Overview of District of Columbia Teacher Requirements
How to Qualify for Licensure
For initial teacher licensure in the District of Columbia, all candidates must:
- Earn a baccalaureate degree.
- Complete a state-approved teacher licensure program or meet coursework requirements as outlined in the D.C. Municipal Regulations via transcript analysis.
- Submit the appropriate licensure fees.
- Pass The Praxis Series™ tests for their licensure area and type.
For additional information on D.C. teacher licensure requirements, please visit the licensure website for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).
All license seekers must submit original examinee score report(s) attached to their D.C. licensure application packet (printing/submitting the PDF score report sent by ETS is acceptable). The process to separately send individual test results electronically or through regular mail to this jurisdiction has not been finalized at this time. Failure to submit your score results as part of your licensure application packet will result in a licensure denial response.
Beginning with the 2012–13 testing year, ETS is administering new versions of two test titles (listed below). The new tests cover the same content as the previous tests. However, scores are reported on a different scale, so requirements will vary from previous versions. All scores for discontinued tests are reportable for 10 years from the date the test was taken. Consult the Test Requirements table for specific score requirements.
- Latin – New Test Code: 0601
- Theatre – New Test Code: 0641
ETS is offering several additional tests in a computer-delivered format that will be introduced throughout the testing year. Visit Test Centers and Dates to find testing centers near you. For tests available in both formats (paper and computer), the computer-delivered versions cover the same content as the paper-delivered versions and are scored on the same scale; however, the computer-delivered tests have different test codes.
- Art: Content Knowledge (5134) — February 2013
- Biology: Content Knowledge (5235) — September 2012
- Business Education: Content Knowledge (5101) — December 2012
- Chemistry: Content Knowledge (5245) — September 2012
- Family and Consumer Sciences (5121) — December 2012
- General Science: Content Knowledge (5435) — September 2012
- Music: Content Knowledge (5113)* — February 2013
- Physics: Content Knowledge (5265) — September 2012
* This test is not available in a paper-delivered format except as required for ADA accommodations.
- The District of Columbia requires a Social Security Number (SSN) in order to process educator licensure paperwork. ETS does not require your SSN for its own purposes, but failure to provide your SSN will delay processing of your licensure application.
Who Must Take the Tests?
All teacher candidates or those wishing to become certified must take The Praxis Series tests.
Praxis I® Pre-Professional Skills Test
All candidates seeking initial licensure must present passing scores for the Praxis I® Pre-Professional Skills Tests (PPST®) at the time of application (exceptions: Performing Arts, Technical & Industrial Occupation and Military Science & Tactics license seekers). Predetermined scores must be achieved on the PPST in reading, writing and mathematics prior to Level I or Level II licensure in the District of Columbia. These tests are available in paper-delivered or computer-delivered formats. Computer-delivered tests are offered by appointment through a national network of Prometric Testing Centers and selected colleges and universities.
Praxis II® Subject Assessments
In addition, any candidate seeking a non-renewable provisional license (Regular I) must successfully complete the relevant Praxis II® content exam in the subject area being taught. Candidates seeking full licensure (Regular II) in any of 12 subject areas must submit passing scores on the appropriate Praxis II Subject and Pedagogy Assessment test(s) in the subject area at the time of application.
Any licensed teacher seeking endorsement licensure in additional subject areas must pass the relevant Praxis II Pedagogy Assessment (where required) and may demonstrate content knowledge by:
- Passing the corresponding Praxis II Subject Assessment test; OR
- Having a major or major equivalent (30 semester hours) from an accredited college/university; OR
- Meeting the content area requirements as outlined in the DC Municipal Regulations.
For comprehensive information on endorsement licensure requirements, please visit OSSE's endorsement webpage.
See required tests for each area of certification for which you are seeking licensure.
Licensure by Reciprocity
Licensure by reciprocity is extended to individuals seeking the issuance of a District of Columbia educator credential. Individuals may be granted a waiver of D.C.'s testing requirements and may be issued a full license by meeting all of the following conditions:
- Completion of a state-approved teacher education program at an institution or organization located outside of the District of Columbia in the subject area matching the license being sought; AND
- Possession of a valid out-of-state Level II license (full credential without deficiencies) in the subject area matching the license being sought; AND
- Completion of a minimum of three (3) years of full-time PreK–12 teaching experience in the licensure subject area. The experience cannot include substitute teaching.
Candidates who do not meet the three prerequisites above will be given a transcript analysis of their credentials. A transcript analysis may require license seekers to complete additional coursework and/or state tests prior to being issued a D.C. license.
- About the Praxis™ Tests
- The Praxis Series™ Information Bulletin
- Prepare for a Test
- Register for a Test
- Accommodations for Test Takers with Disabilities