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Divisions > Educator Effectiveness > Certification Branch

Frequently Asked Questions

These questions and answers are based upon current regulations and are subject to change by the State Board of Education (SBE) and/or the Professional Standards and Teacher Education Board (PSTEB).

1. What is certification?

Certification is the process to verify that each educator required to hold a certificate has the qualifications and appropriate training to execute his/her professional responsibilities.

2. Who must hold a Maryland certificate?

Teachers, specialists, and administrators in Maryland public schools and in approved schools operated by state agencies must hold a valid certificate appropriate to the field of employment. Certain nonpublic school personnel employed in special education facilities must also hold a valid certificate appropriate to the field of employment.

3. How do I qualify for a Maryland certificate?

Certification may be obtained in one of the following ways:

completing a college or university state-approved educator preparation program;
holding a valid, out-of-state professional certificate and submitting verification of 3 years of full-time satisfactory professional experience;
meeting transcript analysis requirements; or
completing a Resident Teacher Certificate program.

4. Are there any special requirements for Maryland?

As of July 1, 1999 individuals applying for a Maryland certificate are required to complete additional reading course work. Early childhood, elementary education, and special education at those levels are required to complete 12 semester hours. Secondary education, PreK-12, and secondary special education teachers are required to complete 6 semester hours.

5. How do I apply for Maryland certification?

You may apply online at http://www.mdcert.org/ or you may apply by mailing a complete packet of information. This packet must include the following:

Official transcripts in an unopened mailer for all course work taken (student copies in unopened mailer are acceptable);
Copy of the basic skills score report or copy of out-of-state tests (if applicable);
Copy of professional out-of-state certificate (if applicable);
Cover letter with your name, address, social security number, date of birth, personal email address, and area of certifcation being requested.

6. How long will it take to process my certification application?

Complete packets will be processed within 8 weeks of referral to an evaluator. Incomplete applications will delay the process.

7. How much does a certificate cost?

A $10 processing fee is required for the initial certificate and for each certificate renewal thereafter.  Acceptable forms of payment include: cashier's check, certified check, money order or credit card; personal checks are not accepted. 

8. What Maryland certificates are available?

There are 3 professional certificates: Professional Eligibility Certificate (PEC); Standard Professional (I & II) SPC; and Advanced Professional Certificate (APC). The Resident Teacher Certificate (RTC) is granted to individuals who complete the Resident Teacher Certificate Program, Maryland's alternative certification program;this certificate is issued only at the reqeust of a local school superintendent.

9. How do I add another certification area to my certificate?

To place additional subjects/fields on your certificate, you may complete either
course work requirements (30 credits depending upon the area)  or submit a qualifying score on the appropriate content assessment.   No pedagogy assessment is required to add an endorsement to your professional MD teacher's certificate. 

10. Will services as a substitute count toward experience?

Service as a day to day substitute is not acceptable. However, satisfactory service as a long-term substitute for a minimum of 3 months in the same assignment (totaling 9 months) will be credited.

11. What types of teaching will not count toward certification?

The following are not acceptable for the experience requirement:

teacher of adult classes of persons 21 years or older
day-to-day substitute teaching
college teaching.

12. Are quarter-hours equivalent to semester credit hours?

No. A quarter hour is equal only to two-thirds of a semester credit hour.

13. Are correspondence video, and/or telecommunication courses acceptable?

Yes. The courses must be earned and appear as a passing grade on an official transcript of a regionally accredited college or university.


Contact Information
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone:  410-767-0412 or toll free at 866-772-8922
TTY/TDD:  410-333-6442
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