Mississippi Teaching Certification


Mississippi Ed. Statistics

Avg. Elem. Teacher Salary*$44,060
Avg. Sec. Teacher Salary*$46,580
Avg. Admin. Salary*$78,330
Teacher Retention (?)94%
Vacation Wks/Yr15

Learn how to become a teacher in Mississippi (or administrator). Choose the description of certification you are most interested in or situation that best describes you:

Getting Involved…

Investing in our future is vitally important and strangely difficult. In order to fight oppression from the greedy and power-hungry elite, to better our ways of life with advancing technology, and to increase our country’s overall views toward the concept of acceptance, we need education to be a priority. Learn how you can be a spoke in this terribly important wheel. See how Mississippi measures up to the rest of the country by viewing the percentage of state revenue going toward education in each state. (see State Education Spending vs. Overall State Revenue).

Step 1
Learn About Your Governor’s Track Record

Learn about your Governor’s views and voting record with regard to education. (see Mississippi Governor’s website).

Step 2
Give Your Knowledge Power By Voting

Hold your public servants accountable. It is our duty as residents of Alabama.

Help Make Education A Priority

Initial Mississippi Teaching Certification

It was reported in 2011 that about 75 schools in Mississippi had started using reading software to improve students’ reading skills. This software features individualized programs for each student based on his or her skill level and the results of non-test based assessments that are instead focused on learning goals.

The software will be available as an iPhone app that lets teachers check their students’ performances remotely and that also allows lessons to be integrated into classroom SMARTBoards. With the students and teachers using cutting edge technology such as this, teacher candidates in Mississippi can look forward to an improved teaching and learning environment in the state’s public schools. Find schools offering teaching certification programs in Mississippi.

Education Requirements

The Office of Educator Licensure of the Mississippi Department of Education (601-359-3483) will license qualified candidates who hold at least a bachelor’s degree and who have graduated from a state-approved teacher preparation program.

If you graduated from a teacher preparation program in another state, Mississippi will accept your academic credentials as long as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) has accredited the program.

If you attended college in another country, you must have your academic credentials evaluated by one of the member agencies of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. This evaluation must be turned in when you apply for teacher licensure in Mississippi.

Licensure Options
Various types of teaching licenses and classes are offered in Mississippi depending upon your qualifications and intentions. They include:

  • Five Year Educator License, Traditional Teacher Education Route, Class A- if you have a bachelor’s degree and meet examination requirements
  • Five Year Educator License, Traditional Teacher Education Route, Class AA- if you have a master’s degree in education; or have a master’s degree in your endorsement area and meet all requirements for a Class A license
  • Five Year Educator License, Traditional Teacher Education Route, Class AAA – if you have a specialist degree in education; or have a specialist degree in your endorsement area plus meet all requirements for a Class A license
  • Five Year Educator License, Traditional Teacher Education Route, Class AAAA – if you have a doctoral degree in education; or have a doctoral degree in your endorsement area plus meet all requirements for a Class A license

There are also alternative routes to educator licensure, special licenses, and administrative licenses, which will be discussed in other sections.


Go to the Praxis website for a brief synopsis of educator examination requirements in Mississippi.

Basic skills testing:
All licensed Mississippi teachers must pass the Praxis I Basic Skills Tests in reading (score of 170 required), writing (172) and mathematics (169). These are usually given as a part of the enrollment process in your college or university’s teacher preparation program. In addition, all teachers must also pass the Principles of Learning and Assessment exam for their intended licensure area.

Content area assessment testing:
All Mississippi teachers must pass the Praxis II exam corresponding to their intended licensure area(s):

  • Child Development: Pre K-K (Early Childhood Education)
  • Elementary Education (K-6)
  • Middle Grade English (Grades 7-8)
  • Middle Grade Mathematics (Grades 7-8)
  • Middle Grade Science (Grades 7-8)
  • Middle Grade Social Studies (Grades 7-8)
  • Secondary Education (Grades 7-12):
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Economics
    • English
    • Mathematics
    • Physical Science
    • Physics
    • Social Studies
    • Speech Communications
  • All Grades (K-12):
    • Art
    • Health Education
    • Music
    • Physical Education
  • World Languages (K-12):
    • French
    • German
    • Latin
    • Spanish
  • Career & Technical Education (Grades 7-12):
    • Business Education
    • Home Economics
    • Marketing and Distributive Education
    • Technology Education
  • Special Education (K-12):
    • Braille
    • Emotional Disability
    • Hearing Disability
    • Mild/Moderate Disability
    • Special Education
    • Special Education Supplemental Endorsement
    • Visually Impaired

Experience Requirements

In the practicum course common to all Mississippi teacher preparation programs, you will observe and lead lessons, interview teachers, and evaluate their lessons. This practicum, taken during the course of regular teacher preparation coursework, usually begins in your sophomore or junior year. You will learn effective teaching practices, how to act professionally, and how to work with not only students of varying ages but also with professionals of different levels.

The student teaching portion of your field experience is the culmination of all the practical experience you have received during your teacher preparation program. Diverse placements are not only available for teacher candidates, but also mandatory in most schools. You will likely be placed into a classroom corresponding to the grade level/subject area you wish to teach. During your student teaching experience, you may be asked to take over the classroom independently under the observation of a mentor teacher. The experience you will gain throughout this time will be invaluable to your Mississippi teaching career.

Document and Application Requirements

Once you have met all of the prerequisites for Mississippi teaching licensure, you are ready to apply. This may be done online through the Educator Licensure Management System (ELMS) or by downloading the paper Licensure Application Packet. Either way, there will be certain documents that need to be mailed to the Mississippi Department of Education. They include:

  • Official sealed college transcripts (or official electronic transcripts submitted online via eScrip-Safe for institutions that are members of this service)
  • Original Praxis score reports if you tested out-of-state (if you tested in Mississippi, your scores will automatically be reported to the Mississippi Department of Education)
  • Completed application
  • Institutional program verification completed and signed by your teacher preparation program
  • Application fee

Mail all of the above to Mississippi Department of Education, Office of Educator Licensure, P.O. Box 771, Jackson, MS 39205-0771.

Criminal History Background Check

While the Mississippi Department of Education does not require teacher licensure applicants to undergo a criminal history background check, you cannot be hired as a teacher in a Mississippi school without having such a check performed (under Mississippi Code 37-9-17). Child abuse registry checks will also be performed at the time of hire.

Your fingerprints will be taken and checked at the state level by the Department of Public Safety. If no criminal activity is found, your fingerprints will then be forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for a federal check to be run. You will not be allowed to work as a Mississippi teacher for any state school until the results of your criminal history background checks are returned and are cleared.

Contact Information

For information on teacher preparation programs in Mississippi, visit this webpage and click on the “Approved Programs” link for contact information for each college/university in the state offering approved programs.

Do you need more information on educator licensure in Mississippi? If so, contact the Office of Educator Licensure of the Mississippi Department of Education at 601-359-3483.

*2019 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data – Conditions in your area may vary.

**Teacher Retention Sources – U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education, Statistics Schools and Staffing Survey, 1999–2000 (“Public School Teacher Questionnaire,” “Private School Teacher Questionnaire,” and “Public Charter School Teacher Questionnaire”),
and 2000–01 Teacher Follow-up Survey (“Questionnaire for Current Teachers” and “Questionnaire for Former Teachers,” Table 1.01). Washington, DC.

State estimations based on analysis by Richard Ingersoll, Professor of Education and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, from the National Center for Education Statistics Student and Staffing Survey, and therefore include a slight margin of error.