Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) licensure can be obtained through traditional or non-traditional pathways. Mississippi teacher certification requires candidates who apply for a Mississippi teaching license to first; satisfy degree requirements, complete approved Mississippi teacher preparation programs requirements, satisfy student teaching requirements, and pass all Mississippi teacher certification tests.
Traditional Mississippi teacher certification has four levels, Class A through Class AAAA. Candidates must meet education requirements, testing requirements, and subject expertise to qualify for each Class. Class advancement is determined by degree progression and subject expertise. Certification is valid for five years. Mississippi alternative teacher certification also offers non-traditional pathways for career transitioning professionals who meet degree and testing requirements, are admitted to an alternate route program, and who complete a one-year internship.
Mississippi Educator Preparation Programs
The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) Licensure Division maintains Mississippi teacher certification standards, while MDEs Division of Educator Preparation Division maintains teacher preparation program standards. Qualified candidates for teacher certification must first complete an approved Mississippi State Board teacher preparation program. Mississippi teacher preparation programs consist of courses and field research. Coursework instruction consists of gaining teaching institutional knowledge and skills, and pedagogy. Field research prepares future educators on methods of implementing learning in their field of study. Fieldwork also includes student teaching and teaching internships.
Mississippi teaching preparation programs can be completed both in-person and online. For example, the University of Mississippi (UM) School of Education offers graduate and undergraduate programs to future educators. Undergraduate programs are provided in-person and offer degrees in multiple subject areas for all grade levels. UMs online education programs offer multiple master's and Doctorate degrees to accommodate current professional educators. In-person opportunities provide more program options when choosing undergraduate degrees, and certificates. The School of Education Department faculty serves as student mentors throughout the student's teacher preparation program to prepare them for classroom teaching. A virtual reality learning system is used to prepare teachers for student interaction and classroom administration.
Mississippi Department of Education licensure requires all teachers to complete a bachelor's degree and teacher preparation program to qualify for Mississippi teacher certification. Provided are Mississippi teacher certification requirements on how to become a certified teacher in Mississippi.
Bachelor's degree from an approved teaching program;
Class A licensure candidates (beginner teachers) must have a minimum 2.75 GPA; proficient GPA qualifies for a one-year teaching license;
Coursework must include pedagogy theories, classroom skills analysis, student teaching, and internship fieldwork;
Subject area teaching program requirements must be met to satisfy both GPA and program coursework educational requirements
For those wondering how to become a certified teacher in Mississippi regarding Mississippi Praxis testing requirements, candidates are required to pass several Mississippi teacher certification tests. Exams include the Praxis Core, Praxis II Subject Area, and Principles of Learning and Assessment exam. Passing scores are required on all tests and assessments. The Praxis Core must be successfully passed for certification eligibility, or an ACT score of 21 must be achieved in place of the Praxis Core score. The Praxis II Subject Assessment is taken to assess skills in grade-level and subject-matter teaching content areas. The Principles of Learning and Assessment exam is taken after completion of a teacher preparation program.
Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Test
The Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Exam is a Mississippi teacher certification test to assess preparation program qualifications in candidates. Mississippi Praxis is an assessment tool used to test candidates' knowledge in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. Candidates are allotted two hours per test or 5 total hours to answer (56) Reading questions, (56) Mathematics questions, (40) Writing questions including (2) essays. Passing grades on academic knowledge of Reading (156), Writing (162), and Mathematics (130) are required to become a certified teacher in Mississippi. Tests are administered by computer; Praxis online test can be re-taken 28 days from initial testing.
Praxis II: Subject Exam
Praxis II Subject Assessment for Mississippi teacher certification assesses qualifications in beginner teachers in subject areas for K-12 grades. Candidates wanting to become certified teachers in Mississippi must pass one subject exam in their certified teaching subject area. Praxis Subject Assessments are computer-administered and can be re-taken 28 days from initial testing. Additional information on high school testing subjects, grades, test formatting, and test time limits can be found at Praxis: Mississippi: Test Requirements (ets.org).
Education of Young Children
Elem. Ed: Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment
English Language Arts
Social Studies 7-8
Source: ETS Praxis
Principles of Learning and Assessment Exam
Teacher graduates must pass Mississippi Praxis tests administered through Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT). The PLT must correspond with licensure grade levels educators plan to teach. Certification tests have 70 selected-response questions and 4 constructed-response questions. There is a two-hour time limit on all tests. Testing is computer-administered, and retests are allowed 28 days from initial testing. To become a certified teacher in Mississippi, candidates must pass all Mississippi teacher certification tests requirements.
PLT: Early Childhood
K-3 K-6 Areas
PLT: Grades K-6
PLT: Grade 5-9
PLT: Grades 7-12
All K-12 Areas
Source: ETS Praxis
Other Requirements for Mississippi Teachers
Candidates wanting to become certified teachers in Mississippi must undergo background checks. The Mississippi Department of Education Licensure requires Mississippi teacher certification candidates to pass background histories. Background checks cover criminal history, child abuse registry checks, and fingerprinting. Candidates must pass to meet Mississippi teacher certification requirements.
