Teacher Licensure in Massachusetts
Teacher Licensure in Massachusetts
To be eligible to teach in Massachusetts Public Schools, educators are required to hold a license issued by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE).
Click on the types of license for more information:
Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure Information
Prerequisites: Bachelor's Degree
Validity: 5 years; not renewable.
In most secondary subjects, you must pass the MTEL Communication and Literacy Skills Test and the MTEL subject test before you can obtain a Preliminary License. Click here to learn more about the MTEL and to access helpful online resources.
A Preliminary Elementary, or Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities License requires you to take courses or seminars that address the seven subject matter requirements not covered by the MTEL tests, plus the teaching of reading, English Language Arts, and mathematics. You must also pass the MTEL Foundations of Reading Test in addition to the Communication and Literacy Skills Test and the MTEL subject test.
Prerequisites: Bachelor's Degree; passing score on required MTELs; completed an approved licensure program
Validity: 5 years; renewable once at the discretion of DESE. At or before the completion of either the first or second five-year period of Initial Licensure, an educator must obtain a Professional License.
In addition to your Licensure courses, the practicum is required by DESE to obtain your initial teaching or administration license. The Practicum is intended to demonstrate mastery of the Professional Standards for teachers or administrators. Click here to learn more about the practicum.
The Collaborative offers Initial Licensure programs, including high-need areas such as Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities. Click here for more information about our Teacher Licensure Programs.
Prerequisites: Initial License
Validity: 5 years; renewable with the completion of a Professional Development Plan including content and pedagogy courses in the Professional License areas
In order to obtain a Professional License, you must have an Initial License and have taught under that license for three years, including a one-year induction program. You must also have received 50 hours of mentoring, hold a Master's Degree in your area of licensure or a Master's Degree not within your content area plus 12 graduate credits in courses specific to your area of licensure, or have completed an approved Professional License program.
While CES does not yet offer a Professional Licensure program, our courses may be used toward the 12-credit option for the Professional License.
Prerequisites: Initial or Professional License in a content area
If you already have an Initial or Professional License and wish to teach in a new content area or at a new grade level, you may be interested in getting an Additional License.
For an Additional License in a new field:
Teachers holding an Initial or Professional License in one content area may earn a license of the same type at the same grade level in most new content areas by achieveing a passing score on the appropriate MTEL subject matter knowledge test.
An Additional License as an early childhood or elementary teacher requires an additional 150 hours of practicum work in the role of the license sought.
Licensed teachers of students with moderate disabilities are in high demand. To earn an Additional License as a teacher of students with moderate disabilities, teachers much also complete both a competence review (to determine whether the subject matter knowledge requirements have been met) and a practicum of 150 hours in the role of the license sought.
For an Additional License in a new grade level:
Teachers holding an Initial or Professional License at one grade level may obtain a license in the same field at a new grade level by:
- Achieving a passing score on the appropriate subject matter MTEL test at the new grade level
- Completing either a course addressing the curriculum and developmental characteristics of the age group, or a practicum of 150 hours in the role of the new license
For more information, visit our Additional License page.