Frequently Asked Questions

Licensure FAQ

Teacher Education Program FAQ

Student Field Experience FAQ

Graduate Programs FAQ

Licensure FAQ

I (my student) want to teach - how do I get a license?

The State of Iowa requires that an individual hold a bachelor's degree and complete an approved teacher education program in order to be licensed to teach in a public school. Our approved Teacher Education Programs are detailed in our Program Guides.

What teaching programs do you have at the University of Iowa?

See Program Guides.

I heard about a license you can get by just taking summer courses - what do I have to do? I didn't do a Teacher Education Program. Will this work for me?

The University of Iowa is a partner in the Regents Alternative Pathway to Iowa Licensure (RAPIL), an alternative licensure program,

How long will it take me to complete a teacher certification program?

The length of time depends up your particular situation: which program you wish to pursue, what courses you may have already satisfied, if you plan to enroll full-time or part-time, and other factors. You can determine the required number of hours by looking at the Program Guide of the program that interests you.

How do I renew my teaching license?

You would apply directly to the Board of Educational Examiners.  Forms and instructions are available at: http://www.boee.iowa.gov/

Can I get a teaching certificate through UI through distance education?

No. Some programs may offer individual courses through distance education, but there is not an entire initial teaching licensure program offered through distance education.

There is a master's degree program in Educational Leadership that is offered through distance education.

Teacher Education Program FAQ

How does the admission process work?

An application has two parts: Students need to apply to The University of Iowa through the Office of Admissions and to the Teacher Education Program through the Office of Student Services. Admissions are competitive: there are two application deadlines each year after which faculty of each Teacher Education Program area review applications and make admission decisions.

How many people apply to the teacher education program and how many are admitted?

For each application deadline 150-250 students apply and between 60-70% are admitted. Admissions are competitive and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. The Elementary Teacher Education Program, English Teacher Education Program, and Social Studies Teacher Education Program generally have the highest number of applicants.

What if my application to the teacher education program is missing a reference or another required item at the time of the teacher education admission deadline?

Each applicant is responsible to make sure his or her application is complete by the application deadline. Incomplete applications are not reviewed for admission.

What if I do not pass the Praxis I test the first time I take it?

You can re-take the Praxis exam. Your application cannot be reviewed until you have the minimum scores. See the Educational Testing Service web site for policies on re-taking tests.

What if I do not get admitted the first time?

Students are allowed to apply 3 times to the Teacher Education program and must show a significant change in their application before they reapply (better grades, new essay, new references, more volunteer hours, etc). Application materials remain on file, and some components of an earlier application can be used to reapply. Contact the Office of Student Services for more information.

How do I go about finding a classroom for earning my volunteer hours?

You would need to contact a school district office to find out the district's procedures for volunteering in a classroom.

What if I am admitted to one program but decide I want to switch to another?

If you have been admitted to Teacher Education Program (TEP) area but would like to apply to another area, you would need to apply and be admitted to the new program. For example, a student admitted to the Elementary Teacher Education Program who wanted to change to the Mathematics Teacher Education Program would need to submit an application for the new program. Some application materials would need to be resubmitted and some could be used.

Can I substitute any other test for the Praxis I requirement?

Yes, GRE. Either the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Tests (Reading, Writing, and Mathematics) or GRE (Graduate Record Examination) General Test can be used to satisfy the Teacher Education Program application testing requirement. GRE is required for admission to College of Education graduate programs.

If I get into the teacher education program, will I be assigned a new adviser?

Yes, undergraduate students in the Teacher Education Program are assigned to academic advisers in the Teacher Leader Center. Undergraduate students in secondary Teacher Education Programs will also have an adviser in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for their subject major.

Can I do my student teaching outside of Iowa?

It is possible, yes. We have cooperative agreements with several school districts outside of Iowa and even in international schools. You must meet certain established criteria in order to be eligible for these type of placements. Special site information.

What type of person should I ask to be reference?

The faculty of each Teacher Education Program have their own preferences on what constitutes a good reference. In general, academic references from faculty or instructors, and references from observation of work with students are excellent. In general, references from your elementary or high school teachers or from personal friends or relatives are not considered the strongest.

