global Consulting
    • Master of Arts in Communication
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Political Communication
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Strategic Communication
    • Master of Arts in Government - Political Communication
    • Master of Arts in Journalism
    • Master of Arts in Law - Business
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Rhetoric and Public Culture
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Strategic Communication
    • Bachelor of Arts in English - Communication
    • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Criminal Justice
    • Bachelor of Science in Business

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?