Near the conclusion of full time student teaching (Winter quarter), all teacher candidates should be prepared to participate in the application process for their Washington State Residency Teaching Certificate so that they will have valid credentials for any subsequent teaching position offers during Spring quarter and before the next school year.

Licensure and Certification

In Washington State, a Residency Teaching Certificate is the first certificate issued and is valid until the holder has completed two years of successful teaching in a public school or approved private school in Washington. This certificate may then be reissued with a five year expiration date. After a teacher has completed two years in a public school or approved private school in Washington, they may pursue their Professional Certification

The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) of Washington is the state governing agency, which licenses educators and approves professional academic programs.

Admission to the University of Washington Bothell Secondary and Middle Level Teacher Certification M.Ed. program does not guarantee a teaching credential or endorsement in the State of Washington. The University can only recommend students for certification to teach; OSPI is the official body to award or deny certification and endorsements.

Washington State Requirements

Character and Fitness Supplement Form

Washington State law requires that all persons in school personnel certification programs must show evidence of good character and fitness to serve in the public schools. The Character and Personal Fitness Supplement form asks if a teacher candidate has ever had a conviction for a crime, a serious behavior problem, or a revoked professional license.  If a candidate answers "yes" to any of these questions, he/she must submit explanatory documentation which is reviewed by the Washington State Office of Professional Practice.  Admission to the certification program is conditional until "yes" answers are cleared to the State and the University's satisfaction.

Fingerprint Clearance

Washington State Patrol and FBI fingerprinting clearance must be current and listed in the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s (OSPI) database before a teacher candidate can work in schools or be recommended for certification. All UW Bothell teacher candidates will have completed fingerprinting clearance before the beginning of Autumn quarter of the second program year. Districts will not allow UW Bothell teacher candidates in field placements without fingerprint clearance.  Fingerprint clearance must be current through Spring quarter of the second program year in order for a teacher candidate to be recommended for certification. 


During full time student teaching (Winter Quarter), teacher candidates will complete an application for Washington Residency Teacher Certificate and receive other certification documents.

Applications and fees for state certification are submitted by an announced date during Winter quarter set by the Program Coordinator. All required materials are sent to OSPI  for certification. OSPI grants or denies the University’s recommendation for certification.

UW Bothell Certification Recommendation

Toward the end of full time student teaching (Winter qarter) the program coordinator will compile a list of all teacher candidates who have, to that point, met all University of Washington Bothell requirements for residency certification. The program coordinator will distribute this list to all Secondary and Middle Level Teacher Certification M.Ed. program faculty and clinical faculty, asking them if they know of any reason why any teacher candidate should not be recommended for the residency certificate.

Should any Secondary and Middle Level Teacher Certification M.Ed. Program faculty or clinical faculty register serious reservations about the certification of a candidate, the Director of the Education Program shall convene all faculty, clinical faculty, and the cooperating teacher who worked with the teacher candidate to hear all reservations about the candidate. The Director shall judge the merits of the concerns and shall determine whether the teacher candidate shall be recommended. The Director’s decision may be appealed by Secondary Teacher Certification M.Ed. Program faculty or staff, to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

The teacher candidate may appeal the decision to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs through the academic grievance procedures of the UW Human Rights Commission.


An endorsement specifies the competencies for which a teaching certificate is valid. UW Bothell Education program will recommend Residency Certification and endorsements in the areas the teacher candidate has successfully completed to OSPI. The approved subject area endorsement(s) will be listed on the residency certificate.

UW Bothell Secondary and Middle Level Teacher Certification M.Ed Program offers the opportunity to earn Middle Level endorsements in addition to specific subject endorsements. Students may do this while in the program or after graduation or a combination of both.

Testing for Endorsements

The State of Washington requires every teacher candidate to pass the WEST-E test(s) in their specific endorsement area in order to be recommended for that teaching endorsement.

  • Biology - WEST-E test code: 022
  • English/Language Arts - WEST-E test code: 020
  • History - WEST-E test code: 027
  • Mathematics - WEST-E test code: 026
  • Social Studies - WEST-E test code: 028
  • Middle Level Science - WEST-E test code: 013
  • Middle Level Math - WEST-E test code: 012
  • Middle Level Humanities - WEST-E test code: 010/011

When registering, name UW Bothell as university recipient of your score(s).

WEST-E Testing Deadlines

Applicants to the UW Bothell Secondary and Middle Level Teacher Certification M.Ed. program must pass the WEST-E test in their endorsement area as a condition of their unconditional admission to the program. If a student has not passed the WEST-E prior to starting the program, they may be admitted on a conditional basis.

  • Students admitted on a conditional basis must successfully pass a WEST-E test in a least one of their endorsement areas in order to continue in the program past Spring quarter of the first year.
  • Students may not be placed at a field site until they have successfully passed the WEST-E test in at least one of their endorsement areas.
  • Students are encouraged to successfully pass the WEST-E test in their endorsement area as early as possible in the program in order to avoid facing the consequesnces of a late field experience placement or not being able to continue in the program past the first academic year.
  • WEST-E tests in additional endorsement areas must be passed by February of the second program year in order for the subject area endorsement(s) to be listed on their Residency Teaching Certificate.

For information about qualifying scores, frequently asked questions, test dates, testing centers in Washington and test registration see the Washington Educator Skills Test site.


Students are charged a student teaching fee of $750. These fees go toward the support of the cooperating teachers and field experiences. The student teachings fees are attached to required program courses and may be spread out over two or three quarters. This fee is subject to change.

A fee of $35 for Washington State certification is required and payable to the Puget Sound Educational Service District (ESD). This fee is payable during the final quarter of the program. The amount of this fee is also subject to change.

Job Placement Services

The UW Bothell Education Program does not have a placement file office or service. However, graduates may access the University of Washington Seattle’s placement file service. Placement files usually consist of letters of recommendation and transcripts. Teacher Candidates will receive information at a workshop specifically designed to provide information about how to search for and apply for teaching positions during the final quarter of the program.