Applying for Teacher and Professional Certifications

Applying for Certification is a TWO-STEP Process:

STEP 1: Submit TK20 Certification Application - You must submit application and all required documents to the UTRGV Office of Education Preparation and Accountability (OEPA) via Tk20 at in order to be recommended for certification.

STEP 2: Apply for Certification to TEA and pay via ECOS - You must apply and pay online through the Educator Certification Online System (ECOS).

Certification applications are complete when both steps above have been completed; applications are processed in the order they are received and take 5-7 working days depending on volume.


Submit Certification Application to UTRGV Office of Education Preparation and Accountability via TK20:

  • Log into using the latest version of Firefox, Chrome or Safari browser. Next, you will be prompted to enter your UTRGV credentials twice.
Tk20 Login Screen Tk20 UTRGV Login Screen
  • Click on Create New Application and select application from drop down menu.
  • Complete the required application fields
  • Request an official transcript
    • Official transcript will be emailed to you as a protected PDF
  • Upload transcript and any additional required documents
  • Click the “Submit” button when ready, incomplete applications can be saved and submitted when complete.


How to Apply and Pay for a Standard Certificate via ECOS (Teacher, Principal, Superintendent, School Counselor, Reading Specialist, and Educational Diagnostician)

  • Go to
  • Click Login to TEAL
  • Enter User Name and Password in the boxes provided, then Click Login
  • Click Educator
    • Update Educator Profile if prompted, click Continue
  • From menu on the left of screen, click Applications
  • Click on Standard Certificate Texas Program
  • Click on Apply for Certification
  • Answer the yes/no questions.
  • Under "I request to be recommended by this Entity"
    • Select: The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (University Based)
  • Acknowledge additional TEA questions
  • Click Apply and then Continue on the next page
  • From menu on the left of screen, click Application/Fee Status, then “Pay Online Now” to pay

Teacher candidates are required to complete a national fingerprint background check; for more information visit

UTRGV Initial Certification Policy


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley College of Education & P-16 Integration Leadership Team has established the following policy with input from the Advisory Committee. The effective date of this policy is as of this date. All teacher candidates defined as “program finishers” fulfilling all the Educator Preparation Program (EPP) requirements including clinical teaching and confirmation of a degree, must fulfill State Certification testing requirements in order to be eligible for recommendation of certification to the State of Texas.

Program finisher(s) must request recommendation for teacher certification immediately upon conferred degree by the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) and no longer than 3 calendar years after fulfilling all degree requirements. This applies to all current teacher candidates formally admitted to the Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) as of fall 2015.

Timeframe for Receiving Teacher Certification Recommendation

If program finisher/teacher candidate is not test-complete by time a bachelor’s degree has been conferred, all testing requirements must be met within 3 calendar years to apply for teacher certification, and be eligible to receive recommendation for certification from UTRGV.

Change in State Standards and Teacher Certification

Subsequent to completion of degree and request for approval to take State Certification exam; the current TEA regulations will be adhered to. Therefore candidates may be required to fulfill additional requirements not present at time of initial completion of degree

UTRGV Professional Certification Policy

Students in professional certification programs will have two years after program completion to take their certification exam. Within this two year period, program completers who are requesting test approval will be reviewed by the department chair/program coordinator before approval is granted to ensure that all TAC requirements have been met. After the two-year period, program completers requesting testing approval will be reviewed by the department chair/program coordinator so that a new certification plan can be created as needed. This certification plan may include additional coursework or professional development and must be completed before testing approval is granted.

Change in State Standards and Teacher Certification

If TEA certification standards change between the time that the program is complete and the time that certification is sought, the new standards must be met. This may mean taking additional courses or completing additional requirements in the form of a certification plan.