Apply for a New Teacher License

The department distinguishes between three types of licenses for new teachers—Apprentice (traditional), Transitional (alternative), and Apprentice Occupational—as well as two credentials, the JROTC and Interim B.

Apprentice License (Traditional)

An Apprentice license is a full license, valid for five years, and renewable.  In order to hold an Apprentice license for teaching , the following requirements must be met:

  1. Applicant must be at least 18 years of age
  2. Applicant must hold at least a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college/university
  3. Applicant must have successfully completed a state-approved educator preparation program and be recommended by that program for licensing
  4. Applicant must pass required Praxis II exams
  5. Application must be made by an education preparation institution on behalf of the candidate (i.e., individuals may not apply for licensure directly).

Note: Library Media Specialist is an endorsement on an Apprentice license and has the additional requirement of a Master’s degree in Library Media.

Transitional License (Alternative)

The Transitional license is not a full teaching license. The Transitional license is issued at the request of a superintendent/director of schools for a teacher who will be employed while completing licensure requirements. The license is issued for one school year at a time and may only be renewed two times for a maximum of three years.

If you are seeking a Transitional license, you must first receive a job offer from a Tennessee public school system or a state-approved private school, and the district or school must apply on your behalf; you cannot apply for a Transitional license directly. You must also meet the following requirements:

  1. Have at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university
  2. Meet the requirements for content area knowledge through one of the following:
    1. Have an acceptable major in the endorsement area sought; OR
    2. Have at least 24 semester hours in the endorsement are sought ; OR
    3. Pass the PRAXIS II exam(s) in the content area for the endorsement sought
  3. Have a verifiable affiliation with a preparation program that is:
    1. Regionally accredited; AND
    2. State approved for teacher education for the licensure endorsement program(s) and appropriate grade level range for the Tennessee endorsement(s) sought by the employing school system; AND
    3. Have obtained an "intent to hire" statement, including a commitment to provide mentoring, from a Tennessee school system that submits completed applications for the Transitional License, with supporting documentation, to the Tennessee State Department of Education Office of Teacher Licensing, in addition to all official transcripts with confer dates of degrees earned.

Transitional Licensure Program Providers

Public Institutions
Name Location
Austin Peay State University Clarksville
East Tennessee State University Johnson City
Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro
Tennessee State University Nashville
Tennessee Technological University Cookeville
University Of Memphis Memphis
University Of Tennessee Chattanooga Chattanooga
University Of Tennessee Knoxville Knoxville
University Of Tennessee Martin Martin


Independent Institutions
Name Location
Belmont University Nashville
Bethel University McKenzie
Carson-Newman College Jefferson City
Christian Brothers University Memphis
Cumberland University Lebanon
Fisk University Nashville
Free Will Baptist Bible College Nashville
Freed-Hardeman University Henderson
King College Bristol
Lambuth College Jackson
Lane College Jackson
Lee University Cleveland
Lemoyne-Owen College Memphis
Lipscomb University Nashville
Martin Methodist College Pulaski
Memphis College Of Art Memphis
Milligan College Johnson City
Tennessee Wesleyan College Athens
Trevecca Nazarene University Nashville
Tusculum College Greeneville
Union University Jackson
Vanderbilt University Nashville
Victory University Memphis

   

Education Related Organizations
Name LEA Partner
Teach For America Memphis City
Metro Nashville
Teach Tennessee All Systems
The New Teacher Project Memphis City
Metro Nashville

 

Out-Of-State/On-Line
Name LEA Partner
ABCTE Putnam
i Teach US Campbell
Grizzlies Preparatory Charter
Metro Nashville
Williamson
Harding University Memphis City -Shelby County Schools


Apprentice Occupational License

An Apprentice Occupational Education License may be issued to individuals who meet requirements in the area of Health Science or Trade and Industry. The license is only valid for three years of teaching in a Tennessee public or state accredited private school.

Health Science educators must document three years of full-time successful employment within the past five years in a state-approved health care facility, such as a hospital, nursing home, rehab center, dental or medical office, home health, day surgery center. They must also have an associate degree or higher and hold current licensure or certification in an allied health occupation or current licensure as a registered nurse in Tennessee.

