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Out-of-State Pathway

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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.


Candidate Profile

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Completed an approved educator preparation program outside WI
  • Seeking Initial WI license

Seeking a Wisconsin License as an Out-of-State applicant?

People who fit this pathway profile have completed a state-approved educator preparation program at an accredited institution of higher education headquartered outside Wisconsin. They have also completed the testing requirements of that state 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.

For out-of-state applicants to Wisconsin, the initial licensure is the first Wisconsin license for which an applicant applies.  In the review process, the DPI looks for the same elements of an approved program that we have in Wisconsin including: basic skills, content testing, major, pedagogical skills, clinical experience, and statutory requirements. The state superintendent made the following policy for teacher candidates who were prepared outside the state of Wisconsin and completed their initial educator preparation program on or after September 1, 2016:

“An out-of-state applicant with less than one year of teaching experience of at least one-half time employment in a PK-12, private, or charter school (not a tutoring site), must post a passing score on the edTPA effective September 1, 2016. If a candidate completed an edTPA as part of an educator preparation program in another state and received a passing score in that state, Wisconsin will honor the score as passing in Wisconsin. If the other state has not established a threshold for passing, the individual will need to meet the cut score established for Wisconsin.”

The cut scores that have been established for Wisconsin are:

  • 38 for edTPA handbooks with 15 rubrics
  • 32 for edTPA handbooks with 13 rubrics
  • 45 for edTPA handbooks with 18 rubrics

If you fit this pathway profile:

  1. DETERMINE the Wisconsin license that most closely matches the out-of-state license you hold and follow the steps identified here: Out-of-State Applicants
  2. COMPLETE the Wisconsin testing requirements.  Elementary Educators, please see for more specific information.
  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.
  • If you completed an alternative route program outside Wisconsin, use the Out-of-State Alternative Routes page to determine your best pathway.
  • For Frequently Asked Questions about the Out-of-State Pathway see the Frequently Asked Questions - Out-of-State page.