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.

Students will be invited to campus for Professional Day toward the end of their student-teaching semester. On Professional Day, students will receive step-by-step instructions regarding how to apply for a teaching license.

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. You can research the steps to obtaining an out-of-state license if that is something that you would like to do.

Requirements to Apply for a Tier III License

  • Completion of WSU Teacher Education program.
  • Pass all required exams for each WSU Teacher Education Program (PDF)
  • WSU grade point of 2.75 or higher in your teaching major.
  • Completion of licensure application.
  • Completion of Minnesota Department of Education background check.

Before You Apply for Your First MN License

Please read and understand the following information: 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. 

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.

Subject: Minnesota Statute 122A.09, subdivision 4, paragraph (c)

(c) The board must adopt rules to approve teacher preparation programs. The board, upon the request of a postsecondary student preparing for teacher licensure or a licensed graduate of a teacher preparation program, shall assist in resolving a dispute between the person and a postsecondary institution providing a teacher preparation program when the dispute involves an institution's recommendation for licensure affecting the person or the person's credentials. At the board's discretion, assistance may include the application of chapter 14.

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

Minnesota Educator Tier 3 License Application Directions as of Spring 2020

This information was last updated on June 15, 2020.

WSU, College of Education Certification Officer created this page as a resource to assist students with obtaining a teaching license. PELSB is the authoritative body to issue the teaching license. Teacher candidates should refer to the PELSB Tier 3 application and check COVID 19 updates.

It will take “5 to 8 weeks” to obtain an initial teaching license pending all required portions of the application have been submitted to PELSB.

1. Complete the MN Tier 3 license application Sections 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

2. Section 6: Verification of Completion of a State-approved Program must be completed, signed and dated by the certifying officer of your teacher program institution

Paula O’Malley is the WSU Certifying Officer. If you completed the teaching program prior to May 2020, please email and request Section 6.

If you completed the teaching program in May 2020, Section 6 will be mailed to each program completer when they meet the Tier 3 License requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree (posted on transcripts 2-3 weeks after graduation)
  • Official Passing scores for MTLE content and pedagogy exams reported to WSU
  • edTPA completion

3. Section 7 and Section 8 do not need to be completed for initial Tier 3 license

4. Order Official WSU transcript to be mailed to your home address

Order your official transcripts from WSU. Keep transcript sealed and enclose with your license application packet to PELSB.

Also, order official transcripts from other colleges if you transferred courses into your WSU Teaching Program and enclose with your PELSB packet.

For May 2020 graduates, follow the directions above to order transcripts and check box when degree is posted on transcript for WSU. The WSU Registrar’s Office plans to have degrees posted on transcripts 2-3 weeks after the date of graduation.

5. Fingerprint card requirement may change

Check for COVID-19 updates about fingerprint card requirements.

If there are no changes, request a fingerprint card via email at subject line of the email “Fingerprint Card Request” or call 651.539.4200 (Option 1).

Be sure to include your name and mailing address in your email or telephone message.

Take the “PELSB stamped” fingerprint card to a law enforcement agency -- there is a fee of about $10. Write in black ink the required personal information, but do not make other marks on the card. Do not bend/fold the card.

Also, using hand lotion prior to finger printing is suggested.

6. Enclose with your application a check or money order

This check or money order should be made payable to “PELSB” for initial application and fingerprint card processing fee of $90.25. This is a non-refundable fee.

7. It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit the required items in ONE complete packet to PELSB

Refer to the check list in the beginning of the PELSB application.