Employment » Educator Certification

Educator Certification

Types of Certification

Conditional Certificate 

  • valid for two years; and
  • issued to an educator who does not meet all certification requirements.

The Conditional Certificate may be given for another two years, if the educator cannot meet all of the requirements within a reasonable timeframe.

Standard Professional Certificate I

  • valid for 5 years to an educator who meets all certification requirements.

Standard Professional Certificate II

  • valid for 5 years;
  • issued to an applicant who completes the SPC I, and submits the following:
    • verification of 3 years of satisfactory professional experience;
    • 6 semester hours of acceptable credit; and
    • a professional development plan for the Advanced Professional Certificate (APC).

Advanced Professional Certificate

  • valid for 5 years, and
  • issued to an applicant who submits the following:
    • 6 semester hours of acceptable credit; 
    • verification of 3 years of full-time professional school-related experience; and
    • a master's degree, or a minimum of 36 semester hours of post-baccalaureate course work which must include at least 21 semester hours of graduate credit (The remaining 15 semester hours may include graduate or undergraduate course work and/or Maryland State Department of Education Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits, or obtained National Board Certification and earned a minimum of 12 semester hours of approved graduate course work earned after the conferral of the bachelor's or higher degree.

How to Apply for Certification
What do I need to do to get my Conditional Certificate?

There are two different ways to acquire certification, which MSDE will determine when reviewing your application and documents.
  1. One option is transcript analysis, this is the option where the educator receives an evaluation and completes the course work on the evaluation.

  2. Another option is completion of a Maryland Approved Program (MAP). The programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate level . The Maryland College/University reviews the educators file for admission to the program.  The educator follows the prescribed program and at the conclusion of the program the official transcript shows the MAP/MAT stamp. The educator must also meet the testing requirement. It is important the educator verify that they are enrolled in a MAP.

    • Refer to the MSDE website (www.mdcert.org) teacher preparation approved programs; e.g. Johns Hopkins University is listed as having a Maryland approved program (MAP) for Administration. Educators who enroll in this program need to verify with the university that this is the program that will result in the MAP stamp being placed on the official transcript at the conclusion of the program.

  3. Each option stands on its own. You cannot combine part of one option into another option.

The teacher, specialist, or administrator needs to submit the following documents to Ms. Stacey Bundy:

  • Fill out MSDE's initial application for certification;
  • Unopened, official transcripts from every College/University you went to;
  • Copies of all (if any) test scores (e.g. Praxis);
  • Copy of Maryland or out-of-state certificate/license (if applicable);
  • Verification of experience in each school (if applicable); and
  • A $10 money order, payable to MSDE.

It is important to submit all these documents as soon as you are hired, as it takes at least six months to receive a conditional certificate. A conditional certificate is good for two years. The six-month waiting period counts towards meeting the requirements for renewal, which would be up to 12 credits plus taking and passing the Basic Skills Test.

For more information, contact Stacey Bundy, MSD Compliance Officer/MSDE Liaison, at Stacey.Bundy@msd.edu.

MSDE Educator Information System Portal

This website is the page you need to go to to check the status of your certification, or print a copy of your certificate.

Click here: MSDE Educator Information System Portal

Basic Skills Testing Requirement

All beginning teachers in all content areas must take the Praxis Core, SAT, GRE, or ACT. 

Applicants may meet the testing requirement in one of two ways by submitting: individual scores at or above the state qualifying scores on Praxis: CORE (Reading, Writing, and Mathematics) or a composite score that is at or above the state qualifying score on Praxis I, SAT, GRE, or ACT.

  • The composite score on the SAT taken prior to April 1995 is 1000; the composite score on the SAT taken after April 1995 is 1100.

  • The composite score on the GRE taken prior to September 1, 2011 is 1000; the composite score on the GRE taken as of September 1, 2011 is 297.

  • The composite score on the ACT is 24. The composite score on the Praxis I (PPST/CPPST) taken prior to September 1, 2014 is 527.

  • NTE qualifying scores as of January 1, 2011 will no longer be accepted unless accompanied by a valid, professional out-of-state certificate. Applicants must meet current testing requirements at the time of application.

