Certification Information & Resources

New York State teachers, administrators, and pupil personnel service providers are required to hold a New York State certificate in order to be employed in the state’s public schools. The certificates are issued by the Office of Teaching Initiatives, and certify that an individual has completed the required degree, coursework, fieldwork experiences and certification exam requirements.
All undergraduate and graduate teacher preparation programs at the Pace University School of Education lead to teacher certification in New York State. This page, and others in this certification section, will provide you with information and resources regarding the teacher certification process at the Pace University School of Education, including the requirements to be recommended for certification, the required examinations and suggested resources to aid in your preparation for the exams.

The New York State Certification process (applications, etc.) is centralized through the State’s TEACH system, accessible via: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/apply.html  We recommend that you register with the TEACH system when you begin your program at Pace.


For more information about certification in New York State, you may access a helpful webinar produced by the CUNY (City University of New York) Office of Academic Affairs as part of the CUNY Teacher Education Preparation series, which include short videos (ranging in duration from 12-16 minutes) about important topics related to certification. You may access the video of the Webinar “Getting Certified in New York State” via YouTube or view the presentation. We are grateful to the CUNY Office of Academic Affairs for allowing us to share these resources with our candidates at Pace University.

For more information about certification, please contact  Karen Ferro, Senior Staff Associate, or Dr. Annjanet Woodburn, Associate Dean, in Wright Cottage (Westchester Campus) at (914) 773-3872.

Teacher Certification Requirements

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) requires teachers to obtain certification before they can teach.  It is the candidate's responsibility to stay current on deadlines for graduation, NYSTCE, certification applications, and requirements. The steps to become recommended for certification by the Pace University School of Education involve the following, and are detailed below:

A.  Programs & Academic Preparation

B.  Workshops

C.  Certification Examinations

D.  Applying For Your Certificate

E.  Fingerprinting

F.  Teaching in Other States

G.  FAQs


A. Programs & Academic Preparation

The following undergraduate and graduate teacher preparation programs at the Pace University School of Education lead to teacher certification in New York State:

  • BA in Adolescent Education and Childhood Education (leads to recommendation for the Initial Certificate)
  • BA/MSEd in Adolescent Education or Childhood Education and Literacy Specialist, Educational Technology Specialist, or Special Education (leads to recommendation for the Initial and Professional Certificates)
  • MST in Adolescent Education, Childhood Education, Childhood and Childhood Special Education, Early Childhood Development, Learning & Intervention, Inclusive Adolescent Education, or TESOL (leads to recommendation for the Initial and Professional Certificates)
  • MSEd in Educational Leadership-Leading to Learning, Educational Leadership-School District Business Leader, Educational Technology Specialist, Literacy Education, or Special Education (leads to recommendation for the Initial and Professional Certificates)
  • Advanced Certificates in Adolescent Special Education, Bilingual Education, Childhood Special Education, Educational Technology Specialist, Literacy Specialist, or TESOL (leads to recommendation for the Initial and Professional Certificates)
  • With additional coursework, candidates may be eligible for Middle School and Bilingual Education Extensions.

Recommendation for certification is based upon program completion, that is, graduation from a program. Program completion means:

  • completing all liberal arts and sciences coursework
  • content coursework
  • education pedagogical coursework
  • fieldwork
  • student teaching/practicum
  • workshops in Child Abuse Identification, Violence Prevention, and Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)
  • conferral of degree

Candidates must also provide documentation of successful completion of the New York State Teaching Certification Exams.


B. Workshops

All candidates are required to complete three workshops for program completion (graduation) and certification:

  • Child Abuse Identification Workshop The content for this workshop is offered through TCH 211A, a required course in each candidate's program (undergraduate and graduate).
  • SAVE/School Violence Prevention Workshop The content for this workshop is offered through TCH 211A, a required course in each candidate's program (undergraduate and graduate).
  • DASA (Dignity for All Students Act) Workshop The content for this workshop is offered through TCH 211D, a required course in each candidate's program (undergraduate and graduate).

If you complete these required workshops outside of Pace University, you need to provide the documentation to the Pace University School of Education for program completion (graduation) and certification.

Contact your adviser for registration in the required courses to complete these workshops.


C.  Certification Examinations

Candidates for certification must achieve qualifying scores on the appropriate tests in the New York State Teacher Certification Examination (NYSTCE) program. Visit http://www.nystce.nesinc.com for information about registration, required tests, locations and times, and whether the test is paper-based or computer-based.

Visit our Certification Examination section which includes resource pages for each exam: the edTPA, EAS, ALST and CSTs.

