Out-of-State Applicants/Interstate Agreement
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 and three years of employment under such valid license/certificate during the previous seven years. 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:
- Completed a "traditional" state/jurisdiction approved educator preparation program outside of Massachusetts. A traditional program is completed via a regionally accredited higher education institution.
- Hold a valid license and completed three years of employment out of the last seven years, under the valid license from that state/jurisdiction.
- Completed a state/jurisdiction approved "alternative/non-traditional" educator preparation program and possess the equivalent of an Initial license from that state/jurisdiction.
- Completed an educator preparation program sponsored by a college or university outside of Massachusetts that has been accredited by; the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), or the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
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.
- Applicants seeking Massachusetts licensure through the completion of a traditional program must submit an official transcript and an endorsement confirming completion of a state/jurisdiction approved program from the preparing higher education institution.
- Applicants utilizing the employment option must submit a copy of their valid license and official verification of their employment.
- Applicants that have completed a non-traditional approved program will need to submit official program completion documentation, an endorsement from the approved program and a copy of their valid license.
- Applicants seeking licensure through completion of an educator preparation program sponsored by a college or university accredited by NCATE must submit an official transcript and an endorsement from the higher education institution validating completion of the program.
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: June 26, 2020