Check here to see if your Praxis Core, SAT, GRE, or ACT scores met Maryland's Testing Requirement.

Taking the Praxis I CORE Test

If you are a new teacher or have a conditional certificate, and haven't taken the Praxis I and/or II, the info for each test is given below, including an interactive practice test. 

PRAXIS I CORE

  1. Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading (5712).  MSDE will accept a score of 156 or higher. 
    Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading (5712), Interactive Practice Test

  2. Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing (5722).  MSDE will accept a score of 162 or higher. 
    Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing (5722), Interactive Practice Test.

  3. Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics (5732). MSDE will accept a score of 150 or higher. 
    Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics (5732), Interactive Practice Test

If you want to take all three tests at the same time, please register for the Core Academic Skills for Educators Combined Test (5751). The composite score is no longer available; you need to pass each test. 

PRAXIS I Series (previous Praxis Test)

If you took the Praxis I - Basic Skills test(s) before August 31, 2017, MSDE will accept your passing scores. The passing scores are as follows:

  • PPST Reading (177)
  • PPST Writing (173) 
  • PPST Mathematics (177)
    Composite Score = 527 

If you took parts of the Praxis I test and passed, you may use these scores and take only the Praxis I CORE test in which you have not taken or passed in.

For example: You passed Praxis I Reading and Math, but not writing. You only need to take the Praxis I CORE in Writing.

You have until August 31, 2017, to submit both the old and new Praxis test results. After August 31, 2017, only Praxis I CORE test results will be accepted.

STUDYING A SPECIFIC CONTENT AREA IN PRAXIS II

If you need to take the Praxis II in your content area, or would like to add an endorsement by taking the Praxis II, click here for the Study Guide and Interactive Test

ACCOMMODATIONS

For those who would like accommodations for the Praxis Test, click here.

MSDE Approved Courses - Early Childhood and Elementary Education

To acquire Educator Certification in either ECE or Elementary Education, you need to meet the requirements of two sections: 1) Content; and 2) Professional Development course work.

The information below outlines what has been approved by MSDE. The first section will focus on content, and the second section will focus on the Professional Development course work.

  • For any courses not listed here, please submit the following information to Ms. Stacey Bundy who will submit your course information to MSDE for approval:
    • Name of College/University
    • Course Title and HEGIS number
    • Course Description

ECE/ELEMENTARY LEVEL CONTENT - 30 credits (undergraduate and/or graduate courses with a grade):

  • ENGLISH (need 9 credits)
  • MATH (need 12 credits)
  • SCIENCE (need 12 credits)
  • SOCIAL STUDIES (need 9 credits)
  • OTHER (need 6 credits)

Rule of thumb— Courses with the alpha numeric code with ENG preceding the number and title may be used to satisfy the content course requirement. Remedial courses (usually beginning with a 0, example ENG 043) are not accepted.

Courses that have a "D" or "F" are not accepted.

ENGLISH (need 9 credits)

ANNE ARUNDEL COMMUNITY COLLEGE

  • ENG-111, Comp & Intro to Literature 1 
    Learn single-paragraph and multi-paragraph writing. Gain substantial writing practice both in and out of class. Analyze short fiction and poetry.
  • The Art & Science of Grammar 
    Learn the grammar of the English language at an advanced level. Focus on the definitions, functions, and relationships among its words. Analyze the types, styles, and logic of grammatically correct sentences and use this knowledge and these skills to assess effective written communication. Assess punctuation's impact on communication.
  • ENG-200 Intro to Creative Writing 3 credit hours
    Learn the basic craft elements of writing poetry and short fiction. Complete weekly exercises designed to teach the fundamental aspects of reading and writing poetry and fiction. Develop collections of poems and short stories. Practice the workshop method to discuss student writing, foster critical thinking, and develop individual styles.
  • ENG-201 Creat Writ: Beg Fict Workshop 3 credit hours
    Build on the craft elements of writing fiction introduced in ENG 200. Complete weekly exercises designed to teach important aspects of structure, tone, point-of-view, imagery, metaphor, character development, plot, and voice. Develop a portfolio of short stories and/or chapters for a novel. Practice the workshop method to discuss student writing, foster critical thinking, and develop individual styles.

