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
  • MTLE: Minnesota Teacher Licensure Exam
  • OTE: Office of Teacher Education
  • PELSB: Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board

1. Complete coursework and requirements

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 License Application. (Fill out Tier 2 License Application*, if you did not pass the required MTLE tests.)
    • 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
    • * You must have an active job offer from a MN school district in order to be eligible for Tier 2 license.

3. Submit application packet

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

4. Track your progress

We will review, sign, and send your application packet to the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB). This usually takes about two weeks, but can take longer during the busy summer season. PELSB typically takes 8-12 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.

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.