Teacher Certification Made Simple!

Become a Teacher
in Missouri
Missouri Teacher Certification



logo Become a Teacher in MissouriThis page is sponsored by Rossier Online, a master level teaching degree program delivered online that enables you to earn a Master’s degree and teaching credential. Learn more about how the University of Southern California can help you become a transformative teacher in Missouri .

 

To become a certified teacher in Missouri, you will need to fulfill all prerequisite coursework, teacher preparation, and testing requirements.

Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible, and we are dedicated to updating the site with new information on a regular basis. To stay up-to-date with the latest in teacher certification, please complete the form in the right sidebar.

Missouri Teacher Prerequisite Coursework

All states require that certified teachers at a minimum have a Bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas. Here are Missouri’s undergraduate prerequisites for some of the most popular specialty areas:

Elementary Education:

  • Courses appropriate for Elementary grades: a. Mathematics (two (2) courses, minimum total of five (5) semester hours), b. Economics; c. Geography; d. Health; and e. Art or Music
  • Area of Concentration: The student must have a total of at least twenty-one (21) semester hours in an area of concentration. the specific coursework required to make the total. For grades 5-9 teachers are required to earn 21 credit hours in at least one subject as part of the middle school concentration portion of their professional education. Subject Area Requirements (Minimum requirement of twenty-one (21) semester hours):Subject area certification in grades 5-9 will be granted upon the basis of a minimum of twenty-one (21) semester hours with appropriate distribution as determined by the teacher preparation institution and/or the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, in one (1) of the following areas: d. Language Arts 5-9; e. Mathematics 5-9; f. Science 5-9; g. Social Science 5-9.

Secondary English/Language Arts:

  • Composition and Rhetoric: 12 credits (Must include a course in the teaching of writing)
  • Study of the English Language: 5 credits (Must include modern grammar, history of the language, and/or dialects)
  • American Literature: 5 credits (must include at least one (1) major unit or module in literature for adolescents and one (1) in literature of ethnic groups)
  • English and/or World Literature: 5 credits
  • Elective English Credit: 3 credits
  • Minimum Total Semester Hours: 30

Secondary Mathematics:

  • Calculus and Analytical Geometry: 8 credits
  • Algebraic Structures: 3 credits
  • Geometry: 3 credits
  • Computer Science: 2 credits
  • Elective from: Calculus and Analytical Geometry, Algebraic Structures, Geometry, Computer Science: 4 credits
  • A minimum of ten (10) semester hours from at least 3 (three) areas of Mathematics such as the following: History of Mathematics (2-3 credits), Structure of the Real Number System (2-3 credits), Number Theory (2-3 credits), Completion Calculus Sequence (2-5 credits), Probability and Statistics (2-3 credits), Computer Science (2-5 credits), Math for Exceptional Children (2-3 credits), Linear Algebra (2-3 credits)
  • Minimum grand total semester hours: 30

Secondary History/Social Science:

  • U.S. History: 12 credits
  • World History: 8 credits
  • Political Science (State and U.S. Government): 6 credits
  • Economics: 3 credits
  • Geography: 3 credits
  • Behavioral Science (Sociology, Anthropology, or Psychology): 6 credits
  • Elective Social Studies: 0-2 credits
  • Minimum total semester hours: 40 credits

Biology

  • History/Philosophy of Science and Technology—two (2) semester hours
  • Twenty (20) hours in Biology which includes: 1) Cell Biology; 2) Plant Form and Function; 3) Animal Form and Function; 4) Genetics; 5) Evolution; 6) Biology Electives
  • Ten (10) additional hours in Science which includes: 1) Chemistry; 2) Physics; 3) Earth Science; 4) Environmental Science;
  • Minimum total semester hours: 32 credits

Chemistry

  • History/Philosophy of Science and Technology—two (2) semester hours
  • Twenty (20) hours in Chemistry which includes: 1) Inorganic Chemistry; 2) Analytical Chemistry; 3) Organic Chemistry (Lect-Lab); 4) Physical Chemistry; 5) Biochemistry; 6) Chemistry Electives
  • Ten (10) additional hours in Science which includes: 1) Physics; 2) Biology; 3) Earth Science; 4) Environmental Science
  • Minimum total semester hours: 40 credits

Earth Science

  • History/Philosophy of Science and Technology—two (2) semester hours
  • Twenty (20) hours in Earth Science which includes: 1) Astronomy; 2) Meteorology; 3) Geology/Physical Geography; 4) Earth Science Electives
  • Ten (10) additional hours in Science which includes: 1) Chemistry; 2) Biology; 3) Physics; 4) Environmental Science
  • Minimum total semester hours: 40 credits

General Science

  • History/Philosophy of Science and Technology—two (2) semester hours
  • Thirty (30) hours in Science course work which includes: 1) Chemistry (Lect-Lab); 2) Biology (Lect-Lab); 3) Physics (Lect-Lab); 4) Earth Science; 5) Astronomy; 6) Environmental Science
  • Minimum total semester hours: 40 credits

Physics

  • History/Philosophy of Science and Technology—two (2) semester hours
  • Twenty (20) hours in Physics course work which includes: 1) Mechanics; 2) Electricity and Magnetism; 3) Heat, Sound, and Light; 4) Atomic or Modern Physics; 5) Physics Electives
  • Ten (10) additional hours in Science which includes: 1) Chemistry; 2) Biology; 3) Earth Science; 4) Environmental Science
  • Minimum total semester hours: 40 credits

Missouri Teacher Preparation

Teacher preparation includes the completion of an accredited teacher education program.