FREDERICK COMMUNITY COLLEGE

  • EN 101–English Composition (3) GenEd English Composition
    Develops students’ ability to use writing, reading, research, and thinking processes to create documented essays that demonstrate the conventions of academic writing.
  • EN 102–English Composition and Literature (3)
    GenEd Arts & Humanities/Humanities or Arts & Humanities/ Communications Reinforces, through an examination of literature, the reading, writing, critical thinking, and information literacy skills introduced in English Composition. By exploring literary texts from fiction, poetry, and drama, students learn to clarify their own values and identities as well as develop a better understanding of ideas and cultures beyond their own experience.
  • EN 210–Creative Writing I (A,B, etc.) (3)
    Introduces skills of writing narrative fiction and/or poetry and/or drama. The complexities of creative writing as a craft and an art are explored through analysis of representative works, study of techniques and extensive practice.

MATHEMATICS (need 12 credits)

ANNE ARUNDEL COMMUNITY COLLEGE

  • The Nature of Mathematics MAT 100
    Encounter mathematical reasoning through an exposure to inductive methods, problem-solving techniques and the organization of information to discover patterns. Explore geometric topics and the connections between mathematics and the arts and sciences. Study topics such as sequences, topology, computers, fractals and introductory probability and statistics.
  • Fundamental Concepts Mathematics 1 MAT-221-400
    Primarily for students in the elementary education and early childhood education programs. Explore decimal and non-decimal numeral systems, mental computations, estimation, set theory, functions, algorithms and their historical development, logic and number theory. Learn and apply problem-solving techniques within each topic. 

FREDERICK COMMUNITY COLLEGE

  • MA 103–Foundations of Mathematics (3) GenEd Mathematics
    Covers various topics within mathematics for those who need a survey of mathematical principles rather than the in-depth analysis required for a mathematics or science-related program. Areas covered may include problem-solving strategies, logic, numeration systems, set theory, classification of numbers, algebra, financial management, geometry, measurement and right triangle trigonometry, probability, statistics, graphs, systems of equations, linear programming, graph theory, and voting theory.
  • MA 105–Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics I (4) GenEd Mathematics
    A study of the real number system for early childhood education and elementary education students. Provides a comprehensive conceptually-based background in elementary mathematics. Topics include historical development of numeration systems, decimal notation, arithmetic algorithms in decimal and other bases, elementary set theory and number theory. Emphasizes problem-solving strategies.
  • MA 106–Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics II (4) GenEd Mathematics
    A study of the fundamentals of geometry for early childhood education and elementary education students. Provides a conceptually-based background in geometry including plane and solid, metric and non-metric, dimensional analysis, congruence and similarity, coordinate and transformational geometry. Emphasizes problem-solving skills and the appropriate use of technology including calculators and computers.

HAGERSTOWN COMMUNITY COLLEGE

  • College Algebra, MAT-101
    This course is a problem solving approach to the nature of mathematics as a logical system. The structure of the number system is developed axiomatically and extended by logical reasoning to cover essential algebraic topics: algebraic expression, functions, and theory of equations. 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE

  • MATH 130 - ELEM MATH I NUMBER SYSTEMS
    An examination of mathematical reasoning, problem solving, and sets. Topics include concepts and processes involving numeration systems, whole numbers, number theory, integers, and rational numbers. Intended for elementary education majors, this course is also suitable for parents of school-age children. (MATF) 

UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX

  • MTH 219- INTRODUCTION TO COLLEGE ALGEBRA (3 credits)
    This course introduces algebraic concepts providing a solid foundation for college algebra. Topics range from properties of real numbers, the order of operations, and algebraic expressions to solving equations and inequalities. Additional topics include polynomials, factoring methods, rational and radical expressions as well as graphing and functions.

SCIENCE (need 12 credits)

ANNE ARUNDEL COMMUNITY COLLEGE

  • BIO 135 - Principles of Nutrition 3 credit hours
    Learn the digestion, absorption and physiological function of nutrients in the body. Emphasis is placed on normal nutrition and the relationship between nutrients and chronic disease. Nutrition needs of the healthy person through stages of the life span are included. This course does not satisfy a lab science requirement. 