Mississippi Teaching Application Process
To become a certified teacher in Mississippi, candidates must first apply for Mississippi teaching licensure. Applicants must follow the application submittal process and meet Mississippi certification requirements to be eligible for Mississippi teacher certification.
Review document list under your licensure subject area category;
Download application from ELMS online account, resubmit application electronically through ELMS;
Verify transcripts submittal from institute transcript source;
Submit Institutional Program Verification (Form IPV) from program administrator;
Verify all test scores through Mississippi Department of Education;
Pay all non-refundable application fees.
All documents must be submitted through (ELMS), except for official transcripts and test scores. Transcripts are sent electronically from an accredited and approved educational institution. Test scores are automatically sent to the Office of Educator Licensure Division.
Mississippi Alternative Teaching Certification Path
Mississippi teacher certification offers alternative paths for non-teaching degree candidates. Eligibility for all Mississippi alternative teacher certification requires a bachelor's degree, passing scores on Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam or ACT exam, and Praxis II exams. Additional qualifications for those wanting to become certified teachers in Mississippi include:
1. Master of Arts in Teaching Licensure
Three-year certification - six hours course requirements from approved Master of Arts in Teaching program, program completion verification
Five-year certification - six semester hours, including teaching internship
2. Teach Mississippi Institute
Three-year certification - complete eight-week summer training session, complete University of Mississippi's (UM) online Continuing Education Program
Five-year certification - complete one-year teaching/mentoring internship in local school district, receive district recommendation
3. American Board Certification for Teacher Excellence
Complete pretesting assessments in teaching subject, have advisor, complete ABCTE Passport to Teaching exam, apply for one-year license
One-year certification - obtain ABCTE Passport to Teaching Certificate, school district intent to hire letter
Five-year certification - one-year teaching/mentoring internship by National Board-Certified teacher or MDE trained mentor, completion of MS Public Broadcasting (MPB) E-Learning online professional development course, or six hours graduate university courses by approved Mississippi alternate program
Mississippi Credentials for Out-of-State Teachers
Mississippi offers a reciprocity program in conjunction with the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement. The program offers a five-year out-of-state Mississippi teaching certification. The Mississippi Department of Education Licensure Division maintains reciprocity guidelines for candidates seeking how to become certified teachers in Mississippi. Candidates must meet Mississippi teacher certification requirements, such as bachelor's degree from an accredited school and Mississippi-approved teacher preparation program and Praxis passing scores from issuing state. A two-year license will be issued if testing requirements are not satisfied, and recommendations from degree institutions are needed for select endorsement areas.
Mississippi Teacher Professional Development & Advancement
Mississippi teacher certification requires five-year renewals from initial certification. Certification must be renewed every five years. Education progression leads to Class advancement. Applications are found on Mississippi Department of Education Licensure website. Mississippi teacher certification requirements include:
Ten CEUs in subject content area; OR
Official transcripts with six semester hours in subject content area; OR
Official transcripts with CEU certificates with three semester hours in subject content area, five CEUs in subject content area; OR
A dated letter of completion of NBPTS process
Class AA, AAA, or AAAA
Official certificates with five CEUs in subject content area; OR
Official transcripts with three semester hours in subject content area; OR
A dated letter of completion of NBPTS process
Mississippi Teaching Outlook and Salary Information
The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) retains an online registry through the Mississippi Teacher Center which provides job opportunities for certified educators district-wide and state-wide. Opportunities are also provided through MDE's Teacher Job Board. Interested candidates should visit MDEs Licensure Division to check Mississippi teacher certification requirements before applying. Data collected from MDE shows a positive outlook for Mississippi teaching opportunity and growth.
Student to Teacher Ratio
Source: Mississippi Department of Education (School Year 2021-22)
Mississippi teacher salary is based on multiple factors. Teaching grade level, teaching experience, teaching certification level, and Mississippi teaching school district pay scales determine salary ranges. Wages are also determined by education advancement through Class certification A-AAA.
Teacher Employment Numbers
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2020)
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Praxis waived in MS?
No, all candidates are required to pass the Praxis Core or get a score of 21 on the ACT, pass the Praxis II Subject Area, and the Principles of Learning and Assessment exam for Mississippi certification.
What is the passing score for the Praxis 1 in Mississippi?
Passing scores on Praxis 1 tests are by subject area, Reading (156), Writing (162), and Mathematics (130). Candidates must pass all three tests to qualify for Mississippi teacher certification.
How do I become a teacher in Mississippi without a teaching degree?
Mississippi offers non-traditional routes for individuals transitioning into teaching careers. The Master of Arts in Teaching Licensure route, Teach Mississippi Institute route. And American Board Certification for Teacher Excellence route are options for Mississippi teacher certification.
How many CEUs do you need to renew your teaching license in Mississippi?
The number of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) required to renew your teaching license in Mississippi is determined by re-certification Class level. Class A requires ten CEUs in a subject content area and Classes AA, AAA, and AAA requires five CEUs in a subject matter area.