When the required exams are passed, your coursework at WSU is completed with a GPA of 2.75 or higher, and you have begun your student teaching, it is time to think about obtaining a Minnesota teaching license. Refer to the table that lists the Tests Required for each WSU Teacher Education Program (PDF) to ensure that you have taken and passed all of the required Basic Skills, Content and Pedagogy exams.

The licensure application process can take a while, so it is best not to procrastinate. Current students can start the online process two weeks prior to graduation if they have passed all required MTLE exams.  Many districts will not consider you for employment unless you have a license in hand. Keep in mind that even if you plan to teach in a state other than Minnesota, the first step is always to get a Minnesota license. Then, you can research the steps to obtaining an out-of-state license if that is something that you would like to do.


Before You Apply for Your First MN License

Please read and understand the following information below prior to applying online. You will not be able to send your application to the WSU Certification Officer until you have applied online and printed the appropriate documents.

The instructions below are also available in a printable format for your convenience: MN Educator Licensing Application Directions (PDF).  


You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Application Type
  • License Type
  • Name, Address, Telephone and Email Address
  • Date of Birth and Gender
  • Social Security Number-- It is not mandatory to provide your Social Security Number. Failure to do so may result in misidentification, but will not result in the denial of a license.
  • Licenses issued by other states or countries, if applicable.
  • Name and location of all colleges/universities you have attended and the degree(s) granted and the date(s) awarded.
  • Your student ID from all colleges/universities you have attended.
  • Conduct Review--You will be asked to answer questions relating to your moral character and conduct, including details about the nature and dates of arrests, convictions and formal disciplinary actions.
  • Valid Visa or Master Card and the three-digit security code shown on the signature strip on the back of your credit card. 

Print the application cover sheet after completing the online application and attach it as the first page of your paper application packet. The cover sheet contains the process number and information that identifies your documents.

Minnesota state law requires that all candidates applying for initial licensure be fingerprinted for a national criminal background check. This background check is for state use only.

The fingerprinting must be done at a law enforcement agency in black ink on a card supplied by Educator Licensing. You may be charged a separate fee for the actual fingerprinting. Provide all required personal information, but do not make other marks or highlighting on the card. Do not bend or fold the card.

Note: Do not mail your fingerprint card to the WSU Certification Officer.


Winona State University graduates do not need to send any of their official transcripts to the MN Department of Education. Only candidates who did not graduate from a MN Teacher Preparation institution need to send official transcripts to the MN Department of Education. 

The licensing application process will take 3-6 weeks after graduation if all exams are passed. After you have applied online, you can print the Licensure Program Verification form by clicking the link “Verification of licensure program at Winona State University....[click to download form ED # 02414] located at the bottom of the application cover page that will appear once you have completed your online application.

Mail the cover page and the ED #02414 forms to:

Paula O’Malley
Winona State University, Gild 105
Teacher Education Certification/Admission Coordinator
PO Box 5838
Winona, MN 55987

Applying for a License

To apply for a MN teaching license:

  1. Go to Minnesota Department of Education's licensing website
  2. Click “Online Licensing System
  3. Click “Create New MDE Account” to create a user profile and password
  4. Complete the online application. The nonrefundable processing fee for an initial Minnesota license application of $90.65 must be paid using a valid Visa or MasterCard at the end of the online application process. Call the MN Dept. of Education if you do not have a credit card 651-582-8691.
  5. Complete the Licensure Program Verification form (ED #02414 form) located at the bottom of the application cover page that will appear once you have completed your online application. Mrs. O’Malley will endorse the Licensure Program Verification form and mail it back to you with your cover page.
  6. Mail or deliver the supporting documents in one packet to MN Educator Licensing Office within 60 days after submitting your application online. If you do not submit the proper documents within the 60 day window your application will be deleted from the online system and your fee(s) forfeited. Apply when you plan to have all of your tests passed within the 60 day time frame (it takes 4 weeks to receive your test scores).

    The Certification Officer is not responsible for expired applications. The MN Educator Licensing Office will return partial or incomplete packets to you for completion and resubmission.

Renewing Your MN License

The renewal of your Minnesota license will require completion of 125 clock hours or 8 college credits verified by a Minnesota local continuing education committee. It is in your best interest to learn about the Minnesota License Renewal (PDF) criteria as soon as you obtain your license.