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Testing & Certification Information

(Looking for test preparation materials? Keep reading!)

How do I get certified?

In order to be certified in the state of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Department of Education requires that educators:

  • graduate from a recognized educator preparation program
  • maintain at least a 3.0 GPA
  • complete a semester of student teaching
  • receive a passing score on the PDE 430 forms during the student teaching semester
  • pass approved certification tests in their content areas
  • apply for certification through the TIMS portal

What tests do I need to take to be certified?

As an educator, it is your professional responsibility to meet these requirements and be knowledgeable on the PDE's expectations for your certification testing

How do I access test preparation materials?

The certification tests for PA educators can be daunting, but there are numerous free and paid resources available to you. This document created by the OPPEO has a variety of materials organized by your educator preparation program, with additional materials, organized by testing company below. 

How do I apply for certification?

It is important to remember Teacher Certification is granted through the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and is separate from your graduation from Shippensburg University. The certification process is a very important step for your future.

Once you have passed your tests and met the aforementioned  requirements, you must apply for certification in the TIMS portal, which contains a myriad of resources, contacts, and instructions. Read this page, along with this one, thoroughly before beginning your application.

  • The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) requires all certification applications to be submitted through an online application process.  You can create an account and obtain a PPID at any time. 
    • The application fee is typically $200. If you make an error and PDE cancels your application, you will be refunded.
    • Once you submit an application, it can sit in the portal for one year before it "times out" and you money is refunded. So if you have a module or 2 to pass--you can still submit your application ahead of time.
    • NOTE: Your initial certification application should be for your major(s) area only. You may apply for additional certification after the initial certification has been granted by PDE.

  • Submitting your application online will ensure that your application is in PDE's system immediately.
  • Failure to complete all questions submitted to PDE could cause a delay in processing your application. 
    • Be sure to complete ALL parts of the online application, including your affiliation with Shippensburg University and that you have graduated (or will be graduating) from an educator preparation program at Ship. Do NOT list other institutions and do NOT list student teaching as teaching experience.
  • Shippensburg's role in your application process is to: 

    1. Provide you with an education in your certification area. This is known as an educator preparation program.
    2. Prepare you for the career by giving you diverse field experiences and access to the dynamic changes in research, codes, and laws. 
    3. Verify that you completed an educator preparation program and are eligible for certification
    4. Recommend you for a teaching certificate based on your good moral character
  • You will submit your application once degrees are conferred, which could take several weeks after graduation. Once you have submitted your application, you can periodically check the status through TIMS. PDE does not print teaching certificates. It is your responsibility, once approved, to log in to TIMS and print your certificate. 
  • Contact information for Certification Services with the Pennsylvania Department of Education can be found  on PDE’s web page Contact Certification Services. Certification Staff are currently available by phone Monday – Friday 8:00 am-4:00pm and can be reached at (717) 787-3356. You may also email questions to:
  • If PDE requires additional information to process your application, it should be mailed, along with your cover sheet that includes the bar code to the address below. Note that recently, they have been allowing some form of documentation to be added into the TIMS portal dashboard:


    HARRISBURG PA 17126-0333

How do I apply for certification in another state?

Upon graduating and becoming certified, many educators leave Shippensburg to teach in other states. You MUST get your PA certification FIRST, then transfer it to another state.

The list below contains direct links to various state education agency's instructions regarding out-of-state certifications. If you need assistance with this, contact the OPPEO.

Contact the College of Education and Human Services Shippen Hall (352-360) 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1373 Fax: (717) 477-4012