Teacher helping a student with other students at their desks in the background

Degree Requirements

School of Education

Praxis Exams

Prior to taking any Praxis test, go to the ETS website to determine test registration policy and procedures. If you have problems answering the sample questions, it is suggested that you check out one of the study guides from the library or purchase your own study guide.

You are not required to provide your Social Security number when registering. However, USC Aiken and SC Dept. of Ed. file examinee score information by Social Security number, so if you don't include it, the certification process may be delayed.

You will need to list USC Aiken in the 'Attending Institution' section AND in the 'Score Recipient' boxing order for the scores to be sent to the School of Ed. office. Upon registration, verify that USC Aiken and SC Dept. of Ed. are listed as score recipients. If you fail to list all necessary score recipients, ETS will charge you if score reports are requested after initial registration. (USC Aiken ID#=5840, SC DoEd ID#=8108)

Professional Program

  • A cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.75 for all undergraduate course work, including courses not taken at USC Aiken.
  • A grade of C or better in English (ENGL) 101, 102 (or their equivalents) and the Communications requirement (or its equivalent).
  • A candidate must have completed a minimum of 60 semester hours at time of application or semester of application
  • An official report indicating passing PRAXIS CORE (or exemptible ACT or SAT) scores for all three sections (math, writing and reading) must be sent by the Education Testing Service (ETS) and received by the School of Education. Passing scores must be received by the School of Education at least 2 weeks prior to the beginning of the semester that you intend to take professional level courses. 


  • Candidate must be fully admitted to the Professional Program at least one full semester prior to the internship semester. (i.e. Transfer students cannot transfer into internship. Transfer students must take at least one block of professional program classes before they can be accepted to internship.)
  • Candidates are required to complete an on-line application for certification for the SC Dept. of Education and register for fingerprinting. As of Fall 2016 there is a $105 certification application fee (payable to SC Dept. of Ed) and a $53.25 fingerprinting fee (payable to MorphoTrust USA LLC) due at submission of certification application.
  • For fall interns, application and fingerprinting is due during during advisement period in the fall a year prior to internship. For spring interns, application and fingerprinting is due during advisement period in the spring a year prior to internship. Please refer to the information on the state department website for fingerprinting locations and procedures.
  • The candidate must have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all course work.
  • Candidates must have successfully passed the Writing Proficiency Portfolio requirement or taken ENGL 201 for USC Aiken.
  • Candidates are required to pass PRAXIS II subject area assessment(s) prior to internship.
  • Note - Interns follow the school district calendar and start school prior to USC Aiken's official semester start dates. Spring interns are required to attend the opening of public schools in August.


  • Prior to graduation, the candidate must pass the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) exam appropriate to his/her certification area.
  • Prior to certification recommendation, the candidate must provide the School of Education an official copy of their transcript once the degree has been awarded.

Professional Disposition Expectations

The School of Education prepares Dynamic Educators who can plan, instruct, manage, communicate, and grow professionally. Part of professionalism is having the dispositions necessary to be an effective educator. First and foremost, the School of Education expects candidates to believe that all children can learn no matter their socioeconomic status, ethnicity, gender, or religious beliefs. Additionally we look for candidates who:

  • keep confidential all information concerning pupils in the class or school;
  • maintain the dignity necessary to gain the respect of pupils;
  • show enthusiasm concerning the learning experiences being developed with pupils;
  • be sympathetic and courteous toward all pupils, parents, University, and school personnel;
  • consider himself/herself a member of the community in which he/she is teaching and act accordingly;
  • use disciplinary measures that conform to the instructions of the cooperating teacher and which are applicable to public school policy and South Carolina State laws;
  • be interested in and ready to assist with the improvement of the class;
  • realize that each pupil is an individual and will take into consideration individual abilities, interests, and capacities for learning;
  • be completely impartial in dealing with pupils and constantly strive to be fair while judging pupils' actions;
  • refrain from imposing religious or political views upon pupils and exhibit a broad minded, tolerant attitude toward all groups and individuals;
  • be enthusiastic and eager to offer ideas concerning curriculum, methods, and management;
  • make the teaching environment an attractive and orderly place.

In addition to the above, the South Carolina Department of Education requires candidates to be aware of the state code of conduct for teachers (S.C. Code Ann. §§ 59-25-160, 59-25-530) that outlines behaviors that will result in the dismissal and revocation of certificate. Examples of such behavior that fall under unprofessional conduct include incompetence, willful neglect of duty, willful violation of the rules and regulations of the State Board of Education, unprofessional conduct, drunkenness, cruelty, crime against the law of this State or the United States, immorality, any conduct involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, evident unfitness for position for which employed, or sale or possession of narcotics.

Important updates, changes, reminders, etc. will be sent to your USC Aiken email address.