Teacher Information

Teacher Certification

The Arizona Certification Unit certifies educators grades PreK - 12. Individual requirement sheets and applications for all certificates and endorsements can be found on the Arizona Department of Education website or you can contact Arizona Department of Education at 1-800-352-4558.

Arizona Department of Education

Frequently Asked Questions

Contract All     Expand All
What types of teaching certificates are available?
  • Teaching Certificates: Elementary, Secondary, Special Education, and Career and Technical Education
  • Administrative: Principal, Superintendent, and Supervisor
  • Professional Non-Teaching Certificates: Guidance Counselor and School Psychologist
  • Substitute
  • Other Certificates: Adult Education, Athletic Coaching, Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, and Teacher Intern
What are endorsements?
Endorsements are attachments to teaching certificates and indicate areas of specialization. They are issued for Art, Bilingual Education, Computer Science, Cooperative Education, Dance, Dramatic Arts, Drivers Education, Elementary Foreign Language, English as a Second Language (ESL), Gifted, Library Media Specialist, Mathematics Specialist, Middle Grade, Music, Physical Education, and Reading Specialist.
What are the requirements for a certificate or endorsement?
Individual requirement sheets for all certificates and endorsements can be found on the Arizona Department of Education website at http://www.ade.az.gov/certification.
How do I apply for a certificate?
  • All first time applicants must obtain a Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card (plastic) issued by the Arizona Department of Public Safety at 2320 North 20th Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85005, (602) 223-2279.
  • Complete an Application for Certification and submit the correct fees by money order, cashiers check or personal check made payable to the Arizona Department of Education (ADE). Fees are not refundable and cash will not be accepted.
  • Submit official transcripts (bearing the original seal or stamp of the registrar). Photocopies will not be accepted. If the college/university prefers, transcripts may be mailed directly to the Arizona Department of Education-Certification Unit. The Certification Unit will only accept degrees, programs and courses from accredited institutions.
  • Please maintain copies of all your personal and professional records for future use. All documentation, including transcripts, becomes the property of the Arizona Department of Education and will not be returned.
  • Please follow all instructions on the Application for Certification. Incomplete applications will not be processed. All materials should be mailed in one envelope; mailing items separately delays processing time and increases the risk of lost documents.
  • If verification of teaching experience is required, please submit a letter verifying the dates of employment and grade level taught. The letter must be on official letterhead and signed by the superintendent or personnel director.
What are the Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments (A.E.P.A.)?
The AEPA assessments are offered for professional knowledge and subject knowledge tests which are required for most teaching certificates. A Proficiency Assessment is also required for all Administrative Certificates. Comparable out-of-state tests may NOT be substituted for these assessments. For a test bulletin, please call National Evaluation Systems, Inc. at 1-800-239-8105 or visit their website.
What if I am an Arizona graduate?
Graduates of State Board approved teacher preparation programs from Arizona State University - East, Arizona State University - Tempe, Arizona State University - West, Arizona Teacher's Institute, Grand Canyon University, Northern Arizona University, Ottawa University, Pima Community College, Prescott College, Rio Salado College, Scottsdale Community College, Southwestern College, University of Arizona - Main, University of Arizona - South, University of Phoenix, may be eligible for an Institutional Recommendation. Please contact your college/university for information.
Who is eligible for a reciprocal certificate?
An applicant who holds a valid elementary, secondary, or special education certificate in another state may be issued an Arizona teaching certificate of the same type for one year. In one year's time, the Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments must be successfully completed. The Professional Knowledge Assessment may be waived with three years of teaching experience during the valid period of the out-of-state teaching certificate. The Subject Knowledge Assessment may be waived with a Master's degree in that subject area. Both tests may be waived for those who hold a current certificate in that area from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Documentation must be submitted at time of application.
Who is eligible for fingerprint reciprocity?
Arizona has fingerprint reciprocity with 19 other states. Approved states for fingerprint reciprocity are; Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. A fingerprint reciprocity testament may be found at www.ade.az.gov/certification/downloads/Testament [PDF]. Applicants who receive a reciprocal certificate must obtain a valid Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card (plastic) before requesting any other services from the Certification Unit.
What if I am a graduate from another country?
Applicants with credentials from outside the united states must submit an equivalency letter from a credential evaluation agency in addition to the required first-time applicant materials.
How do I change the name or address on my certificate, or request a duplicate copy of my certificate?
Instructions for these services are detailed on a downloadable form on our website.
How long will the certification process take?
Applications will be processed in the order received. Complete applications usually have a prompt turnaround time. However, there are seasonal changes in processing times due to increased service requests. For these reasons, please apply well in advance.
Certification Locations
Flagstaff Office

Physical Address:
2717 North 4th Street, #190
Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Phone: (928) 226-0979

Mailing Address:
2717 N. 4th Street, #190
Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Walk-In Services:
Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm

Phoenix Office

Physical Address:
1535 West Jefferson Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Phone: (602) 542-4367

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 6490
Phoenix, AZ 85005-64904

Walk-In Services:
Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm

Tucson Office

Physical Address:
400 W. Congress Street, #118
Tucson, AZ 85701

Phone: (520) 628-6326

Mailing Address:
400 W. Congress Street, #118
Tucson, AZ 85701

Walk-In Services:
Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm

Walk-in Services
The following services are available as same-day services at each of our certification locations:
  • Name Changes
  • Substitute Certificates
  • Duplicate Certificates
  • Institutional Recommendations (I.R.)
  • Removal of Deficiencies
  • Adult Education Certificates
  • Renewals (except Career and Technical Education Certificates)
  • Extensions & Conversions of Provisional Certificates (except Career and Technical Education Certificates)