Post-baccalaureate Seeking an Initial Teaching License

Have you already completed a Bachelor's degree, whether at UW-W or another regionally accredited institution, and are interested in earning an initial teaching license? If so, we have options to help you achieve this. Most students pursue additional coursework at the undergraduate level in order to complete a second Bachelor's degree in education and/or teacher licensure. Please understand that you may not earn multiple Bachelor's degrees with the same major. For example, if you previously earned a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Spanish, then you may not earn a second Bachelor of Science in Education (BSE) in Spanish. However, you may complete the necessary requirements in order to be endorsed for a teaching license in Spanish.

There may also be an option to pursue initial teacher licensure at the graduate level. For more information, please reference our graduate program information. Please note that if you have a Bachelor's degree and are seeking an initial teaching license in Special Education, you must pursue the Master's program.

To get started at the undergraduate level, please review the following information

  • To become certified/licensed to teach after already obtaining a Bachelor's degree, you must satisfy specific major and licensure requirements, as well as PI-34 general education licensure requirements per the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Previous coursework can be used to satisfy PI-34 requirements if you completed courses that meet those criteria. Any missing requirements must be completed to obtain licensure.
  • All licensable programs in our College require Admission to Professional Education which is a competitive selection process or may require a higher combined cumulative GPA in order to guarantee admission. Our most competitive programs are Secondary Social Studies Education, Early Childhood Education, and Elementary Education. We strongly encourage you to review the requirements in this early stage. You may satisfy a few from your prior degree; however, it is likely that you are missing the test requirement [Wisconsin passing scores on all parts of the PPST (Praxis I) and/or CORE, ACT, SAT, or GRE], Foundations Block courses (required for all programs EXCEPT Early Childhood), portfolio, etc. Although there are several criteria you must meet, competitiveness heavily weighs on combined cumulative GPA. *Combined cumulative means that your GPA is calculated based on all coursework you have completed at any institution, whether undergraduate or graduate.

    • Meeting the minimum 2.75 combined cumulative GPA and Wisconsin passing scores on the PPST (Praxis I) and/or CORE, ACT, SAT, or GRE are crucial right away because they are also prerequisites to enroll in the Foundations Block courses. If you plan to use ACT, SAT, or GRE scores, please be aware that they are only valid for 10 years. Although students must pass all three parts of the PPST (Praxis I) and/or CORE to apply for Admission to Professional Education, they may use two out of three passing scores to enroll in the Foundations Block.

Next Steps

  • Contact the designated Licensure Program Coordinator for your desired program and license. Be sure to provide transcripts of ALL previously completed coursework. The Licensure Program Coordinator will review and decide how your previous coursework can be applied to teacher licensure and program requirements, and will develop a plan for you.

  • Apply for admission to the University. As a student returning for a second Bachelor's degree and/or teacher licensure, you will be classified as a "Special Full Credential" post-baccalaureate. You may declare which program and license you wish to pursue on the Admissions application. To be admitted, you will be required to submit an official transcript demonstrating your previous Bachelor's degree. 

Additional Resources

  • The Praxis CORE Academic Skills for Educators test (which replaced the PPST/ Praxis I test September 1, 2014) consists of three high school content areas: Reading, Writing, and Math. To learn more about the test, register, and prepare, please reference the Educational Testing Service (ETS) website.

    • *If students took and passed the PPST (Praxis I) prior to September 1, 2014, those scores do not expire, and a combination of PPST (Praxis I) and Praxis CORE subtests (i.e. Reading, Writing, and Mathematics) with passing scores may be used.