Educator Certification: Approved Areas
Overview: Approved subject areas are added to Standard Professional, International Teaching, Alternative Teaching, or Classroom-Based Standard Teaching certificates in elementary education, middle grades education, secondary education, or special education (Birth-grade 12 or K-12) and authorize the holder to teach the subject area in a departmentalized (single subject) classroom within the grade range of the prerequisite certificate.
Approved areas are renewed automatically with the certificate to which they are attached. Requirements may be subject to change and are fully referenced in the Arizona Revised Statutes and Administrative Code R7-2-607; R-2-601.01; R7-2-301; R7-2-302; R7-2-621.
Out-of-state certificate: A valid, comparable teaching certificate in good standing with the approved area in another state follow this link for information and steps to apply under reciprocity.
To qualify for this certificate applicants must hold a prerequisite certificate and meet one of the subject knowledge requirements listed under Required Degree, Coursework or Exam.
A formal review is required to verify that all requirements have been met. Please visit the "How to Submit Official Documents" below for the proper submission of the required documents. Failure to submit documents as described could cause a delay in the processing of the application.
- Application: A completed Application for Certification.
- Fee: The required fee is $60. Per Board-rule, certification fees are non-refundable.
- AZDPS IVP Card: A valid Arizona DPS IVP Fingerprint Clearance Card.
- Prerequisite Certificate: The applicant holds a valid Arizona Standard Professional, International Teaching, Alternative Teaching, or Classroom-Based Standard Teaching certificate in elementary education, middle grades education, secondary education, or special education (Birth-grade 12 or K-12).
- Documentation of Subject Knowledge Proficiency: Proof that you meet the subject knowledge proficiency requirements under one of the options listed below. Please see the “How to Submit Official Documents” for instructions on providing proof of subject knowledge proficiency.
Applicants are required to hold a prerequisite certificate and meet one of the Subject Knowledge requirements.
Prerequisite Teaching Certificate
- A valid Arizona Standard Professional, International Teaching, Alternative Teaching, or Classroom-Based Standard Teaching certificate in elementary education, middle grades education, secondary education, or special education (Birth-grade 12 or K-12).
Subject Knowledge Requirement - One of the following
- Option A Arizona Educator Exam (AEPA or NES): A passing score on the appropriate Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment (AEPA) or National Evaluation Series (NES) Subject Knowledge Exam. • Required Documentation: The official AEPA/NES exam score report or exam score report.
- Option B (Arizona Educator Exam NOT offered): If an Arizona Subject Knowledge Exam is not offered, 24 semester hours of coursework in that subject area is required.
- If you completed college courses from an institution outside of the United States, a foreign credential evaluation from a Department approved agency must be submitted directly to [email protected], or the original evaluation mailed to the Certification Unit
- Option C Out-of-State Certificate: A valid, comparable teaching certificate in good standing with the approved area in another state.
- Option D Out-of-State Exam: Verification of a passing score on a similar subject knowledge exam from another state.
- If using a Praxis subject knowledge exam. submit a copy of the score report and request that scores be reported by ETS to the Arizona Department of Education (8517).
- Option E NBPTS Certificate: A valid, comparable certificate from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).
- Option F Degree in the Subject: A Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate degree from an accredited institution in the appropriate subject area.
- If you completed college courses from an institution outside of the United States, a foreign credential evaluation from a Department approved agency must be submitted directly to [email protected] or the original evaluation mailed to the Certification Unit.
- Option G Teaching Experience: Three years of full-time, contracted teaching experience in any state, including Arizona, in the appropriate subject area.
- To qualify for a waiver of an AEPA or NES exam in the secondary subject areas of Science, Social Studies, Mathematics, or English at the high school level, you must have three years of full-time experience teaching the subject in grades 9-12.
- NOTE: Per Arizona Board of Education rules, teaching experience in a foreign school and substitute teaching do not meet this requirement.
- Option H Post-Secondary Teaching: Experience teaching courses relevant to the appropriate subject area for the last two consecutive years and a total of at least three years at one or more regionally or nationally accredited postsecondary institutions.
