Teachers with valid standard, permanent, continuing, or professional teaching certificates can add endorsements that qualify them to teach additional subjects, student populations and/or grade levels. Depending on a teacher's background and recent experience additional pedagogical coursework, field work, or disciplinary coursework may be required. Per university policy, the time limit for using graduate-level courses (e.g., for the Reading [BT] or Reading Specialist [BR] endorsements) is five years.
Subject Area Endorsements
Teachers can add endorsements in subject areas appropriate for the grade levels they are certified to teach. The elementary teaching majors and minors offered at MSU lead to endorsements (for grades K-8) that can be added to an elementary certificate. The secondary teaching majors and minors available at MSU lead to endorsements (for grades 6-12) and can be added to a secondary certificate. Candidates must pass the relevant MTTC subject test and apply to have the endorsement added to their certificate before they are recommended for certification.
Adding the Social Studies ("RX") Endorsement
The “RX” endorsement can be added to an existing teaching certificate or to an initial provisional teaching certificate by teachers or teacher candidates who have teaching majors or minors in History, Geography, Economics or Political Science. A teaching major or minor in one of these sub-areas does not qualify a teacher to teach the broad area of Social Studies. However, teachers with the RX endorsement are considered qualified to teach Social Studies as well as the sub-areas of History, Geography, Economics, Political Science and Civics/Government (without individual endorsements in those areas). For more information see a teacher preparation advisor in 134 Erickson Hall.
Early Childhood-General and Special Education
The "ZS" endorsement can be added to an elementary teaching certificate and qualifies the certificate holder to teach at the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten levels (PreK-K). A planned program of at least 26 credits must be developed in consultation with an advisor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) and kept on file in the MSU Certification Office. The MTTC subject test in Early Childhood-General and Special Education must be passed prior to a recommendation for certification. For more information, contact the Department of HDFS at
The 21-credit “NP” endorsement qualifies the certificate holder to teach educational technology and can be added to an elementary or secondary certificate. For more information, please see the Educational Technology program website. There is no MTTC subject test for Educational Technology at this time.
The K-12 Reading Specialist (“BR”) endorsement can be added to an elementary or secondary certificate. This requires completion of the Graduate Specialization in Literacy and Language Instruction within the Master of Arts in Teaching and Curriculum (MATC) program and a passing score on the MTTC Reading Specialist subject test. For more information, please visit the MATC program website.
A K-12 special education endorsement in Learning Disabilities (“SM”) or Autism Spectrum Disorder ("SV") can be added to an elementary or secondary certificate through MSU. This requires successful completion of a master's degree in Special Education and a passing score on the corresponding MTTC subject test. For more information, visit the Special Education website. Please note that there is no general Special Education endorsement available in Michigan.
New Level Endorsements
Candidates may add a specific secondary subject endorsement to an elementary certificate. Please see New Level Endorsements for more information.