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Teacher Certification Program: Admission and Retention

In addition to fulfilling the university degree requirements, education majors and minors must meet Saint Joseph’s University and the Pennsylvania Department of Education requirements to be formally admitted to and retained in a teacher certification program. This is a three step process.

STEP 1: All education majors and minors must apply to the SJU Teacher Certification Program.

The first step is taken after completing fifteen courses and the required field experiences. Students may then make formal application to the SJU Teacher Certification Program. This usually occurs at the end of the fall semester of the sophomore year. To be accepted at this time, students must have an overall GPA of 3.0 or above. Students, who do not have this GPA at the time of application, may continue in the program with the expectation that they will achieve the required 3.0 GPA at some point prior to student teaching. An application and guidelines are available at the Office of Certification, Accreditation and Partnerships (OCAP) home page at

Consult with your academic advisor to complete the application.

By the time of the application, students must also have completed six credits in English and six credits in mathematics. In addition, they must have taken and successfully passed the first set of teacher exams, the PPST Praxis tests, in reading, writing, and mathematics. See below for more information regarding the Praxis examinations.

STEP 2: The second step involves application to the student teaching program. In order to student teach in the senior year, students must apply to the Office of Student Teaching during the year preceding student teaching placement according to the established deadlines. (See Office of Certification, Accreditation and Partnerships (OCAP) home page at for application and guidelines.) Students are encouraged to complete the remaining Praxis tests required for their area of certification prior to student teaching.

Students must complete the program with the same 3.0 GPA that is required for admission into the program (see above). A grade of C or higher in all Education courses is also required; students must retake any Education course for which they earn a grade lower than a C-. While courses in which a student earns a D or D+ will count toward graduation requirements, these courses will not be accepted as part of the teacher certification program.

Praxis Examinations

All education majors and minors must take and pass the PPST reading, writing and mathematics sections of Praxis I prior to admission into the SJU Teacher Certification Program. Students should be alert to the required Praxis II exams for their selected certification area(s). See for information on the Praxis testing requirements.