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Pathways to Licensure

Latest Licensing News Blog

Important Notice


Educators with an invalidated Life or Lifetime license have until December 31st to revalidate their license.  Upon approval of the $45 Request Background Check - Lifetime Licensee [5900] application, the Lifetime license will be revalidated just as if the educator completed the application before June 30th. Educators will have until December 31st to complete this application for their license to be revalidated. 

For older blog posts, please see the Latest Licensing News blog.


Wisconsin offers multiple pathways to meet the requirements to become a Wisconsin licensed teacher, pupil services professional, or administrator. Whether you are a recent high school graduate with hopes of becoming a teacher; a working adult seeking a career change; a returning adult college student; an out-of-state applicant relocating to Wisconsin; or a Wisconsin educator seeking additional licensure, Wisconsin has a pathway waiting for you. Different pathways will lead to different tiers of licensure. Use the DPI Licensing Tiers PDF to learn more about tiered licensure. Use the information on this page to locate a pathway that will serve your needs. 

Minimum degree requirements for Wisconsin Licensure:

  • A Bachelor's degree is required for most Wisconsin teaching licenses.
  • A Master's, Education Specialist, or Doctoral degree is required for most Pupil Services and Administrator licenses.
  • Refer to the specific licensing pathway for exact details.

Which pathway is right for you?

Click a pathway that fits your situation.

Who are you? Pathway Options
Seeking an Initial Teaching License but do not have a bachelor's degree

Bachelor's Degree Pathway

Seeking an Initial Teaching License and already have a bachelor's degree
  1. Post-baccalaureate Pathway
  2. Alternative Route Program Pathway
  3. License Based on Equivalency Pathway
  4. American Board Pathway
Completed an educator preparation program outside of Wisconsin
  1. Out-of-State Pathway
  2. License Based on Reciprocity Pathway


Teacher from outside of U.S.

  1. International and Guest Teacher Exchange Pathway
  2. Pathway for Educators Trained Outside the US
Seeking an Administrator License Administrator Pathway
Seeking a Pupil Services License Pupil Services Pathway


Already hold a Wisconsin Teacher License seeking an additional subject area certification

  1. License Based on a Content Test Pathway
  2. Post-baccalaureate Pathway
  3. Alternative Route Program Pathway
  4. License Based on Equivalency Pathway
  5. Out-of-State Pathway
Seeking a permit to teach upper level Technology Education classes

Trade Specialist Permit Pathway


Seeking a license that requires school district support

  1. Professional Teaching Permit Pathway
  2. Experience-Based Technical and Vocational Education Subjects Pathway
Seeking a license to teach in a Montessori school Montessori License Pathway