Advancing to Professional Certification

Holders of initial teaching certificates are expected to progress to the professional teaching certificate, within the stated five (5) year period, by completing the requirements for professional certification, including three (3) years of teaching experience and successful completion of an appropriate master’s degree.

Application Pathways

Application Pathways:

  • Approved Teacher Prep Program – Certificate Progression
    • This pathway is for individuals who hold a valid New York State Initial certificate, and completed a NYS Registered Teacher Education Program leading to Professional certification. 
    • You have been recommended for Professional certification by the college – Program Codes
  • Certificate Progression
    • This pathway is for individuals who hold a valid New York State Initial certificate. They may progress to the Professional  certificate by meeting the requirements for that certificate.
    • Individual Evaluation (transcript evaluation) you have not been recommended for Professional certification for this certificate – Application Instructions
3 Years Teaching Experience

Three (3) Years Teaching Experience

Applicants for professional certification can count teaching experience in public and private schools, part-time or full time, per diem and long-term substitute teaching, and in-state or out-of-state teaching. See NYSED’s guidance at Individuals self-report their work experience on the TEACH system and must also have their employing districts submit NYSED’s Experience Verification form. Experience as a teaching assistant does not fulfill this requirement.

Master's Degree

Successful Completion of a Master’s Degree

The professional certification requirement is satisfied, if an individual:

  • successfully completes a graduate teacher education program from an accredited college in New York State or another jurisdiction that qualifies the individual for a new or additional certificate (in NYS or in another jurisdiction);
  • holds a master’s degree accepted previously to satisfy requirements for a NYS permanent or professional certificate; successfully completes a master’s or higher degree program in the content core of the initial certificate or in a related content area; or
  • successfully completes a master’s or higher degree program in any field, provided that the individual has completed at least 12 semester hours of graduate study in the content core of the initial certificate or in a related content area.
  • Chart of Related Master’s Degrees
Mentored Teaching Experience

Mentored Teaching Experience

To obtain a professional certificate, an individual employed in a public school district must receive mentoring. Individuals who have had at least two years of teaching prior to service in a public (or private) school under an initial certificate are exempt from this requirement. Public school employers report the mentored experience for the certificate holders they employee using the TEACH online system.

Citizenship Status

United States Citizenship, USCIS Permanent Residency, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status or similar relief from deportation is required for Professional or Permanent certification.

To determine the specific requirements for any given title, you can use the online search feature Search Certification Requirements.

The Initial certificate is valid for 5 years, during which time you must complete the requirements for the professional certificate. If you cannot complete all the requirements for the professional certificate in that 5-year window, you may be able to apply for a reissuance of your initial certificate.

Yes. The substitute teaching experience needs to be in the area or areas for which you are certified to qualify as teaching experience. 

Substitute Teaching Experience

Substitute teachers in New York State who hold a valid teaching certificate or are working towards certification (i.e., completing at least six semester hours of college coursework per year), and are employed by a school district or BOCES for more than 40 days, must be employed in the area that they are certified or seeking certification, respectively.

Substitute teachers in New York State who do not hold a valid certificate, and are not working towards certification, cannot have more than 40 days of acceptable experience in a school district or BOCES in a school year except as described on the Substitute Teaching webpage.

No. An individual who holds more than one classroom teaching certificate may meet the requirement with three years of classroom teaching experience in any of the certificate titles. For instance, a teacher who holds the Childhood Education (Grades 1-6) and English 7-12 certificates could satisfy the experience requirement for both certificates by teaching for three years in an elementary classroom, three years as a secondary English teacher, or a combination of both.

Please note that service in non-classroom teaching areas such as pupil personnel services or school leadership may not be used to satisfy the experience requirement for classroom teaching.

When to apply is entirely up to you. Applications for professional certification must be manually evaluated and will take longer to process.  Allow for a minimum of four (4) months for the New York State Education Department to process your application for professional certification.

If this is incorrect, and you are a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, login to your TEACH account, click on TEACH Home, under Profile Links click on Update/Add Education, Employment and Personal Information. Then click on Edit Personal Information. Under Resident Status highlight “I am a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States” and click Submit. The evaluation should update the following day.


Advancing from the Provisional PPS Certificate to the Permanent PPS Certificate

For the Permanent certificate in Pupil Personnel Service (PPS), individuals must complete at least two years of acceptable PPS experience or its equivalent (360 days). Full-time and part-time experiences are acceptable.