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Undergraduate Students

Initial Licensure

The following procedures for applying to the Teacher Education Program are for current University of Tennessee undergraduate students or undergraduate transfer students interested in becoming a licensed teacher, who have not yet completed a baccalaureate degree.

Most prospective teachers will begin the applicatoin process by scheduling an advising appointment with a licensure advisor in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. The majority of our teacher licensure programs, with the exception of Early Developmental Learning (PreK–K), Agriculture Education, some Music Education programs and VolsTeach (secondary math and science), are five-year programs. It is important to plan early and meet with your academic advisor on a regular basis to ensure you are meeting all requirements in a timely manner. You can schedule an advising appointment online or call 865-974-8194. Please review the academic programs to be prepared to discuss your possible area of study with your advisor at this appointment.

If you are interested in applying to teacher education programs outside of CEHHS (Music Education, or Agriculture Education) please make sure you have been in contact with a faculty advisor within that program.

Additionally, our PreK-K and PreK-3 programs have additional application requirements for the Child and Family Studies department; please make sure you have been in contact with a faculty advisor from that department before completing your application.

Teacher Licensure Program Options

Before applying for admission to teacher education, you should verify all minimum program requirements have been met. Completion of requirements does not guarantee admission to a teacher education program.

GPA Requirement: The minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA requirement is a 2.75. This GPA will include transfer courses. If you are unsure whether your GPA meets the minimum requirement, please contact your advisor or Nina Fox (

Standardized Test Requirement: You must meet or exceed the scores listed below for one of three tests:

  1. Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE). Please be sure to have your scores sent to UT under recipient code 1843. You can register for this exam online at Passing scores are as follows:
  • Reading—156
  • Writing—162
  • Math—150

2. ENACT—21

3. RSAT combined verbal and math—1020

Additional Requirements: Minimum credit hours, content area GPA, and required courses completed, including AP and transfer, vary according to program area. Please check with advisor and/or review the academic programs for your program area for further details.

Academic Programs

Transfer or Returning Students: If you are not a current UT student, you must be admitted to the university before your admission to teacher education can be finalized. Candidates may choose to apply to UT at this time. Check with your advisor regarding classification as an undergraduate or a graduate student before submitting an application to the University.  Admission to the University of Tennessee does not guarantee admission to teacher education, however, admission to UT is required before full admission to a teacher education program is official. For more information about UT admission, please click here.

Use the link provided below to submit your initial application to Teacher Education. This form begins your application process, and simply asks for personal and contact information.

UT expects that the teacher candidate maintains Professional Competencies, Attitudes, and Dispositions (ProCADs) identified as essential to the teaching profession.  More information on the ProCADs expected of all teacher candidates can be found HERE.

An essential part of our application process is evaluating the ProCADs of our prospective students. Completing the link below is required of all prospective applicants. This form asks students to self-evaluate on all of the ProCADs identified as essential to the teaching profession, as well as respond to six essay questions that will allow our program faculty to understand the applicant’s dispositions towards teaching. These responses must be submitted electronically via the link provided, but if you would like to pre-plan your essay responses you may download the questions (along with tips for completing your essay questions) in the following document.

Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) 49-5-5610 requires all students who wish to be admitted to teacher preparation programs to:

  • Agree to the release of all investigative records to the administrator of the selected teacher training program.
  • Supply a fingerprint sample and submit to a criminal history records check to be conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; and
  • Sign an authorization and release form authorizing a qualified Tennessee licensed private investigation company by and on behalf of the board to complete a criminal history records check.

All applicants are required to submit a fingerprint scan for the background check and must be cleared prior to scheduling an interview with a Board of Admission. Your application is not complete until UT receives your background clearance. Please complete this process at least one week prior to the application deadline. An interview board appointment will not be scheduled until your background clearance is received. If clearance is not received prior to the application deadline this applicant must wait until the following semester (November or April) to reapply.

Please note there is a cost associated with completing your background check. You should confirm minimum requirements have been met for the Teacher Education Program before completing the background check and paying the associated fees. You may contact the advising center (865-974-8194) for an appointment, or Nina Fox ( to request a review of your records for minimum requirements.

NOTE: If you are an out-of-state applicant and not admitted or currently enrolled at the University of Tennessee, please contact Diane Booker ( for directions specific to your state to complete the background check.

For applicants from the state of Tennessee, first complete this form:

Authorization to Release Investigative and Criminal Background Records

After completing the form, you will receive an email with instructions to print the form, sign and return to the appropriate office. Once you have printed, signed and returned the form above, you will need to schedule your fingerprinting appointment at

Directions for scheduling your fingerprinting appointment are available in this document:

Background Check and Fingerprint Procedure

Following the application deadline, you will be notified via email of your application status.

If all requirements for admission are completed by the application deadline, and if you meet the minimum requirements you will be contacted to schedule an interview with a Board of Admission for your program area.

If all requirements for admission are not completed, or if you do not meet the minimum requirements for admission to Teacher Education, you will be contacted via email with a detailed account of the deficiency of your application.  You will be given an opportunity to respond to this deficiency, as sometimes additional information is all that is needed to clear up a hold on  your application. If you are unable to resolve the deficiency for the current application cycle, we recommend that you work with your advisor to resolve the issue before the next application cycle.

All decisions regarding admission to teacher education are made by a Board of Admission. Your interview with a board is, therefore, of great importance to your prospective admission to teacher education. Please review the following document for suggestions for a successful board interview:

Boards of Admission Interview Guidance

Interviews will take place the first two weeks in April for Spring semesters, and the first two weeks in November for Fall semesters.

All decisions regarding admission to teacher education are made by the Boards of Admission. Following the completion of all board interviews, you will be notified of your admission status via email. Admission letters will also be sent through US Mail for your records.

If you are admitted to teacher education, you will be approved to register for restricted teacher education coursework. If you are a transfer student, you must also finalize your admission to the University of Tennessee. Admission to teacher education cannot be finalized until you are officially a UT student.

If you are not admitted to teacher education, you may choose to take feedback from your Board of Admission and reapply next semester. Some of our most successful teacher education students have interviewed more than once with an admissions board to gain entry into the program. There is no stigma associated with applying multiple times. The process for re-application is similar to the process for original application to teacher education, with the exception that you may be exempt from repeating the fingerprinting/background check. You will need to contact Nina Fox ( regarding a potential exemption from this requirement.

Once the applicant is formally admitted to the Teacher Education Program, the initial professional education courses must be completed. To advance to the internship year or student teaching the teacher candidate must complete required coursework and must maintain good standing. The teacher candidate must maintain a 2.75 cumulative GPA, a 2.50 content/subject area GPA, and maintain a 2.80 GPA in professional education courses. A grade of “C” or above must be received in all professional education courses. Keep in mind that some licensure programs have GPA requirements that differ from the 2.50 content GPA.  Please check with your advisor for these specifics.

Additionally, the teacher candidate must display the professional competencies, attitudes, and dispositions (ProCADs) expected of the teaching profession.

Teacher Education interns will hold the Practitioner license for both their internship year as well as their first full two years of teaching beyond the internship.

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