How to Get Your Teaching Certification in Arizona


If you are new to teaching in Arizona, there are several pathways and certifications you can pursue to achieve your career goals. All teachers in Arizona need to have completed a teacher preparation program and be certified, either through a traditional or alternative certification program.

Whatever your goals, figuring out how to get your teaching certification in Arizona can seem like a complicated process. We’ve outlined the basics below but the best place to receive information is always from the Arizona Department of Education.

Three Pathways to Certification

There are three pathways to certification you can pursue depending on your level of education, experience, and current teaching status. 

1. Traditional Bachelor’s Degree

Current college students and pre-baccalaureate candidates can pursue a traditional bachelor’s program. These programs should include coursework in education, a 12-week student teaching program, and facilitate the final certification process.

2. Masters Program or Certification Program

If you already have a bachelor’s degree, in any subject, you can pursue a master’s in education or a certification-only program. These programs should culminate in a student teaching experience or be completed while working full-time as a teacher.

3. Alternative Teaching Certificate

Alternative teaching certificates allow you to work as a full-time Arizona teacher while pursuing a master’s degree or certificate program. Alternative permits are valid for 2 years and are given to those who have already been hired by an Arizona school.

Student Teaching

All teachers seeking certification in the state of Arizona must have prior student teaching experience or full-time teaching experience in an Arizona school. This experience is typically offered in alternative educator preparation programs and provides teaching candidates with real-time, hands-on classroom experience. At Moreland University, teaching candidates complete their Clinical Practice in a local school and under the supervision of mentors, receiving guidance and support from their mentors, instructors, and classmates. 

Types of Certification

In Arizona, certifications are specific to the grade level and subject you want to teach. Once you have decided what you want to teach and the type of certificate you need to obtain, you will also need to pass an AEPA exam. AEPA exams test your subject matter proficiency as well as general professional knowledge. 

If you have received a certification from another state, you may be eligible for reciprocity in Arizona. See more information on this below. 

Coursework Requirements

Arizona teaching certificates have certain coursework requirements based on the subject and grade level you plan to teach. Your bachelor’s degree or approved teacher preparation program must offer an equivalent course to qualify you for certification. 

You can check the Arizona Department of Education’s website to see what courses are needed for your certification.


Reciprocity agreements allow for teachers with certification to apply for similar licensure in a new state. If you are unsure if you are eligible to teach in the state of Arizona you can find more information here

Learn more about becoming a teacher with Moreland University. Complete a request for information and our team will be in touch within 24 hours.

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