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Initial Licensure

If you have already obtained your bachelor’s degree and are looking to return to school to earn your teaching license,

there are two programs you can consider:

  • The Job Embedded Practitioner Program, or
  • The Post-Baccalaureate Internship

The Job Embedded Practitioner Program allows you to concurrently earn a Master’s degree while serving (and getting paid) as a Teacher of Record in a partnering school. For most students this is a two year program, with most courses taken during the summers as the academic years are spent teaching. You have the option to begin your courses prior to being hired as a teacher, however, you MUST be hired as a teacher and complete at least one year teaching full-time in order to complete this program. Courses for this program are offered 100% online and at times that accommodate a teacher’s work schedule. If you are interested in applying for the Job Embedded Practitioner Program, please click here.

Post-Baccalaureate Internship programs allow you to concurrently earn a Master’s degree while serving as an intern under the supervision of a highly skilled Mentor Teacher in a local school. For most students this is a two-year program; the first year consists of UTK coursework and the second year is the professional, mentored internship experience. Courses for this program are mostly offered on-campus, in the face-to-face setting. If you are interested in applying to the Post-Baccalaureate Internship Program, please see the application process below:

An applicant must submit a Post-Baccalaureate Review Request with appropriate documentation, to the Office of Teacher Licensure (attn: Meagan Spillers-address listed at the bottom of this page). A teacher licensure advisor will review the request and conduct a course-by-course transcript evaluation to determine the eligibility of the applicant. A cumulative minimum GPA of 2.75 on a scale of 4.0 is required for admission to the post-baccalaureate program. The applicant must also have a minimum 2.50 GPA in the teaching/subject area. All coursework, undergraduate and graduate, is taken into consideration when determining the GPA. If the applicant is eligible for admission to the program, courses will be recommended to make up any general education or content area deficiencies. This plan of study will be emailed to the applicant.

If you have completed an international degree, we must also have on file a review of your transcripts by one of the following companies. These are the companies that the Tennessee Department of Education currently recognizes:

• World Evaluation Services
• Josef Silney
• Association of International Credential Evaluator (AICE)
• Academic Credentials Evaluation Institution (ACEI)
• American Association of Collegiate Registrars & Admission Officers (AACRAO)
• Foreign Consultants Inc.
• Evaluation Services Inc.
• Foundation for International Service
• Global Credential Evaluators
• IERF: International Education Research Foundation
• ECE: Educational Credential Evaluations

Upon receiving the plan of study, the applicant is instructed to contact the Student Services Center at 865-974-8194 to schedule an advising appointment with a teacher licensure advisor.

At this appointment, you will want to make sure you meet the minimum program requirements. Meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to a teacher education program. If your transcripts are not on file with the UTK system, you are required to provide copies. You may email PDF copies to Nina Fox (

GPA Requirement: Undergraduate cumulative minimum 2.75 GPA. If you are unsure if your GPA meets the minimum requirement, please contact your advisor or Nina Fox ( with teacher education admissions.

Additional Requirements: Minimum credit hours, 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.

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.

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.
  • Once the authorization form has been submitted, you will receive an email with instructions to complete the Volunteer & Employee Criminal History System (VECHS) form.
  • Following the instructions included in the email, print, sign, and return the VECHS form to Diane Booker by sending a scanned copy of the completed, signed form.
  • Once the signed copy of the VECHS form is received by the Office of Professional Licensure, you will receive email confirmation with instructions on how to register for fingerprinting.

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.