Applying for Your Initial License

For candidates who have completed an approved educators program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Apply for your license at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website. To assist you in the process, click here for directions.

What is a Recommendation for Licensure Statement?

This statement appears at the end of your transcript after final grades and degree statements have been posted by the Registrar's Office. A sample: “This individual has completed a State, ICC, & NASDTEC approved program in Elementary Education, Grades 1-6, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is institutionally recommended for Initial Licensure in this field. The University of Massachusetts Amherst is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).”

Click here for transcript request information.

  1. Applicants for Initial licensure must submit a $100.00 license fee. This is payable by VISA or MasterCard during the online application process. (The option of mail-in payments is still available for candidates who do not possess a credit card. The mail-in payment must be a certified bank check payable to The Commonwealth of Massachusetts.) 
  2. Applicants for Teaching Licenses are responsible for ensuring that their Preservice Performance Assessment Form(s) (PPA) have been submitted to W144 Furcolo. Applicants for School Guidance, School Psychology, Speech-Hearing-Language, and Special Education Administrative licenses are responsible for ensuring that their Practicum/Internship Report has been submitted to W144 Furcolo.
  3. Along with your licensure paperwork, please attach a copy of your score report for the MTEL (a) Communication & Literacy Skills Test, and (b) Subject Matter Test(s), if one is offered in your area. 
  4. Employment Verification (for specific licenses):
  • Applicants for the Reading Specialist License must submit a letter verifying that they have been employed under a valid MA teaching license for at least one year.

(Letters typically come from a building principal or a Human Resources official in your school.)

I received my Bachelor's degree outside of the United States. Will my transcript be acceptable for licensure purposes?

No, for licensure purposes, the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will not accept a degree from outside of the U.S. if it has not been reviewed by an approved agency. Transcripts from colleges/universities outside of the United States must be evaluated by an approved agency in order to determine their U.S. equivalency. A list of approved transcript evaluation agencies can be viewed here [PDF].

(This evaluation will serve as the official verification of your Bachelor's degree. Please have an official copy of the evaluation sent to W144 Furcolo.)

I'd like to add another classroom teaching license. How can I do this?

Please visit and click on “Licensure Help” from the menu on the left.  From there, use the pull-down menus to select the licensure field and level of interest.

I am currently completing my Master's degree here at UMass Amherst. I also completed my Bachelor's degree here. Do I need to request two separate transcripts?

No, one transcript printed by the Graduate Records Office will indicate that you completed your Bachelor's degree, Master's degree, and licensure requirements.

Now that I will have my Initial license, what are the benefits of earning my Professional license?

Your Initial license is valid for five years of employment. During this five-year period, you will need to advance your license from Initial to Professional. There are a number of ways to do this. Please see for more information.

Please note that PDP's (or Professional Development Points) play no role in the process of advancing your license from the Initial to Professional stage.

How can the Undergraduate Advising and Educator Licensure Office help me with the licensing process?

The Undergraduate Advising and Educator Licensure Office (W144 Furcolo) provides the service of collecting and mailing all licensure documents to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. These documents include transcripts, copies of test scores, Practicum reports, etc. Office staff carefully reviews all files before they are mailed to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

In order to help you receive your license in as timely a fashion as possible, please take note of the following:

  1. All individuals applying for their first (Initial) license in Massachusetts MUST submit an official copy of their Bachelor's Degree transcript (request that the transcript be sent to W144 Furcolo)
  2. All applicants must, in their final semester, request from the appropriate licensure transcript office, that an official transcript showing your degree be sent to the Licensure Office (W144 Furcolo) as soon as the Recommendation for Licensure Statement is recorded on the transcript. Please note that statements do not appear on transcripts until after the close of final grades and degrees have been conferred. (Note: You can check SPIRE to see when this is complete.)