Trade and Industry educators must document a minimum of five years of appropriate and current work experience during the past eight years in the field for which they apply. They must also be a high school graduate or the equivalent as determined by the General Education Development (GED) test.

Cosmetology educators must also hold current licensure to instruct in Tennessee as issued by the respective state licensing board in addition to the other requirements for Trade and Industry educators.

Click to download the application for the Apprentice Occupational Education License or call (615) 532-2834 to request the forms be mailed to you. Qualifications including experience and educational preparation shall be reviewed by the staff of the Office of Career & Technical Education. Once an application has been reviewed and approved, the Apprentice Occupational Education License will be issued. Click to download the guidelines for applying for the Apprentice Occupational Education License.

Below is a listing of Occupational Education License endorsement areas (with code numbers in parentheses) currently available in Tennessee.

  • Aircraft Maintenance (512)
  • Automotive Technology (508)
  • Aviation Ground School (594)
  • Barbering (560) HVACR (598)
  • Carpentry (522)
  • Collision Repair Tech (507)
  • Concrete/Masonry (524)
  • Cosmetology (561)
  • Culinary Arts (562)
  • Diesel Equipment Tech (581)
  • Drafting/CAD (531)
  • Electricity (523)
  • Electronic Media (597)
  • Graphic Communications (543)
  • Health Science/Occupations (577)
  • Legal & Protective Services (590)
  • Leisure Craft Tech (568)
  • Logistics & Warehouse Dist. (503)
  • Manufacturing Tech (596)
  • Plumbing (527)
  • Radio/TV Broadcasting (576)
  • Technology Infrastructure (595)
  • Welding & Cutting (584)

JROTC License

JROTC is a course of instruction taught for academic credit in high schools by retired officers and noncommissioned officers. In public schools, students select JROTC as an elective course. In some private schools, such as military schools, enrollment in JROTC may be a mandatory part of the curriculum.  Students enrolled in JROTC are referred to as cadets. They are organized into units with a cadet chain of command.

The JROTC program prepares high school students for responsible leadership roles while making them aware of their rights, responsibilities, and privileges as American citizens. The program is a stimulus for promoting graduation from high school, and it provides instruction and rewarding opportunities that will benefit the student, community, and nation.

JROTC Teaching License

Instructors in the JROTC program may hold a state issued JROTC teaching license. Applicants for a JROTC teaching license in Tennessee must submit to the Office of Teacher Licensing the following:

  • A completed application for a Tennessee JROTC teaching license.
  • Copy of  valid JROTC training certificate (including expiration date)
  • Official transcripts of credit/degrees earned in colleges/universities in the United States. (Note: If copies of transcripts are submitted, the license will not reflect the degree earned.)
  • Verification that the applicant is currently employed in a Junior ROTC program in a Tennessee school system..

Note: No other endorsement can be added to the JROTC teaching license.

Interim B License

The Interim B License is issued at the request of the superintendent/director of schools of a Tennessee school district to an individual who is employed while still completing the required Praxis Series Exams for obtaining full licensure.

The following documentation is needed:

  1. Interim B application signed by superintendent/director of schools using current endorsement codes
  2. Original transcripts from all College(s)
  3. Letter of eligibility from Tennessee Institution or recommendation from Out of State institution

Download Interim B License application or call (615) 532-4885 to request the form be mailed to you.

New to Tennessee?

If you are licensed to teach in another state or if you received your teaching degree in another country, you will need to submit appropriate documentation to apply for a Tennessee teaching license.

Out-of-State License

If you completed educator licensure requirements in another state, you must submit an out-of-state license application packet in order to apply for a Tennessee license.