FREDERICK COMMUNITY COLLEGE

  • BI 100–Fundamental Concepts of Biology (4) GenEd Science
    Intended for non-science majors. Develops an understanding of living systems through the study of selected biological principles. Topics provide an understanding of biological systems as a whole.
  • BI 101–General Biology (4) GenEd Science
    Intended for science majors, technology majors and pre-allied health majors. Presents a comprehensive survey of modern biology. Uses examples of all kingdoms of organisms to illustrate basic biological principles in cell and molecular biology including classical and molecular genetics and principles of systematics
  • BI 102–General Biology (4) GenEd Science
    A continuation of the comprehensive survey of modern biology with a special emphasis on comparative animal biology which includes physiological adaptations of organisms to various ecological habitats. Origin of life and evolution of organisms are also considered.
  • PC 104–The Water Planet: Introduction to Oceanography (3) GenEd Science
    Presents a study of the ocean as a dynamic and changing entity. Emphasizes connections among disciplines in and outside the areas of science. Provides a basic understanding of scientific questions, complexities and uncertainties involved with the study and use of oceans.
  • PC 105–Introduction to the Science of Weather (3) GenEd Science
    Surveys the basic physics of the atmosphere and the diagnostic tools of the meteorologist. Includes some discussion of applied meteorology, forecasting, pollution, aviation and agriculture. Students cannot get credit for both PC 105 and PC 106.
  • PC 103–Elements of Physical Science (3)• GenEd Science
    Covers selected aspects of earth science, physics, chemistry and the quantitative relationships involved in the behavior of matter. Uses simple experiments to introduce scientific topics as needed. Restricted to non-science majors. Students cannot receive credit for both PC 103 and PC 114.
  • PC 107–Introductory Astronomy
    Presents a survey of astronomy that includes a study of the physical nature of the universe, the solar system, stars, nebulae and galaxies. The laboratory includes sky observations for collection and analysis of data, photographic analysis and laboratory experiments.

HAGERSTOWN COMMUNITY COLLEGE

  • Unity/Diversity Living Things, BIO-106
    This is a one-semester introductory life science course with laboratory for non-science majors. Basic cell biology and biochemistry common to all living things are presented. Major groups of organisms are surveyed including their genetics, bioenergetics, evolutionary relationships and ecological niches.
  • Biology of Disease, BIO-112
    This is a lecture/discussion course that may be delivered in a traditional classroom or over the internet. The course focuses on viral disease as a model for understanding other mechanisms in biology. Topics include basic virology, epidemiology, immunology, and molecular biology as they relate to viral disease and its spread in populations. Scientific reading and writing assignments required. 

TOWSON UNIVERSITY

  • ASTR 161 GENERAL ASTRONOMY I (4)
    Observational astronomy, telescopes, Earth as a planet, the Moon, Solar System, Sun, general properties of stars. Development of enough basic physics to understand these topics as a non-technical level. 

SOCIAL STUDIES (need six credits)

FREDERICK COMMUNITY COLLEGE

  • Cultural Geography 102
    Studies man in his regional settings, with emphasis on the interrelationships of physical and cultural phenomena.
  • HI 101–History of Western Civilization (3) GenEd Social & Behavioral Sciences/History
    Surveys the development of Western civilization from ancient times to 1500.
  • HI 102–History of Western Civilization (3) GenEd Social & Behavioral Sciences/History
    Covers Western history from 1500 to the present.
  • HI 103–History of Maryland (3)
    Covers Maryland history from its establishment as an English colony to the present, with emphasis on the political, economic and social and cultural developments.
  • HI 201-History of the United States
    Examines the economic, political and social forces that have shaped the patterns of life, institutions and thought in the United States through the Civil War.

HAGERSTOWN COMMUNITY COLLEGE

  • United States History I, HIS-201
    This course provides a survey of American history from European backgrounds and colonization through the Constitutional, Jacksonian, and Civil War periods. Related cultural developments such as Puritanism, Federalism, Jacksonian reform, manifest destiny, and the frontier experience are analyzed.
  • World History I, HIS-101
    This course studies the history of civilization from primitive man and the earliest river-centered cultures to the mid-1500s, with a focus on key epochs, societies, persons, movements, and ideas which illustrate the development and continuity of the world cultures.
  • World Regional Geography, GEO-105
    World regional geography is an examination of global regions, patterns, and trends which together form the basis for interpreting world affairs and regional interactions. Topics include the growth of the global political economy, nations and states, international organizations, boundary disputes, population pressures, resource distribution, and other ongoing processes of international cooperation and conflict. 

