Find an Education Path For Teaching in Montana, (MT)

The first step toward becoming a teacher in Montana depends on where you are now on the path leading to your goal. Please choose the highest level of education that you have attained and we will guide you through the steps that must be taken as you advance towards a teaching career in Montana.

Choose Your Highest Level of Education

The information below will help you determine what steps you should take to become a teacher in Montana.

If You Have a High School Diploma or a GED

High school graduates who want to become teachers can apply as freshman to a four-year university where they will complete general core classes and begin preparing for a teaching career. Graduation from high school—documented by a diploma or a GED certificate– is required for acceptance into a Bachelor’s degree program. Another higher education option for aspiring teachers is to enroll in a two-year or community college to take their core classes or to pursue certification to teach in some education venues.

  1. Learn about accredited schools that offer Associate degrees or Bachelor’s degrees focusing on education, specific academic content areas or student populations.
  2. Decide what grade level and subject area you are interested in teaching.
  3. Contact colleges that fit your needs, and request information to help you make a decision about what school to attend and what degree program to pursue.

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

Earning an Associate degree from a two-year or community college can be a major step toward achieving your goal of becoming a teacher in Montana. Two-year colleges offer a variety of options, such as completing an associate of arts or sciences degree in order to transfer to a four-year university; qualifying for a professional certificate by focusing on training for a specific job; earning an Associate of Applied Science degree or certificate designed to lead you directly to employment.

  1. Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees are often designed for students who plan to transfer to a four-year university. If you complete required core classes at a two-year college, before transferring to a Bachelor’s degree program, you will be eligible to enroll as an upper division student. Majoring in education or teaching is an important step toward fulfilling requirements necessary to earn a Bachelor’s degree in education.
  2. Investigate various state-approved Bachelor’s degree programs 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. Some aspiring teachers, who have earned Associate Degrees or Credentials in Early Childhood Education, choose to seek employment shortly after graduation. A certificate or Associate degree in Early Childhood Education, may qualify you to begin working as a teaching assistant or child caretaker with infants, toddlers and pre-school children at Head Start, preschools, childcare organizations or before- and after-school programs.

If You Have a Bachelor’s Degree

All prospective teachers on the road toward becoming a licensed teacher on Montana must earn a Bachelor’s degree, preferably with an education or teaching major. If you want to teach in Montana and have a Bachelor’s degree in a teaching or non-teaching field, the next steps you take will depend on your undergraduate major.

  1. If you have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education in conjunction with an accredited Teacher Preparation Program, you have already fulfilled essential academic and teacher preparation requirements. Teacher Preparation Programs include coursework and classroom observations, fieldwork, and student teaching. Successful completion of all degree and teacher preparation requirements will qualify you to apply for a teaching certificate or license.
  2. Montana requires students to pass the appropriate Praxis II content area tests before an Institutional Recommendation for licensure will be issued. Prior to program completion, each prospective new-to-the-profession elementary teacher shall complete the Praxis II Elementary Content Knowledge Test. Each prospective new-to-the-profession secondary teacher shall complete the Praxis Content Knowledge assessments in the subject they will be licensed to teach. In Montana, the most important assessment of content knowledge is demonstrated during student teaching and evaluated by a highly qualified teacher and a university supervisor.
  3. Receiving a Bachelor’s degree with a major in liberal studies can be an important step toward certification as an Elementary level teacher. Some certification programs recommend the Liberal Arts major, because it prepares educators to teach in the many different subject areas taught in Elementary school classrooms.
  4. If you received your Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in the specific subject you wish to teach, you may have already satisfied some certificate programs’ recommended academic requirements. Majoring in a specific subject 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.
  5. The State of Montana requires individuals seeking licensure to have the equivalent of a teaching major in the subject area(s) they wish to teach. Prospective teachers who already have a Bachelor’s degree in a field other than education must complete any Montana-required courses they did not finish. Before applying for a teacher’s license, teaching candidates must successfully complete Montana’s mandated Teacher Preparation Program, including supervised student teaching. Two options for satisfying this requirement are: by enrolling in a post-baccalaureate state-approved professional educator preparation program or by entering an education or teaching Master’s degree program that is integrated with the state-required educator preparation program.
  6. Teaching candidates must fulfill all requirements before they become a licensed teacher in Montana. After you earn a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in education or teaching, successfully completed the state-mandated Teacher Education Program, satisfied student teaching hours and other experiential requirements, received positive assessments and recommendations from teachers and supervisors, and passed any appropriate grade level or subject area content knowledge exams, you will be qualified to become a licensed teacher in Montana.

If You Have a Master’s Degree or are in a Master’s Degree program

If you choose to continue your education and seek a Master’s degree in Education or Teaching, certain degree programs will incorporate a Teacher Preparation program with your major coursework. Graduates who complete a Master of Arts in Teaching or Master of Education degree, the Teacher Preparation curricula and all other Montana-mandated requirements, will be eligible to apply for and be issued a Standard or Professional Educator license from the state of Montana. You can also choose to continue your academic education by entering a Curriculum and Instruction Doctoral Program.

  1. Accredited universities with graduate programs in education offer a range of Master’s degrees that can lead you to a teaching license and a career as an educator. Master of Arts or Master of Science in Education, or Master of Education (M.Ed.) degrees may be offered concurrently with aTeacher Preparation program that is required for certification. You may also have the opportunity to focus on Elementary or Secondary Education, with an emphasis on the subject area you hope to teach.
  2. When you are ready to begin your teaching career, you must demonstrate that you have completed all requirements for certification or licensure. These steps include finishing required academic coursework, completing an approved Teacher Preparation Program, passing mandated tests, and fulfilling student teaching hours. The next step is to apply for your teaching certificate and begin searching for a job in the education field. Contact the Montana Department of Education to request an application.
  3. Some people who have earned a Master’s degree in Education may decide to continue their education and pursue a doctoral degree. Earning an Educational Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) or a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) may increase your opportunities for a better job and a higher income. Gathering information about available doctorate degrees in your field or specialty will provide the information necessary to discover the best university and education program to meet your needs.