Massachusetts participates with every state and the District of Columbia through the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement to accept candidates' state approved educator preparation program or possession of the equivalent of at least an Initial license/certificate. Please note that the interstate agreement does not exempt candidates from degree, testing and/or prerequisite requirements applicable to the license sought.
Candidates from outside of Massachusetts may meet requirements for an Initial license if they have met one of the following:
Effective July 1, 2014
Those educators seeking a core academic teacher, Principal/Assistant Principal, or Supervisor/Director license may also require a Sheltered English Language (SEI) endorsement to be eligible for an initial level license.
Teachers seeking licensure through "reciprocity/interstate agreement" may consider applying for the Temporary or Preliminary license if they do not yet hold an SEI endorsement.
The Department does not offer a Preliminary license for Principal/Assistant Principal or Supervisor/Director licenses. Candidates may consider applying for the Temporary license if they do not yet hold an SEI endorsement.
Upon application, candidates should submit an official transcript verifying possession of a bachelor's degree. In addition to verifying one of the four routes referenced above, please submit the appropriate documentation noted below.
Since licensure names, fields (subject area) and grade levels may vary from state-to-state, applicants may be considered for the most comparable grade-level and/or field that is issued in the Commonwealth.
Massachusetts does not include the following licenses within the NASDTEC agreement. School Psychologist, School Nurse, or the Speech, Language, and Hearing Disorders teacher specialist license.
If you are seeking any of the above three licenses, and completed your preparation outside of Massachusetts: please visit Licensure Help for information regarding licensure requirements.
In order to facilitate licensure in Massachusetts, here are some helpful links and forms:
An overview of licensure requirements, the Educator Licensure and Recruitment (ELAR) portal and access to Licensure Help, an online tool that assists you in selecting the desired license and determining general requirements.
Last Updated: February 16, 2021
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906
Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370
Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.