Teacher Certification



Licensure is granted by the state, not by the University. In addition to satisfactory completion of the Lynch School of Education and Human Development's teacher education program, students must apply directly to the state for licensure and pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure. The Director of Practicum Experiences, who also serves as the Lynch School of Education and Human Development's Certification Officer, guides students through this process.

At Boston College, teacher education is a rigorous pursuit and program requirements exceed the miniumum requirements for licensure set by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Students must successfully complete all of the Boston College program requirements in order to earn endorsement and a recommendation for licensure with the state.

Massachusetts Licensure

To be eligible for Initial licensure in Massachusetts, students must:

  • complete an APPROVED PROGRAM (coursework and field experiences),
  • earn the Boston College endorsement and recommendation for licensure, and
  • pass the license specific Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure.

Effective January 2014, all students enrolled in teacher education licensure programs will earn the ESE endorsement for Sheltered English Immersion (SEI).

What is the SEI Endorsement?

The SEI (Sheltered English Immersion) Endorsement is not a license. It is an acknowledgement that the teacher who earns it has successfully demonstrated the knowledge and teaching skills to teach English language learners in SEI classrooms. Every licensed in-service core academic teacher in public schools in Massachusetts (including charter schools and education collaboratives) with one or more ELLs in his or her classroom must participate in an ESE state-approved RETELL teacher course to earn the SEI Teacher Endorsement by July 2016.

Graduate students, with no prior teaching licenses, enter the Lynch School of Education and Human Development's teacher education program seeking initial licensure. Graduate students who are already licensed may seek an additional license at the initial level in a new field such as Special Education. Such students are required to complete a clinical experience in the new field. A pre-practicum may also be required. Upon successful completion of all courses and practicum requirements, graduate students earn endorsement for initial licensure in the appropriate field.

Out-of-State Licensure

Upon successful completion of the Lynch School of Education and Human Development's teacher preparation program, students earn endorsement and recommendation for licensure in Massachusetts. Boston College shares reciprocity with most states across the country. Students are advised to consult directly with the Certification Officer for information about licensure requirements in other states. Students may be required to take specific state exams/assessments and/or the Praxis.

Massachusetts Tests of Educator Licensure

In 1998, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education implemented the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) for all educators seeking Pre-K to 12 academic licenses in the state. The MTEL is comprised of a skills test focused on communication and literacy as well a set of subject matter specific tests.

Licensure Requirements

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education outlines how the MTEL is connected to licensure in the state:

"As part of the current license requirements, candidates seeking a first Massachusetts Academic (PreK–12) license must achieve a passing score on both subtests of the Communication and Literacy Skills test AND any relevant Academic (PreK–12) subject matter test(s). The MTEL are the only tests that satisfy the communication and literacy skills and subject matter test requirements for a Massachusetts PreK–12 license."

"You may apply for an educator license at any time, before or after taking the MTEL. However, candidates seeking their first Massachusetts license must achieve a passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills test before their license application can be reviewed" (MTEL, 2013).

To help students better understand the licensure process in Massachusetts, the Field Placement & Partnership Outreach Office developed a chart that outlines the Four Steps to Licensure and an overview of the required subject specific MTEL tests.


Students are encouraged to learn about the MTEL in advance and to get a "jump start" on the licensure process by visiting the official testing website. The official website contains the following essential information:

  • Most current and up-to-date information about the MTEL,
  • Test registration dates, venues & deadlines,
  • Announcements about policy changes,
  • Details about the score reporting process,
  • Test preparation resources, and
  • Practice tests.

The Lynch School’s Office of Field Placement and Outreach may also be contacted for questions or additional information:

Amy Ryan, Assistant Dean, Field Placement & Outreach

Boston College, Campion Hall 102

140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467



For students enrolled in an online program track, information on license eligibility by state can be found at Boston College’s Distance Education Policies website: Programs Leading to Professional Licensure.

Licensure Frequently Asked Questions

Higher Education Opportunity Act

Practicum Experiences & Teacher Induction

In accordance with the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act, the Lynch School of Education and Human Development submits an annual report to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education on the quality of its teacher preparation programs. The report highlights the following elements:

  • Teacher preparation program data (e.g., admissions requirements, enrollment, and supervised clinical experience information);
  • Standards for teachers and their alignment with standards for students;
  • Requirements for each teaching certificate or license;
  • Pass rates on each assessment used by states in certifying or licensing teachers and the reliability and validity of these assessments;
  • State standards for evaluating the performance of teacher preparation programs;
  • Descriptions of alternative routes to teacher certification or licensure;
  • Descriptions of the extent to which the teacher preparation program addresses shortages of highly qualified teachers, prepare teachers to teach students with disabilities or who are limited English proficient, and prepare teachers to use technology; and
  • Efforts in the past year to improve the quality of teaching.

Report on the Quality of Teacher Preparation

The Lynch School of Education and Human Development's outstanding state report is accessible online through the Title II of the Higher Education Act's website. To view data from teacher preparation programs across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including Boston College, please visit the Title II website and choose Massachusetts from the state-by-state map of the United States.