Individuals interested in an administrative or teacher license must meet the requirements set forth by the Office of Public Instruction (OPI). General requirements are:
- Successful completion of an educator prepartion program at an accredited institution
- Completion of an appropriate field experience
- Praxis Subject Exam (if required)
The Field Placement & Licensure Office (FPLO) shall ensure all academic and OPI requirements are met prior to recommending individuals for licensure in the specific classifications below. View the requirements for the endorsement you are seeking by selecting the appropriate license class.
The Class 2 standard teacher license is issued by OPI and valid for five years. To be eligible for licensure recommendation in Montana, individuals must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, have successfully completed a teacher education program including appropriate supervised teaching experience, seek a qualifying licensure endorsement area approved by the Board of Public Education (BPE), and take a Praxis subject assessment exam in the endorsement area.
The Department of Education offers two options for those individuals pursuing an initial teacher licensure:
- Undergraduate Teacher Education Program
- Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program for those qualified individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree and who live and wish to teach in rural communities within Montana. The MAT is a full-time intensive program requiring a one-year commitment.
To be recommended for a Montana Class 2 initial educator license, teacher candidates must meet these requirements:
1. Bachelor or Master of Arts in Teaching degree awarded and posted.
2. Score a minimum of seven (7) points on the Montana Assessment of Content Knowledge (MACK) which features the three categories below. Each category is assigned points:
- assessment of content knowledge GPA at or above 2.65 (see NOTE below) in an approved endorsement area.
- assessment of content knowledge demonstrated during student teaching (completed by cooperating teacher) at or above 2.00 (CKA range is 1.50 - 2.49).
- pass Praxis subject assessment exam with at least 90% minimum. View Praxis Subject Exam Resources and Materials for additional information.
Again, teacher candidates must earn a minimum of seven (7) points totality in these three areas to be recommended for licensure. A candidate cannot score a “1” in any of the categories. For candidates who do not meet the threshold in one or more of the multiple assessments of content knowledge, a further review of the candidate’s content knowledge and teachings will be conducted by MSU to determine whether the candidate merits recommendation for licensure.
(NOTE: Must meet MSU minimum 2.75 > GPA content knowledge requirement, NOT the MACK minimum 2.65 > GPA content knowledge requirement.)
Initial Educator License Application Process
To initiate licensure, teacher candidates should:
1. Submit an Educator Licensure Request form. The Licensure Technician will review the teacher candidate file and make a university recommendation once all requirements are met.
2. Read, sign, and date the Licensure Acknolwedgement Form and submit to Field Placement & Licensure.
3. OPI Application. Create new user account on OPI MSEIS/TEAMS login page and then complete the Educator Licensure Application. Follow these OPI Online Application Tips . A university recommendation for licensure will not occur until teacher candidate submits the application.
4. Official Transcripts. Follow the How to Order Official MSU Transcripts. Transcripts must be sent to OPI.
5. Notary Page
For your convenience, the FPLO Licensure Technician can notarize the Montana Educator Licensure Notary Page free of charge. Banks typically provide a notary service free of charge as well.
A new set of fingerprints is required for a new background check. We cannot disseminate your background check to OPI. Please ensure you mail the new fingerprint card to the Department of Justice, not OPI.
Teacher candidates should anticipate 2-4 weeks turnaround time for processing of the university educator licensure recommendation.
If you currently hold a MT Class 1 or 2 license and are interested in adding an endorsement, go to our Added Endorsements web page for information.
Those individuals seeking to add the Library Media endorsement should submit an Educator Licensure Request form to the Field Placement and Licensure office to receive a university recommendation. Visit the Library Media Certificate Program website for additional information.
Individuals must also send MSU transcripts to OPI if seeking a MT added endorsement.
The Master of Education (MEd) in Educational Leadership degree is designed to meet the needs of those who desire positions in school leadership: K-12 Principal or Curriculum Director. The MEd in Educational Leadership degree allows candidates to gain certification in Montana as a K-12 Principal. Once candidates complete the degree and earn principal license certification they may take additional coursework to obtain superintendent licensure. This can be accomplished through earning an Education Specialist (EdS) degree or completing the School Superintendent Certificate program. For questions about these two endorsements, please go to the Department of Education Graduate Programs website for additional information.
