Certification Requirements

Special Notice

New subject knowledge tests are required in some fields for Arizona teacher certification, and every test is now administered on computer. Read more.

Please refer to the following table for information about tests required for certification.

Type of Certification
or Endorsement
Tests Required
Professional Knowledge Test Subject Knowledge Test(s) Constitutions of the United States and Arizona (33) Administrator Tests
Arts Education Certification
(PreK–12)
NES Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Elementary
or
NES Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Secondary
NES Art
or
NES Music
 
Early Childhood Certification
AEPA Professional Knowledge—Early Childhood (93)

AEPA Early Childhood Education (36)

 
Early Childhood Endorsement

AEPA Early Childhood Education (36)


 
Elementary Certification
(Grades 1–8)
NES® Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Elementary

NES Elementary Education (Subtests I and II)

 
Reading Endorsement K–8
AEPA Reading Endorsement K–8 (46)    
Reading Endorsement 6–12
AEPA Reading Endorsement 6–12 (47)    
Secondary Certification
(Grades 712)‡
NES® Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Secondary
one or more subject knowledge tests‡
(see "Test Selection" for available fields)
 
Special Education
Certification
NES® Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Elementary*
one or more special education specialty fields (see "Test Selection")
 
Special Education Early Childhood
Certification
AEPA Professional Knowledge—Early Childhood (93)
AEPA Special Education: Early Childhood (23)
 
Career and Technical
Education Certification
NES® Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Secondary**  
 
Administrator Certification:
Superintendent
Principal
Supervisor
   
AEPA Superintendent
(80)
AEPA Principal (81)
AEPA Supervisor (82)
*
Applicants for the Special Education: Early Childhood certificate must take and pass the AEPA Professional Knowledge—Early Childhood test. Applicants for all other Special Education Certificates must take and pass the NES Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Elementary test whether intending to teach at the elementary or secondary grade levels unless this requirement is waived under current reciprocity rules. Please check the ADE Certification Unit's website at www.azed.gov/educator-certification/ or contact the ADE directly for reciprocity information.
**
The NES Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Secondary test must be taken and passed before issuance of a Standard Career and Technical Education Certificate or before the renewal of a Provisional Career and Technical Education Certificate.
Candidates have three years under a valid teaching certificate to fulfill this requirement, unless they are teaching a course in history, government, social studies, citizenship, law, or civics. Candidates teaching courses in the above-named areas have one year to fulfill the requirement.
The secondary certificate requires an approved area for grades 712. Therefore, a middle grades subject knowledge test may not be used as the first subject knowledge test required for a secondary certificate. Once a secondary certificate is issued, a middle grades approved area may be attached to the certificate as an additional approved area.

Candidates Seeking Certification in Social Studies

To meet the highly qualified requirements, candidates for grades 9 through 12 must show on official transcripts from an accredited institution 24 credit hours of college coursework in Economics, Geography, History, or Political Science/American Government, or must pass one of the following tests:

Attaching a Middle Grades (7–8) Approved Area to a Teaching Certificate

Teachers holding a valid elementary or secondary teaching certificate who want to attach a middle grades approved area (general science, language arts/reading, mathematics, and social studies) to their certificate must pass the corresponding NES test(s), unless the approved area or the corresponding secondary area (English, mathematics, social studies) is already posted on their certificate. Please visit the ADE Certification Unit's website at www.azed.gov/educator-certification/ or contact them directly for more information about requirements for these approved areas.

Approved Area NES Test Required
Middle Grades General Science Middle Grades General Science
Middle Grades Language Arts/Reading Middle Grades English Language Arts or English Language Arts
Middle Grades Mathematics Middle Grades Mathematics or Mathematics

Out-of-State Teacher Candidate Certification

Persons certified by states other than Arizona or trained by out-of-state institutions may also need to take some or all applicable assessments for the type of certificate(s) and/or endorsement(s) sought. Please check the ADE Certification Unit's website at www.azed.gov/educator-certification/ or contact the ADE directly to confirm your AEPA testing requirements based on current reciprocity guidelines.