Find an Education Path For Teaching in Minnesota, MN

Once the decision has been made to become a teacher, the level of education completed determines the next steps.

Choose Your Highest Level of Education:

Look over the information below and discover steps you should take to become a teacher in Minnesota.

If You Have a High School Diploma or a GED

Having a high school diploma or a GED opens doors to many institutions of higher learning that can lead you to a teaching career in Minnesota. Bachelor’s degree programs typically require applicants to have a high school diploma.

  1. Learn about accredited schools that offer Associate degrees or Bachelor’s degrees focusing on education, child development, specific academic content areas or student populations.
  2. Decide what grade level and subject area you are interested in teaching.
  3. The Minnesota Department of Education recommends that, once you decide what you want to teach, the best next step toward licensure is to attend a four-year college and earn a Bachelor in Education degree, with a major in the subject area and grade level you hope to teach.
  4. Aspiring teachers can enroll at a two-year or community college and earn an Associate degree or certification in the field of Early Childhood Education.
  5. Contact colleges that fit your needs, and request information to help with making a decision about which school to attend and what degree program to pursue.

If You Have Completed Some College or Earned an Associate’s Degree …

Attending a community college and earning an Associate’s degree is a valuable step toward becoming a teacher in Minnesota. Taking community college classes before entering a Bachelor’s degree program may provide some necessary prerequisites for courses in the four-year program.

  1. Relevant community college credits can be transferred to public and independent four-year colleges and universities, where students can complete a Bachelor’s degree that may lead to a Minnesota teaching certificate.
  2. Investigate various state-approved Bachelor’s degree programs– including Education degrees that include a Teacher Preparation module–to find out which ones will accept transfer credits from the college you attended. Contact the schools that interest you to request more information.
  3. Courses in education at a Minnesota community college or another two-year college are essential to earning an Associate degree with a teaching emphasis. Some Minnesota community colleges offer programs that lead to an Education Associate of Science degree. Other community college offerings include English as Second Language and Special Education Associate degrees and certificates.
  4. Transferable credits from a two-year may qualify you to enter some four-year colleges as a Junior. Some Pursuing and earning a Bachelor’s degree in Education often leads to a teaching credential, if that is your goal.

Some aspiring teachers, who have earned Associate Degrees or Credentials in Early Childhood Education, choose to begin their career by working with infants, toddlers and pre-school children, rather than continuing on to a four-year college and pursuing a Bachelor’s degree. The Early Childhood Education Associate’s degree and Certificate prepare educators to become early childhood professionals, employed in childcare centers, preschools and Head Start classrooms.

If You Have a Bachelor’s Degree … Minnesota

Earning Bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution is necessary to qualify for a Minnesota Teaching Certificate. If you want to teach in Minnesota and already have a Bachelor’s degree, the next steps toward teacher certification will often depend on your undergraduate major.

  1. If you have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education that included an accredited Teacher Preparation Program, you will have fulfilled many essential academic and teacher preparation requirements. Successful completion of all degree and teacher preparation requirements will qualify you to apply for a professional teaching license.
  2. Prospective teachers must pass mandatory tests before applying for certification or licensing with the Minnesota State Board of Education. To meet Minnesota’s teacher testing requirements, candidates must pass all parts of the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examination (MTLE). The MTLE assesses basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics; pedagogical knowledge, and content areas, which vary, depending on what subjects you hope to teach.
  3. Bachelor’s degrees in Educational Studies programs provide students with content and pedagogical knowledge and train them to become skilled elementary school teachers. A Bachelor’s degree in Education requires field experiences and student teaching in local schools. Completing this process allows degree holders to apply for a Minnesota teaching license in grades K-6.
  4. Minnesota teaching candidates who earn a Bachelor’s degree in a major other than Education, or who have not finished a Teacher Preparation requirement, must complete a Teacher Preparation Program at a regionally accredited institution. Some of these are Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation programs and some are combined with Master’s in Education degree programs.
  5. If you received a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree in the specific subject you wish to teach, you may have already satisfied many academic requirements recommended by many credential programs. Majoring in a specific subject commonly taught at the secondary school level prepares individuals to become endorsed or qualified to teach high school and middle school classes in that content area.
  6. Once you have successfully completed all academic and experiential requirements, you are ready to begin the multi-phased application process that will lead to your certification as a Minnesota educator.

If You Have a Master’s Degree or Are in a Master’s Degree Program

Master’s degrees in Education typically offer a course of study that includes a Teacher Preparation Program that has been approved by the state of Minnesota. If your Master’s degree major was not Education, a Teacher Preparation Program must be completed prior to applying for a teaching license. You can move forward in a few different directions once you have a Master’s degree.

  1. Universities in Minnesota offer graduate degrees in education, some of which are combined with Professional Teacher Preparation programs and may lead to Initial Teacher Licensure. Completing a Master of Education, a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Master of Science in Learning and Teaching may qualify you to apply for a Minnesota teaching license.
  2. If you want to begin your teaching career shortly after completing all of the coursework, passing all required tests, and fulfilling the student teaching requirement, the next step is to apply for your teaching license. Contact the Minnesota Department of Education to request information and an application.
  3. Some people who have earned a Master’s degree in Education may decide to continue their studies and pursue a doctorate degree. Minnesota has a variety of Educational Doctoral Programs. Gather information to discover the best school and program for you.