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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. Please note, these programs are not offered online.

Most prospective teachers will begin the application 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


GPA Requirement: Per Tennessee State Board of Education policy, GPA should be 2.75 or above to apply for admissions to teacher education. If you are unsure whether your GPA meets the minimum requirement, please contact your advisor or Nina Fox ( If your GPA is below a 2.75 but you are passionate about becoming a teacher, you are encouraged to apply. In select cases, UT may be able to work with applicants who do not meet the state-required minimum GPA.

Standardized Test Requirement: Per Tennessee State Board of Education policy, UT should have copies of your ACT/SAT scores on file. Minimum scores are required for 4-year licensure programs (ACT Composite – 21; SAT Verbal & Math – 1020). If you do not meet this requirement, you may take the Praxis CORE series of exams and score minimum benchmarks. If you do not have proof of minimum ACT, SAT, or Praxis CORE scores but are passionate about becoming a teacher, you are encouraged to apply. In select cases, UT may be able to work with applicants who do not meet the state-required minimum GPA.

Additional Requirements: Minimum credit hours, 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 UTK student, you must be admitted to the University before your admission to Teacher Education is finalized. Candidates may choose to apply to UTK 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, Knoxville, does not guarantee admission to teacher education. However, admission to UTK is required before full admission to a teacher education program is official. For more information about UTK 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.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, our process has temporarily changed. Please review these changes before proceeding.

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

  • 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, and;
  • Agree to the release of all investigative records to the administrator of the selected teacher training program, and;
  • Supply a fingerprint sample and submit to a criminal history records check to be conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.


  • Download and complete the Authorization to Release Investigative and Criminal Background Records.
  • When the authorization form has been completed and submitted, you will receive an email with instructions to complete the VECHS form.
  • Following the instructions included in the email, print, sign, and return the VECHS form to Diane Booker by either sending a scanned copy or photo of the completed form.
  • Email confirmation will be sent to confirm receipt of the VECHS form.
  • AFTER you receive confirmation that your VECHS form has been received by our office, you are allowed to schedule your fingerprinting appointment.


Tennessee Applicant Processing Services

Follow the simple steps outlined below to complete the fingerprinting process:

  1. Go to, and choose “Get Fingerprinted.” Choose Tennessee or call (855) 226-2937 to schedule an appointment.
  2. At bottom of page, click “Digital Fingerprinting” and then choose “Schedule a New Appointment”.
  3. Choose as “Don’t know your Service Code.” Choose Agency Name (Non-DCS Child Care/Adoption Providers), Applicant Type (Child Related Worker Private), and enter the ORI number (TNCC47076) and click “go” after each entry.
  4. You will be asked to enter a zip code to determine the closest fingerprinting location.
  5. Click on the word “Schedule” across from the location you want, under the day you wish to be fingerprinted. If you want a date further in the future, click  “Next Week>” link  to display more dates. Once you select the location/date combination, select the time for your appointment and click “go”.
  6. Complete the demographic information page.  Required fields are indicated by a red asterisk (*).  When complete, click “Send Information”.
  7. Confirm the information. Follow the on screen directions to make any changes   necessary.  Once you see the data is correct, click “Send Information”.
  8. The cost of the fingerprinting process is $35.15. Credit card payments must be made onsite at the time of the fingerprinting session. Payments online are not accepted.
  9. Print your confirmation page.
  10. Take approved identification documents with you to the appointment. These approved document options are identified on your confirmation of your appointment.

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.

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.

Below is a checklist to determine if you have completed all requirements:

Teacher Education Program Application Checklist

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 the Teacher Education Program are made by the Boards of Admission. Following the completion of all board interviews, you will be notified of your admission status via email. If you are recommended for admission, you will receive instructions to complete the mandatory Child Protection Training. Upon completion, you will receive an official admission letter via email.

Once admitted to the Teacher Education Program, 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, Knoxville. Admission to the Teacher Education program cannot be finalized until you are officially a UTK student.

If you are not admitted, you may choose to take feedback from your Board of Admission and re-apply next semester. Some of our most successful Teacher Education Program 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 GPA, and 2.80 GPA in professional education courses. A grade of “C” or above must be received in all professional education courses.

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.