COLLEGE OF

Education and Human Development

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

  • ILP: Initial Licensure Program
  • OTE: Office of Teacher Education
  • PELSB: Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board

Steps to follow for initial licensure candidates

    Step #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. Review the requirements for your specific program.
    • If you have taken coursework at other institutions that applies to your license, send all official transcripts to your program advisor.
      • When you have finished your program coursework, be sure to file the appropriate Academic Policy Petition form with your faculty advisor and with OTE prior to applying for your license if applicable.
    • Get your fingerprints on a PELSB-issued fingerprint card. Cards are available by emailing pelsb@state.mn.us. Fingerprinting can be done at locations through MNBCA or Hennepin County Sherrif's Office. Mobile fingerprinting is also available at https://mobileelectronicfingerprinting.com/.
    • If you have not already done so, complete the edTPA assessment and the CEHD exit survey. Information about these will be sent to your UMN email.
      • Parent Education applicants: You do not need to complete the edTPA assessment.

    Step #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 PELSB application page
    • Complete Tier 3 Initial License Application.
      • Do not initiate your PELSB application until 1) you complete all of the licensure requirements and 2) receive specific instructions from OTE
      • If you have not received your M.Ed. degree, enter “5 Yr. Program” in Education Background section
      • Verification of Completion of a State-Approved Licensure Program Section: Fill out the Student/Teaching/Practicum/Internship information

    Step #3: Submit application packet

    You will receive specific instructions from OTE on how to submit your complete application packet to PELSB.

    Step #4: Track your progress

    PELSB typically takes 6-8 weeks to process a license; you can look up your license progress online through PELSB's website.

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

    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.

    Additional or specialty teaching licenses

    Our additional licenses are added to a current Tier 3 or Tier 4, 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 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), world languages, and more.

      Complete program requirements

      The number of credits required to complete a program varies based on past coursework. We will review your coursework after you apply. 

      Please review the requirements for your program.

      Admissions application deadlines

      • October 1 to begin classes in spring semester (January)
      • January 15 priority deadline for arts in education applicants. This program admits students once a year to begin classes in summer term.
      • February 1 to begin classes in summer semester (May/June)
      • March 1 for special education applicants only. This program admits students once a year to begin classes in summer of fall semesters.
      • June 1 to begin classes in fall semester (September)

      Program areas

      Under federal financial aid rules, students enrolled in additional teaching licensure-only coursework have different aid options than students in a degree-seeking program at the University. More on additional licensure and financial aid [PDF].

      Apply for your license

      License requirements are set by the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) and are subject to change.

      Once you have completed all course requirements, and all of your final grades are posted to your transcript, you can proceed with your application for an additional license. 

      You will receive specific instructions from OTE on how to submit your complete application packet to PELSB.

      You can track your license progress through PELSB's website.

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