Certification Exams (TExES) and Practice Testing

For candidates to be eligible to take the Texas Examination of Educator Standards (TExES), they must have completed the approved certification program requirements for each examination they wish to take. Individuals should consult with the Certification Officer requiring exam approval requirements.

Applying for Teacher Certification

Teacher Certification Applications are completed online on the TEA website after all required certification tests are passed.  Once submitted, TEA will make the application available to the UNTD Certification Officer. The Certification Officer will recommend the certification application to TEA once ALL state and local requirements have been met. 

Requirements for Texas Teacher Certification

Candidates desiring Texas Teacher Certification at the levels of are required to complete the following procedures:

  • Complete the Emerging Teacher Institute
  • Graduate (or already possess a Bachelor's degree)
  • Pass all appropriate certification exams (content and pedagogy)
  • Apply for certification with TEA
  • Submit fingerprints and pass a national background check

Required Fingerprinting of Applicants for Certification

TEA requires that applicants for a Texas certification must be fingerprinted through their contracted DPS vendor unless the applicant currently resides outside Texas, and is unable to utilize a Texas location of the vendor.  For further information click: TEA Fingerprinting.

  • A fee of $39.50 is required for processing of fingerprints though DPS, FBI and TEA. TEA requires all applicants for certification and all certified educators required to be fingerprinted under TEC Chapter 22, Subchapter C to pay this fingerprinting fee online.
  • An additional fee of $9.95 is paid to the vendor at the time of appointment. This fee is assessed for scanning of prints.
  • A FAST Fingerprint Pass is issued to the applicant/educator by TEA once online payment has been made; a fingerprinting appointment cannot be scheduled without this document in hand. This document, along with a valid photo ID must be presented at the time of appointment.
  • Fingerprinting results are received by TEA typically 3-5 days after the appointment.
  • Digital fingerprinting through the vendor is offered at over 80 locations currently. For a list of current sites, click: Vendor Sites

Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation of Educator Certification Candidates

A Request for Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation is a non-mandatory, non-binding evaluation of an individual’s self-reported criminal history, by the agency’s educator investigations staff. The evaluation is a service provided to the requestor for a non-refundable fee made by credit card. The requestor will receive a preliminary criminal history evaluation letter by email from the agency advising the requestor of a determination of potential ineligibility for educator certification. The evaluation is based solely on the information that is provided by the requestor. Participation in the evaluation will not preclude you from being required to submit to a national criminal history review at the time you apply for your educator certification. This means you will be required to be fingerprinted and to pay the applicable fees at that time. Your criminal history will be reviewed at that time and you may be subject to an investigation based on that criminal history, including any relevant information regarding the criminal history evaluated that you failed to submit for evaluation. For further information or to request this service, please visit the TEA website.