Routes to Certification

Missouri has several methods for an individual to enter the education profession with a “certificate of license to teach.” The following routes are available:

  • Traditional route: An individual completes a four-year, college-recommended course of study, does student teaching, passes the designated assessment test, and graduates with a bachelor’s degree in a field of education and is issued an initial certificate. 
  • Alternative route: An individual with a bachelor’s degree in a content area (such as mathematics or English) returns to a college of education for a program of study that may enable him/her to take courses and teach simultaneously. The teacher works under a two-year, provisional certificate and usually completes about 30 semester hours.  When the college program is completed and the designated assessment test passed, the college recommends and the individual receives an initial certificate. Some of these programs are offered via distance learning, some programs offer a master’s degree plus certification and some offer only the certification.
  • Temporary Authorization route: An individual with a bachelor’s degree in a content area (such as mathematics or English) takes self-directed courses – a  minimum of 24 college credits (varies for different areas) to meet specified competencies, teaches for two years, is mentored by the school district and passes at least two exit examinations. The individual works under a one-year, renewable certificate that requires nine semester hours of college credit each year in order to be renewed.  When requirements are completed, the individual receives an initial certificate.  For more information click here.
  • Out-of-State Certified route: An individual with a valid teaching certificate from another state can be granted a comparable certificate in Missouri. Verification of certification from the other state must be provided. Depending on the number of previous years of teaching experience, the individual may qualify for an initial or career certificate.
  • American Board of Certification for Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) route: An individual with a bachelor’s degree can complete a program of study from ABCTE, pass their specific test and be certified. Missouri accepts certificates from ABCTE only in the areas of middle- or high-school mathematics, U.S./world history, English/language arts, biology, chemistry, general science, physics and elementary education. The individual receives an initial certificate. For more information click here.
  • Doctoral route: Individuals who hold a PhD degree in a secondary certification content area (such as mathematics or biology) may be issued an initial certificate by passing the 063 Professional Knowledge: Secondary assessment. For more information on the assessment, please visit the Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments website. Individuals entering via the doctoral route are not eligible to advance to the career certificate but may renew the initial certificate as often as needed.

*The Missouri initial certificate is a four-year license requiring two-years of mentoring, annual evaluation, participate in a beginning teacher assistance program, have a professional development plan, and a total of 30 contact hours of professional development during the four years. Upon successful completion of the four years of teaching and requirements, the educator may apply for the career continuous certification.

The Certification Account Portal allows you to:

  • Apply for a certificate
  • Print out your certificate
  • View a certificate or pending application
  • View assessment scores
  • Check for the receipt of transcripts
  • Check fingerprint/background status
  1. Log into with your User ID and password (Locked out? Get help here)
  2. Choose the Educator Certification System link (located on the User Applications page.) 
  3. To establish a User ID and password, follow the directions of the Educator Certification Help Guide
  4. If you have a certification account, but have not accessed it for over 5 years, please follow steps #1 and #2 located in the Educator Certification Help Guide.