Alternative Teacher Certification

Let's Get Started

Applying to Rice University's accelerated path to certification means you are motivated to launch into a meaningful career with exponential impact beyond a classroom. We are here to support you at every step - starting with the application process.


Your Application in Three Steps




To get started, request your unofficial transcripts from your college or university's registrar office and send them to Review the prerequisites required to apply to the Alternative Teacher Certification program.




We recommend reaching out to a member of our team or attending a free information session to learn about the student experience and program outcomes.




Complete the online application and submit the supplemental materials. Reach out to us with any questions.


Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college. Applicants should also meet the criteria outlined below.

GRE is not required for Rice's Alternative Teacher Certification program. If you have questions regarding your eligibility based on GPA or content hours, please contact a member of our team directly by emailing to discuss alternate options.

Important Dates

New cohorts will begin their coursework in the spring or the summer semesters and complete the program the following spring semester.

Application Requirements

Applications take time. We recommend beginning the process early, which means understanding the materials required to successfully position yourself for admittance into the program. Give yourself sufficient time to prepare your application materials and request and receive official transcripts and letters of recommendation. We estimate this process can take several weeks. Our team is available to help with any questions that may arise as you work on your application.

The following materials must be submitted by the application deadline to be considered for admission:

  • Alternative Teacher Certification Application
  • Three letters of reference
    Must be professional or academic
    Includes recommender evaluation form
  • Statement of Intent
  • Preliminary Criminal background check/Fingerprinting (optional) - See further details in the Additional Details tab
  • Official transcript(s) from all university studies. Transcripts should come directly from the issuing college to the Rice Education Department
  • Application Fee ($85)

Notes on the Plan of Study

Field Observations 30 (minimum)
Professional Education Coursework 180
Internship Fall Semester 90
Internship Spring Semester 45

Passing of the content exam is necessary to secure a teaching position for the internship and for approval of teaching certificates.

Passing of edTPA test and the completion of your first year of teaching with principal approval for your continued work as a teacher are necessary for approval for standard teacher certification.

Details on Fingerprinting & Criminal Background Checks

Candidates will not be issued either a probationary or a standard teaching certificate from the State of Texas without the fingerprinting/criminal background check. Candidates may apply for the criminal background check prior to submitting an application into an educational preparation program, but must be done prior to being on any school campus with the program. If the results of the process are unsatisfactory, the candidate may petition the TEA for reconsideration of the results.

For further information about preliminary checks:

A school district may deny the placement of a participant with a criminal background.

Criminal history record information includes both conviction and arrest records. The State of Texas (by House Bill 1508 in 2017) the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) require that an educator preparation program inform all certification program applicants and candidates about the State’s rules on criminal background checks from the Texas Occupations Code Chapter 53, the Texas Education Code Chapter 22.0831 and the Texas Administrative Code, Part VII, Chapter 227, Subchapter B. For further information about criminal history checks see TEA’s Investigations web page:

Additional Resources

For additional resources, please visit our Alternative Teacher Certification Frequently Asked Questions page.

Non-Discrimination Statement
Rice University seeks to attract to its faculty, staff and student body qualified persons of diverse backgrounds. In accordance with this policy, Rice does not discriminate in admissions, educational programs, or employment against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or veteran status.


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