OTHER (need six credits)

If you have extra credit in the aforementioned content areas, they will be accepted. Other courses such as Art, Music, Foreign Language have been accepted.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSE WORK

  • Child Development (3 credits)
    • Gallaudet EDU 795 “Special Topics” relevant to this content
    • Gallaudet EDU 727
    • Gallaudet PSY 311 “Development 1: Child Psychology”
    • Towson University ECED 609 “Growth and Development of Young Children”
  • Human Learning (3 credits)
    • Anne Arundel Community College EDU-211-845 Educational Psychology 
    • Gallaudet EDF 323 “Educational Psychology”
  • Teaching Methodology (3 credits)
    • Gallaudet FCS 370 “PreSchool-Kindergarten Methods”
    • Gallaudet EDU 757
    • College of Notre Dame EDU 509
    • Towson University ECED 665 “Curriculum Theory & Development”
    • University of Phoenix ECH 539 "Methods of Teaching in Early Childhood: Math and Science"
  • Inclusion of Special Needs Students* (3 credits or 3 MSDE CPD Credits)
    • SPECIAL ED COURSES—we look for three key elements: laws, IEP identification and process. The generic special education course can be found at most of the community colleges here in Maryland. It’s normally called Introduction to Special Education.
    • Gallaudet PSY 319 “The Psychology of Exceptional Children”
    • Gallaudet EDF 420
    • Gallaudet EDU 470 “Introduction to Education of the Exceptional Child”
    • McDaniel SED 500 “Introduction to Special Education”
    • National University EXC 604 “Exception and Diversity in the Classroom”
    • Towson University ECED 607 “Learner Diversity and Inclusion”
  • Assessment of Students (3 credits)
    • Gallaudet EDU 708
    • Gallaudet PED 348 “Measurement & Evaluation in Health & PE” (PE Majors only)
    • Towson University ECED 619 “Assessment, Observation and Evaluation”
    • Trinity Univ-DC 700D Introduction to Performance-Based Instruction/Assessment
  • Processes & Acquisition of Reading* (3 credits or 3 MSDE CPD Credits)
    • Gallaudet EDU 713 “Language Acquisition and Cognitive Development”
    • National University DHH 602 “English Acquisition & Development”
    • Anne Arundel Community College EDU 242 “Foundation Reading & Language Arts”
  • Methods of Reading Instruction* (3 credits or 3 MSDE CPD Credits)
    • Anne Arundel Community College EDU 243 “Methods of Effective Reading Instruction”
    • National University TED 621A “Language Development Methods: Elementary School”
  • Assessment of Reading Instruction* (3 credits or 3 MSDE CPD Credits)
    • Anne Arundel Community College EDU 215 “Principles of Instructional Assessment”
    • College of Notre Dame EDU 511
    • University of Phoenix RDG 528 “Reading Assessment”
  • Materials for Teaching Reading* (3 credits or 3 MSDE CPD Credits)
    • Gallaudet EDU 665 “Children’s Literature”
    • Trinity EDU 759A Teaching Reading in Early Childhood

* can be met with MSDE CPD credits

MSDE Approved Courses - Middle School and Secondary Education

To acquire Educator Certification in either Middle School or Secondary Education in a specific content area, you need to meet the requirements of two sections: 1) Content; and 2) Professional Development course work.

The information below outlines what has been approved by MSDE. The first section will focus on content, and the second section will focus on the Professional Development course work.

