Licensure Overview

States issue credentials that allow teachers and other educators (principals, superintendents, school counselors, etc.) to serve in public K–12 schools. These credentials are referred to as licenses or certificates. They are issued in specific academic areas (elementary, special education, secondary math, etc.) and grade levels (K–6, 9–12, K–12, etc.). Being licensed in a specific area means that the teacher or other education professional meets the state standards and is prepared to teach students in that area.

Licensed Educators

Educators working in a public K–12 school must be licensed by the state. Charter schools usually require all of their educators to be licensed or a certain percentage of them to be licensed. Private schools typically do not require their educators to be licensed by the state, although some may.

Teacher Certification vs. Teacher Licensure

These terms are used interchangeably throughout the teaching field and state departments of education.

Licensure Requirements

The state board or department of education creates rules and policies that provide the specific details governing the profession, including licensing requirements. Licensing requirements generally include specific degree and course work components, background checks and fingerprinting, field work experience, examinations, and fees. Some states also have state-specific courses or training required, so it is important to understand all of these licensing requirements for the state in which you intend to earn a licensure or endorsement.

Walden's Licensure Programs

Your state department of education grants educator licenses. However, Walden’s programs will prepare you for obtaining licensure by providing you with the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions to make a positive impact in your role as a teacher, principal, or administrator. The programs Walden currently offers which lead to licensure include:

Check with your state. Licensure and endorsement requirements vary by state and are subject to change. For specific guidelines regarding teacher licensure and endorsements for the state where you will teach, please contact our advisors at 1-866-492-5336 and your state’s department of education.  Be sure to inquire whether you are required to complete a state-approved licensure program, and determine if there are any other requirements that apply, especially requirements pertaining to programs provided by out-of-state (except Minnesota) or online institutions.

If you plan to teach in Minnesota. Walden University is located in Minnesota. In order to meet the requirements for teacher licensure there, you will then need to pass all of the required Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations (MTLE) tests, undergo a background check, and apply to the Minnesota Department of Education. They will make the final determination and grant your teaching license.