College of Education > Information for Students > Undergraduate Students > Certification > U.S. Citizenship Requirement for Teacher Certification Candidates

U.S. Citizenship Requirement for Teacher Certification Candidates

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) currently requires teachers* to be U.S. Citizens.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) currently requires teachers* to be U.S. Citizens.

PDE will issue certificates to teacher candidates holding a resident alien (green card) visa if they have filed a “declaration of intent” to become citizens. This form can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Education website.

Some candidates also have been able to obtain dual citizenship with the United States and their home country.

Some states do not have a U.S. citizenship requirement for teachers, so Penn State can provide "non-citizen" completers of PSU teacher preparation programs with formal letters verifying their professional preparation. Certification requirements in other states may change from year to year, so candidates should contact other states to obtain the most current information regarding their specific situations. The U.S. DOE offers a map to assist students in linking directly to departments of education and bureaus of professional certification in other states.