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How can I become a teacher in Michigan?

We are excited you are interested in becoming a Michigan teacher! In Michigan, teacher preparation is guided by statute (otherwise known as state law), state administrative rules, and teacher preparation program standards.


What are the requirements in Michigan?

Michigan law and rules require that all individuals complete an approved preparation program (e.g., math education, elementary education, English education) in order to become a teacher in Michigan. In addition to holding at least a bachelor's degree and completion of an approved teacher preparation program, teachers must:
  • Complete required reading courses (6 semester credit hours for elementary teachers and 3 semester credit hours for secondary teachers).
  • Complete clinical experiences, including student teaching.
  • Pass the appropriate Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) content examinations. Passage of content examinations is required before recommendation for certification. In alternative route programs, testing is required prior to entrance into the program.
Michigan Educator Preparation Providers (EPPs) guide prospective educators through these requirements.

Search for a program

Are you already certified in another state? Educators who have completed a preparation program or received teacher certification in another state, country, or federally recognized Indian tribe may find information about certificate reciprocity on the Out-of-State Applicants webpage.

What are the types of preparation program pathways?

There are currently four types of teacher preparation preparation pathways in Michigan.



This pathway is offered at either an undergraduate or post-baccalaureate level through an approved Michigan EPP. Potential candidates must meet the minimum requirements of that institution to be admitted into the teacher preparation program. The required reading coursework is offered within the program. Passage of MTTC content examinations is required before recommendation for certification.



This pathway is designed for individuals who have completed a bachelor’s degree. It leverages demonstrated skills to complete the program in an expedited manner. Expedited programs are offered through several Michigan colleges and universities. Many expedited programs are residencies, designed for individuals who are interested in being employed as full-time teachers while concurrently working toward certification. The required reading coursework is typically embedded throughout the program. Passage of MTTC content examinations is required before recommendation for certification.

Learn more about expedited programs

Alternative Route

This alternative pathway allows an individual to be employed as a full-time teacher (under the Interim Teaching Certificate) and work toward certification at the same time. Individuals interested in this pathway must meet the minimum state requirements set forth in Michigan law, as well as additional program requirements(i.e., conferred bachelor’s degree, GPA of 3.0 or higher, passage of MTTC content tests, and any provider-specific program requirements). Please note that career and technical education classification of instructional programs (CIPs), early childhood and some special education endorsements are not available through this pathway.

Learn more about alternative route programs

Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Each program and provider is different. Therefore, it is best to reach out directly to the provider for additional information. Please visit the MDE’s public directory of approved preparation programs and select "CTE" from the “Type:” drop-down menu. Employers have immediate placement options for employing career changers in CTE placements by utilizing Annual Career Authorizations while a program is being completed.

What else should I consider in selecting a program?

Educators who seek out or complete preparation at institutions or universities outside the state of Michigan (regardless of whether it is online or face-to-face) must meet the requirements of that state. The MDE does not have the authority to approve out-of-state educator preparation programs prior to completion. Upon completion of the preparation program and eligibility for the out-of-state certificate or license, educators may seek an evaluation under the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification reciprocal agreement held between states.

Application for initial certification based upon an in-state preparation program or evaluation of an out-of-state preparation program must be submitted using the Michigan Online Educator Certification System.