The test preparation guides from the NYSTCE are available HEREClick here for information about registering for your exams online. For more information about the NYSTCE program in general, please check http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/faqtests.html


D. Applying For Your Certificate

Applying for certification is done online using the TEACH System via the Office of Teaching Initiatives Web site at www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/teach
  • Create a TEACH login and password at the New York State Directory Services site.  Instructions are provided as you go though this process.  Once you have created your login and password this step is completed and you never have to repeat this process. (If you forget your password, there's a self-service feature for students to retrieve their TEACH Account User IDs and Passwords with no waiting for email responses. Simply click on "USERNAME go to" or "PASSWORD to go" on this link: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/teach/report.html)
  • Once creation of user login and password is complete, you then log into the TEACH system and apply for certificate(s).
  • Complete the Application:
    • Complete the education information—Information will be provided to candidates regarding Program Codes.
    • Apply for the appropriate certificate
    • Pay for certificate. The cost of each certificate is $50.

Please note: You can only use the specific Program Code that corresponds to your registered degree, program and campus at Pace University. If you have questions about your program or Program Code, please contact Nancy Campoverde (New York City) at 212-618-6957 or Karen Ferro (Westchester) at 914-773-3872.

Candidates in our Alternative Certification program in New York City should use these Program Codes. If you are in an Alternative Certification Program on our New York City campus, and you have questions about your Program Codes, please contact Nancy Campoverde at 212-618-6957.

Types of Certificates

  1. Initial Certificate- The Initial Certificate is the entry-level certificate for classroom teachers, issued in specific subject/grade titles, and the entry-level certificate for School Building Leader (SBL). To earn the Initial Certificate, candidates must complete specific coursework, workshops and related requirements including New York State Tests and fingerprint clearance. This certificate is valid for 5 years from the date of issuance and leads to the Professional Certificate.
  2. Professional Certificate- The Professional Certificate is the advanced-level certificate for classroom teachers (issued in specific subject/grade titles) and School Building Leaders. The Professional Certificate is required to continue teaching in New York. Earning the Professional Certificate requires a master's degree, and three (3) years of full-time, paid teaching experience. This certificate is continuously valid with completion of state-mandated professional development on a 5-year cycle.   
  3. Extension (subject)- A certificate attached to a regular base certificate, authorizing the holder to teach an additional student population, grade, or subject not authorized by the base certificate. Extensions are not free-standing, they may be attached to multiple base certificates. The extension is valid as long as the base certificate remains valid.
  4. Internship Certificate- A certificate issued to a student in a registered or approved graduate teacher education program, permitting the holder to serve an internship in a public school. Issued at the request of a college or university, provided that the student has completed one-half of the program's semester hour requirement and has guaranteed employment in a school district. The certificate is maintained electronically in the TEACH system, no actual paper certificate is generated. The Internship Certificate is valid for two years and is not renewable.
  5. Transitional B Certificate- First-level teaching certificate issued to permit the employment of an individual who is enrolled in an alternative teacher certification program. The Transitional B, also called the Trans B, is tied to the school placement. Issued in classroom teaching titles. This certificate is maintained electronically in the TEACH system, no actual paper certificate is generated. The Trans B is valid for three (3) years while the individual is matriculated in an alternative program and leads to the Initial Certificate.


E. Fingerprinting

New York State law requires that the Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability conduct fingerprint supported criminal history background checks for applicants for certification and all prospective employees of school districts, charter schools and BOCES. Fingerprint clearance may be required for fieldwork  and student teaching placements. For more information about the fingerprinting requirement process, visit http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tsei/ospra/.

For more information about the fingerprinting requirement for fieldwork and student teaching, please contact the Director of School Partnerships for your campus:

  • Westchester— Frank Deluca at (914) 773-3802 or email
  • New York City—Pat Kobetts at (212) 346-1501 or email


F. Teaching in Other States

Interstate Reciprocity
According to the NYSED, “New York State has interstate contracts with more than 30 other states and jurisdictions for classroom teaching certificates.” Those wishing to teach in states other than New York should check with that state’s Education Department for information on each state's reciprocity agreement with New York, as well as any additional courses or exams required by that state.

Out-of-State Verification
Those seeking employment as teachers in states other than New York should bring or send the out-of-state verification forms to Karen Ferro in School of Education Administration (Wright Cottage) for the signature of the Certification Officer and the university seal. (Note that an original signature is sometimes required.)

If you are a teacher with valid certification in another state
Teachers holding valid certification in other states may apply to the NYSED for the issuance of a Conditional certificate in the State of New York through Interstate Reciprocity, provided the subject area and grade level are comparable to a NYS certificate. In addition to possessing a valid certificate from another state, New York requires the completion of an approved teacher education program that is comparable to New York State requirements or three years of satisfactory teaching experience within the previous seven years under a qualifying certificate in a subject area and grade level comparable to a NYS certificate. For more information regarding the acceptibility of your state's certificate in New York, please visit: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/levelcert.html





For more information about Certification, please contact  Linda Guyette Hamell, Director of Student Support Services and Certification Officer, 914-773-3571, lhamell@pace.edu or Karen Ferro, Senior Staff Associate, 914-773-3872, kferro@pace.edu.