Chapter II: Certification Areas, Coursework, and The Portfolio

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UTeach is designed to assist students in becoming certified to teach math, science, computer science or engineering without adding any additional time at UT Austin. Students can major in one of our UTeach degrees in biology, chemistry, physics or computer science, or they can pursue any major at The University and complete our requirements for certification. 

Teaching majors take most of the same content courses as their peers in the same major, except that teaching students may take one or two professional development courses each semester. A UTeach advisor will go over teaching major requirements generally in the first advising session. Degree Requirement Checklists are available in the UTeach office in PAI 4.02 and on the UTeach website:


Certification Areas:

Middle School Certification (grades 4-8) 

See a UTeach Academic Advisor or go to for a list of specific content courses required for these teaching certificates. 
  • Mathematics (certified to teach math only)
  • Composite Science (certified to teach any of biology, chemistry, physics or geology)

High School Certification (grades 7-12 or grades 6-12 for MPSE)

See a UTeach Academic Advisor or go to for a list of specific content courses required for these teaching certificates.
  • Computer Science (certified to teach computer science only)
  •  Computer Science and Mathematics (certified to teach computer science and math)
  • Composite Science (certified to teach any of biology, chemistry, physics or geology)
  • Life Sciences (certified to teach biology only)
  • Mathematics (certified to teach math only)
  • Mathematics, Physical Science and Engineering (MPSE, certified to teach math, physics, chemistry and engineering)
  • Physical Science (certified to teach chemistry and physics only)
  • Physics/Math (certified to teach physics and math only)

NOTE: Student take the Professional Development Sequence in addition to content courses for their area of certification. A grade of at least a C- is required for all courses in the Professional Development Sequence AND content courses counting towards certification.


Pedagogy Training (Professional Development Sequence or PDS):

Prerequisites are enforced; students registered for a class for which they do not meet prerequisites will be dropped from that class. It is the student’s responsibility to check prerequisites on all classes. Advisors are available to help clarify any questions about prerequisites.

1. UTS 101 & 110: Step 1 and Step 2

The aim of these STEP courses is to attract students to careers in math & science teaching. Master teachers introduce students to examples of high-quality inquiry-based lessons and model the pedagogical concepts to which they are being introduced. In STEP 1 students prepare and teach 4 lessons in elementary classrooms, and in STEP 2 students prepare and teach 3 lessons in middle school classrooms.

Prerequisite:  For students with less than 90 hours: UTS 101-Step 1 must be taken before UTS 110-Step 2. Students with at least 90 hours (Seniors) should take Step 1 and Step 2 concurrently. See the UTeach Academic Advisor for further information about this restricted course.

2. EDC 365C: Knowing and Learning

This course expands the prospective teacher's understanding of current theories of learning and conceptual development. Students examine their own assumptions about learning. They critically examine the needs of a diverse student population in the classroom.

Prerequisite: Students must have credit or be registered for UTS 101-Step 1 or UTS 110- Step 2 in order to take Knowing and Learning (EDC 365C).

3. EDC 365D: Classroom Interactions

This course moves from a focus on thinking and learning to a focus on teaching and learning. Prospective teachers are introduced to the way in which curriculum and technology are used in classroom settings to build interrelationships among teachers and students. They are taught how content and pedagogy combine to make effective teaching.

Prerequisites: Students must earn a C- or better in UTS 101-Step 1, in UTS 110-Step 2, and EDC 365C Knowing and Learning in Math and Science, AND have at least a 2.5 GPA in order to take Classroom Interactions (EDC 365D).

4. EDC 365E: Project-Based Instruction

In this course, students aim to master new technologies for problem-based investigations in math and science classrooms. Students also discuss the use of assessment to improve student learning. Students teach project-based lessons to high school students.

Prerequisites: Students must earn a C- or better in Classroom Interactions and have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA.

5. EDC 651S: Student Teaching

Students are immersed in the schools to prepare them to confidently assume a teaching position. In the seminar, students reflect on their student teaching experiences and examine contemporary critical issues in education.


  • EDC 365E with a grade of C- or better
  • Research Methods with a grade of C- or better
  • Perspectives with a grade of C- or better
  • A passing score on the preliminary portfolio
  • A cumulative UT GPA of 2.5
  • An application. Apply here:
    • Spring Apprentice Teachers must apply by October 1.
    • Fall Apprentice Teachers must apply by March 1.
    • Students will receive an email invitation to their student teaching semester. A positive response is a requirement for admission.
  • Attend an orientation session in the semester before you intend to Apprentice Teach. For further details and to sign up for the mandatory Apprentice Teaching orientation, students must reply to an email from the Student Teacher Coordinator, Pamela Powell.

The deadlines for the application and attendance at an orientation session are firm due to the degree of coordination and planning required; students who miss this deadline or who do not attend an orientation will have to postpone student teaching by at least one semester.

6. UTS 170: Special Topics Seminar

Students reflect on their student teaching experiences and examine contemporary critical issues in education.

Prerequisite: Concurrent registration for EDC 651S: Student Teaching and an overall UT GPA of 2.5.


Supporting Coursework

7. BIO 337 / CH 368 / PHY 341: Research Methods

Students perform four independent inquiries and learn to combine skills from mathematics and science in order to solve research problems.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing (60 credit hours).

8. HIS/PHL 329U: Perspectives

Faculty in History and Philosophy introduce students to the historical, social, and philosophical implications of mathematics and science through investigations of five significant episodes in science history.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing (60 credit hours).


Preliminary Portfolio

For the portfolio, save everything from Step I, Step II, Knowing & Learning, Classroom Interactions, Project Based Instruction, Research Methods, and Perspectives; you’ll be glad you did. You can store documents in the portfolio system itself or in UTBox. Either way, you get a lot of space.

Each student in the UTeach program generates a teaching portfolio, a purposeful collection of work arranged to demonstrate their successful preparation for certification. Portfolios are jointly reviewed by qualified secondary educators in the certification area. A satisfactory review of the preliminary portfolio is required prior to enrollment in student teaching. In some cases, revisions may be required, but a passing score on the preliminary portfolio review is an absolute requirement for formal admission to student teaching candidacy. The final portfolio review is a portion of the grade in the Student Teaching Seminar (UTS 170) and a passing score is required for recommendation for certification.

Preliminary Portfolio Submission Process

Students usually submit a portfolio during the semester they take Project Based Instruction. The portfolio must receive a passing score prior to enrollment in student teaching.

Portfolio evaluators may require the resubmission of one or more sections. Revisions must be submitted and receive a passing score in order to advance into student teaching. In cases where the portfolio does not receive a passing score, a delay in student teaching may be required.

Portfolio Due Dates

The due date varies by semester, but is typically shortly before the Thanksgiving break in the fall and toward the end of April in the spring. Check the portfolio page for updates.
The portfolio deadlines are firm. Only those students with a passing score on the preliminary portfolio will be allowed to register for Student Teaching.
The final portfolio is due as a part of the Student Teaching Seminar (UTS 170). The instructors of the Seminar will tell you the exact due date.
For more information on portfolios, visit our website at