Teaching Degrees in Alabama

Anyone who plans to earn a teaching degree in Alabama and/or wishes to teach in the Alabama public school system needs to know some important information about:

  • The impact of a master’s degree
  • Scholarships and grants
  • Alabama teacher certification

Also included here is a list of additional resources and a comprehensive directory of fully accredited teaching degrees in Alabama.

Teaching Degrees in Alabama

The minimum educational requirement for becoming a teacher in Alabama is a bachelor’s degree, preferably in education or in a field related to the person’s area of teaching. Fourteen colleges and universities offer teaching programs and degrees in Alabama.
Fifty three percent of Alabama teachers have master’s degrees. A teacher with a master’s degree in Alabama can expect to earn a minimum of $5,000 more annually than a teacher with comparable experience who does not have an advanced degree.

Teaching Scholarships and Grants in Alabama

Students pursuing teaching degrees in Alabama have a variety of state-based scholarship and grant options. Scholarship sources include the state government, non-profit organizations, colleges and universities, and professional teacher organizations. For example:

Technology Scholarship Program for Alabama Teachers
A state grant covering tuition and fees for students who are Alabama public school teachers enrolled in courses that incorporate new technologies in the curriculum.

Jay Murphy Scholarship
The Central Alabama Community Foundation offers this scholarship to students who wish to become teachers or teachers who are furthering their education.

Alabama Educational Retirees Association Scholarships
The Alabama Educational Retirees Association awards several $1,500 scholarships to Alabama Education Association members.

University of Alabama – College of Education Scholarships
The University of Alabama offers 59 different scholarships to students pursuing a teaching degree.

Dr. Thomas F. "Whitey" Hall Scholarship
The University of North Alabama awards this $600 scholarship to a full-time student majoring in biology or secondary education/ biology with an interest in botany.

Alabama Council of Teachers of Mathematics Scholarships
ACTM provides $1,000 scholarships to junior/senior level undergraduate students who are majoring in mathematics education.

Louise B. Marsh Scholarship in Art Education
Awarded by the Alabama Art Education Association, this annual scholarship is for first year art educators and pre-service art education undergraduate students.

James R. Linton Professional Educator Scholarship
The Alabama Reading Association awards scholarships to members pursuing part‑time or full‑time graduate study in reading or reading education programs.

Alabama Teacher Certification

Teachers who wish to work in Alabama need Professional Educator Certification. The state has three levels of teacher certification:

  • Class B – For new teachers who have completed a bachelor’s degree and a teacher education program.
  • Class A – For teachers who have completed a master’s degree program.
  • Class AA – For teachers who have 30 or more credits of post-master’s coursework.

Certification requirements include:

  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Passing score on the Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program (APTTP), which tests reading, writing, and mathematics skills.
  • Passing score on the Praxis II Test for subject proficiency in the area in which the person wants to teach. The test is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and approved by the Alabama State Board of Education.
  • Fingerprinting and criminal history background check through the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Important Note: Alabama does not recognize educator preparation programs from outside of the state. This means teachers who earn their degrees outside of Alabama must become certified to teach in another state, U.S. territory, or the District of Columbia (likely wherever they earned their degree), and then apply for an Alabama Professional Educator Certificate.

Professional educators in Alabama must renew their certification periodically, and can do so by meeting any one of the following requirements:

  • Three full years of full-time satisfactory educational experience and five continuing education units (CEUs) equaling 50 hours of professional development.
  • Three full years of full-time satisfactory educational experience and three semester hours of allowable credit.
  • Five allowable CEUs and three semester hours of allowable credit.
  • Six semester hours of allowable credit.
  • Initial issuance of National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification.

Additional Resources about Teaching in Alabama

The following resources provide additional information about earning a teaching degree and working as a teacher in Alabama.

Alabama State Department of Education
Comprehensive information about the Alabama public school system and teaching in Alabama.

Alabama Department of Labor
Information about the Alabama job market in general, and teaching careers specifically.

Alabama Education Association
The largest professional education association in Alabama, it also functions as a trade union.

Alabama Conference of Educators
A state-wide professional teacher association focusing on education excellence, professional development, and recognition of teachers as career professionals.

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