Text Resize

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

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?

No, but you must be eligible for a DC teaching license in your subject area before you begin working in DCPS. 

Teacher licenses are awarded by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). OSSE is a separate government agency from DC Public Schools that sets forth the licensure qualifications and manages the licensure process.

The following information can also be found on OSSE’s website.

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 and can do so through Reciprocity.

How do I obtain a teaching license in Washington DC?

Teacher licenses are awarded by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). OSSE is a separate government agency from DC Public Schools that sets forth the licensure qualifications and manages the licensure process.

The Educator Credential Information System (ECIS)[PDF] 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.

For general questions regarding certification requirements, policies or other general information please visit our Educator Credentialing website or contact us at osse.asklicensure@dc.gov.

The following information can also be found on OSSE’s website.

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 be enrolled in a teacher education program.

Additionally, you must also have passed the required Praxis exams.

If you are enrolled in a state approved education program and have passed the required Praxis exams, then you are likely eligible for the the Initial or Standard Credential (administered by OSSE) and eligible for employment with DCPS.

If you are not licensed or already enrolled in an approved teacher education program, you may apply to DCPS via alternative route programs like Teach for America.

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

Currently, DCPS does not sponsor teachers with work visas. However, individual schools are free to sponsor H1B Visas. Candidates may inquire about this directly with School Leaders.

Do I need a license to be a substitute teacher?

To become a substitute teacher at DCPS, you must obtain a substitute teaching license through the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. Once you have obtained the license, e-mail substitute.dcps@dc.gov for next steps. All substitute teachers must have at least a bachelor’s degree.