Becoming a Licensed Educator
To teach in a Massachusetts public school, you need to be licensed by the state. Undergraduate and graduate candidates who wish to obtain an Initial MA educator license must complete a program approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MA ESE). Those who wish to earn an Initial license must also pass required state tests for that license. See Levels of Massachusetts Educator Licensure for information on what license you need at each stage of your teaching career.
Candidates seeking Professional licensure must complete an approved program or graduate coursework that is relevant to the professional licensure area and includes subject matter knowledge and/or pedagogy of the content area, in addition to meeting other requirements.
How We Can Help
We assist past, current, and prospective students in:
- Educator licensure and certification information, processes, and strategies.
- For Initial license candidates, support for the required Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) and other test options, including workshops and other resources.
- Endorsement of Lesley baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate graduates of state-approved educator licensure programs, including teachers, reading specialists, and school counselor and school adjustment counselors.
For mental health licenses, contact the Departments of Counseling and Psychology and Expressive Therapies, at 617.349.8561 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: All educator licensure program completers must apply to the Certification Office for an endorsement, which is required for licensure. Endorsement Request Form.
- Verification of completion of teacher education programs for graduates applying for out-of-state certification.
- License renewal.
Educator Licensure Resources
- Lesley Resources
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MA DESE) Resources
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-5023.
Walk-in help desk M–F, 8:45 am–4:45 pm
Licensure Help Call Center: 781.338.6600 M-F, 9 am–12 pm; 2 pm–5 pm.
The DESE website has many useful pages. Here are just a few:
Lesley University Profile
Licensure Requirements Tool
Educator Licensure and Renewal (ELAR) Portal
Education Laws and Regulations 603 CMR 7.00
Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks
Candidate Assessment of Performance
Information about Sheltered English Immersion Endorsement required for all teachers
Commissioners Determination Guidelines
Out of state applicant information
Foreign degree and credit equivalency
MTEL Workshops for Educator Candidates
Levels of Educator Licensure
MTEL Study Resources and Test-Specific Suggestions
Graduate School of Education
Although we try to ensure that certification information is accurate and complete, contents are subject to change.