- Option I-Work Experience: Verification of a minimum of five years of work experience that is relevant to the subject area.
- Option J-Foreign Language Proficiency: If an AEPA/NES in a foreign language has not been adopted, a minimum passing score of Advanced Low on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) speaking and writing exams may be used in place of the 24 semester hours of coursework.
- Option K-Native American Language Proficiency: Individuals seeking an approved area in a Native American Language may use verification of proficiency in the language verified by a person, persons, or entity designated by the appropriate tribe in place of the 24 semester hours of coursework.
Documents Requiring Submission by the Verifying Authority
- Official Transcripts: Transcripts that are uploaded through the educator portal or emailed by the applicant are not official and will not be accepted. Official transcripts and foreign credential evaluations must be submitted as follows:
- Electronic official transcripts must be submitted directly by the college or university to [email protected].
- Paper official transcripts must be in a sealed envelope and mailed by the college or university to:
Arizona Department of Education - Certification Unit
PO Box 6490
Phoenix, AZ 85005-6490.
- Foreign credential evaluations must be sent directly by the approved foreign credential evaluation agency to [email protected] or mailed to the Arizona Department of Education - Certification Unit.
- Out-of-State Exam: Request that reporting authority complete the Verification of Out-of-State- Exam form and submit it to [email protected].
- Teaching Experience: Request that the verifying HR complete and submit the Verification of PreK-12 Teaching Experience form to [email protected].
- Post-Secondary Teaching: Request a letter, on official letterhead from a department chair, dean, or personnel director verifying employment for the specific durations from one or more qualifying postsecondary institutions, request the letter be submitted to [email protected].
Accepted Photocopies from the Applicant
- AZDPS IVP Card. Submit a photocopy of the Arizona DPS IVP Fingerprint Clearance card.
- NBPTS Certificate: A valid, comparable certificate from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).
- Out-of-State Certificate: A valid, comparable teaching certificate in good standing with the approved area in another state.
- In-State and Out-of-State Exams: Submit a copy of the official score report received from the testing agency.
This list is not all-inclusive, please contact the Certification Unit for an area that is not listed below.
- Application to Change My Contact Information
- Application to Change My Name
- Deficiency Removal Form: Used to apply to have deficiencies removed from a valid certificate.
- Explanation of Incident Form: Used by applicants who answer “Yes” to any Criminal History or Background Questions.
- Foreign Credential Evaluation Agencies: A list of foreign credentialing agencies for applicants using coursework or degrees from a foreign college or university to meet certification requirements.
- Request for a Duplicate Copy of Certificate: Used to request a duplicate copy of a certificate.
- Request for Initial Certification Fee Waiver - Family Income: Used for those whose family income does not exceed 200% of the current federal poverty guidelines.
- Request for Initial Certification Fee Waiver - Military Eligibility: Used for active military and spouses and those who have been honorably discharged within the last 2 years.
- Subject Matter Expert Social Media and Phone Use Attestation: Submit a signed form with the Subject Matter Expert application.
- Verification of PreK-12 Teaching Experience: Used to verify full-time teaching experience.
- Verification of PreK-12 Leadership & Professional Non-Teaching Experience: Used to verify administrative and professional non-teaching experience, (School Counselor, School Social Worker, School Psychologist, or School Speech-Language Pathologist.)
- Verification of Experience for CTE Form: Used to verify work experience for CTE applicants.
- Verification of Computer Science Endorsement Form
Ready to apply - click here for step-by-step directions.
Pursuant to section 41-1093.01, Arizona Revised Statutes, an agency shall limit all occupational regulations to regulations that are demonstrated to be necessary to specifically fulfill a public health, safety, or welfare concern. Pursuant to sections 41-1093.02 and 41-1093.03, Arizona Revised Statutes, you have the right to petition this agency to repeal or modify the occupational regulation or bring an action in a court of general jurisdiction to challenge the occupational regulation and to ensure compliance with section 41-1093.01, Arizona Revised Statutes