What grades do I need in order to be admitted to a teacher education program?

The minimum grade point average requirement is for undergraduate applicants is 2.70.  Beginning with the March 1, 2013, application deadline for Summer or Fall 2013 admission the minimum grade point average will be 3.00.  See the Teacher Education Program application page for exceptions. Average grade point averages of admitted students vary by program, but are generally higher.

How important is the application essay?

The essays should be carefully written. Programs may look at the essay differently, and may evaluate it for analytical thinking, creativity, quality of writing, or other factors.

What if I am placed on academic probation? Do I lose my spot in the teacher education program?

If your semester, UI or cumulative gpa drop below a 2.70 or you earn lower than a C- in a core teacher education course, you will be placed on academic probation and given one semester to correct the problem. At the end of that probationary semester, your record will be reviewed and a decision whether to keep you in the program will be made by your program in cooperation with the Associate Dean.

What is the Teacher Leader Certificate and how does it relate to my Teacher Education Program?

Requirements of the Teacher Leader Certificate supplement TEP course requirements with professional learning opportunities, including intensive workshops in key areas of assessment, technology, and community; other workshops; and a service component. Completion of these requirements does not lead to teaching licensure or endorsement.

Students admitted to the Teacher Education Program (TEP) in March 2011 and after are required to complete the requirements of the Teacher Leader Certificate to be eligible for program completion and recommendation for licensure. Requirements of the Teacher Leader Certificate must be completed prior to student teaching.

Graduate Programs FAQ

What graduate programs in education are offered at The University of Iowa?

The College of Education offers degree programs within 45 sub areas that are administered by 4 departments in the College. The many Master's, Educational Specialist, and Doctoral programs are in a variety of fields within Education. These programs range from classroom teaching in a specific subject area to Administration and Schools, Culture, and Society to Rehabilitation Counseling Education and Counseling Psychology. Our programs are detailed within the web sites of the College of Education academic departments.

We also have students enrolled in various non-degree programs at the Graduate level leading to teacher licensure or simply for Professional Improvement. 

What kind of funding is available in Graduate Programs?

Funding in the College of Education is awarded in the form of fellowships, scholarships and in many cases, graduate teaching and research assistantships. While programs make every effort available to them to identify funding for their graduate students the reality is that funding is not awarded to all students in the College of Education. We recommend that you contact a faculty person in the specific program that you are interested in applying to in order to determine availability of funding.

What is required to enter a graduate program?

Specific program requirements vary within each department and program but generally, the Graduate College requires a minimum 3.0 grade point average in all previous college coursework, an official GRE general test score, letters of recommendation and the application. Materials are reviewed by a group of faculty within the program who would make a recommendation on admission.

How long will it take me to complete a graduate program?

Requirements vary among specific programs but generally Master's program semester hour requirements range 30-67 in the College of Education . Educational Specialist (EdS) require from 60-62 s.h. and PhD programs require from 72-103 s.h. currently.

Coursework taken at the graduate level from other accredited institutions can apply if the program deems the coursework appropriate to their plan of study. We always recommend that an applicant make contact with a faculty person in the program to determine the length of study required to satisfy the program requirements.

How hard is it to get into a graduate program?

The competitiveness of admission to our programs varies as widely as the programs. It would be best to contact the individual program to determine how many applications are generally received and what the cap is on admission to the program. For the Fall, 2016  session the college as a whole has received 176 applications (as of early July, 2016). We expect over 600 graduate students to be registered for the Fall 2016 session.

What exams are required in Graduate Programs?

All degree programs end with a Final Exam. At the master's level the comprehensive exam taken near or at the end of coursework is most generally the Final Exam. Those who choose to write a Master's Thesis would consider the thesis defense the final exam.

EdS final exams are the comprehensive exam however an EdS Research Paper is required to finalize the degree requirements.

Doctoral students write a comprehensive exam near or at the end of coursework and then enter into a maximum 5 year period of writing a thesis or dissertation research product. The dissertation research is then defended in a public meeting which serves as the Final Examination.