Office of Teacher Certification

Approved Certificate Programs

Teachers must obtain pre-approval for a certificate program to be eligible for an increase in certificate classification.

Section 2(2)(a) of the GIC Education Act Regulations defines certificate programs as follows:

"Certificate Programmeans a program of studies concerning public education consisting of, subject to the exclusions in subsection 30C(4) and (5), a minimum of 5 full university courses, any of which may be at the undergraduate level, or the approved equivalent, that are developed as an in-service experience for teachers, designed by or with a university, including credit courses in either or both:

  1. academic disciplines taught in the public schools or other approved disciplines related to public school education, or
  2. professional studies

Because certificate programs were developed to be a means by which a teacher added new or needed subject fields to their list of teachable subjects, one of criteria reviewed for pre-approval is a teacher's previous studies. That is, if you are already qualified to teach a subject (you hold a major or minor endorsation in a subject or it's equivalent), you would not be eligible to take a certificate program in that subject area.

All certificate programs are expected to meet school board needs and as such, are developed in cooperation with at least one Nova Scotia school board. For this reason, there are currently no certificate programs approved for delivery by a university outside of Nova Scotia.

The current list of certificate programs that hold Ministerial approval includes:

  • Acadia University                        Certificate in French Proficiency
  • Acadia University                        Certificate in Teaching Mathematics (Grades 4-9)
  • Cape Breton University               Certificate in Science
  • Cape Breton University               Certificate in Education (Art Education)
  • Dalhousie University                   Certificate in Technology Education
  • NSCAD                                          Visual Arts Certificate for Teachers
  • St. Mary's University                    Certificate in Mathematical Sciences for Education
  • St. Mary's University                    Certificate in Linguistics
  • St. Francis Xavier University       Certificate in Elementary Mathematics Pedagogy
  • St. Francis Xavier University       Certificate in Outdoor Education

Note: Teachers are reminded to review the pre-approval process mentioned above.

The Application for Approval - Upgrading program can be found at the following link: