You are here

Pathways to Licensure

DPI is currently receiving a high volume of contacts for assistance.  The three most commonly asked questions and their answers are below:

Help with WAMS IDs

Before you can submit an application to DPI, you must register for a Web Access Management Systems (WAMS) user ID.

How to set up a WAMS account

Already have one or more WAMS accounts?

How to start your WAMS account recovery:

Perform a WAMS account recovery for all emails you have. Enter your email address but do NOT enter your User ID to start your WAMS account recovery. Once in the account recovery process you will be prompted to change your password. After you change your password you will be told in parentheses what your correct User ID is. Please make note of that before you terminate the account recovery session. Once you have recovered all WAMS accounts you have, login to ELO with each of your accounts individually. If you can see your licenses, you are logging in with the correct WAMS account. If you are taken through the Onboarding process again, you are not using the correct WAMS account and should try another account.

If you encounter errors in the WAMS account recovery process, please contact WAMS directly.  DPI is unable to help with WAMS recovery because the system is used by many state agencies and is run by the Department of Administration:

Revalidating Life or Lifetime License

Educators, whose Life or Lifetime license was invalidated in July, have until December 31 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 30. Educators will have until December 31 to complete this application for their license to be revalidated.

Background Checks

DPI is required by law to conduct a background check on each applicant for a Wisconsin educator license regardless of whether it is an initial request or a renewal request.

All educators are required to complete a background check to maintain or revalidate a life or lifetime license. There are directions for how to complete the $45 Request Background Check - Lifetime Licensee [5900].

To find the year in which your most recent background check was submitted, search License Lookup using your name or entity number and check see the “Last Background Check Submitted” field.

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