The Preliminary License: For the first level of licensure, you must have a Bachelors degree and have taken and passed the Communications and Literacy portions of the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure as well as the content test in the language you are seeking (MTEL Information). The Preliminary license is valid for five years.

The Temporary License: For this license, you must have taught in another state for three years under a valid license. You cannot have failed any part of the MTEL test.

The Initial License: In order to receive the Initial license, you need to follow a program approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The Initial licensure is valid for five years of employment.

You can enroll in a Department of Elementary and Secondary Education teacher preparation program either as part of your Bachelor degree, Masters degree or licensure-only program. The Higher Education institutions that have been approved to offer this programming are listed here: Institutions of Higher Education List

Individuals who hold a temporary license can be employed by a school district for one year. During that year, they must take and pass the necessary teacher tests. Information about the MTEL (Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure)

The Professional License: To move from an Initial to a Professional license you must have completed a one year mentor induction program, have worked under your Initial license for three years and you must have completed a masters degree with at least 12 credits in the content of your license. The Professional license is valid for five years and must be renewed every five years.

Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure

For both the elementary (grades P-6) and the secondary (grades 5-12) level of the license, the tests required for the Preliminary License are the Communication and Literacy tests and the content test in the language that you are seeking. The tests are offered throughout the year with additional test dates for the Communication and Literacy portions.

General information about the MTEL tests

Test information booklets

Test preparation resources and workshops

MTEL test dates

Register for the MTEL tests

Once you have your Professional license, you need to renew the license every five years from the date of issue or from the date of the last renewal. You can do this by successfully completing Professional Development Points (PDPs) which is the unit of measurement of professional development opportunities. Individual professional development plans must contain a minimum number of PDPs of which a certain number need to be content based. In order to renew licenses in various languages, PDPs need to be accumulated in all areas.

See Education Laws and Regulations for detailed information. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has documented the specific activities that can be awarded PDPs as well as the number of PDPs allocated to each activity. See the full Recertification Guidelines for Massachusetts Educators to learn more.

MaFLA offers numerous high quality content professional development opportunities over the school year and in the summer. Check our website and our newsletter for upcoming events. Please remember that it is the individual's responsibility to document and maintain their PDPs.