Alternative Certification

Graduates of accredited colleges or universities whose bachelor’s degree was not in education, and who have not yet earned a traditional teaching certificate, can still receive an alternative teaching certificate by satisfying certain requirements. Information about alternative Missouri teacher certification can be found here.

Typically teacher education programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork. The curricula often includes instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy (or the art and science of teaching), and preparing students to research, design and implement learning experiences in their field of study. The fieldwork component can include field observations, student teaching, and an internship.

While the involvement in an education program may seem financially daunting, a number of financial resources specifically for teachers exist around the country. For more information on this, visit our page on scholarships for teachers. For more scholarships for teachers exclusive to the State of Missouri, visit our Missouri Teacher Scholarships page.

Missouri Required Tests

Basic Skills Assessment
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education does not require teaching candidates to complete basic skills assestments for student teaching and/or initial licensure.

Principles of Learning and Testing
All teaching candidates obtaining certification in grades 5-9, 9-12 and/or K-12 are required to complete and pass the Principles of Teaching and Learning (PLT) test in their area of certification

Certification

Required Test

Qualifying Score

Middle School (5-9)

PLT: Grades 5-9

167

Secondary (K-12; 9-12)

PLT: Grades 7-12

164

Content Area Assessments
All teaching candidates obtaining their Missouri teacher license must complete and pass the content test(s) required for their specific licensure area.

Certification

Required Test

Qualifying Score

Early Childhood Education (Birth-3)

Special Education: Preschool/Early Childhood

166

Early Childhood Special Education (Birth-3)

PLT: Grades 7-12

164

Elementary Education (1-6)

Elementary Education: Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment

164

Middle School Education

English Language Arts
Mathematics
Science
Social Studies

Middle School English Language Arts
Middle School Mathematics
Middle School Science
Middle School Social Studies

163
158
149
154

Secondary (9-12)

Biology
Chemistry
Earth Science
English
General Science
Mathematics
Physics
Social Science
Speech/Theater
Unified Science: Biology
Unified Science: Chemistry
Unified Science: Earth Science
Unified Science: Physics

Biology: Content Knowledge
Chemistry: Content Knowledge
Earth & Space Sciences: Content Knowledge

English Language, Lit, & Comp: Content Knowledge
General Science: Content Knowledge
Mathematics: Content Knowledge
Physics: Content Knowledge
Social Studies: Content Knowledge
Speech Communication: Content Knowledge
Biology: Content Knowledge
Chemistry: Content Knowledge
Earth & Space Sciences: Content Knowledge
Physics: Content Knowledge

150
152
147
158
154
137
141
152
142
150
152
147
141

Special Education (B-12)

Blind/Partially Sighted
Deaf/Hearing Impaired
Mild/Moderate Cross Categorical Disabilities
Severely Developmentally Delayed

Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Education of Deaf & Hard of Hearing Students
Core Knowledge & Mild to Moderate Applications
Core Knowledge & Severe to Profound Applications

170
167
158

158

Missouri Certification Reciprocity

Missouri will accept some teaching credentials from the following states. Contact the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education to inquire about your specific situation. Please see our interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.

Alabama

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Kansas

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Michigan

Mississippi

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Missouri Teacher Salary

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: Missouri provides no support for teachers teaching in high needs schools or teachers teaching in shortage subject areas
  • Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: All new teachers must participate in a two-year mentoring program
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: The average elementary school teacher in Missouri makes $44,070
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: The average secondary teacher in Missouri makes $43,280
  • Teacher Salary vs. State Average Salary: The average teacher in Missouri makes 125% of the salary of the average worker in Missouri
  • Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: The average teacher in Missouri receives 15 weeks of vacation per year

Applying for Certification

Requirements
The Compendium of Missouri Certification Requirements Index provides teaching candidates with the certification requirements for each subject area and license type in the state of Missouri.

Background Check
Please visit the Missouri DESE Fingerprint Information Checklist and background check FAQs for resources regarding how to obtain background clearance to become a teacher in the state of Missouri.

Missouri Substitute Teacher Requirements

Please click here to learn more about how to become a substitute teacher in Missouri.

Contact Information

      Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

      205 Jefferson Street

      Jefferson City, Missouri 65102

      573-751-0051 – Contact

Additional Links