  • For any courses not listed here, please submit the following information to Ms. Stacey Bundy who will submit your course information to MSDE for approval:
    • Name of College/University
    • Course Title and HEGIS number
    • Course Description

MIDDLE SCHOOL AND SECONDARY LEVEL CONTENT

  • Needs 30 undergraduate or graduate credits, with grade, in Content HEGIS area.
  • Rule of thumb— Courses with the alpha numeric code with, for example, ENG (as in English) preceding the number and title may be used to satisfy the content course requirement. Remedial courses (usually beginning with a 0, example ENG 043) are not accepted.
  • Courses that have a "D" or "F" are not accepted.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSE WORK

  • Adolescent Development (3 credits)
    • Frederick Community College ED 208 "Human Growth and Development"
    • McDaniel PSY 503 “Human Growth and Development: Adolescent”
    • Trinity College in DC EDU 589H “Human Growth and Development: Secondary”
  • Human Learning (3 credits)
    • Anne Arundel Community College EDU 211 “Educational Psychology”
    • Frederick Community College ED 202 "Educational Psychology"
    • Gallaudet EDF 323 “Educational Psychology”
  • Teaching Methodology (3 credits)
    • Gallaudet  EDU 485 “Secondary School Teaching Methods in Math”
    • Gallaudet EDU 336 “Instructional Development”
    • McDaniel EDU 610 - Secondary Math Methods
    • Trinity College in DC EDU 694 “Methods of Secondary Teaching”
  • Inclusion of Special Needs Students* (3 credits or 3 MSDE CPD credits)
    • Frederick Community College ED 203
    • Gallaudet EDU 470 “Introduction to Education of the Exceptional Child”
    • McDaniel SED 500 “Introduction to Special Education”
    • Trinity Washington University EDU 893S “Introduction to Special Education
  • Assessment of Students (3 credits)
    • Anne Arundel Community College EDU 215: "Principles of Instructional Assessment"
    • Frederick Community College ED 700
    • McDaniel DED 518 “Assessment and Instruction of Deaf Students with Special Needs”
    • Trinity College in DC EDU 700D “Introduction to Performance-Based Instruction/Assessment”
  • Methods of Teaching Reading in the Content Area, Part I* (3 credits or 3 MSDE CPD credits)
    • Gallaudet EDU 311 “Foundations of Literacy: Teaching and Learning”
    • McDaniel DED 517
    • Trinity Washington University EDU 530B “Methods of Teaching Reading in the Content Area: Secondary, Part I”
  • Methods of Teaching Reading in the Content Area, Part II* (3 credits or 3 MSDE CPD credits)
    • Gallaudet  EDD 441 “Developing Literacy in Secondary School”
    • McDaniel DED 535
    • Trinity College in DC EDU 530B “Methods of Teaching Reading in the Content Area: Secondary, Part II”
  • Trinity College in DC EDU 682

* can be met with MSDE CPD credits

Renewing your Advanced Professional Certificate (APC)

To renew APC certification, you have several options:

  • 6 semester hours of acceptable credit, that is, post-baccalaureate credit earned or taught at a regionally accredited college or university or through Department approved Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits.

    • This credit must be related to a school assignment and earned within five years immediately preceding the date on which the new APC is issued.
    • To verify completed credit course work, please submit an official transcript.
    • To verify completed CPD credit, please submit the paperwork stating CPD credit was earned.

  • Teaching an undergraduate or graduate course, in the content area and age group that you teach.
    • To verify course work taught, submit a letter from the Chair of the Department on college/university letterhead with the course title, semester in which it was taught, and number of credit hours earned by students enrolled in the class.

CEUs for Renewal - School Counselors or Social Workers

SCHOOL COUNSELOR

  • CEUs can only be used for APC renewal.
  • The CEUs must be administered by either:
    • the National Board for Certified Counselors (Nationally Certified Counselors (NCC)), OR
    • the Maryland Department of Heath and Mental Hygiene, State Board of Examiners for Professional Counselors (Maryland Certified Professional Counselors).

  • To reach the equivalent of 6 semester hours of credit, an educator needs to present a total of 90 contact hours during the validity period of their certificate. (10 contact hours=1 CEU)

SOCIAL WORKER

  • 3 of the 6 semester hours of renewal credits must be in "Introduction to Special Education," or "Mainstreaming for Social Workers" who do not have this on their MSDE certificate.
  • The contact hours used to maintain their social worker license with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene may be applied to their MSDE certificate at the same equivalency listed above for School Counselor.
Frequently Asked Questions