How to Become an Educator in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, we are committed to excellence in our schools and further committed to supporting and developing our educational workforce. Educators serve a critical role in preparing the future of our students. We continue to be a national leader in education and are looking for inspired, innovative, and nurturing individuals to join our educator workforce.
The Office of Educator Licensure's website provides a wealth of information that is aimed at answering most applicants' general licensure questions. In addition, you will find tools, guides, and forms designed to help you navigate the licensure process as a well informed applicant as quickly and efficiently as possible.
What Types of Licenses are Available in Massachusetts?
How to Identify the Licensure Requirements for a Specific Educator License?
To determine the requirements for a specific license, use the Licensure Requirements Tool.
The type of license for which you should apply depends upon your educational background, experience, license(s) already held, whether you have taken and passed all required Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL), whether you have completed any required performance assessments (ex. PAL), and whether you hold the Sheltered English Immersion Endorsements (SEI) (if applicable).
Please note: When trying to determine which set of requirements apply to you keep these general rules in mind: If this is your first time applying for a particular license type (i.e., Provisional, Initial, Professional, and Temporary) or license category (i.e., teacher, specialist teacher, administrator, professional support personnel) you will most likely fall under a general requirements path.
Typically, if you are adding an additional license, you will look for the path indicating that you are an educator adding an additional license in a new field (e.g., English, mathematics, history) and/or grade level and choosing the path with the most current year.
If you are coming from another state and are applying for an Initial license, you would generally look for the path for educators qualifying for reciprocity.
Approved Educator Preparation Programs
All candidates seeking Initial licensure as an educator in Massachusetts are required to complete an approved educator preparation program. Out of state applicants may meet requirements for an Initial license via reciprocity. If you are an out-of-state candidate, you can learn more on how to become a Massachusetts educator by reviewing specific information on our Out-of-State Applicants webpage.
If you would like to find a Massachusetts approved educator preparation program please visit the Teach Massachusetts website and click on the Search for Preparation Programs link. There are over 70 approved educator preparation programs in Massachusetts that will lead to an Initial and/or Professional licensure.
Performance Review Program for Initial Licensure (PRPIL)
PRPIL is an option for teachers who have experience and some coursework, but have not completed an approved initial licensure program. Candidates in districts without district-based programs and for whom college programs are not convenient may find PRPIL to be their most expedient initial licensure route.
The Department has contracted with Class Measures to operate PRPIL for eligible candidates in teaching fields. For more information about the program, eligibility and application requirements, please visit Class Measures.
Please note that licenses earned through this alternative process may not be reciprocal in states with which Massachusetts has signed the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement.
Massachusetts' School and District Profiles
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education collects a variety of data from schools and districts in the state, some of which is published as a School or District Profile. Directories, reports and people from individual organizations can also be found here. School and District Profiles
Expediting an Educator Licensure Application for Military Personnel
If you are a veteran, current service member or spouse of a current service member, then you may request an expedited review of your application for a Massachusetts educator license or endorsement.
To request an expedite of your Massachusetts educator licensure application, after you have applied, (in ELAR or hardcopy), passed the Communication & Literacy Skills MTEL exam and uploaded /submitted official college transcripts, please forward the following accordingly:
If you are a Veteran, please forward
- A cover letter with your name, MEPID or MA license number, requesting that your licensure application be expedited due to your veteran status
- One of the following:
- Photocopy of DD214 form , with Discharge under Circumstances other than Dishonorable;
- Identification and Privilege Card
If you are a current service member or a spouse of current service member, please forward:
- A cover letter with your name, MEPID or MA license number, requesting that your licensure application be expedited due to you or your spouse's military status
- One of the following:
- Photocopy of military orders assigning duty station;
- letter from Commanding Officer;
- letter from Personnel;
- Identification and Privilege Card
- Photocopy of marriage certificate (if spouse of active military member)
Please note that a licensure application must be in a "ready for review" status in order to be expedited. You may upload your supporting documents into your ELAR account or mail the information to:
Office of Educator Licensure
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148
Please note that if you upload your documents to request an expedite then you must contact the Office of Educator Licensure via the Licensure Call Center at 781-338-6600 to inform staff that you have uploaded the documents. The Call Center is open each business day from 9–12 and 2–5.
If you are an educator that is licensed in another state, please visit our page dedicated to out-of-state applicants to assist you in determining which Massachusetts license you should be applying for, what might be required, etc. In addition, information regarding licensure requirements may be obtained through using the Licensure Requirements Tool.
The Office of Educator Licensure defines a veteran as follows:
Veteran: an individual who served at least 180 days of active duty, other than for training, or was discharged after serving 30 days due to a service-connected disability in the US Armed Forces and was discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions. Honorable conditions include Honorable and General Under Honorable discharges.