UMKC Catalog


Recommendation for Teacher Certification

Although the School of Education may recommend persons for certification to teach in Missouri, the requirements for certification are determined by the state. The State of Missouri requires that any individual seeking to be a teacher complete an accredited college or university's teacher education program. Individuals seeking certification must meet the program requirements established by UMKC as approved and accredited by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education regardless of previously completed college coursework. Post-baccalaureate students are encouraged to consider entering the field of education but should be prepared to complete the specific content area and professional education courses required for certification.

In cooperation with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, UMKC is responsible for recommending students and alumni for teacher certification. Requests for certification are initiated by students. The School of Education will also make recommendations to other state's departments of education.

The certification and data manager in the School of Education Student Services Office serves as a certification officer for teachers, counselors and administrators at UMKC.

Information for Missouri certification can be accessed on-line at Certification application materials and information for Kansas can be obtained directly from the state at Students should apply for certification early in their final semester to prevent delay in receiving the certificate. Institutional recommendations for certification are made only for students who have completed a UMKC School of Education degree or the equivalent in the appropriate certification area. To establish a basis for the institutional recommendation, all students who do not earn a degree at UMKC, who are seeking an additional endorsement to teach, administer, or counsel, must take at least 12 hours of coursework planned with an adviser in the School of Education.

Most states, including Missouri and Kansas, have additional testing requirements for certification. It is the student's responsibility to obtain this information and satisfy those testing requirements prior to applying for certification. In addition, the states of Missouri and Kansas require that all candidates for certification submit fingerprints to be used for state and national background checks before any certificate is issued.

On completion of the appropriate degree, recommendation for Missouri* certification can be achieved in the following areas:


  • Early Childhood Teacher (birth-3rd grade), B.A. early childhood education
  • Elementary Teacher (1-6), B.A. elementary education
  • Middle School Teacher (5-9), B.A. middle school education/subject area specialty (language arts, mathematics, science and social studies)
  • Secondary Teacher (9-12), B.A. secondary education/subject matter specialty: English, mathematics, science (requires an emphasis in biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics), unified science (requires an emphasis in biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics), and social studies.
  • Teacher (K-12), B.M.E. (Bachelor of Music Education) music education/choral/instrumental; B.A. secondary education:  foreign language (French, German, Spanish), Art
  • School Counselor (1-8), M.A. counseling and guidance/elementary
  • School Counselor (7-12), M.A. counseling and guidance/secondary
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (K-12), M.A. curriculum and instruction/TESOL
  • Principal (K-8) M.A. educational administration/elementary (initial); Ed.S. educational administration/elementary (advanced)
  • Principal (7-12) M.A. educational administration/secondary (initial); Ed.S. educational administration/secondary (advanced)
  • Middle Level Principal (5-9), M.A. educational administration
  • Special Reading Teacher (K-12), M.A., Ed.S. reading education
  • Mild/Moderate Cross-Categorical disabilities(K-12), M.A. special education
  • Superintendency, Ed.S. educational administration

* Kansas and other state's certification subjects and levels are similar. Contact the School of Education Student Services Office for information.

Provisional Certification

The State of Missouri allows individuals who hold a bachelor's degree to be provisionally certified to teach provided the individual is within 12 credit hours of completing a teacher certification program. The Missouri school district that wishes to employ such an individual for a teaching position must complete its segment of the on-line application before an academic contract is written and endorsed by the School of Education.  

Criminal Record Check

Missouri State law requires all persons working in the public schools to have passed a criminal background check as done by the FBI and Missouri Highway Patrol. Students applying for teacher certification will have to request an FBI background check from DESE. Forms and instructions are available directly from DESE ( or in the Student Services Office. 


State of Missouri Grade-Point Average Requirement

All persons certified to teach in public elementary middle, and secondary schools in Missouri, except for non-academic vocational and 45- and 90-day substitute teachers, must have an overall 2.5 GPA or higher (on a 4.0 scale).


Missouri Certification Testing

Missouri has established a requirement that all prospective teachers must take a competency examination prior to certification. All students must pass the Praxis II Specialty Area Test appropriate to their field of study prior to graduation for certification in Missouri. All test results must be sent directly to the UMKC School of Education. Passing scores have been established by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Contact the School of Education Student Services Office for more information.