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Connecticut Teacher Certification Guide

To teach in Connecticut, you’ll need to meet certification and education requirements. Read this page for more info or click the button to download our guide.

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How do you get certified to teach in Connecticut?

If you’re new to teaching and want to get certified to teach in Connecticut:

Do you already have teaching experience? You may be able to become certified in Connecticut education without attending a preparation course. Check out the “Your Pathway to Teaching” section to learn how.

We do our best to keep all information updated, but because certification requirements are regularly reviewed and revised, it is best to confirm requirements with your preparation course and the Connecticut Department of Education (CSDE) Bureau of Certification before applying.

"Schools are more than just places where students learn how to read and write — they're communities. They're like second families to our students." — Dr. Miguel Cardona

What kind of teachers are needed in CT?

If you already know what you want to teach, skip to the next section. If you're not sure yet or open to teaching different subject areas and grade levels, discover different certification areas below.

Choosing the right certification area

Once you know your grade and subject preferences, you can select a certification endorsement area.

In some cases, you may have multiple certification endorsement options to choose from. For example, if you want to teach fourth, fifth or sixth grade, you could receive elementary endorsement for grades 1-6 or an endorsement for grades 4-8 in a particular subject area.

You can add cross-endorsements in different grade levels and subject areas throughout your teaching career. You don’t have to achieve all your endorsements at once.

What endorsements can I earn?

CT teaching certification viz

Are you ready to find your certification endorsement area in Connecticut?

It's easy:

  • Filter by grade level and subject area to see which certification endorsement(s) apply to your teaching interests.
  • Hover to explore additional notes and details, like certification shortage areas.

If you prefer to review this information in tables, expand the sections below.

Try Viz

Your Pathway to Teaching

Once you know what you want to teach, you're ready to start your journey to becoming a certified teacher!  In Connecticut, there are three tiers of teacher certification—and a few ways to get you there. 

To begin, choose a path below that works for you based on your current education level and experience.

Which statement fits you best?

How to earn your teacher certification

  1. 1

    Choose the subject area you want to teach.

    Explore your options and consider high needs subjects and specialties, like math, trades, bilingual education, and special education. 

    Need advice or have questions? Talk to a TEACH Connecticut career coach for free, and receive advice on how to choose a certification area, how to find the right teaching program, what tests to take and more. Visit the TEACH Connecticut coaching page to start.

  2. 2

    Earn a bachelor’s degree from a nationally accredited university.

    Your bachelor’s degree should be in a field closely related to what you want to teach (though there are some exceptions to this rule, such as state-designated shortage areas). Connecticut accepts degrees from a large number of universities, but you should confirm that yours is nationally accredited

    If you have a bachelor’s degree from outside of the U.S., your credentials must be evaluated by an agency currently approved by the CSDE to determine if they meet the requirements.

    Paying for your program can feel like a lot. That's where our financial aid guide comes in: get our favorite tips to find grants, scholarships, loan forgiveness opportunities and other strategies to cover your costs.

  3. 3

    Graduate—and earn a recommendation—from a state-approved educator preparation program.

    Each program sets its own requirements for admission and completion. Your preparation program must formally recommend you for certification.

    You can meet this requirement either as part of your undergraduate coursework, or by applying to and graduating from a preparation program after earning your bachelor’s degree. 

    Need a little support to prepare your teaching program applications? Our teacher prep program application guide has all the info you need to ace your exams, request your transcripts, win over your interviewer and more.

    TEACH Connecticut can help you reduce your teaching program application costs! We’ll reimburse up to $100 for any expenses required for you to apply to a teaching program (like application fees, transcript fees and more). Get the details on our Fee Reimbursements page.

    Through your preparation program, you will:

    1. Take coursework related to (1) the specific subject and grade levels you are seeking certification in and (2) the teaching profession more broadly, including teaching tools and strategies.
    2. Participate in hands-on, clinical experiences in a variety of classroom settings, where you can observe and practice with instructors, mentors and teachers who are effective and experienced.
    3. Prepare an edTPA portfolio of lesson plans, student work and other artifacts during your student teaching placement to submit for assessment (learn more about this requirement in our testing guide!).

    Start by browsing TEACH Connecticut’s Programs page

  4. 4

    Pass Connecticut content area assessments.

    You’ll have to pass one or more tests designed to show you know your subject well enough to teach it. Depending on your teaching program, you might take a test before you enroll, during your program or after you finish.

    Review the CSDE's Guide to Assessments for Educator Certification in Connecticut for more info.

    Stressed about testing? You're not alone! Our certification test guide covers everything from exam registration to study materials to what to expect on test day. 

  5. 5

    Submit an application to the state and pay the application fee.

    After you meet the requirements above, it’s time for you to formally apply for your teaching certificate. In-state graduates applying for their first certificate must submit a paper application. 

    You can contact the CSDE’s Bureau of Certification with any questions. Processing time usually takes 6 to 12 weeks.

    By creating an online account for the Connecticut Educator Certification System (C.E.C.S.), you can pay fees online, check the status of your application, or print unofficial copies of your certificates and permits. Out-of-state graduates may apply for certification online.

How much will certification cost?

The total costs will vary depending on the preparation program you attend and the tests required for your certification endorsement area. Below are some of the costs you can expect while earning and obtaining your initial certification: 

It's understandable to have your eye on the cost of preparation programs, but there are lots of scholarships, loan forgiveness and other funding opportunities that can lower your program costs. Check out Financial Aid & Scholarships to find out more.

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  1. Federal Student Aid, Wondering whether you can get your federal student loans forgiven for your service as a teacher?, https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/teacher
  2. Connecticut State Department of Education, Becoming Certified in Connecticut, https://portal.ct.gov/SDE/Certification/Bureau-of-Certification/Getting-Certified-in-Connecticut