Online Graduate Alternative Teaching Certification

Pursue your dream of becoming a teacher.

The online alternative teacher certification graduate certificate provides a pathway to teaching certification outside of traditional teacher education programs. It is ideal for individuals with bachelor’s degrees in non-education fields who want to transition to K-12 teaching, have a valid Alternative Preliminary Certificate and have an offer of employment from a public or Department of Education-accredited school.

The graduate certificate in alternative teacher certification is an online stand-alone credential that is designed to meet the state of South Dakota’s requirements for alternative certification for teaching licensure. The certificate will cover topics in classroom management, teaching methods, student assessment, differentiated instruction, adolescent psychology and South Dakota Indian studies.

In addition to the certificate, the students need to pass the appropriate state-designated pedagogy test, adhere to the SD Code of Professional Ethics for Teachers and receive sign-off from the employing school/district.

Admission Requirements

Application requirements can be found at Graduate School Admission Requirements and include:

  1. Completed Graduate Application
    Apply Online
  2. $35 application fee
  3. Official transcript(s) verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree and official transcripts of all academic work at the graduate level are required for all students (minimum GPA of 2.7)
  4. Statement of Purpose
  5. Three (3) letters of recommendation
  6. Additional requirements exist for international applicants. For more information, visit International Admission Requirements

For more information about the graduate alternative teacher certification, contact USD Online at 605-658-6200 or by e-mail at