Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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Requirements and Licensure

Administrator Requirements

Administrators are licensed professionals in the Commonwealth. The Department issues the following administrator licenses: Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent, Principal/Assistant Principal, School Business Administrator, Special Education Administrator, and Supervisor/Director. In order to receive a formal evaluation to determine your specific requirements, you must apply for a license.

4 types of license:

  • Preliminary
  • Initial
  • Professional
  • Temporary

Preliminary: You can obtain a Preliminary Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent license (valid for 5 years of employment) with the minimum requirements of possession of a bachelor's degree, passing the Communication & Literacy Skills MTEL, and three years of employment in an executive management or leadership role.

Initial: An Initial license is valid for 5 years of employment. Requirements include the possession of a bachelor's degree, passing the Communication & Literacy Skills MTEL, and experience in education or management. Additionally, there are several routes to earn an administrator license including the completion of an administrative apprenticeship/internship of 300 hours Download PDF Document, completion of a traditional post-baccalaureate (master's) approved program, or the completion of a Panel Review. Each administrator license may also have requirements specific to their field.

Professional: Once you have worked at least 3 years under your Initial license and completed an induction program, you can obtain a Professional license. A Professional license is valid for 5 calendar years.

Temporary: If you are an experienced teacher from another state, you may be eligible for a Temporary license (valid for 1 calendar year). Teachers with at least three years of experience under a license equivalent to the Initial license may qualify for a Temporary license, which allows you to teach while completing any additional requirements for an Initial license.

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Last Updated: March 12, 2015

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