Skip to main content

State Approved Tests for Full-Year Permits

The demonstration of content knowledge prior to the issuance of a full-year permit or prior to placement in a non-endorsed area provides districts the assurance that a candidate possesses the appropriate level of content knowledge for the area in which they are providing instruction. Understanding that teacher competency is crucial to the success of students, the Michigan Department of Education offers multiple pathways for the demonstration of content knowledge for the purpose of obtaining a full-year permit.

For core content areas, administrative rules describe specific requirements for the demonstration of content knowledge. 

For non-core content areas, demonstration of content knowledge is not required and is at the district discretion. 

Permit types that require demonstration of content knowledge for core content areas:

  • Full-Year Basic Substitute Permit
  • Full-Year Shortage Substitute Permit
  • Full-Year Expert Substitute Permit      
  • Core content areas include Elementary; English Language Arts (including Reading), Mathematics, Sciences (including Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Physical Science, and Physics), Social Studies (including Economics, Geography, History, and Political Science), World Languages, Music, and Visual Arts.

    For these areas, educators may demonstrate content knowledge through one of the following:

    • Possession of a major in the permitted area(s) from a regionally accredited college or university.
    • Completion of at least 30 semester credit hours in the permitted area(s).
      • Credit hours can be combined from one or more college or university.
      • Credits must reflect a grade C or higher.
    • Achieving a passing test score on the corresponding state approved discipline area test, the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC).

    Prior to requiring an individual to test, districts should first verify that the position is a core content area and that the potential educator does not hold a major or 30 semester credit hours relevant to the desired discipline area. 

    Once the district verifies the above information, the individual may be directed to take the corresponding state-approved discipline area test as listed in the chart below. Note that, unless otherwise indicated, if more than one test is listed, either test may be taken, regardless of the grade level placement on the intended permit. MTTC tests are available by appointment year-round, Monday through Saturday (excluding some holidays).

    Districts may consider covering the costs of testing for the potential educator. Vouchers are available for purchase to provide test takers with full or partial credit toward fees for test registration and preparation resources.

    After test completion, districts should use the MTTC Score Report Dates information page to determine when to apply for the permit on MOECS. A permit applied for prior to the reporting of an official test score will be placed on hold and may delay the issuance of the permit.

    Registration and Preparation for the MTTC

    Testing for certification has different requirements. Do NOT use this table to determine the required tests for teacher certification.

    Corresponding Discipline Area Tests
    Permit Subject Area Acceptable Corresponding Discipline Area Tests
    Elementary K-5 All Subjects (K-8 All Subjects in Self-Contained Classroom) 103 - Elementary Education
    Lower Elementary Education (PK-3) 117 - 120 - Lower Elementary (PK-3) Education (4 sub-tests required)
    Upper Elementary Education (3-6) 121 - 124 - Upper Elementary (3-6) Education (4 subtests required)
    English 002 - English
    Reading 005 - Reading
    Reading Specialist 092 - Reading Specialist
    Language Arts 090 - Language Arts (Elementary)
    Mathematics 089 - Mathematics (Elementary)
    022 - Mathematics (Secondary)
    Science - Integrated Science 093 - Integrated Science (Elementary)
    094 - Integrated Science (Secondary)
    Science - Biology 017 - Biology
    Science - Chemistry 018 - Chemistry
    Science - Earth/Space Science 020 - Earth/Space Science
    Science - Physical Science 097 - Physical Science
    Science - Physics 019 - Physics
    Social Studies 105 - Social Studies (Elementary)
    084 - Social Studies (Secondary)
    Social Studies - Economics 007 - Economics
    Social Studies - Geography 008 - Geography
    Social Studies - History 009 - History
    Social Studies - Political Science 010 - Political Science
    World Language - American Sign Language No test available - competence determined by district
    World Language - Anishinaabemowin No test available - competence determined by district
    World Language - Arabic (Modern Standard) 102 - Arabic (Modern Standard)
    World Language - Chinese (Mandarin) 101 - Chinese (Mandarin)
    World Language - French 023 - French
    World Language - German 024 - German
    World Language - Greek No test available - competence determined by district
    World Language - Hebrew No test available - competence determined by district
    World Language - Italian 029 - Italian
    World Language - Japanese 100 - Japanese
    World Language - Latin 026 - Latin
    World Language - Spanish 028 - Spanish
    World Language - Other No test available - competence determined by district
    Music Education 099 - Music Education
    Visual Arts Education 095 - Visual Arts Education



  • There is not a test required for demonstration of content knowledge for these areas and districts may choose how to ensure individuals demonstrate that they have an understanding of the content required for teaching.

    Non-core content areas, for the purposes of permits, include:

    • Speech
    • Psychology
    • Business, Management, Marketing, and Technology
    • Agriscience and Natural Resources
    • Family and Consumer Sciences
    • Health and Physical Education
    • Dance
    • Library Media
    • Educational Technology
    • English as a Second Language
    • School Counselor
    • Special Education
      • Cognitive Impairment
      • Speech and Language Impairment
      • Physical or Other Health Impairment
      • Emotional Impairment
      • Visual Impairment
      • Deaf and Hard of Hearing
      • Learning Disabilities
      • Physical Education for Students with Disabilities
      • Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • Bilingual Education
      • French
      • German
      • Greek
      • Russian
      • Spanish
      • Italian
      • Polish
      • Hebrew
      • Arabic
      • Vietnamese
      • Korean
      • Serbo-Croatian/Bosnian
      • Chaldean
      • Chinese
      • Filipino
      • Japanese
    • Early Childhood General and Special Education
    • Industrial and Technology Education
    • School Social Worker (SPI Waiver Only)
  • A non-endorsed area is an academic subject for which an endorsement is not offered or has been discontinued. Determining an educator’s content knowledge of a non-endorsed area is at the discretion of the local district. A common method is the utilization of a district portfolio that includes credits, professional learning, certifications, and more relevant indications of content knowledge in the non-endorsed area.

    When determining whether or not an endorsement is offered for a course, districts should utilize the Quick Reference: Courses That Can Be Taught guide to search for an endorsement that matches the content1 of the course. Each non-endorsed area will have an explicit indication in the notes of the endorsement. If the district is offering a course with content that is not covered by any of the endorsements listed on the Quick Reference Guide, the course may be considered a non-endorsed area.

    Non-endorsed areas may be taught by:

    • An individual with a permit with a "non-endorsed content area" subject area, or
    • An individual who holds a valid Michigan teaching certificate with an endorsement appropriate for the grade level at which the course is offered.

    1Titles do not always reflect the content of the course. For example, a course may be called “journalism”, which is reflected on the Quick Reference Guide as a non-endorsed area. However, the content of the course may be used to meet the curriculum requirements for ELA which would require an English (BA) or Language Arts (BX) endorsement. When determining which endorsement is required for a course, districts should focus on the content that is being taught.