What is an Endorsement?

An endorsement designates the subject and grade level in which a teacher is prepared to teach ("content area", "academic subject", "major", and "endorsement" are often synonymous with the middle/high school classroom subject).  To teach you must complete at least one qualifying endorsement program.  Learn more about Endorsements.

STEM Endorsements

Below is a list of the STEM endorsements (for teaching grades 5 - 12) you may earn through Western, and links to the required courses for that endorsement (courses required for undergraduate sec ed program applicants and recommended for postbac and MIT applicants):

The State of Washington requires students to earn a “C” or better in all endorsement courses.

What courses would I be qualified to teach?

Use this Tool from the WA State Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) to help you figure out what endorsement you would need to teach a particular high school course.  Explore the possibilities!


For your first endorsement, the requirements differ depending on which secondary education program you plan to apply for. Regardless of the program, you must meet these two requirements:

Additional Endorsements

For certain additional endorsements, there is a special “test only” route. This route is for students in any of the secondary education programs. You may earn additional endorsement(s) by passing the NES/WEST-E exam(s) (you do not need to complete all the required courses). OSPI’s adding an endorsement page lists the endorsements available through the test only route.

Content Courses

There are also content courses associated with your content area endorsement. Requirements for completing endorsement content courses vary by secondary education program.

  • Undergraduate Sec Ed Program: These courses must be completed, and you must receive a signed endorsement evaluation from your academic endorsement advisor, showing no more than 10 endorsement credits outstanding once you begin the SEC program; if you plan to complete more than one endorsement, the 10 credit limit applies to all. The evaluation should indicate any courses that are in progress or planned. ​
  • Postbac and MIT Sec Ed Programs: the signed endorsement evaluation is optional. You may choose to get one so that you can identify classes that may be helpful for you to take in order to pass the NES/WEST-E or to have that content-area knowledge. However, if you pass the NES/WEST-E and complete the methods courses for your content area, you are not obligated to take all the required content area courses for your endorsement.