Degree Holder FAQ

Printer-friendly version

Frequently Asked Questions from Degree Holders

If you have questions not answered by this page or the links in the sidebar, call 512 232 2770 and set up an appointment with a UTeach advisor. Or email us: advisor@uteach.utexas.edu.

1. What’s the difference between UTeach and UTeach Accelerate

Founded over 20 years ago, UTeach is UT Austin’s secondary STEM certification program. Almost from the start, UTeach has welcomed degree-holders into the program. UTeach, open to STEM and non-STEM majors alike, takes a minimum of 4 semesters. Both undergraduates and degree-holders can take more time if that works best for them. In addition, UTeach has both a fall and a spring start.

UTeach Accelerate began taking applications in the Spring 2019 semester for a Fall 2019 launch. This program is open only to STEM degree-holders and highly accomplished seniors within 2 semesters of graduation. Coursework takes 2 semesters, followed by either a 1- or 2-semester student teaching experience. This program is a cohort model, meaning that all students are admitted in the fall semester and take all of the same classes together in a 2-semester sequence.

2. Is UTeach a daytime program? Are there any classes at night, online, or in the summer? What about UTeach Accelerate?

All UTeach courses are taught during the day. Four UTeach courses contain field work, which requires our students to be available during school hours. Of course, student teaching is comprised entirely of a field experience. In addition, our students interact with faculty members face-to-face in classroom and laboratory settings. No courses for our program are taught online. None of the UTeach courses are offered in the summer sessions. Students usually take required content courses in the summers.

UTeach Accelerate has some classes scheduled later in the day. However, all field experiences take place during the daytime, since that’s when schools are in session. See the UTeach Accelerate page for details. Scroll down to the schedule of classes.

3. How long will the program take and what will it cost?

UTeach takes a minimum of 4 semesters (fall and spring). See How Long Does Certification Take? for details.

UTeach Accelerate takes 2 semesters of coursework, followed by either a 1- or 2-semester student teaching experience.

Tuition for either program is a flat rate for undergraduates in the College of Natural Sciences. The exact amount depends on how many hours you take each semester. See UT Austin's tuition calculator for details.

4. What courses do I take for certification?

All UTeach students take the courses in our professional development sequence. Most students also take content courses (like biology, chemistry or mathematics)—though how much content varies. To get an idea of what you would need to take, check out the requirements on the Certifications page and see How Long Does Certification Take? You can take content courses work concurrently with the professional development sequence.

UTeach Accelerate students take all courses in a 2-semester sequence. See the UTeach Accelerate page for details.

5. Do I have to earn another undergraduate degree?

No, you do not need to earn another undergraduate degree in either education or in the content area (e.g. math, chemistry, biology, etc.).

6. Is certification part of a master’s program?

No, teacher certification in STEM fields is not an advanced degree. However, students seeking advanced degrees may also pursue teacher certification. The College of Education has a STEM Education Masters program, for example. All applications for advanced degrees go through the Graduate School.

7. What if I want to certify in an area outside of my undergraduate degree?

Texas Education Agency policy mandates a minimum of 15 hours in a STEM field in order to be admitted to an educator preparation program. 

If you do not have at least 15 hours in the certification area, you are encouraged to take courses at UT Austin (if you've been admitted) or your local community college. Use the Automated Transfer Equivalency page to locate courses that correspond to those required for certification. 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. 

Alternatively, you may take the Pre-Admission Content Test. Taking this test counts as 1 of 5 allowed attempts on the TExES content exam. 

8. Is there a GPA requirement?

To be admitted to and certified through the UTeach program or through UTeach Accelerate, students must have a 2.5 cumulative GPA. 

Content mastery is an important component of UTeach. It's always a good idea to make sure you have a solid foundation in your content area before taking upper-division courses.

9. What exams do I have to take for admission?

Under the following circumstances, you are not required to take any exams for admission to the UTeach program:

  • your undergraduate degree is from an accredited institution of higher education (IHE) in the United States
  • your undergraduate degree is from an accredited institution where the primary language of instruction is English
  • you hold an advanced degree from an accredited IHE in the United States

If your undergraduate degree is from an accredited IHE outside the U.S., the Texas Education Agency requires the TOEFL iBT with the following scores: 

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

10. What exams do I have to take and when do I take them?

You will take two exams:  Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities and another test corresponding to your certification area such as 7-12 Mathematics or 7-12 Science. You will not be authorized to take the exams until you are admitted to Apprentice Teaching, i.e. the student teaching semester. This means you will have earned a grade of at least a C- in almost all of the required UTeach courses, will have completed most of the courses in your content specialty, and are prepared for both exams. In the Apprentice Teaching seminar (UTS170), you will receive guidance on how to study for the exams, as well as more information about supporting materials. 

11. Will I be able to get a job?

The demand for math, science, and engineering teachers is still very high, not only in Texas, but across the U.S. UTeach has a strong placement record and high retention in the profession. It’s also a well-respected program nationwide—dozens of universities are starting UTeach programs across the country because our graduates are exceptional teachers. The UTeach program also supports students through the job search, with coaching on all aspects of the process, such as resume writing, best interview practices, etc. In addition, the UTeach program supports graduates through their first year of teaching with mentoring, professional development, and more.

12. Where can I get more information about the job market?

All students in the Student Teaching seminar receive the current Job Search Handbook for Educators, compiled by the American Association for Employment in Education. This publication annually reports on the demand for educators in certain areas, with educators in the STEM fields consistently among the most sought after. In addition, the United States Department of Labor publishes their Occupational Outlook Handbook, with a section for high school teachers. 

13. Where can I get more information about how well UTeach-prepared educators do once they start teaching?

The UTeach Natural Sciences program has kept data on our alums from the very beginning. Currently, the UTeach Institute, which manages replication of the UTeach model, publishes statistics about all UTeach programs. In addition, there are now independent studies confirming the efficacy of the UTeach model.