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Teachers can begin working in a Massachusetts public school with one of three types of licenses: Temporary, Preliminary, or Initial. Most new teachers enter the classroom with an initial license, which requires teachers to complete an approved teacher preparation program and pass the appropriate Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL). The temporary license is granted by Massachusetts Department of Elementary and. Secondary Education (DESE) to out-of-state teachers who wish to teach in Massachusetts, but who still need to take and pass the MTEL. The temporary license is valid for one year, during which teachers must pass the appropriate MTEL exams. The preliminary license provides an alternative route to employment that allows teachers to begin teaching with a bachelor’s degree and a passing score on the appropriate MTEL exams. Teachers can teach for five years under a preliminary license and during that time they must earn an initial license by completing an approved preparation program or the Performance Review Program for Initial Licensure. Professional license is for candidates employed under the Initial license for at least three (3) years and who have completed a one-year induction program with a mentor and at least 50 hours of a mentored experience beyond the induction year. An MTEL subject matter test is available for the following languages: Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. However, a Competency Review is required for all other foreign languages. For licensing in other foreign languages (except ASL) achieving a score of at least Advanced Low on the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL OPI and WPT proficiency tests in the target language of the license sought will satisfy the competency review requirement. For additional information about certification, please, consult the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.


Web site:

Contact name: Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE)

Contact phone number: 781-338-6600

Contact email: [email protected]

Languages: ASL|Arabic|Armenian|Chinese (Mandarin)|French|German|Greek|Irish|Italian|Japanese|Khmer|Latin|Portuguese|Russian|Spanish|Turkish|Other.



This is a list that the state maintains of approved credentialing programs. Use this list to search for credentialling programs that fit your needs. This list displays all credentialing programs (including those that are not specifically for world language teaching). The state may periodically change this list. Credential-seeking individuals must attend a program from this approved list to receive credentials in the state of Massachusetts.

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