Alternate Route to Certification Program

The Saint Peter’s University Alternate Route Program is a method for college graduates to become fully certified teachers without receiving a master’s degree.  The program has four steps which take place over the course of a calendar year.

For more information about the program please refer to the New Jersey State Department of Education’s website.

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STEP ONE: Requirements to Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (CE)

All candidates must have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree.

  • Candidates who graduated before September 1, 2016 are required to have a minimum GPA of 2.75.
  • Candidates who graduated on or after September 1, 2016 are required to have an overall GPA of at least 3.00.

There is a “flexibility rule” that says a candidate graduating on or after September 1, 2016 who does not have a minimum GPA of 3.00, but does have at least an overall GPA of 2.75 may submit an application if they obtain a passing score on the Praxis II test that is at least 10% higher than the normal passing score.

STEP TWO: Candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree with appropriate major or number of credits for requested certification area.

Elementary grade: Candidates for an elementary grade certificate are eligible with almost all undergraduate majors except business related fields. In those cases, the candidate must have a minimum of 60 credits in liberal arts fields.

Middle School: Candidates applying for middle school certification must have a minimum of 15 credits in the subject field in which they apply. Candidates applying only for middle school must also have a certificate as an elementary grade teacher (K-6).

High School: Candidates applying for high school certification must have a minimum of 30 credits in a coherent sequence of courses in the subject field in which they apply. Teachers certified to teach high school may also teach middle school with their high school certification.


STEP THREE: Basic Skills Assessment (Core Testing or Praxis I)

Effective September 1, 2015, candidates must pass a Commissioner-approved basic skills assessment. Candidates are exempt from the basic skills requirement if they can demonstrate a score on the SAT, ACT or GRE at or above the cut score for the year in which they took the exam.

The three sections of the approved test are:

  • Core Academic Skills for Educators Reading (#5712) Passing score: 156
  • Core Academic Skills for Educators Writing (#5722) Passing score: 162
  • Core Academic Skills for Educators Math (#5732) Passing score: 150

Sign up to take the tests at



  • Candidates must obtain a passing score on the appropriate State Praxis test. If an applicant has a 3.5 GPA or higher, they can use another section of the Flexibility Rule which allows them to get a 5% lower State Praxis test score.

The following website provides the names of the State Praxis tests for all certification areas (pp. 3 and 4) and the passing score for each test (p. 5).

STEP FIVE: * 50-Hour Course
  • Prior to July 1, 2017 all candidates were required to complete a 50-hour course.
  • Candidates who apply for a CE on or after July 1, 2017 do not need to have completed a 50-hour course.

Please see information on the 50-hour course explained later in this document.

STEP SIX: Application Process

You can apply at any time even without having completed any of the requirements described above. There isn’t an application fee, but the state will request a certification fee for the Certificate of Eligibility ($190.00).

Minimum grade requirement GPA 3.0

Application: Follow the link to apply online.

You may want to wait until you have successfully completed all or most of the testing requirements described in Steps 3 and 4.

STEP SEVEN: Obtaining your Certificate of Eligibility

Send all requirements to the New Jersey State Department of Education. You will receive your Certificate of Eligibility (CE).

The CE allows you to look for a teaching position and allows a school district to hire you.

STEP EIGHT: Obtain a Provisional Certificate

From September, 1985 to September 1, 2017 all teacher candidates who received a Certificate of Eligibility (CE) and then obtained a teaching position were automatically awarded a Provisional Certificate by the New Jersey State Department of Education. They then had to complete a 200-hour training program at a college or university during their first year of teaching. Saint Peter’s University offered the 200-hour program since the start of the alternate route program in 1985.

Effective September 1, 2017 the 200-hour program was changed by the State to a 400-hour program. The 400-hour program is divided into a 50-hour program of
pre-professional experience and a 350-hour program. Anyone may take the 50-hour program but only candidates with a CE and a teaching position may take the
350-hour program.

The following quote is from a document issued by the State Department of Education on April 11, 2017 to District Superintendents. “Administrators should ensure that all new teachers hired who hold a Certificate of Eligibility (CE) are enrolled in an approved teacher preparation program by the start of their first school year and have received confirmation from the preparation program that the new teachers have completed the pre-professional (50 hours) component of the program.”

50-hour Pre-Professional Experience

The 50-hour program is open to all candidates.
A candidate does not need to have a CE to take the 50-hour course
Completion of the 50-hour course is the requirement for obtaining a Provisional Certificate.
Candidates are required to have a Provisional Certificate to begin teaching
A candidate does not need to have a contractual teaching position to take the course.
Candidates can be hired by a school/school district with a Certificate of Eligibility.

Candidates who hold a Certificate of Eligibility (CE) and are hired by a school/school district to teach should complete the 50-hour pre-professional course to be eligible to receive a Provisional Certificate, which is a requirement to teach in a classroom.

It is strongly suggested that candidates take the 50-hour program while they are completing the requirements for their CE and before obtaining a teaching position so that they will be ready to enter a classroom immediately upon being hired.

Term Hours Fee
Semester 1 87 $750
Semester 2 88 $750
Semester 3 87 $750
Semester 4 88 $750

Download the Full Schedule (PDF)

Classes take place Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights depending on phase and location. Classes are always 4pm to 8pm. The program is available at four locations: Jersey City, Kearny, North Plainfield, and Sayreville.

STEP NINE: Gain Additional Information

New Jersey State Department of Education
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Phone 609-292-2070

For more information, click: What are the Requirements for Certification?

Then click on: Certificate Subject Area/Grade level and Codes

Find your subject certification area and click on CE in the column on the left side.