Teacher Certification & Licensing

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.

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 Licensure

In order to teach in Massachusetts public schools, educators must be licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in the field, role, and grade level of the license sought. To be eligible for the initial license, applicants must complete an approved educator preparation program that leads to the desired license. Boston College offers programs approved by the State at both the undergraduate (Baccalaureate) and graduate (Post-Baccalaureate) levels.

Successful completion of LSEHD program requirements lead to endorsement for initial licensure to the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE). Program endorsement, along with successful completion of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTELs), enables students to receive an initial license as an educator in Massachusetts. The initial license is valid for five years and may be renewed once for an additional five years. 

​​As of July 1, 2014, educators applying for their first Initial license in Massachusetts must obtain the Sheltered English Instruction (SEI) Endorsement. Teacher candidates can qualify for the SEI Endorsement by successfully completing the state-approved teacher education programs at Boston College that lead to initial licensure in Massachusetts. The requirements for endorsement are embedded into the undergraduate and graduate Programs of Study. Candidates earn this endorsement by completing the approved Program of Study for the designated initial licensure program and graduating from Boston College.

The following steps are required to secure a teaching license in Massachusetts:

  1. Create a profile on ELAR and obtain a MEPID number. The MEPID number is a unique identifier that is required to register for the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) and to apply for licensure.

  2. Apply for the initial license.

  3. Prepare for, take, and pass the MTELs required for your specific license. Please confer with the Office of Field Placement & Partnership Outreach for guidance and resources on preparing for the MTEL.

  4. Complete the LSEHD approved program requirements, earn an endorsement from Boston College for licensure in Massachusetts, and graduate from Boston College.

Massachusetts Test

The Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) are required of all educators seeking PreK-12 academic licensure in Massachusetts. The MTELs are comprised of a communication and literacy skills test as well as exams for specific subject matter knowledge.

It is important to note that teacher candidates are not required to successfully pass the appropriate MTEL exams in order to graduate from the teacher education program at Boston College. However, in order to be earn an initial license in Massachusetts, applicants must successfully pass the required MTELs to meet the subject matter knowledge requirement for each license sought.

Out-of-State Licensure

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a participating member of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement. This agreement is designed to provide pathways for educators seeking licensure in a different state/territory than where they completed an educator preparation program and/or hold a license and/or certificate. Graduates of Boston College’s state-approved teacher education programs may be eligible for out-of-state licensure through reciprocity in the states and territories participating in the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement. Please note the following, as it applies to reciprocity through this interstate agreement:

  • The NASDTEC Interstate Agreement does not automatically grant reciprocity to individuals seeking to move among and between member states and territories and “each state is responsible for its own certification/licensure requirements, which may change without notice to NASDTEC or your university's certification officers or your state's office of certification” (https://www.nasdtec.net/page/InterstateAgreements).
  • The interstate agreement does not exempt individuals from degree, testing and/or additional prerequisite requirements applicable to the license sought in the participating state. 
  • Individuals seeking reciprocity as an academic teacher in Massachusetts, for example, are required to secure a Sheltered English Language (SEI) endorsement to be eligible for an initial license. Individuals seeking licensure outside of Massachusetts are encouraged to review the reciprocity guidelines and regulations from the appropriate state department of education and/or licensing body. 
  • Each participating NASDTEC state ultimately determines which license a graduate is eligible for through reciprocity.


Reciprocity in New England

As of July 2021, Boston College has determined that the Lynch School of Education and Human Development’s state-approved teacher education programs may meet the educational requirements for licensure and/or certification based on successful completion and endorsement from a Massachusetts-approved program as part of the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement.



New Hampshire

New York

Rhode Island


You may contact the Office of Field Placement & Partnership Outreach, prac@bc.edu for more information about how to determine whether the program meets requirements for licensure or certification in the state in which you plan to practice.