Documents Required for Application

  1. Out of State Application must be completed with an original signature and mailed to our office.
  2. Original/Official Transcripts from all college/universities with confer date(s) of degree(s).
    • We will accept an original transcript from college/university, Scrip-Safe  sent electronically to the education.licensing@tn.gov, or an official transcript issued to student.
    • We will not accept photocopied or scanned transcripts, grade reports, or faxed copies.
  3. Copy of educator credential (teacher license) from other state(s) with validity dates. (if applicable)
  4. Verification of acceptable experience in a PreK-12 school outside the state of Tennessee must be submitted on the Experience Verification Form  (if applicable)
    • This form must be signed by an official from the central office of the school system(s) where you are employed. The form should be returned to you and attached to your application. 
    • Please keep a copy of this form. You will need to give a copy of it to the director of schools upon employment in a Tennessee school.
  5. Recommendation verifying program completion is needed: (traditional route to licensure): (if applicable)
    • If you have less than 3 years of acceptable out of state teaching experience within the last 7 school years.
    • Note: Certification Officer or Dean of Education must complete the "Institution Recommendation" portion of Out of State Application. This must be submitted to our office in original form.
  6. Praxis Series II Tests— the need for testing will be determined upon the review of your application. If tests are required you will be notified by licensing specialist for the Office of Teacher Licensing.
  7. Verification of license issued prior to July 1, 1984, attach a copy of your out-of-state license showing the issue date or the Verification of Teaching License prior to July 1, 1984  form. (if applicable)

Please send all information at one time. If information is submitted separately, your application processing will be delayed.

Tennessee has either an Interstate Agreement OR National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) that covers all states.

Additional Information

  • Correspondence received in our office pertaining to the license will be located at the bottom of the license information page. This reflects correspondence received in our office since about July 2007.
  • Applications and correspondence are worked in the order in which they are received.
  • Once an application is received in our office, you may apply for positions in any Tennessee school system. If a school system is interested in hiring, they will contact our office on your behalf.
  • Important to provide legible email address and phone numbers on application as this is the most expedient means of communication.

Out-of-Country License

If you completed your degree outside of the United States, you must submit the following documents to apply for licensure in Tennessee:

  1. Out of Country Application: Application must be completed with original signature and mailed to our office.
  2. Degree Evaluation: An original of the degree evaluation including course by course equivalency of the out-of-country transcripts. This evaluation information must include the degree equivalency or the academic training and an interpretation of all credit earned in terms of United States college/university semester hours. Tennessee recognizes the following evaluation services:
    1. World Evaluation Services www.wes.org
    2. Josef Silney www.jsilny.com
    3. Association of International Credential Evaluator (AICE) www.aice-eval.org
    4. Academic Credentials Evaluation Institution (ACEI) www.acei1.com
    5. American Association of Collegiate Registrars & Admission Officers (AACRAO) www.aacrao.org
    6. Foreign Consultants, INC. www.foreignconsultants.com
    7. Evaluation Services, INC. www.evaluationservice.net
    8. Foundation for International Service www.fis-web.com
    9. Global Credential Evaluators www.gcevaluators.com
    10. IERF: International Education Research Foundation www.ierf.org
    11. ECE: Educational Credential Evaluators  www.ece.org
  3. Original/Official Transcripts - Transcripts from all colleges/universities in the United States
    1. We will accept an original transcript from college/university, Scrip-Safe sent electronically to the education.licensing@tn.gov, or an official transcript issued to student.
    2. We will not accept photocopied or scanned transcripts, grade reports, or faxed copies.
  4. Verification of any teaching experience must be submitted on the Experience Verification form.
  5. Praxis Series II Tests— the need for testing will be determined upon the review of your application. Click to view information about Praxis Series II tests required in Tennessee. If tests are required, the results should be sent to 8190 (the Tennessee code with Educational Testing Services (ETS) along with your social security number.
    1. Tests less than 10 years old - we will accept the 'Designated Institution Score Report' submitted directly to our office by the college/university or from ETS.
    2. Tennessee does not accept the 'Examinee Score Report' unless tests are over 10 years old - enclose a copy with your application packet
    3. Tennessee only accepts Praxis II and NTE through ETS. No other test results recognized.

Please send all information at one time. If information is submitted separately, your application processing will be delayed.

Please note that Non-United States citizens seeking licensure in the State of Tennessee are required to hold a United States social security number.  For guidelines and requirements to apply for a social security number go to the US Social Security Administration website.

Last Update: June 26, 2014