NOTE: Georgia Tech (Tech) does not have a certification program and is not a Georgia educator preparation program provider. Pre-Teaching at Georgia Tech connects students and alumni to opportunities to explore teaching before graduating or when considering a career change. Information regarding certification on this page is specific to Georgia. Each state has its own set of certification requirements. Consult the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GPSC) for full details related to your situation and certification in Georgia.
Traditional and alternative (non-traditional) routes
The state of Georgia has different routes for obtaining teacher certification, and the route you take depends on various factors. The two main routes are traditional and alternative (non-traditional), which both lead to a professional (full) certificate. You must hold an induction certificate for three years before acquiring a professional certificate no matter the route you pick and even if you complete the certification requirements in less than three years. Educator preparation programs must be approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GPSC).
What types of traditional routes are there?
Traditional route 1: undergraduate or graduate degree
Undergraduates at Georgia colleges and universities with GPSC-approved undergraduate educator preparation programs can complete all course requirements for a degree and an induction certificate in the subject field(s) of choice. Once you have your degree and start teaching, you will be in the induction phase for the first three years of your career. During that time, you must meet certain criteria to qualify for a professional (full) certificate at the start of your 4th year in the classroom.
If you are at a college or university without a college of education or certification pathway option or if you have already graduated from college but want to pursue certification in Georgia through a traditional route, a GPSC-approved Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program can prepare you and provide induction level certification. M.A.T. degrees include all requirements for an induction certificate as well as a master’s degree and take three to six semesters to complete depending on the program. M.A.T. programs are offered across the country and are not unique to Georgia.
Students with undergraduate degrees not closely related to their desired teaching field may pursue a M.A.T. degree in a different field but may have to take additional coursework. The GPSC actually certifies you, not the educator preparation program. You will graduate with a Georgia teaching license (induction certificate) and a degree in a particular area of education if you complete a M.A.T. program in Georgia. If you complete an M.A.T. in a different state, you will receive certification in that state.
Be weary of online programs that offer you certification “across the country” or in multiple states. Check with each board of education in each state to verify the information. There is not a single, national certification for initial licensing. In Georgia, if you are in an online program, you will receive certification from the state in which the program is based, which is not necessarily Georgia.
Once you have your degree and start teaching, you will be in the induction phase for the first three years of your career. During that time, you must meet certain criteria to qualify for a professional (full) certificate at the start of your 4th year in the classroom.
TRADITIONAL ROUTE 1 – DEGREE + CERTIFICATION GENERAL PROGRESSION
Note: The chart below shows a general progression for a traditional route that includes graduate school at a university other than Georgia Tech since Georgia Tech does not offer degrees in education.
Note: M.A.T. programs exists across the country. The home state of a M.A.T. program is where you will receive state certification.
TRADITIONAL ROUTE 2 – CERTIFICATION ONLY (non-degree certification program; post-baccalaureate) GENERAL PROGRESSION
GPSC-approved non-degree certification programs, also known as post-baccalaureate (post-bac) programs, lead to induction-level certification but not a degree. You must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and do not have to be employed as a teacher to participate (unlike alternate certification programs). Post-bac programs take about one year.
Note: Some schools allow students to enter into a graduate M.A.T. program but only take the courses related to certification. You leave the program after completing the certification requirements, which is like completing a non-degree certification program.