WSU teacher education programs prepare students for Tier 3 licensure in Minnesota.

Students can also apply for licensure in other states.

Getting a Minnesota teaching license is the first step for your teaching career.

As of Aug. 1, 2023, PELSB no longer requires Basic Skills, Pedagogy, or Content Exams for licensure if you have completed an accredited teacher preparation program. Each state has a licensing entity with specific directions for that state.

If you’re planning to teach out of state, it’s a good idea to talk to your advisor or Paula O’Malley early in your program.

Center for Licensure, Accreditation, & Assessment


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Tier 3 Licensure

Teaching licenses are issued by the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB). Teacher candidates should refer to the PELSB website for the most up-to-date information.

Many districts will not consider hiring you unless you have a teaching license, so it’s very important that you complete the licensure application process correctly.

It can take 4-8 weeks to complete the licensure application process once your degree has been posted to your transcript.

Current students who are on track to meet program requirements can start the online application 2 weeks prior to graduation.

How to Apply for Tier 3 Licensure

Before you apply for your initial license, make sure you meet the requirements:

  • Completed your WSU Teacher Education Program
  • Earned a 2.75 GPA or higher in your teaching major at WSU
  • Fulfilled the edTPA process

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

First, order a fingerprint card by emailing with the subject line “Fingerprint Card Request” or by calling 651.539.4200 (Option 1). Be sure to include your full name and mailing address in your email or telephone message.

Call a law enforcement agency regarding hours available for teacher license fingerprinting.

Once you receive your “PELSB stamped” fingerprint card, use black ink to write in all required personal information, but do not make other marks or highlight on the card. Do not bend or fold the card. Using hand lotion prior to fingerprinting is recommended.

Complete the fingerprinting at a law enforcement agency. You may be charged a fee of about $10 for the actual fingerprinting.

You can complete the fingerprinting requirement early and plan to mail the completed card when your entire application is ready to be submitted.

Order your official WSU transcript to be mailed to your home address. Select “Official Transcripts for Current Students & Recent Graduates”.

Keep your transcripts sealed and enclose them with your licensure application packet to PELSB.

If you’re ordering your transcript prior to graduation, check the box titled, “hold until degree is recorded”.

If you transferred any courses from other colleges into your WSU Teaching Education Program, order your official transcripts from those institutions and enclose the transfer transcripts with your PELSB packet as well.

Complete Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the MN Tier 3 licensure application. Follow the online application directions (PDF) for a step-by-step breakdown of the required application sections.

You can complete Sections 1–5 up to 30 days prior to your graduation date.

You do not need to wait for the Verification of Completion Form (Section 6) to complete the online application. However, you will need to fulfill the requirements for Section 6, which is part of the next step.

Sections 7 and 8 don’t need to be completed for initial licensure candidates.

Verification of Completion of a State-approved program (Section 6) must be completed, signed, and dated by Paula O’Malley, the Certifying Officer at WSU.

If you are a current student, Section 6 will be automatically emailed to you once you meet the Tier 3 Licensure requirements:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree (posted on transcripts about 2-3 weeks after graduation)
  • Successfully completed edTPA

If you’ve already graduated and are now applying for your license because have you have met all program requirements, email Paula at to request your Section 6 to be completed.

Gather the following items into 1 packet:

  • Completed PELSB-stamped fingerprint card
  • Official WSU transcript(s) — these should be within an unopened letter-sized envelope
  • Printout of Section 6 email from Paula O’Malley

Mail your packet to PELSB at:
1021 Bandana Blvd. East, Suite 222
Saint Paul, MN 55108-5111

PELSB will not accept your packet if it does not include all the required items.

For any remaining questions, email PELSB at or call PELSB at 651.539.4200.

Minnesota Substitute Licensure

Have you earned a non-teaching degree or completed a teacher licensure program but don’t yet qualify for a regular full-time teaching license?

A 3-year short call substitute teaching license is perfect for anyone who is passionate about teaching but hasn’t earned a teaching degree.

Additional PELSB License

Educators can add another license to an existing MN PELSB Substitute Tier 1, 2, 3, or Tier 4 license.

To get an add-on license, complete the application process for “current license holders” for the PELSB licensure you are seeking.

For example, no additional fingerprint card is required for existing license holders.

This application needs to be printed out after it is completed. The online application is only available for first time license holders.

Order any transcripts needed for the additional PELSB license that were not submitted with your initial PELSB license application. Order official WSU transcripts.

Email to request Section 6 Institutional recommendation form. Include details regarding when you graduated from your teaching preparation program, WSU Warrior ID if you have it, etc.

When you receive the section 6 recommendation form from the WSU License Officer (Paula O’Malley) replace the blank form in the PELSB application with the completed form.

Enclose the following documents in large envelope:

  • Endorsed Institutional Verification form (sec 6)
  • Completed appropriate PELSB application
  • Official transcript (keep sealed)
  • $57 check written to PELSB.

Mail complete packet to:

1021 Bandana Blvd. East, Suite 222
Saint Paul, MN 55108-5111

Teaching Licenses for Other States

Each state has different requirements for teaching licensure and the State Department of licensing in any given state is the authorized licensing agency. WSU is not liable for licensure requirements or process changes in other states.

You might consider applying for an additional license to your existing Minnesota license (PDF).

Talk to your advisor or Paula O’Malley early on in your program if you’re thinking about teaching in another state.