CTL Teaching Certificate

The CTL Teaching Certificate provides Penn doctoral students with support for improving their teaching as well as recognition for their commitment to developing as teachers. The program encourages graduate students to become self-reflective teachers and to enhance their awareness of additional teaching practices by engaging in discussions about teaching.

The CTL Teaching Certificate also offers a structure through which interested graduate students can prepare themselves to become faculty in the future. The certificate is noted on the student’s transcript, as a statement from the University of Pennsylvania that a graduate student has pursued advanced training in teaching. 

Participants in the program take part in a series of workshops and formal conversations about teaching and reflect on their own teaching with a fellow from the Center for Teaching and Learning who has observed them in the classroom.


1. Pedagogical Discussion and Training
Participants must complete five CTL-approved teaching workshops. The Course in College Teaching may be substituted for three of the five training workshops. Our four week special topics mini-courses may be substituted for two of the five workshops.   Here are our upcoming workshops.

2. Teaching Experience 
Participants must complete at least two semesters as a teaching assistant or instructor.

3. Observation and Review 
Participants must have a full teaching session observed and reviewed by a CTL Graduate Fellow. Fill out the observation request form to request an observation. Please give us at least one week’s notice to schedule the observation, as it involves multiple people and a pre-observation meeting.

4. Teaching Philosophy 
The program culminates with a discussion of participants’ philosophies of teaching. To facilitate this discussion, each participant develops a statement of teaching philosophy. We hold three of these sessions a year. One takes place at the end of each semester and another session takes place at the beginning of the fall semester. Once a participant has completed all the other requirements, he or she will be invited to the workshop.

To learn more about the Certificate, consult our Frequently Asked Questions page.  If you have other questions about any aspect of the certificate (or want to check on the workshops you've attended) email ctl-help@lists.upenn.edu.