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Teacher licensure process

Getting a Minnesota teaching license has many steps, but our licensure team is here to help. This is an overview of the process; each step has links to more information.

Licensure in special education has specific requirements; Special Education M.Ed. students should refer to these guidelines from the Department of Educational Psychology.

Common acronyms in teacher education

  • EAS: Essential Academic Skills
  • ILP: Initial Licensure Program
  • MDE: Minnesota Department of Education
  • MTLE: Minnesota Teacher Licensure Exam
  • NES: National Evaluation Series
  • OTE: Office of Teacher Education

1. Complete coursework and requirements

  • Check your Academics tab in MyU to make sure all requirements are complete and your final grades have been posted.
  • If you have taken coursework at other institutions that applies to your license, send all official transcripts to your program adviser.
    • Be sure to file the appropriate Academic Policy Petition form with your faculty adviser and with OTE prior to applying for your license.
  • Pass the Minnesota Teaching Licensure Exams (MTLE).
    • Adult Basic Education and Parent Education applicants: Take only the Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills tests (Reading, Writing and Mathematics) and have the scores reported to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
  • Get your fingerprints on an MDE-issued fingerprint card. Cards are available in the OTE office, 110 Wulling Hall, and fingerprinting can be done on campus by UMPD.
  • Print and sign the Transcript Release Form [PDF]
  • Complete the edTPA assessment and the CEHD exit survey. Information about these will be sent to your UMN email.
    • Adult Basic Education and Parent Education applicants: You do not need to complete the edTPA assessment.

2. Apply for your first Minnesota teaching license

Already have a Minnesota teaching license? See our license areas and learn how to apply for an additional license.

  • Review MDE online application system
  • Proceed with online application, and enter all required information.
    • If you have not received your M.Ed. degree, when you get to the question regarding your degree, answer “5 Yr. Program”
  • Pay the application fee by credit card. The amount will be on the application.
  • Print the following two documents from your MDE online application account:
    1. License Application Cover Page/Document Checklist
    2. Verification of Completion of the Program Form
      Fill out the Student Teaching section on the program completion form, but leave the rest blank.

3. Submit application packet

A complete application packet includes:

  • License Application Cover Page/Document Checklist
  • Verification of Completion of the Program form
  • MDE fingerprint card
  • Printout of edTPA submission confirmation email
  • Signed Transcript Release Form

Mail or bring your complete packet to:
Office of Teacher Education
110 Wulling Hall
86 Pleasant Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

4. Track your progress

We will review, sign, and send your application packet to the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). This usually takes about two weeks, but can take longer during the busy summer season. MDE typically takes 8-12 weeks to process a license; you can look up your license progress online through MDE's website.

If you have further questions, please contact the Office of Teacher Education at ote@umn.edu.

Additional license

Our additional licenses are added to a current five-year, full-time professional Minnesota teaching license. If you want to add a new field or scope to your teaching, an additional license may be the path for you. Common additional licensure paths include, but are not limited to:

  • Elementary licensed teachers adding a 5-8 middle school specialty area license.
  • Secondary licensed teachers adding a new secondary specialty area, or a middle school license in their current (or new) specialty area.
  • Additional licenses are also available in special education, English as a Second Language (ESL), 14 world languages, and more.

See our license areas and learn how to apply for an additional license.

Administrative license

Interested in working in educational administration? Our administrative licensure program prepares leaders in the following areas:

  • K-12 Principal
  • Superintendent
  • Director of special education
  • Director of community education

Courses are offered throughout the year with evening courses offered during fall, spring, and summer semesters, and day courses offered during summer semester.