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Teacher Certification and Licensing

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about teacher certification.

Is this the official DCPS application site for teachers, librarians, and service providers?

Yes, this is the official site for all DCPS educator positions. If you are looking for alternative routes to teaching such as Teach For America, please visit their website.

Do I need to have a license to apply to teach in DCPS?

All DCPS teachers need a valid teaching credential (license), issued by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). However, we are aware that many candidates will not have their OSSE-issued credential upon applying for a position. As such, candidates who meet at least one of the following conditions are eligible to advance through the teacher application screening process:  

Passing score on the Praxis Core basic skills exams or Praxis I (reading, writing, and math) or waiver via SAT/ACT/GRE/PCMAS or cumulative 3.0 or higher undergraduate GPA 


Active and full OSSE-issued credential or active and full license from another state  


Enrollment in a teacher preparation program AND proof of registration for Praxis Core basic skills exams (reading, writing, and math), proof of registration for other state-equivalent, or waiver via SAT/ACT/GRE/PCMAS or cumulative 3.0 or higher undergraduate GPA. 

How do I obtain a teaching license in Washington DC?

The Educator Credential Information System (ECIS) is an electronic educator licensure application portal designed in an effort to provide those seeking authorization to serve as a teacher, administrator or school service provider with a user-friendly, web-based format for submitting applications for a DC credential.

I have a teaching license from another state. Do I still need to apply for a DC license?

Yes. If you currently hold a license from another state, you will have to obtain a DC license to teach for DCPS. More information for licensure candidates who hold an active full teacher credential that is in good standing in another state is available here (see Option 3).

Can I renew an expired teacher credential?

Standard level teacher and administrative services credentials may be renewed in accordance with the renewal options listed at this website. Additionally, existing “Regular II” credential holders with credentials that are due to expire in upcoming months may apply for renewal and be issued the new “standard” level credential based upon the renewal options listed below. Initial teacher and administrative services credentials may not be renewed.

I do not have a degree in education. Can I still apply?

Yes, but you must at least have your bachelor's degree and meet the minimum eligibility criteria. Candidates who meet the minimum eligibility criteria can advance through the teacher application. Please note that all candidates should be working toward securing their teaching credential, as candidates will not receive an official offer letter until their credential has been issued by OSSE OR until they can provide proof of submission of a complete licensure application to OSSE.

Learn more about the required Praxis exams.

I currently have an international license. Does DCPS sponsor international teachers?

DCPS sponsors H-1B visas for teachers once they are selected for hire by individual schools. We invite you to complete our teacher application process to be considered for a teaching position with DCPS. Please refer to guidance from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) to apply for an official DC teacher credential.

Do I need a license to be a substitute teacher?

As of March 2016, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) will no longer issue substitute teacher licenses. In order to be considered for the position, candidates must hold a valid bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Candidates must submit official transcripts if selected for the substitute teacher position. Foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an accredited credential evaluation agency. For more information on the substitute teacher position, please visit or email [email protected].