Certification Assistance for School of Education Alumni

PA Certification 

IMPORTANT: The certification application system has moved to an online system called TIMS (Teacher Information Management System).You are now required to apply online through TIMS. Please see the following information about applying through TIMS:

  • Register on the PDE website, if you have not done so already.  You will not be able to apply in TIMS until 24 hours after you register on the PDE website. TIMS log-in & registration instructions
  • Apply in TIMS: Instructions and Powerpoint Tutorial (It is best to have both documents open when applying)
  • Please make sure to select Duquesne as your "Educator Preparation Program" and to assign your application to Dr. Melissa Boston for review. Also, select "yes" to the 2 questions that ask for Duquesne to have permission to view your application
  • You do not need to fill out the work experience section unless you are applying for an Administrative, Supervisory, or Letter of Eligibility certification
  • Once we review your online application, we will submit them to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. After you submit your application, you can track the progress in TIMS--as per PDE, please allow at least  7-9 weeks for certification approval. PDE will no longer provide hard copies of your certification, but you will be able to print it out once it has been approved.

Placeholder Letter Request Form (If you have any questions, please call 412.396.6093)

Instructional Add-On Certification

PDE website

PK4 Certificate Holders Only - Grades 5-6 Add-On Option

Interested PreK-4 teacher preparation candidates may take two modules:

  • The Grades 4-8: Module 2 - English Language Arts & Social Studies (Praxis Code 5154
  • The Grades 4-8: Module 3 - Mathematics & Science (Praxis Code 5155
  • Candidates may take these modules during or after the PK-4 program and apply for them simultaneously, but the evaluation of the Grades Prek-4 requirements will be evaluated first and the Grades 5-6 add-on certificate will only be granted once the PK-4 certificate is approved. 
  • Certification Testing information can be found on PDE's website

Behavioral Specialist License Instructions and Process

If you are seeking verification of training to meet the Pennsylvania Behavioral Specialist license requirements, visit the Pennsylvania Licensing System (PALS) site for the instructions as this process is through the State Board of Medicine.

Duquesne will determine the course specific training based on your transcripts. See the Verification of Training for the BSC chart for the equivalent Duquesne courses that meet training requirements.

Certification Testing

Below are the testing requirements for all programs that are offered at Duquesne University.  Please check with your Academic Advisor as to when you are to take each test.  Required scores can be found at the link provided. NOTE: Graduate Students who are in Instructional I and Educational Specialist programs (School Counseling, School Psychology and Instructional Technology) are not required to take the Basic Skills Tests.  

Pennsylvania Department of Education Testing Requirements

Program Testing Requirement (Passing Scores in parentheses)
Business, Computers & Information Technology PK-12
Early Level (PreK-4) Education
  • Basic Skills Testing
  • PECT PreK-4 (3 Modules, Module 1:  197, Module 2:  193, Module 3:  193) (www.pa.nesinc.com)
Middle Level (4-8) Education
Secondary (7-12) Education- Social Studies
Secondary (7-12) Education- English
Secondary (7-12) Education- Mathematics
Secondary (7-12) Education- Biology
Secondary (7-12) Education- Chemistry
Secondary (7-12) Education- Physics
K-12 Education- Latin
Special Education N-12 (*For old PDE Program.  Please consult Program to determine if this is applicable. )
Special Education (PreK-8 or 7-12)
  • Special Education PreK-8 Battery (8011 and 8012; 220 on both) and Special Education 7-12 Battery (8015 and 8016; 220 on both) (www.pa.nesinc.com)
Reading and Language Arts
Instructional Technology
  • No Content Test Required
School Counseling
School Psychologist
Music Education
Speech-Language Pathology 
Principal or Vocational Director
Superintendent:  Letter of Eligibility
Supervisor or Vocational Supervisor

Out-of-State Certification

The interstate agreement, arranged by NASDTEC, is a collection of over 50 individual agreements by states and Canadian provinces. Each individual "agreement" is a statement by that state or jurisdiction outlining which other states' educator certificates will be accepted by that state. Specifically, the agreement outlines which particular types of educator certificates (teachers, administrators, service personnel, or career/technical), and which particular styles of certifications (titles, fields, etc.) will be accepted.

What it is not:
It is not a collection of 2-way agreements of reciprocal acceptance. For example, although Georgia affirms with its agreement that it will accept certificates from Connecticut, this acceptance in no way implies that Connecticut will accept Georgia certificates.

It is not a guarantee that all certificate titles will be accepted by a receiving state. For example, in the "sending" state you may hold a "temporary" or "provisional" certificate which is excluded from the agreement signed by the "receiving" state. In such a case, the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement provides no help toward your receipt of a certificate in the "receiving" state.

It is not necessarily "full" reciprocity. The educator may have to complete additional requirements, such as coursework, assessments, or classroom experience, before receiving a full professional certificate in the new state.

Visit the state's Department of Education website for the current certification requirements and application instructions.