How to Become a Teacher in Massachusetts

Becoming a Massachusetts certified teacher requires a dedication to educational attainment, both for students and the prospective teacher in question. Those interested in becoming a teacher in Massachusetts must complete a bachelor’s degree program, as well as pass a Massachusetts teaching license test to ensure that they have the necessary professional and academic knowledge to teach competently in a classroom setting. Options are also available for those interested in transitioning to teaching in Massachusetts from other professions, which have different educational requirements. This article will help explain the specific educational attainment necessary for those interested in Massachusetts teacher certification, as well as ways teachers from other states can transfer to Massachusetts.

Education Requirements

Individuals wishing to obtain a license from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to teach in Massachusetts public schools must hold at least a bachelor’s degree.

Massachusetts Teaching Certification

Individuals who have completed a bachelor’s degree, passed the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL), and completed a Department-approved educator preparation program can apply for an Initial License which is valid for five years and may be extended once for an additional five years of employment. Preliminary Licenses are available to individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree, have passed the MTEL, but have not completed a Department-approved educator preparation program.

Required Tests

Each educator license requires that candidates complete and pass an appropriate MTEL subject matter test. Some licenses may require completing and passing additional tests.

State Certification Reciprocity

Out-of-state candidates applying for Massachusetts educator licensure reciprocally must have completed a state-approved educator preparation program at an accredited institution or hold the equivalent of an initial license or certificate and three years of employment under that license or certificate during the previous seven years. Out-of-state candidates must complete any additional degree work or testing required for the requested Massachusetts educator license.

Helpful Resources

American International College

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1000 State Street
Springfield, MA 01109
(413) 737-7000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors
  • Post-Masters

Anna Maria College

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50 Sunset Lane
Paxton, MA 01612-1198
(508) 849-3300

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors
  • Post-Masters

Berklee College of Music

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1140 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 747-2222

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Masters

Accrediting Agency:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education

Boston College

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140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
(617) 552-8000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Masters

Boston University

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One Silber Way
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 353-2000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors
  • Post-Masters

Brandeis University

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415 South St
Waltham, MA 02454-9110
(781) 736-2000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Doctoral
  • Masters

Accrediting Agency:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education

Bridgewater State University

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131 Summer Street
Bridgewater, MA 02325
(508) 531-1000

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors
  • Post-Masters

Cambridge College

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1000 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 868-1000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors
  • Post-Masters

Accrediting Agency:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education

Cape Cod Community College

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2240 Iyannough Rd
West Barnstable, MA 02668-1599
(508) 362-2131 Ext: 4311

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 2-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Certificate

College of Our Lady of the Elms

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291 Springfield St
Chicopee, MA 01013
(413) 594-2761

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors
  • Post-Masters

Eastern Nazarene College

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23 E Elm Ave
Quincy, MA 02170-2999
(617) 745-3000 Ext: 3706

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Masters

Accrediting Agency:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education

Emerson College

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120 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116-4624
(617) 824-8500

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Masters

Endicott College

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376 Hale Street
Beverly, MA 01915
(978) 927-0585

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors

Fitchburg State University

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160 Pearl St
Fitchburg, MA 01420-2697
(978) 345-2151

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors
  • Post-Masters

Framingham State University

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100 State Street
Framingham, MA 01701-9101
(508) 620-1220

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors

Gordon College

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255 Grapevine Rd
Wenham, MA 01984
(978) 927-2300

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Masters
  • Post-Masters

Harvard University

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Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-1000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors
  • Post-Masters

Holyoke Community College

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303 Homestead Ave
Holyoke, MA 01040
(413) 552-2000

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 2-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Certificate

Massachusetts College of Art and Design

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621 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115-5882
(617) 879-7000

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors

Merrimack College

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315 Turnpike St
North Andover, MA 01845
(978) 837-5000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Masters
  • Post-Masters

Accrediting Agency:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
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