Graduate program routes to initial teacher certification
Graduates with certain bachelor’s degrees as noted below may be able to follow an alternative route to initial teacher certification in Michigan:
- Marketing, business, family and consumer sciences, or industrial technology education
- Secondary education math or science or Chinese as a second language
- Early childhood elementary education (open to graduates with any bachelor's degree)
undergraduate Post-bachelor's route to initial teacher certification
All other graduates from four-year accredited institutions who wish to obtain initial teacher certification in Michigan must complete all requirements in their chosen state-approved Western Michigan University undergraduate teacher certification program.
Step 1: Choose a teaching program
- Art or music, advised in the College of Fine Arts
- Elementary education
- Early childhood education with elementary certification
- Family and consumer science teacher education*
- Health education*
- Industrial technology education vocational* or industrial technology education non-vocational*
- Physical education*
- Secondary education*
- Secondary education in business
- Special education with elementary certification—Feb. 1 application deadline
*Requires teachable major and teachable minor
Step 2: Meet with an undergraduate post-baccalaureate advisor
Art or music: Contact the College of Fine Arts.
All other programs: Schedule an appointment or come to drop-in advising in the College of Education and Human Development. An advisor will review the pre-professional education requirements, help develop your program plan, give you course recommendations and make sure you’re on track to meet all initial teacher certification requirements. Please bring all college transcripts.
Step 3: Apply for admission to WMU
Apply for admission to WMU using the online application.
Please contact the WMU Office of Admissions (269) 387-2000 with any questions about admission to WMU. The completed application and official transcripts from all previously attended institutions are required prior to admission to the University.
- All students will be admitted as initial teacher certification candidates only. Some students may qualify for a second bachelor’s degree, a determination that will be made by the college advisor based on the student’s chosen program.
- Applications to the professional level are processed once all pre-professional admission requirements have been met; however, special education applications are accepted only once a year—deadline is Feb. 1.
- Professional level education courses must be taken in sequence as outlined on the curriculum guide or as the advisor directs.
- Current undergraduate catalog requirements are in effect. Residency and transfer credit requirements and a time-limit on coursework may be in effect.
- Based on the content course requirements and due to the sequencing of the professional level education courses, a minimum of three to four semesters is usually required to complete a certification program.
- The Michigan Board of Education will issue a teaching certificate only after the certification program has been successfully completed. The Michigan Test for Teacher Certification—Professional Readiness Exam #96 formerly Basic Skills Test and the subject area examination for each subject in which certification is sought must also be passed.