District of Columbia

Overview of District of Columbia Teacher Requirements

How to qualify for licensure

For initial teacher licensure in the District of Columbia, all candidates must:

For additional information on D.C. teacher licensure requirements, please visit the licensure website for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).

How to submit scores

All license seekers must submit original test-taker 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.

Important information

  • ETS discontinued paper-delivered testing; however, Praxis tests will continue to be available in a paper-delivered format as required for ADA accommodations. All scores for previously administered paper-delivered tests are reportable for 10 years from the date the test was taken.
  • 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 tests.

Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) Tests

All candidates seeking initial teacher credentialing must present passing scores for the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) tests at the time of application. Predetermined scores must be achieved on the Core tests in reading, writing and mathematics prior to the issuance of a credential in the District of Columbia.

Praxis Subject Assessments

In addition, any candidate seeking a teaching credential must successfully complete the relevant Praxis Subject Assessments in the subject area and pedagogy test of the credential being sought. Predetermined scores must be achieved for the appropriate Praxis Subject Assessments in the subject area prior to the issuance of a credential in the District of Columbia.

Any D.C. licensed teacher seeking endorsement licensure in additional subject areas must pass the relevant Praxis pedagogy test and shall demonstrate content knowledge by:

  • Passing the corresponding Praxis Subject Assessments; OR
  • Hold a completed degree major in the subject area of the endorsement when a Praxis Subject Assessment has not been adopted by the District of Columbia.

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 educator preparation 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 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.

For more information

The District of Columbia licensure/certification department information can be obtained by visiting the Office of Educator Quality and Effectiveness, Teaching & Learning.


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