Teacher Certification


This section is designed to help you find information for your specific situation. Additional certification questions should be directed to PDE's Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality at (717) 787-3356.

Certification Map - A project from USC to compile certification requirements for every U.S. state

In Pennsylvania, certifications exist for music and visual arts. Dance exists under the umbrella of health and physical education, and theater under either communications or language arts (English).


I want to become certified to teach art or music in Pennsylvania...


...and I am currently a high school student or a high school graduate without a bachelor's degree. What do I need to do now?

...and I am currently a college student majoring in art or music education. What are my next steps?

...and I am a college graduate with a degree in art or music education. What do I do to become certified?

...and I am certified to teach another subject. How do I become certified in art or music?

...and I currently work in a field other than education. What are my options?

I want to become certified to teach dance or theatre in Pennsylvania...


...and I am currently a high school student or a high school graduate without a bachelor's degree. What do I need to do now?

...and I am currently a college student majoring in health & physical education or English/communications. What are my next steps?

...and I am a college graduate with a degree in health & physical education or English/communications. What do I do to become certified?

...and I am certified to teach another subject. How do I become certified in dance or theatre?

...and I currently work in a field other than education. What are my options?



Required background clearances


Anyone having direct contact with students (student teachers, teachers, school staff, etc.) must undergo a state criminal record check, federal criminal record check and child abuse history clearance. At the time of employment, the clearances must be no more than 1 year old. To get more state-specific information on clearances, visit the Act 34/151 section of PDE's website.



CSPGs (Certification and Staffing Policy Guidelines)


These documents are issued by PDE to assist school officials with staffing and policy issues.

Dance (Health and Physical Education) - HealthandPhysicalEducation CSPG.pdf

Music - Music CSPG.pdf

Theater (Communications) - Communications CSPG.pdf
Theater (English) - English CSPG.pdf

Visual Arts - Art CSPG.pdf