Minnesota Teaching Certification


Learn how to become a teacher in Minnesota (or administrator). Choose the description of certification you are most interested in or situation that best describes you:

Minnesota Educ. Statistics

Avg. Elem. Teacher Salary $54,040
Avg. Sec. Teacher Salary $50,460
Teacher Retention (?) 94%
Average Admin. Salary $93,110
Vacation Wks/Yr 15

Getting Involved...

Investing in our future is vitally important and strangely difficult. In order to fight oppression from the greedy and power-hungry elite, to better our ways of life with advancing technology, and to increase our country's overall views toward the concept of acceptance, we need education to be a priority. Learn how you can be a spoke in this terribly important wheel. See how Minnesota measures up to the rest of the country by viewing the percentage of state revenue going toward education in each state. (see State Education Spending vs. Overall State Revenue).

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Learn about your Governor's views and voting record with regard to education. (see Minnesota Governor's website).
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Hold your public servants accountable. It is our duty as residents of Minnesota.
Help Make Education A Priority 


Initial Minnesota Teaching Certification

The leader of the U.S. Department of Education, Arne Duncan, has recognized the Minnesota public school system as a leader in early childhood and secondary education. Recently, he praised the state’s progress towards bridging the achievement gap between schools in more affluent areas and schools with fewer financial resources, as well as for huge strides made toward improving college readiness programs, improving teacher and principal evaluations, and securing federal funding for early childhood education. Find schools offering teaching certification programs in Minnesota.


Education Requirements

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The Minnesota Department of Education Educator Licensing Division (651-582-8691) expects all applicants for teaching licensure in the state to graduate from a state-approved teacher preparation program and hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, you must complete a Human Relations course, which is included in all Minnesota approved teacher preparation programs.

Teacher preparation programs attended outside of Minnesota may count if the content of the program is equivalent to that of an approved Minnesota teacher preparation program. If the state in which it is contained recognizes that teacher preparation program for licensure or certification purposes, and if the school is regionally accredited, usually credits will be accepted by the Minnesota Department of Education Educator Licensing Division.

If you did not complete a teacher preparation program in one of the states with a reciprocal licensing agreement (Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, South Dakota, or Iowa), you must also complete one of these approved Human Relations courses in order to be licensed in Minnesota.

Did you complete an online teacher preparation program? In order for Minnesota to accept your credits, the program must be regionally accredited, approved by the state in which it is offered, be a field for which Minnesota offers licenses, and include a supervised practicum and student teaching. Your credits may need to be evaluated by a member agency of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, with the report sent to the Minnesota Department of Education Educator Licensing Division.

Graduates of foreign teacher preparation programs must have their credits evaluated by a member agency of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. This evaluation must be sent to the Minnesota Department of Education Educator Licensing Division at the time you apply for your teaching license.

Licensure Options
Different types of teaching licenses are offered by the Minnesota Department of Education Educator Licensing Division, based upon your qualifications:
  • The First Time, Full Professional Teaching License applies to most new applicants who have just graduated from a teacher preparation program and fulfilled other requirements. It is valid for five years.
  • The Limited Full-Time Teaching License allows you to teach in an area for which you have not yet completed a teacher preparation program.
  • The Limited Intern License allows you to serve as an intern for no more than one year while enrolled in a teacher preparation program.

A listing of Minnesota licensure fields along with their grades and licensure status (full licensure or endorsement only) may be found here.



The Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations (MTLE) are the only accepted examinations for teacher licensure in the state.

Basic skills testing:
All teachers in Minnesota must pass the following examinations (all details provided at the link above):
  • MTLE Basic Skills (reading, writing and mathematics)
  • Test of general pedagogy (two subtests) pertaining to your intended licensure area:
    • Pedagogy: Early Childhood (Birth to Grade 3)
    • Pedagogy: Elementary (Grades K-6)
    • Pedagogy: Secondary (Grades 5-12)

