Minnesota Licensure

Our State-approved Teacher Education Program offers Tier 3 licensure for WSU students who want to teach within Minnesota. Even if a WSU student would like to teach in a state outside of Minnesota, the first step is to get a Minnesota teaching license.

The Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) is the authoritative body to issue the teaching license. Teacher candidates should refer to the PELSB website for updates.

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.

Completing the licensure application process can take anywhere between four and eight weeks, depending on whether you have already received your degree. This means it’s in your best interest to not procrastinate.

Current students can start the online application two weeks prior to graduation if they pass all required licensure exams.

Carefully review the application process for Minnesota licensure below.

Requirements for Tier 3 Licensure

Before you apply for your initial license, make sure you qualify:

  • Completed your WSU Teacher Education Program
  • Passed all required exams (PDF) for each WSU Teacher Education Program
  • Earned a 2.75 GPA or higher in your teaching major at WSU

Tier 3 Licensure Application Directions


Complete a fingerprint card

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 pelsb@state.mn.us with the subject line “Fingerprint Card Request” or calling 651.539.4200 (Option 1). Be sure to include your full name and mailing address in your email or telephone message.

Once you receive your “PELSB stamped” fingerprint card, call a law enforcement agency regarding hours available for teacher license fingerprinting.

In black ink, 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 official WSU transcript

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 the online MN Tier 3 licensure application, Sections 1 – 5

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

You can complete Sections 1 – 5 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.

Section 6 is also required to complete. Please see the next step for further details.

Sections 7 and 8 don’t need to be completed for initial licensure candidates who have passed all required exams.


Receive Section 6 of the licensure application from Paula O’Malley

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

Section 6 will be automatically emailed to you once you meet the Tier 3 Licensure requirements:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree (posted on transcripts approximately two to three weeks after graduation)
  • Earned official passing scores for MTLE content and pedagogy exams reported to WSU
  • Completed edTP

Note: If you didn’t receive your license when you graduated and you’re now applying for your license because you passed the required exams, email Paula at pomalley@winona.edu to request your Section 6 to be completed.


Mail complete licensure application packet to PELSB

You’re almost done!

Gather the following items within one 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 — your completed Section 6 verifies that your degree is posted on your transcript and you have passed the required MTLE exams (Note: you do not need to include your MTLE score report)

Then 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 pelsb@state.mn.us or call PELSB at 651.539.4200.

Minnesota Substitute Licensure

Have you earned a bachelor's degree with any major or completed a teacher licensure program but don't yet qualify for a regular full-time teaching license?

Look into a three-year short call substitute teaching license (PDF).

A substitute license is perfect for anyone who hasn't passed their MTLE content and pedagogy exams but are still passionate about teaching.

Use the online licensing system to apply for the three-year short call substitute license.

Add-on to a Minnesota License

Apply for an additional license to your existing Minnesota license.

Follow the WSU/PELSB teacher license add-on application directions (PDF).