Degree Holders

Printer-friendly version

Information for Prospective Degree Holders

To be certified to teach in Texas public schools, you need to:

  • hold an undergraduate degree (in any field)
  • complete an approved program
  • pass 2 TExES exams required by the State of Texas
  • pass a criminal history check
  • submit fingerprints

UTeach Natural Sciences is an approved Educator Preparation Program. To be a part of UTeach, you need to be accepted to the University of Texas at Austin and to the UTeach program. Find more information about applying to both the University and UTeach below.


Earning certification through UTeach requires a minimum of four semesters. Students are admitted in both the fall and spring semesters and scheduling is flexible. Details are below.

Earning certification through UTeach Accelerate requires 3 semesters and has a fall start only. Find out more about UTeach Accelerate and plan ahead for Fall 2020! 


If you are graduating this semester, you can still register for UTS 101 (Step 1) whenever your registration access opens.

As long as you stay enrolled on a continuous basis -- fall/spring/fall/spring -- you do not need to apply for (re)admission to UT Austin. 

Let us know if you have questions:


1. All students must undergo a criminal history background check. This is required for all field experiences and before a district can employ you as an educator. If you have been convicted of an offense that is considered not appropriate for an educator, you could be ineligible to earn certification in the state of Texas. 

Details about potential eligibility of persons with a criminal history can be found in the Texas Administrative Code, §249.16:

You have a right to request a preliminary criminal history evaluation letter from the Texas Education Agency prior to admission into this program. The Texas Education Agency currently charges a fee for this criminal history Evaluation. More information on the Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation may be found at:

2. All educators must agree to abide by the Texas Educators' Code of Ethics.

3. To be admitted, applicants must have at least 15 credit hours in the certification area (e.g. math, chemistry, etc.) and a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA. In addition, if your coursework was taken more than 10 years ago, faculty will review your transcript for currency and may require you to take either additional coursework or the PACT (see below for details).

4. Applicants whose undergraduate or graduate degrees were earned at institutions outside of the U.S. (including territories) may be required to take the TOEFL iBT in order to be admitted. The following scores are required:

  • Speaking = 24
  • Listening = 22
  • Reading = 22
  • Writing = 21

Find out more about how long will certification take. Check out the Degree-holder FAQs for information about which courses you'll need to take (#3) and more.

Subject matter requirements:

If you do not have at least 15 hours in the certification area, you are encouraged to take courses at your local community college or UT Austin (if you've been admitted). Alternatively, you may take the Pre-Admission Content Test. Taking this test counts as 1 of 5 allowed attempts on the TExES content exam. All students must take all required content courses, regardless of whether they take the PACT or not. Meeting admission requirements through coursework is the recommended route as you will also have the pre-requisites for required upper-division classes.

Students intending to certify in math may need to (re)take calculus. If you haven't had calculus in over 3 years, it is strongly recommended that you take a calculus course either at UT Austin or your local community college. The Automated Transfer Equivalency page can help you decide which courses to take. 

How to Apply

UTeach Accelerate

This certification pathway has a fall-only start. Eligibility requirements include:

  • Degree awarded no later than the end of the 2nd semester of the program
  • STEM major or sufficient hours in a STEM field to meet program requirements
  • minimum 2.5 GPA

For complete details, please see the Accelerate page.

UTeach for Degree-Holders

Degree-holders are also welcome to apply to the UTeach program, which has both a fall and a spring start.

If you hold a degree, you must apply to BOTH the University of Texas at Austin and the UTeach program. Students submit these two, separate applications at the same time.

Do not send UTeach material, like the essays and letters of recommendation, to the University of Texas Office of Admissions. UTeach has no way to know that the material was sent, and your application to our program will not be circulated.


Apply to UT Austin

UTeach Natural Sciences is an undergraduate program available to degree-holders. This pathway will take a minimum of 4 semesters and is available for a fall or spring start. You do not have to pursue another undergraduate degree. Once admitted, you'll be a Degree-Holder/Non-Degree Seeker at UT.

It may be possible to pursue certification concurrently with a graduate degree. If you intend to pursue a graduate degree, you'll want to learn more about Graduate Admissions.

Application information for former UT Austin students. If you were admitted for a summer session as a "transient" student, you should apply as a transfer student. See below.

Application information for students who never attended UT Austin. This includes students who took courses at UT Austin as "transient" students during a summer session. You'll apply as a "transfer" student, Degree-Holder/Non-Degree Seeker.

Check the status of your application to the university here.

Please contact the Office of Admissions directly with questions about applying to the University.

Apply to UTeach

To apply to the UTeach Natural Sciences program, you'll need a UT EID. You'll create an EID when you apply to the University. If you're a former student or employee, UT EID Self-Service Tools can help you find it, reset the password, and more.

Once you've got your UT EID, you're ready to apply to the UTeach Natural Sciences program


Prospective students must apply to the University of Texas as well as to the UTeach program. The University of Texas has two different deadlines: one for former UT students and one for those who have never attended UT. The UTeach Natural Sciences program has the same deadlines. 

UT Application Deadlines

Former UT Austin students:

  • Fall: July 1
  • Spring: December 1
  • Summer: May 1

Never attended UT Austin:

  • Fall and Summer: March 1
  • Spring: October 1

UTeach Application Deadlines

UTeach follows UT’s deadlines.


Tuition is a flat rate for undergraduates in the College of Natural Sciences or the College of Education. Figure your tuition using UT's tuition calculator.


The UTeach Natural Sciences program circulates application on a rolling basis. Because admission to UTeach is contingent upon admission to the University, students will be notified of the results of their UTeach application only after decisions have been made by UT Austin. Notification will be sent by email using DocuSign. Please make sure that the email address in your application is one you check. You are encouraged to check on your UT Austin application and let UTeach know when a decision has been made


The Austin Independent School District funds the Future Teacher scholarship. Eligible degree-holders receive $1,500/semester for their last 4 semesters. These funds always arrive late in the semester, so please do not count on them to pay tuition.

Take a look at the UTeach Scholarship page for more information.

The Office of Student Financial Services can tell you about other funding options.