Content area assessment testing:
In order to become licensed to teach a certain content area, you must pass the corresponding MTLE Content Area Test. Licensure and endorsement areas are:
  • Preprimary Endorsement License (age 3 to 5/Grade K)
  • Early Childhood-Birth to Age 8 (Grade 3)
  • Elementary Education (Grades K-6)
  • Middle Level Endorsement License for teachers of (Grades 5-8):
    • Communication Arts and Literature
    • Math
    • Social Studies
    • General Science
  • K-8 World Language and Culture Endorsement license
  • Agriculture Education (Grades 5-12)
  • American Indian Language, History, Culture (K-12)
  • Business Education (Grades 5-12)
  • Communication Arts and Literature (Grades 5-12)
  • Dance and Theatre Arts (Grades K-12)
  • Dance (K-12)
  • Theatre Arts (K-12)
  • Driver and Traffic Safety (Grades 9-12)
  • English as a Second Language (Grades K-12)
  • Family and Consumer Sciences (Grades 5-12)
  • Health Education (Grades 5-12)
  • Computer, Keyboarding and Related Technology Applications (K-12)
  • Mathematics (Grades 5-12)
  • Instrumental, Vocal, Classroom Music (K-12)
  • Physical Education (K-12)
  • Reading (K-12)
  • Chemistry (Grades 9-12)
  • Earth and Space Science (Grades 9-12)
  • Life Sciences (Grades 9-12)
  • Physics (Grades 9-12)
  • General Science (Grades 5-8)
  • Social Studies (Grades 5-12)
  • Technology (Grades 5-12)
  • Visual Arts (K-12)
  • Reading Leader (K-12)
  • World Languages and Cultures (K-12):
    • Chinese (Mandarin)
    • French
    • German
    • Spanish
  • Special Education:
    • Blind or Visually Impaired (Birth-Grade 12)
    • Deaf or Hard of Hearing (Birth-Grade 12)
    • Oral/Aural Education (Birth-Grade 12)
    • Developmental Adapted Physical (Pre K-Grade 12)
    • Developmental Disabilities (K-12)
    • Early Childhood (Birth to Age 6)
    • Emotional Behavioral Disorders (K-12)
    • Learning Disabilities (K-12)
    • Physical and Health Disabilities (Pre K-12)
  • Communications Technology Careers (Grades 7-12)
  • Construction Careers (Grades 7-12)
  • Manufacturing Careers (Grades 7-12)
  • Medical Careers (Grades 7-12)
  • Creative Design Careers (Grades 7-12)
  • Early Childhood Careers (Grades 7-12)
  • Hospitality Careers (Grades 7-12)
  • Transportation Careers (Grades 7-12)


Experience Requirements

Supervised experience is a necessary part of your Minnesota teacher preparation program. During your program, you will participate in a practicum in which you will observe other teachers and also get a chance to present lessons. This may or may not be at the grade level/subject area in which you plan to teach. You will learn things such as methods of teaching and classroom management skills.

Once you have completed at least three years of your teacher preparation program, you will also participate in a student teaching internship. Under rules of the Minnesota Department of Education, this internship must be at least ten weeks long. Its total duration will depend upon the policies of your teacher preparation program. The classroom you’ll be assigned to will be specific to the grade/age level and content area you plan to teach. Your student teaching performance will be assessed by your classroom teacher mentor and by an official from your teacher preparation program. To participate in a student teaching program, the Minnesota Department of Education will issue you a Limited Intern License, valid for one school year only.

document application requirements

Document and Application Requirements

The Minnesota Department of Education requires all applicants for first-time teacher licensure to apply online. You must pay all application fees online via credit card only. Some of the information and documentation you must input into the system includes:
  • Name and location of all colleges/universities attended, including dates and degrees earned
  • Conduct Review Statement listing any existing or pending convictions

Supplemental information you need to send to the Minnesota Department of Education Licensing Division, 1500 Highway 36, West Roseville, MN 55113:
  • Official college transcripts from all institutions attended, listing degree awarded and completion of teacher preparation program and human relations course
  • Verification of Completion of State-Approved Licensure Program form, completed and signed by the certification officer at your college/university
  • Fingerprint card (see below)
  • Copies of any other teaching licenses/certificates you hold
  • Transcript evaluation forms, if necessary
  • MTLE Score Reports

You may check the status of your online application at any time by visiting the link above.


Criminal History Background Check

As an applicant for first-time teacher licensure in Minnesota, you must undergo a criminal history background check. This includes a fingerprint check. Your local police station can assist you in this process. Request a fingerprint card by contacting Educator Licensing at 651-582-8691 or by emailing mde.educator-licensing@state.mn.us with your name and mailing address. Only fingerprint cards provided by the Minnesota Department of Education Educator Licensing Division will be accepted. You are responsible for all fees associated with fingerprinting and the background check.


Contact Information

If you need more information on approved teacher preparation programs in Minnesota, contact the colleges and universities that offer them.

For further information on educator licensing in Minnesota, contact the Educator Licensing Division of the Minnesota Department of Education at 651-582-8691 or mde.educator-licensing@state.mn.us.

**Teacher Retention Sources - U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education, Statistics Schools and Staffing Survey, 1999–2000 (“Public School Teacher Questionnaire,” “Private School Teacher Questionnaire,” and “Public Charter School Teacher Questionnaire”), and 2000–01 Teacher Follow-up Survey (“Questionnaire for Current Teachers” and “Questionnaire for Former Teachers,” Table 1.01). Washington, DC.

State estimations based on analysis by Richard Ingersoll, Professor of Education and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, from the National Center for Education Statistics Student and Staffing Survey, and therefore include a slight margin of error.