Request for PA Certification Recommendation

Students who have completed an approved certification program at the University of Pittsburgh can apply for certification through PDE's Teacher Information Management System (TIMS). As part of your application for certification, the University of Pittsburgh will review your academic record and other requirements to verify your eligibility for certification. Once your eligibility is confirmed, we will provide a recommendation for certification on your behalf to PDE.

After you have completed and submitted your application using TIMS, you will need to request a recommendation from The University of Pittsburgh in order for your application to be reviewed and processed by PDE. There is no communication from the TIMS system to the University of Pittsburgh when applications are submitted. This means that if you do not submit a request for recommendation from us, your application will sit in TIMS, unprocessed, until it expires. If your application has expired, please contact Elisabeth P. Estes ( and she can request that your expired application be reactivated by PDE.

All applicants for certification, including those who completed a program in the past but did not file for certification at that time, must complete the online University of Pittsburgh Request for Recommendation form.

This online form only applies to applicants who finished a teacher preparation program at the University of Pittsburgh, Main Campus.

Certification Application Timeline

  1. Complete your Educator Preparation program at the University of Pittsburgh.
  2. Apply for certification on TIMS system.
  3. Your TIMS application status will say: "Waiting for Educ. Or Work Exp. Verification".
  4. Submit a Request for Recommendation using the Form AND submit your TIMS coversheet, which can be found on your TIMS dashboard.
  5. The University of Pittsburgh will verify your credentials and make a recommendation to PDE, via the TIMS system.
  6. Your application status will change to "Awaiting Evaluation". At this point, your application will go in a queue to be reviewed by PDE.
  7. Once your application for certification is approved by PDE, your application status will change to "Approved"

PDE processing times vary, but it can take 4-12 weeks for your certificate to be approved by PDE after the recommendation is made by the University of Pittsburgh. You can check your TIMS dashboard for your application status.

Our Process

Please allow adequate time for us to review your records and approve your application in TIMS. The University of Pittsburgh’s Certification Officer cannot make a recommendation to TIMS until the degree has been officially conferred, or until your certificate program has been completed. Degrees are officially conferred by the Office of the Registrar several weeks after the semester finishes.

PDE takes approximately 4-12 weeks to process an application from the time they receive our recommendation. Current processing time is posted on the PDE website.

Pennsylvania Department of Education

Contact Info

You can reach the Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality at 717-PA-TEACH (717-728-3324) or 717-787-3356, Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm.

You can also email In your email, include the following information (were applicable): Your Name, PPID Number, Date of Birth, Application ID, and a detailed description of your problem.

PDE Resources