School of Education Dean’s Office

NYS Certification Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Hofstra University automatically recommend me for certification for when I graduate?
No. Your Certification is a legal document through New York State and cannot be filed without consent and an online application from the student.  

It is the student’s responsibility to contact the School of Education Dean’s Office when getting ready to apply for certification.  Certification packets are available in room 240 Hagedorn Hall.

When should I apply for my certification?
Requests for institutional recommendation should be submitted to the office of Educational Support Services in your final semester at Hofstra. Certification information seminars are presented every semester at which time certification request forms will be distributed. Please note: Hofstra University cannot recommend you for certification until you complete your program in its entirety and you have been cleared for graduation. **Candidates MUST file for graduation**
Once all of my final grades are in, how will I know if Hofstra Unversity recommended me for certification?
As long as the Associate Dean has all required documentation, the recommendation process will start on or shortly after the conferral date of your degree.  You will receive an email from the University letting you know  you were recommended for certification.  Please allow 2-3 weeks for Hofstra to recommend you for certification once all grades are in/degrees are conferred. If you do not receive an email within 3-4 weeks of your degree being conferred, you may call the certification office to check on the status of your application. You can also check your TEACH account for the status.
When I apply for certification am I able to get a letter from the college stating my pending certification?
If the school/district you are interviewing for requires a letter on Hofstra letterhead, you can request a letter stating that Hofstra University will be recommending you for certification upon conferral of your degree. Please email your letter request to Your Institutional Recommendation Request form must be on file in order to receive this letter. Please note, our office is unable to provide letters that verify your graduation date, the effective date of your certification or that you have met all requirements for certification. 
Can I apply for certification even if all my State exams are not passed?
Hofstra University recommends candidates for certification based on the completion (degree conferral) of the New York State registered program. The university CAN recommend for certification even if all exams have not been passed, unless the exams are a graduation requirement (SDL/SDBL programs). If the exams are not passed, the certification will not issue at the time of recommendation. Once all exams are passed, the certification will be issued automatically.
Once I have my Initial Certification, how many years do I have to satisfy requirements for Professional certification? What other requirements must I fulfill to become professionally certified?
Your Initial certificate is valid for 5 years. You will have 5 years to complete 3 years of teaching experience and a Master’s degree. Included in the 3 years of teaching, holders of the Initial must receive mentoring in their first year of teaching or school building leadership service in a public school district. An exception to this requirement applies to certificate holders who have at least two years of teaching or educational leadership service, respectively, prior to receiving the Initial certificate. For additional information on the mentoring requirement, please visit
What if I am unable to meet the requirements for Professional certification within the 5 year time frame?
The time validity of an expired Initial may be extended for two years from the date the certificate expired. The State also offers the opportunity for a re-issuance of your certificate.
What is the professional development requirement?
Holders of a Professional teaching certificate for classroom teaching certificate are required to complete professional development hours to maintain the validity of their certificates. Professional certificate holders must complete 175 clock hours every five years.  For moreinformation on PD hours visit:

If you have any questions regarding certification, Please contact the School of Education Dean’s Office at 516-463-5740.