Office of Educator Licensure

Teacher License Types and General Requirements

The following license types and general requirements are for Teacher licenses only. Administrator, Teacher Specialist, and Professional Support Personnel licenses have their own specific types and general requirements.


Temporary License:

Validity:

  • Valid for one (1) year of employment
  • Cannot be extended or renewed

General requirements – appropriate for an experienced teacher from out-of-state who:

  • Holds a Bachelor's degree
  • Has been employed in another state under a valid license or certificate comparable to a Massachusetts initial license for at least three (3) years
  • Has not passed all of, or has not failed any of, the required MTEL tests.

Provisional License:

Validity:

  • Valid for five years of employment; however, starting on July 1, 2019, an educator who holds one or more provisional licenses may be employed under said license(s) for no more than five years in total.
  • Cannot be extended or renewed

General requirements – appropriate for a person who:

  • Has a Bachelor's degree*
  • Seeks a license as a core academic teacher and does not hold the Sheltered English Immersion Endorsements (SEI)
  • Has passed all required MTEL tests
    • For licenses that do not have a subject matter knowledge MTEL (moderate special needs, instructional technology, etc.), complete a
    • Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
      Competency Review

    Initial License:

    Validity:

    • Valid for five (5) years of employment
    • Can be extended once for an additional five years

    General Requirements – appropriate for a person who:

    • Has a Bachelor's degree*
    • Has passed all required MTEL tests Holds the SEI endorsement (core academic teacher, principal/assistant principal, or supervisor/director only)
    • Has completed one of the following:
      • An approved educator preparation program in Massachusetts OR
      • For out of state applicants:
        • Completion of a state-approved educator preparation program in a state with which Massachusetts has signed the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement or other agreement accepted by the Commissioner; OR
        • Completion of an educator preparation program sponsored by a college or university outside Massachusetts that has been accredited by a national organization accepted by the Commissioner; OR
        • Possession of the equivalent of at least an Initial license/certificate issued by a state with which Massachusetts has signed the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement or other agreement accepted by the Commissioner; OR
        • For educators prepared outside of the United States, completion of a Panel Review in accordance with Department guidelines.

    Professional License

    Validity:

    • Valid for five (5) calendar years
    • Renewable every five (5) years thereafter

    General Requirements – appropriate for a person who:

    • Holds an Initial license in the same field as the Professional license sought;
    • Has been employed under the Initial license for at least three (3) years and has completed a one-year induction program with a mentor and at least 50 hours of a mentored experience beyond the induction year.
    • Has Completed One of the Following:
      • An approved licensure program for the Professional license sought as set forth in the Guidelines for Program Approval. OR
      • A program leading to eligibility for master teacher status, such as those sponsored by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and others accepted by the Commissioner. OR
      • For those who have completed any master's or higher degree or other advanced graduate program in an accredited college or university, at least 12 credits of graduate level courses in subject matter knowledge or pedagogy based on the subject matter knowledge of the Professional license sought; these may include credits earned prior to application for the license.

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370

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