Utah Alternative Teacher Certification

For those who would like to teach in Utah but did not follow the traditional route to achieve educator licensure, there are paths available for earning alternative teacher certification in Utah. Alternative teacher preparation programs, also known as non-traditional programs, are designed for those who have a bachelor’s degree outside of education and typically lead to the award of a certificate or master’s degree. If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, visit our guide to traditional certification in Utah. Otherwise, read more about these alternative routes below.

Requirements for Alternative Certification

The basic requirement to earn alternative teacher certification in Utah is a bachelor’s degree. There are exceptions to the bachelor’s degree requirement in selected career and technical education subjects. Candidates must also be prepared to take the state’s required exams for educators and complete additional education, which may be a licensure-only program or a master’s degree in education.

Types of Alternative Teaching Licenses in Utah

There are three main pathways to earn teacher licensure in Utah through alternative routes, besides the out-of-state option. These routes are designed for those who have a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than education.

Alternative Routes to Licensure (ARL)

Those who already hold a bachelor’s degree may complete Utah’s Alternative Routes to Licensure (ARL) program. Once approved, an individualized plan of teacher preparation coursework is developed to outline the requirements for licensure based on the candidate’s background. A Professional Growth Plan is also developed, which typically involves pedagogy classes, methods courses, and Praxis assessments. The Praxis content-area exam for the endorsement sought must be passed for certification. Teacher candidates using the ARL must teach for at least one year and can renew the plan for up to three years while the remaining requirements are completed for licensure as long as satisfactory evaluations are submitted. Upon completion of the ARL program, a Letter of Recommendation for Licensure allows the candidate to receive a Level 1 license.

In Utah, prospective career and technical education (CTE) teachers typically follow the ARL pathway. Candidates must have work experience and industry certification, if available, in the CTE subject to be taught in lieu of a bachelor’s degree. For detailed information based on subject area, visit the Utah State Board of Education website.

University Licensure Program

Several universities in Utah offer licensure-only programs, which may lead to licensure only instead of licensure and a degree. To qualify a graduate for licensure, such a program must hold current accreditation a regional accrediting body. If you are looking for information about nationally-accredited schools, see our comparison of accredited schools in Utah. If your licensure-only program was completed in a state other than Utah, you should follow the steps for an out-of-state license through reciprocity.

Testing Requirements for Utah Alternative Certification

Utah has adopted the Praxis Series for prospective teachers. Some teacher preparation programs may require students to pass the Praxis exams prior to beginning program coursework. All future educators in Utah must pass the Praxis subject-area test in the content area that they would like to teach before receiving certification.

Transferring Teaching Licenses from Another State

Individuals who hold a teaching certificate in another state may qualify for Utah teacher licensure by reciprocity. Each application is evaluated on an individual basis. Those who have less than three years of experience in another state are required to complete the (EYE) program. For further details, refer to our guide to teaching certificate reciprocity or the Utah State Board of Education.

Schools with Alternative and Master’s Programs in Utah

The below list of school-based certification programs in Utah includes programs that typically result in the award of a certificate or master’s degree which have been approved by the Utah State Board of Education (USBE). In order to ensure that you qualify for licensure, it’s important to complete a certification program that is approved by the state.

  • Utah Tech University (Certificate)
  • Southern Utah University* (Alternative, Certificate)
  • Utah State University (Certificate, Master’s)
  • Utah Valley University (Certificate)
  • University of Utah (Certificate, Master’s)
  • Westminster College (Master’s)
  • Western Governors University (Master’s)
  • Weber State University (Certificate)

*Schools with an asterisk offer programs that can include paid classroom placements, subject to qualifications and experience. The student may be responsible for securing their own placement. Contact program(s) of interest for further information.

Additional Resources

1. Utah State Board of Education: https://www.schools.utah.gov/