Applying for Professional Certification that Does Not Match Your Master's Degree

Follow these directions if:

  • You need professional certification but your master’s degree in in another subject. For example, your undergraduate degree is in early childhood education, and you want professional early childhood certification but your master’s is in a different age group/subject.
  • You have initial physical education certification and your master’s program was in sports management.

You cannot use an undergraduate degree for professional certification. You can use a master’s degree for professional certification if it’s accepted according to this information.

Check the requirements. If you have an initial certificate in the same subject/age group, and a master’s degree in another age group subject, check the list for professional certification under the heading “Certificate Progression.”

If you do not have an initial certificate in the same subject/age group, you can contact the certification officer for specific instructions based on your situation.

If you do not have the experience or other requirements needed for professional certification, you can apply for a time extensioninitial reissuance (for teaching titles) or provisional renewal (for school counseling and school psychology titles).

Information on the master’s degree requirement for professional certification.

Transcripts Needed

The New York State Department of Education (NYSED) Office of Teaching Initiatives (OTI) will need to check your transcripts, including transfer credits. If you sent your transcripts to OTI yourself within the last three years, they should still be on file at OTI and should be used for all applications during that time.

Work Experience Verification

If you have professional certification already or not, if your employer did not send in a work experience form previously, it is now needed. For experience completed within the state of New York, the preferred method for an employer to verify it is by entering a Superintendent Statement onto TEACH. If the employer cannot enter a Superintendent Statement, they need to send the appropriate “Verification of Paid Experience” form.

Mentored experience requirement: If you worked in a NYCDOE school, you can e-mail the NYCDOE Certification Office to request that they send your mentored experience information to the state. They will need to know your file number.

After you have your first professional certificate, the experience requirement should be satisfied for any future professional classroom teaching certificate applications. Currently, individuals who hold more than one Initial certificate may combine teaching experience gained under each of their certificates to satisfy the experience requirement for the professional certificate. Check experience requirements.

Pay for Your Certification Application

Log in to your TEACH account.

Complete and pay for an application for your professional certification area.

For “Educational Preparation for this application only,” do not enter a program code. Instead, select “No, I have not completed, nor am I enrolled in, an Approved Teacher Preparation Program at a New York State College or University for this certificate and this type.”

If you have an initial certificate in the same subject/age group, your pathway/application type needs to be “Certificate Progression.”

If you do not have an initial certificate in the same subject/age group, and you have an initial certificate in another age group/ subject, you can contact the Certification Officer for specific instructions based on your situation.

What’s Next

Monitor your TEACH account, and check your application status. Allow approximately 16 weeks for an evaluation of your documents and information.

Brooklyn. All in.