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Mississippi, MS Teacher Certification

Mississippi is committed to improving literacy and math skills. This commitment and the state’s increasing emphasis on more rigorous teaching and testing standards are having positive effect on Mississippi public and charter schools.

  

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Becoming a Teacher in Mississippi

If you decide that a teaching career in Mississippi is the right choice for you, the first step you need to take is to decide on the grade level you want to teach. You must also select a subject area in which to specialize. Certification programs vary, so if you have specific questions about academic requirements in your chosen field, you can contact the accredited college or university you wish to attend and speak to someone in the education department.

Five-Year Educator License

The Five-Year Educator License is Mississippi’s Traditional Teacher Education Route. It is granted to applicants who:

  • Meet all licensing requirements, which vary according to the Class of License for which a teaching candidate is applying (A, AA, AAA, AAAA).
  • Complete a state-approved or National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) approved teacher education program from a regionally or nationally accredited institution.

The Five-year Educator License has four levels that build upon each other, so teachers move up the levels as they complete academic, testing and experiential requirements.

Class A

The requirements for the Class A license include:

  • A Bachelor’s degree or higher in Teacher Education from a state approved or NCATE approved program from a regionally or nationally accredited institution of higher learning
  • Passage of the mandatory Praxis II Tests on the Principles of Learning and Teaching
  • Passage of the Praxis II Test in the Specialty Area of the applicant’s degree program
  • The Class A license is valid for five years.
  • This license can be renewed by completing specified continuing education units, courses and/or job/skills experience-hours.

Class AA

The requirements for the Class AA license include:

  • Meeting the requirements for a Five-year Class A License.
  • Earning a Master’s degree in the subject area in which license is requested.
    or
    Earning a Master’s of Education Degree
  • The Class AA license is valid for five years.
  • This license can be renewed by completing specified continuing education units, courses and/or experiential job/skills hours.

Class AAA License

The requirements for a Class AAA License are:

  • Meet the requirements for a Five-year Class A License
  • Earn a Specialist degree in the endorsement area in which license is requested
    or
  • Earn a Specialist of Education Degree
  • The Class AAA License is Valid for five years.
  • This license can be renewed by completing specified continuing education units, courses and/or experiential job/skills hours.

Class AAAA License

The Requirements for the Class AAAA Five-year Educator License are:

Meet the requirements for a Five-year Class A License.

  • Receive a Doctoral degree in the endorsement area in which license is requested.
    or
  • A Doctor of Education Degree.

The Class AAAA License is Valid for five years.

This license can be renewed by completing specified continuing education units, courses and/or job/skills experience-hours.

Alternative Licensing Routes for Educators

Elementary K-3

  • There are no alternate routes for Elementary K-3 licensing.
  • Prospective teachers must complete an approved program in Elementary Education K-3 to earn that license.
  • Requirements for Alternative Licensing Routes for Educators
  • Candidates who have a bachelor's degree but have not yet completed a teacher education program that includes student teaching, can still become a teachers in Mississippi.


  • Mississippi has four approved Alternate Route Programs that lead to teacher certification.

Completion of one of these programs is required:

  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  • Mississippi Alternate Path to Quality Teachers (MAPQT)
  • Teach Mississippi Institute (TMI)
  • American Board Certification for Teacher Excellence (ABCTE)

Many candidates base their choice of alternate program on one or more of these criteria:

  • Geographical location of the program
  • Subject areas offered
  • Chosen grade level

  • Cost
  • Time commitment

  • Internship requirements
  • Personal academic skills

Professional backgroundAll of these programs have the following components:

  • Testing

  • Training program or coursework

  • One-year teaching internship

The steps necessary for alternate route certification are:

  • Decide about Subject and Age level of choice.
  • Successfully pass mandatory tests:
  • Praxis I: Basic Skills Test in Reading, Writing and Math.

  • Praxis II: Subject Area test in the area you want to teach. 

  • The ABCTE route requires passage of the Passport to Teaching subject exam.
  • Enroll in an alternate route program and complete the required training or coursework.
  • Fulfill the Internship requirement during the candidates first year of teaching. Mentoring is
  • provided during the internship.
  • Apply for the five-year standard teaching license after completing the internship.

Reciprocity for Out-of-State Teachers

  • Two-Year Educator License
  • An applicant with a valid credential that is less than a standard license from another state may apply for a two-year educator license through the Reciprocity Route.
  • Five-year Educator License
  • A five-year license is granted by reciprocity to applicants who hold a valid standard out-of-state license (K-12) in an area in which Mississippi issues an endorsement.

Certification Exceptions

  • If a Mississippi school district has a teaching vacancy that cannot be filled by a certified teacher, the district can request a one-year license for a teacher who is not certified. All one-year district requests must contain a plan of action through which the teacher agrees to obtain full certification.
  • The One-year License for Veteran Educators is for teachers who hold full certification but who are needed to teach classes that are out of their field.