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Out-of-State (OOS) Applicants

Latest Licensing News Blog

Important Notice


Educators with an invalid 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.


The information on this page pertains to applicants who completed educator preparation programs for teachers, pupil services, and/or administrators at a college or university headquartered outside the state of Wisconsin, including online colleges or universities and out-of-country (non-U.S.) colleges/universities.  


Note: Educators who live outside of Wisconsin but completed a Wisconsin educator preparation program are considered in-state applicants.

Self-Screen for Eligibility 

To become licensed in Wisconsin, an out-of-state applicant must verify completion of the following:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Please refer to our Accreditation page for information about accreditation agencies and a link to check the accreditation of your college or university. 
  2. A state-approved educator preparation program that is:
    1. offered through an accredited four-year college or university;
    2. offered at the bachelor’s, post-baccalaureate, or master’s degree level for teaching;
    3. offered at the master’s, education specialist, or doctorate level for pupil services or administrator licensure;
    4. comparable to Wisconsin in its requirements for licensure based on Wisconsin Administrative Code PI 34;
    5. resulting in a license that exists in Wisconsin;
    6. approved by the state education department where the approved program is headquartered.
  3. Testing Requirements - The following testing requirements apply to all out-of-state applicants, including those prepared through on-line colleges or universities, as well as all non-U.S. colleges/universities:
    1. Pass all tests required for licensure in the state where the educator preparation program is headquartered and be eligible for licensure in the state where their educator preparation program is headquartered (actual licensure is not required).
    2. Pass all tests required for Wisconsin licensure before a license will be issued - see Out-of-State Testing Information and Out-of-State Elementary Education Candidates
      If the same tests are required by both states (Wisconsin and the state where the approved program is headquartered), the applicant must meet the higher of the two states’ passing scores.
    3. A content test taken for initial licensure in another state may be used in place of Wisconsin's content tests for the out-of-state application.  If an applicant has not taken a content test for initial licensure in another state, in lieu of Wisconsin's content exam a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale in the subject area or position of the licensure program may be substituted.
    4. Effective January 31, 2014, applicants for initial licensure in Wisconsin as an elementary teacher (grades K-5, EC, EC-MC, MC-EA), a special education teacher, a reading teacher, or reading specialist must receive a passing score on the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test (FORT).  For more information see the National Evaluation Series website.
    5. All testing requirements must be met before applying for a license.
  4. 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 out-of-state 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

More information about Wisconsin's edTPA requirements can be found on the edTPA website:

For Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the edTPA see Out-of-State edTPA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).


Note: 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.

Note: The following educators are NOT eligible to apply through the Out-of-State Pathway.  They may be eligible to apply through one of the pathways on the Out-of-State Alternative Routes page:

  • completed an alternative route program outside of Wisconsin
  • received licensure directly from another state's education agency via a certificate program or equivalency process
  • received licensure through a two-year institution outside of Wisconsin
  • received licensure through another process outside of Wisconsin (e.g., passing a content examination)

To Apply