Admission to all UK teacher preparation programs is competitive. All candidates for admission must meet basic skills requirements. In addition to meeting minimum requirements, candidates must demonstrate excellence in a variety of areas. Among these are skills in working with students in educational environments, ability to be successful in cooperative groups, ability to communicate effectively, experience with school and community programs, and ability to engage in effective problem solving.

All applicants for teacher preparation programs will complete a standard application process and will be assessed through a rigorous interview procedure with a specific program admissions committee. Students who are not admitted to a teacher preparation program may apply again at a later date.

NOTE: Secondary education majors do not apply to the TEP until they apply for the MIC program. STEM majors follow the TEP process as outlined below.

  ➡ TEP Application Fall 2020: September 8-11, 2020

Please contact Christopher Reese at for more information about the Teacher Education Program (TEP) Application.


A. Applying for Admission to a Teacher Education Program

All applicants must complete a TEP application packet and portfolio. This is done at a time when the student has earned the appropriate number of hours and when standardized testing and GPA requirements have been met. Application packets are available online. (The application process for graduate-level programs do vary. Applicants to graduate-level initial teacher education programs should consult with a program advisor prior to beginning the application process.) Students are not permitted to apply for a TEP without official copies of passing test scores in hand.


All applicants for an initial teacher education program must have a minimum 2.75 GPA overall or a GPA of 3.0 in the last 30 hours. (Note: the average GPA for students admitted to TEP is about a 3.0.) Questions about GPA must be referred to an advisor in Academic Services and Teacher Certification, 166 TEB. The UK Graduate School will require a minimum overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75 for admission to a graduate degree program.

C. Earned Hours

Students must have earned at least 45 or 60 undergraduate hours (depending on the program) by the time they begin the teacher education program. Some STEM majors may apply after earning 30 hours. It is expected that students will have completed most of the UK Core by the time they are admitted to a teacher preparation program.

D. Letters of Recommendation

Students must gather at least three letters of recommendation on official College of Education recommendation forms. These letters of recommendation are used to document a student’s skills and aptitude related to becoming a teacher. Recommendation forms are included in the TEP Application packet. Recommendations may not be used for other programs than that for which they were written. (Graduate certificate-only programs may be an exception to this rule.)

E. Code of Ethics and The Character and Fitness

All candidates who wish to be admitted to a teacher education program must understand that teachers in Kentucky are held to a high standard of conduct towards the students, the community and the profession. Teachers are role models for students; illegal conduct can be grounds for revoking or denying a teaching certificate. Students wishing to be admitted to a teacher education program must declare that they have not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor (other than traffic violations), and that they have not had any serious problems with any legal system.  Forms are available from 166 TEB or here: C&F issue instructions TEP

F. Transcript Verification

The UK College of Education requires students to submit copies of all undergraduate and graduate coursework. Students may use an unofficial transcript (available in myUK) as proof of their UK coursework. If a student has taken courses at another institution, a copy or photocopy of the official transcript from that university must be included in the TEP application. When possible, if a student’s file contains such a copy, the staff of TEB166 will provide a copy at the student’s request. This request must be made at least 48 hours prior to the application deadline.

G. Admissions Portfolio

Students in the Middle Level and IECE programs are required to turn in portfolio materials with their TEP application. All other majors should follow the portfolio guidelines specific to their program. Portfolio descriptions for some majors are available at the front desk of TEB 166. Questions about portfolios should be directed to the student’s academic advisor or program faculty chair. 
NOTE: STEM Majors DO NOT have a portfolio requirement.

NOTE: Any student applying in Art (Allan Richards), Music (Martina Vasil), Kinesiology/Health Promotion (Heather Erwin/Melody Noland), or Agriculture (Stacy Vincent) education MUST discuss their portfolios and applications with the program faculty prior to applying.

H. Experience with children and education

Good teachers have lots of experiences with children, parents, and educational activities. Students wishing to become teachers should seek opportunities for experiences in education-related environments. The amount and quality of a student’s experience is often a factor in being admitted to a teacher education program. Some programs have specific requirements about experiences with children and education required for admission to the teacher education program.

I. TEP Interview and other criteria for being admitted

All students must complete an admission interview with the admissions committee in the program to which they are seeking admission. During the interview, the committee will take a number of factors into consideration in making a decision. All of the criteria listed in this section will be utilized. Also, because admission to programs is competitive and space is limited, not all students who meet the minimum criteria will necessarily be accepted in any one admission period. Students may apply again if they are not accepted.

J. Testing Rules

All students seeking admission to an initial teacher education program must present acceptable standardized test scores.