Certification Requirements to Become a Math Teacher in Utah

The Utah State Office of Education ensures that all prospective math teachers are professionally vetted and ready to take on the responsibility of preparing the state’s youth for the jobs of the future.

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The Office of Education will review your application and ensure you have met all competency requirements according to the regulations of the Utah State Board of Education.

Review these steps to meet the qualifications necessary to become a math teacher in Utah:

Earn a Degree in Math and Complete a Teacher Prep Program
Pass the Math Teacher Testing Requirement
Apply for Certification and Renew Your License
Upgrade Your Utah Teaching License to Level 2
Upgrade Your Utah Teaching License to Level 3



Step 1. Earn a Degree in Math and Complete a Teacher Prep Program

The traditional route to becoming a math teacher in Utah begins by earning a bachelor’s degree in math at minimum, which includes a teacher preparation program.

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Once you fulfill the requirements for your math BA or BS major you will transition to the teacher preparation program. Of the 10 schools and universities with approved teacher preparation programs in Utah, eight of these include prep programs for mathematics. These programs concentrate on teaching mathematics, and focus on content such as:

  • Foundations of pedagogical theory and education
  • Psychology of learning
  • Lesson plan development for a mathematics curriculum
  • Teaching strategies for concepts in math
  • Diverse student learners
  • Teaching students with disabilities
  • Supervised student teaching in a math class

Candidates Who Already Have a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher

If you already have at least a bachelor’s degree in math but have yet to complete a teacher preparation program, you can apply to an Alternate Route to Licensure (ARL) program. This type of alternate preparation program will prepare you to become a math teacher starting with relevant pedagogical courses, and follow these with on-the-job training with a mentor for at least one year.

Out-of-State Candidates

You are also eligible for a Utah teaching license if you are a currently licensed in another state. Generally you will be eligible if:

  • You meet Utah’s testing requirements
  • Your educator preparation program has similar requirements as those in Utah
  • You can pass a criminal background investigation

You will need to fill out a separate out-of-state license application unless using the online application system.



Step 2. Pass the Math Teacher Testing Requirement

Once you have completed your teaching preparation program and math degree you will be ready to take the Praxis II Math Exam, administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS). This is offered in two versions, and you should take the one that best corresponds to the grade levels you intend to teach:

    • 150 minutes to complete 60 questions covering:
      •  Calculus
      • Discrete mathematics
      • Probability and statistics
      •  Geometry
      • Number and quantity
      • Algebra and functions


    • 120 minutes to complete 55 questions covering:
      •  Data
      •  Geometry
      •  Arithmetic
      • Algebra



Step 3. Apply for Certification and Renew Your License

Once you have met all the math teacher certification requirements in Utah you will be ready to submit an application for licensure. You can begin this process by creating an account on the Utah Education Network (UEN), if you have not done so already during your teacher preparation program.

A UEN account will enable you to create a CACTUS account, short for a Comprehensive Administration of Credentials for Teachers in Utah account. Your teacher preparation program would either arrange for you to complete an application for licensure or you will be directed to complete an online application using your CACTUS account.

Along with an application you will also need to arrange to have yourself fingerprinted for a comprehensive background investigation.

The first license you will receive is known as a Level 1 Teaching License and will be valid for three years.

License Renewal

To renew your license you will need to earn a specified number of license renewal points. These are determined according to the level of your license. Renewal points can be earned by participating in activities that advance your skills and effectiveness as a math teacher. Instead of renewing your Level 1 License you are encouraged to upgrade this to a Level 2 during your first three years of employment as a math teacher. The required renewal points for each level of teaching license are:

  • Level 1 – 100 renewal points
  • Level 2 – 200 renewal points
  • Level 3 – 200 renewal points



Step 4. Upgrade Your Utah Teaching License to Level 2

After attaining a Level 1 License you will have three years to complete the requirements needed to upgrade this to a Level 2 License:

  • Complete the Entry Years Enhancement (EYE) program
  • Pass an ethics review

The Level 2 License is valid for five years.

EYE Program

The Entry Years Enhancement program is designed to provide you with all the support you need to make the transition to your new career as seamless as possible. The Utah State Board of Education has identified 10 standards of effective teaching that you will be measured against:

  • Understanding of the multifaceted influences on student development
  • Understanding learning, cultural, and linguistic student differences
  • Planning of instruction to meet formidable learning goals
  • Variation of instructional strategies to adapt to different learning styles
  • Creation of a positive learning environment
  • Reflection and adaptation of teaching styles to best-fit a situation
  • Understanding of mathematics
  • Community leadership and promotion of mathematics
  • High standard of professionalism
  • Use of different assessments to illuminate differing strengths and weaknesses

To complete the EYE program you will need to accomplish the following:

  • Create a professional portfolio of examples of your teaching expertise and development
  • Achieve a satisfactory final professional evaluation for at least two years
  • Work with an assigned mentor during your initial three years in a Level 1 License
  • Complete a two-hour suicide prevention course
  • Pass the appropriate Principles of Learning and Teaching Exam

Principles of Learning and Teaching Exam

As with the earlier Math Exam from Step 2, the Principles of Learning and Teaching Exam is also administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS). Because math teachers in Utah can teach anywhere between grades 5-12, you will need to pass the exam which most corresponds to the grade levels you teach:

These exams cover similar subject areas and are offered in a similar format. The exam focuses primarily on pedagogy and education:

  • 2 hours to complete 70 multiple-choice and 4 constructed-response questions on the subjects of:
    • Community leadership and professional development
    • Instructional scenario analysis
    • Instructional process
    • Students as learners
    • Assessments



Step 5. Upgrade to a Level 3 License

As you prepare to make the transition from a Level 2 License to a Level 3 you should start thinking about obtaining a master’s degree in the field of education, such as an M.A.T., M. Ed. Or MATL. This will reflect positively during a professional evaluation when you are assessed on your level of expertise and professionalism. It will also help you get closer to one of the pathways for upgrading to a Level 3 License: a doctoral degree in an education field.

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The other pathway you can take to a Level 3 License is through National Board Certification. Sponsored by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), as a math teacher in Utah you will have two choices for which certification to pursue, depending on the ages of the students you teach:

Becoming NBPTS-certified is an in-depth and lengthy process that involves a thorough review of your teaching effectiveness. As part of this evaluation you will need to develop a portfolio of examples of your teaching work and growth as a professional. Over the course of a year you will add evidence of this to your portfolio, including things like:

  • Results of professional evaluations
  • Improving student test results
  • Other demonstrations of student growth as a direct result of your teaching

Throughout the period while you are compiling your portfolio you will also need to take several NBPTS assessments. Once you have assembled your portfolio you will submit this to the NBPTS for consideration.

After you have completed either a doctoral degree in education or achieved NBPTS certification you will be eligible to upgrade to a Level 3 License, which is valid for seven years.

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