Undergraduate FAQs

Do you have questions about the undergraduate programs in SPU’s School of Education? Check here to find answers to frequently asked questions. If your question is not answered here, contact Undergraduate Admissions at, 206-281-2021, 800-366-3344, or

Can I apply to the School of Education on the Common Application at the same time that I apply to Seattle Pacific University?
Yes. When you fill out the Common Application, indicate your interest in the School of Education and teaching. Then, immediately following your Foundations Quarter, you will apply to the School of Education.

Can I complete a bachelor’s degree and the teacher certification process in four years?
Yes. That’s one of the things that makes Seattle Pacific University unique. But students are strongly encouraged to create a four-year plan during their freshman year with the help of their advisor. Students may also make an appointment with the School of Education Certification Office to discuss their academic plan. Transfer students should make an appointment with the certification advisor during their first quarter at SPU.

Does the Integrated Studies major also result in me receiving my teacher certification?
No. You must also complete the Residency Teacher Certification Program, a separate program for earning certification. It is possible to complete your major and the certification program in four years.

What should I select as a major if I want to be a secondary teacher?
If you plan to teach at the secondary grade level, your major must correspond with the subject area in which you want to teach. For example, if you want to teach high school math, your major will be Mathematics.

What is an endorsement?
An endorsement is the statement appearing on your teaching certificate that indicates what content area you are prepared to teach. Endorsements usually correspond to your academic major.

For example, you may have an endorsement in Mathematics or another subject that will allow you to teach that subject at the middle school and high school level. An endorsement in Elementary Education will allow you to teach at the elementary school level, and an endorsement in Special Education indicates you are prepared to teach special needs students in prekindergarten through high school settings. 

Can I arrange my own student teaching placement?
No. Washington state law requires that the School of Education arrange and formalize student-teaching placements. But you can indicate your internship location preferences when applying for the student teaching internship.  

I don't reside permanently in Washington state. Is my Residency Teacher Certificate from Washington valid in my home state?
SPU students are eligible to apply for licensure in their home state with their Washington State Residency Teacher Certificate. Every state has a process to receive teaching licenses from other states. Please talk to the School of Education Certification Office for details.

I want to be a special education teacher. Do I also need to take Integrated Studies as my major?
No. The School of Education offers the Special Education major for students who want to teach special education. Students pursuing the Special Education major are encouraged to seek advising early, because the courses in the Special Education program are taken in a particular sequence. Students will meet with a faculty advisor for program advising, and then apply to the Special Education major.

How do I apply to the School of Education as a post-baccalaureate student?
First, contact the School of Education to schedule a meeting with the Certification Office. Then upon meeting the School of Education admission requirements, apply to SPU as a post-bac student through Undergraduate Admissions.

To save tuition dollars, you may also choose from three graduate programs that result in a Residency Teacher Certificate as well as a master's degree:

I’m a transfer student. Do I need to take the WEST-B before I’m admitted to Seattle Pacific?
No. We will advise you when to apply to the School of Education and about the best time to take the WEST-B.

How do I find out if my education credits earned at another institution will transfer to SPU’s School of Education?
Use the Transfer Course Equivalency Guide to discover how your credits would transfer to Seattle Pacific.

Once you are admitted to SPU, if you have education credits that you would like to inquire about, please contact the School of Education to schedule a meeting with the Certification Office to find out more.

As a transfer student, how do I use the Common Application to indicate my interest in teaching?
Be sure to visit the Undergraduate Admissions transfer students web page, which includes information about deadlines, the Transfer Course Equivalency Guide, and a link to the Common Application. You will also want to meet with one of the transfer admissions counselors.

When you complete the Common Application for admission to SPU, indicate your interest in education. Then, immediately following the Foundations Quarter in the Residency Teacher Certification Program, you will apply to the School of Education.

What is the salary for a beginning teacher in Washington?
Starting salaries will vary based on district negotiations. See the Washington Educators Association (WEA) website regarding local contract settlements to view the salary range for different districts.

What if I’d like to add another endorsement to my certificate after I’ve completed Washington certification?
After you are certified, you can add many additional endorsements to your certificate by taking the appropriate WEST-E/NES exam. Some endorsements require training programs in addition to the testing. SOE’s Center for Professional Education offers training programs for six of these endorsements.

What is the “edTPA,” and is it a requirement for educators in Washington?

The term edTPA stands for “educative” Teacher Performance Assessment, and the edTPA is a preservice assessment process designed to measure teacher candidate effectiveness in the classroom by focusing on student learning.

As of 2021, the edTPA is no longer a requirement to earn a teaching certificate in the state of Washington. However, educator-preparation programs must use an internal assessment process to verify a teaching candidate’s preparedness before recommending them for certification. Graduates from SOE’s Teacher Education programs — no more than six years from their year of graduation — who are seeking a residency teaching certificate, must contact the program chair to schedule a meeting to discuss the process. Please note: The process may include and is not limited to the completion of an ePortfolio, recorded presentation, and a Professional Growth Plan.

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