Administrator candidates must meet these requirements to be recommended for the Class 3 Principal K-12 license:
- Completed Masters of Education in Educational Leadership
- Current Montana Class 1 or 2 License
- Praxis Subject Exam. Take the Praxis Education Leadership: Administration and Supervision (5412) exam. Request ETS to send the Praxis Score Report to MSU when registering for the exam—not necessary to send to OPI.
Class 3 Principal Licensure Process
To initiate licensure, please submit the following:Complete and submit to the Field Placement and Licensure office.
- Educator Licensure Request Form.
- Praxis Subject Exam. Education Leadership: Administration and Supervision (Code 5412). Minimum passing score=149. Request ETS to send the Praxis Score Report to MSU when registering for the exam—not necessary to send to OPI.
- Submit to OPI the following:
Administrator candidates must meet these requirements to be recommended for the Class 3 Superintendent license:
- Educator Licensure Request Form. Submitting this request will initiate a recommendation.
- Refer to OPI's Class 3 Administrator License Superintendent webpage for all required documents to submit.
- Visit the Educational Leadership School Superintendent Certificate Program webpage for additional information on this endorsement.
There are two paths for individuals who already hold a bachelor's degree who wish to obtain a teaching license or an added endorsement through the Field Placement and Licensure Office:
- Class 5 Provisional License
- Board of Public Education (BPE) Internship Program.
Individuals will be guided through a Licensure Endorsement Assessment Tool (LEAT) process to determine the path of eligibility by our Post Baccalaureate Specialist, Jamie O'Callaghan. Individuals must contact Ms. O'Callaghan before beginning the LEAT process.
The Class 5/BPE Internship added endorsement categories that MSU sponsors are:
- Early Childhood-P3
- Elementary K-8
- Secondary Education 5-12 and K-12 (see NOTE)
- Principal K-12
- Library Media Certificate K-12
- Master’s Family and Consumer Sciences (see NOTE)
- School Counselor
MSU does not sponsor any other endorsement categories.
NOTE: Post-Baccalaureate individuals seeking an added endorsement in Family and Consumer Sciences will follow the LEAT process. Otherwise, those seeking a Master’s in Family and Consumer Sciences should contact that department directly.
Applications are accepted in the fall. Deadline date is September 1st. Individuals must contact our Post Baccalaureate Specialist, Jamie O'Callaghan, prior to applying for the Class 5 Provisional License. Visit the Class 5 Provisional License website for more details about the license.
The Class 5 Provisional License is not renewable and may be issued only once per educator license and is valid for three (3) years.
Applications are accepted in the fall. Deadline date is September 1st. Individuals must contact our Post Baccalaureate Specialist, Jamie O'Callaghan, prior to applying for the BPE Internship Program.
The BPE Internship Program website provides individuals with details regarding eligibility, requirements, and the application process.
The Library Media Program will result in a K-12 Library Media Specialist endorsement on an existing teaching license. Library Media is not an initial licensure endorsement. Applicants must specify on their application to the program if they require a Montana provisional license.
The master’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences is housed in the Department of Health and Human Development at MSU. The master’s degree creates opportunities for students to develop a deeper and applied understanding of family and human development theory, research methods, and program planning and evaluation. The master’s degree is designed to accommodate students who wish to attend graduate school full-time (blended face-to-face and only courses) and working professionals who require more flexibility (all online). For more information go to the Graduate Family and Consumer Sciences webpage for program admission and requirements. Contact the program coordinator, Nicole Wanago, or J. Mitchell Vaterlaus, for specific questions about the program.
The Licensure Technician will make recommendation for the Class 6 School Counselor educator license when an individual satisfies all the requirements of the MSU School Counseling Program and submit/complete the following:
Career or Technical Specialists
If you desire a Class 4 Montana Teaching Certification/Licensure, please contact the Montana Office of Public Instruction rather than the MSU Office of Field Placement and Licensure. Information about this licensure can be viewed at OPI's Class 4 Career and Technical Teaching License.
Licensed Teacher Out-of-State Seeking Montana Teaching Licensure
If you are certified to teach in another state and wish to obtain Montana teaching licensure, you must FIRST apply through OPI. If you are denied certification due to needed requirements and can document this denial, the MSU Office of Field Placement and Licensure will review your request. Please contact their Post-Baccalaureate Specialist, Jamie O’Callaghan, (firstname.lastname@example.org), for information on completing the Licensure Endorsement Assessment Tool (LEAT) process.