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Requirements for Initial Teacher Certification

Initial Teacher Certification

Candidates are recommended for the initial Michigan teaching certificate after they have completed all requirements for MSU’s teacher preparation program, including the post-graduate internship. The Provisional Certificate is valid for six years; during that time, the certificate holder is expected to gain experience as a practicing teacher and continue professional development through the advanced coursework required for the next level of certification (the Professional Certificate).

Applying for Initial Certification

Interns should apply for Michigan certification as soon as they have finished the internship and met all requirements. Certification requirements change over time, and a Michigan certificate serves as a permanent record that all requirements were met at the end of a student’s program. Michigan certification is also important for individuals who seek certification in other states. Most states will issue a provisional certificate based on the applicant's Michigan certificate. In addition, certification in other state typically requires an institutional recommendation from MSU, and without Michigan certification it can be difficult to document that an individual met all certification requirements before leaving MSU.

Incomplete applications for certification cannot be processed. Applicants with incomplete applications will receive notification about missing materials from the MSU Certification Office.

  • Applying for the Provisional Certificate is a two-step process. Applicants must complete the MSU Provisional Certificate Application, which includes a Conviction Disclosure Form. Both forms must be completed, signed and dated in ink. Applicants must also apply using the Michigan Online Education Certification System (MOECS)
  • Applicants must complete the online survey from the Michigan Department of Education, and the signature page must be included with the certification application. The survey link is sent to each intern via his or her MSU email account close to the end of Spring Semester. 
  • Applicants must include verification of current CPR and First Aid training from an approved provider.  Applicants must include copies of both the front and back of the cards issued for each type of training, and the cards must be signed. 
  • If an applicant has had a name change, a driver’s license or marriage certificate must also be included. 

Waiver Requests for Elementary and Secondary Education Applicants

An applicant who has completed coursework for an endorsement but has not met all requirements for certification (e.g., has not passed the corresponding MTTC, or met the oral proficiency standard in the case of world languages) may request that his or her application be processed and the certificate issued without the endorsement. The Elementary Waiver Request or the Secondary Waiver Request must be included with the certification application that is submitted to the MSU Certification Office. If the applicant meets requirements within the next five years, he or she may apply to have the endorsement added to his or her certificate (note that the applicant is held to current standards and requirements when the endorsement is added). There is a fee to add the endorsement; however, if the applicant applies to add the endorsement when he or she is also applying for the Professional Certificate or a renewal of the Provisional Certificate, only one processing fee will be charged (provided the coursework was taken within the acceptable time frame; see Michigan Certification Update for requirements). 

Applying for Certification in Other States