PLU is currently involved in a 2 year grant with PESB regarding the Alternative Routes to Certification Program. Due to the nature of the grant, only candidates from our partner districts are eligible to apply for admission into the alternative routes program, Our partners include Puyallup*, Bethel, Clover Park, and Franklin Pierce.

If you are not from an eligible partner district here is a website link for more information on other possible options: http://pathway.pesb.wa.gov/alternativeroutes/timeline

Availability for non-partnership alternative routes applicants for the 2017-2018 school year will be determined next year. We will post updates here as more information becomes available.

How to apply

The application requirements for the MAE Residency Certification, Alternate Routes, and Non-Certification programs are the same – with the exception of the WEST-B/E requirement for non-certification international students.

Application priority deadlines for all three pathways:

Priority Deadline #1:
November 1st
Interviews: November 28-December 2
Notification: End of December

Priority Deadline #2:
February 1st (also deadline for scholarship and fellowship applications)
Interviews: February 27-March 3
Notification: End of March

Priority Deadline #3:
March 6th (it is strongly recommended that interested applicants apply for one of the first two deadlines for the best chances for consideration, as most spaces in the program are typically filled by the third priority deadline)
Interviews: April 17-28
Notification: May


If you are interested in the MAE Alternative Routes to Certification, please read the following information:

  • PLU is currently involved in a 2 year grant with PESB regarding the Alternative Routes to Certification Program. Due to the nature of the grant, only candidates from our partner districts are eligible to apply for admission into the program. Our partners include:

Puyallup *
Bethel
Clover Park
Franklin Pierce

*If you are a candidate from Chief Leschi please work directly with your administrator and Puyallup School District.

  • If you are not from an eligible partner district here is a website link for more information on other possible options: http://pathway.pesb.wa.gov/alternativeroutes/timeline
  • Availability for non-partnership applicants for the 2017-2018 school year will be determined next year.
  • We continue to accept applications for the Alternative Routes option through May 15th, however we will give priority to applications received by the deadlines.

Application Process

Step One – Apply online

  • Create your application account and pay the nonrefundable $55 application fee via our application portal.
    Make sure to record your login and pin!
  • Enter two references via the online application portal. This will send an email notification to your recommenders to follow a link and submit their letters of recommendation. At least one of these letters should specifically speak to your experience working with young people. You can manage the references (change or re-send to recommenders) via the online application portal.
  • Special instructions regarding Alt-Route block grant applicants: Block grant applicants need to submit a Block Grant Letter of Support from the school district and submit a nomination form at this link: https://forms.plu.edu/1330

Step Two – submit / initiate all required supporting items below:

  • Official transcripts: Submit an official transcript from ALL colleges and universities you have attended  (PLU graduates do not need to send their PLU transcripts).
    • To be considered official, transcripts must be sent to the Graduate Admission directly from the college or university.
    • We accept and prefer electronic transcripts via recognized e-transcript delivery services such as National Student Clearinghouse, eSCRIP-SAFE or Parchment Exchange. Have them sent to PLU Graduate Admission at gradadmission@plu.edu.
    • If the college or university does not offer e-transcript, please have them mail your transcripts to Graduate Admission in a sealed school envelope. Transcript may be delivered to Graduate Admission as long as they remain in their original, unopened school envelope.

Our mailing address is:
Graduate Admission
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue S
Tacoma, WA 98447

  • Resume: Upload your resume via the online application portal that includes your employment history; significant academic, professional, and community achievements; honors and awards. You can also submit this later via the application portal by logging in and clicking on the “checklist” button.
  • Application essay: Submit written essay identifying and discussing three values that will guide your educational practice. It should be between 500 and 750 words, double spaced, 12 point font. You can also submit this later via the application portal by logging in and clicking on the “checklist” button.
  • Schedule to take the WEST-B* and arrange for test results to be sent to PLU (the PLU code is 225) or If your SAT or ACT scores qualify you for a waiver, have your official SAT or ACT scores sent to PLU. You do not need to take the test at the time you submit the application, but you MUST take and pass the test by the application deadline. More information about the WEST-B: http://www.west.nesinc.com/

*WEST-B not required for international non-certification students.

Additional materials for international applicants:

  • Course-by-course evaluation for international transcripts: Students applying with degrees or coursework from institutions outside the US must submit a course-by-course evaluation for US degree equivalency by a PLU approved evaluation service. English translations provided by recognized translation services are also required if the documents are in a language other than English.
    • Two approved evaluation providers are World Education Services (WES) and SpanTran.
    • If applicants wish to submit their official transcript through one of these two agencies, please follow these steps:
      • Go to either World Education Services (WES) or SpanTran website and follow their instructions to order a credential evaluation and submit required documents. Request the agency to send their transcript evaluation with the verified transcripts and English translation (if applicable) directly to PLU Graduate Admission. We recommend the following:
        • For World Education Services, select the WES ICAP package.
        • For SpanTran, apply the code INST2017 to receive preferred pricing and priority processing for PLU.
  • Proof of English proficiency
    • Master of Arts in Education Non-Certification: Minimum TOEFL-iBT score of 88 or minimum IELTS score of 6.5.
    • All other programs: Minimum TOEFL-iBT score of 80 or minimum IELTS score of 6.5.
    • TOEFL must be sent directly from the testing institution to PLU, our institution code is 4597.
    • For the IELTS we can accept copies or scans of score reports as we are able to check them electronically.

Step Three – check what items have been received and what is missing via the application portal.

  • The portal will indicate when your application is complete. Your admission decision will be sent via email, not via the portal.

Step Four: Attend interview (by invitation)

Step Five: Post-admission requirements (if admitted)

  • Must have a passing score (240) on the WEST-E and (220) on the NES (or equivalent) for your intended endorsements by June 1st.  You are strongly encouraged to take the test early as candidates may not start the summer without passing scores.  World Language applicants must also take the written and verbal portions of the ACTFL.

You must complete any missing content coursework before starting your student teaching internship in the fall.