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Out of State Pathways

Pathway Options

  1. Out-of-State Pathway
  2. License Based on Reciprocity Pathway

1. Out-of-State Pathway

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Completed a state-approved educator preparation program at a 4-year institution of higher education outside Wisconsin. Applicants who have earned a license in any other manner, see License via Reciprocity below.
  • Seeking Initial WI license

Applicants have completed the testing requirements of a state-approved educator preparation program and are eligible for licensure in that state. Candidates should apply for the Wisconsin license that most closely matches their out-of-state license. Upon application, a review will be completed to determine comparability with Wisconsin preparation, testing, and statutory requirements.

If you fit this pathway profile:

  1. DETERMINE the Wisconsin license that most closely matches the out-of-state license you hold.
  2. COMPLETE the applicable Wisconsin Testing Requirements.
  3. UNDERSTAND the Wisconsin statutory and administrative rule requirements. Learn about the most common stipulations at Common Wisconsin Stipulations for Out-of-State Applicants
  4. APPLY for a Wisconsin License using the ELO System.

Notes and related information:

  • It takes approximately 12-16 weeks for out-of-state applications to be reviewed. You can speed the approval of your application by providing all required documents when you apply.
  • Upon application review, DPI will determine for which license you are currently eligible. If you are not eligible for the license for which you applied, DPI will issue the most similar license for which you are eligible. This may be a One-Year License with Stipulations, a License Based on Reciprocity, or a Five-Year Long-Term Substitute license. If there is no license for which you are eligible your application may be denied.
  • If you have a valid license from another state and have at least one year of experience under that license, you may be eligible to apply through our License Based on Reciprocity Pathway.
  • For Frequently Asked Questions about the Out-of-State Pathway see the Frequently Asked Questions - Out-of-State page.

2. License Based on Reciprocity Pathway

The License Based on Reciprocity is a Tier II three-year renewable educator license. The License Based on Reciprocity is available for teacher and administrator licenses, but it is not available for pupil services licenses. 

  • Hold a current teaching license in good standing from another state
  • Have taught one year with a teaching license from out of state or one-year teaching in a WI school while holding a valid WI TEACHER license.
  • Hold a current administrator license in good standing
  • Have worked one year with the administrator license from out of state

If you fit this pathway profile:

  1. PREPARE electronic copies of your valid license from another state and an employment verification
  2. APPLY for a Wisconsin License using the ELO System.


Submit questions and comments about this information to the Licensing Online Help desk.