Office of Educator Preparation

Certification Instructions

PLEASE NOTE: The Maine Department of Education is creating an online system for teacher certification.  It is expected to be operational in the summer of 2017.  At that time directions for becoming certified will change.

A PDF document of the certification instructions is available here, including FAQs.

Certification Instructions:

1. Complete all teacher education program/pathway requirements, including the following:

  • Passing Praxis l/Core & Praxis II scores
  • Prerequisite coursework is satisfied
    • Make sure that Michael Katz,, USM’s Graduate Education Advisor, has documentation that you have completed any academic requirements that were outstanding at the time of your application into your teacher education program/pathway. Please make sure an official transcript is mailed to Graduate Admissions from the school where any missing credits were taken.
  • Grades are finalized on MaineStreet
  • Standards Review is completed + documented in Tk20

2. Signal program completion:

  • Complete the Recommendation for Certificationa checklist that signals that you have fulfilled ­all program requirements and are ready to be recommended for certification.
    • Linda Evans, Certification Coordinator, will review and verify all information and post the date of your recommendation for certification in Tk20.
    • The Certification Coordinator will then forward your name/certification area(s) to the Maine Department of Education (MDOE) and recommend you for certification in your content area(s).
    • At the same time, the USM Registrar’s Office will also receive this notification and post a comment to your transcript noting program completion. Please note that this may take approximately 3 weeks. Please check MaineStreet to ensure that the comment has been added to your unofficial transcript.

3. Complete an Application for Initial Certification from the MDOE:

  • Wait until the Registrar's Office has posted a comment in your transcript noting program completion.  This note can be found in MaineStreet.
    • It may take up to 3 weeks following submission of your Recommendation for Certification checklist.
  • Complete an Application for Initial Certification from the MDOE
    • Note: it is important to wait until you have completed all program requirements and you request a final official transcript before applying for initial teacher certification. If you file your application without this final official transcript, the MDOE will not know that you are a program graduate and will analyze your materials as if you were initiating the alternative certification process. This could cause a delay in processing your application. Please be aware that USM’s recommendation for certification helps expedite certain steps in evaluating your application.
      • Since the MDOE certification processing time is a lengthy one, most schools will accept a transcript comment and proof the applicant’s materials are in the evaluation process.
    • Make sure to include all supporting materials with your MDOE application:
      • Check for the $100 (or more if you are applying for more than one certification) application fee, made payable to Treasurer, State of Maine
      • Passing Praxis I/Core exam score report. Please include these with your application, even if you have designated MDOE as a score recipient.
      • Passing Praxis II exam score report. Please include these with your application, even if you have designated MDOE as a score recipient.
      • All undergraduate and graduate transcripts noting degree(s) awarded and recommendation for certification by USM.
        • Note: The State will only accept official transcripts
      • Explanation of any “yes” responses, and date that you were fingerprinted
  • Submit your application to the MDOE by mail or in person:
    • Mail
      Maine Department of Education 
      Division of Certification
      State House Station #23
      Augusta, ME 04333
    • In-person visit
      Maine Department of Education
      111 Sewall Street
      Burton Cross Building, 5th floor
      Augusta, ME 04333
    • Processing in-person applications:  Monday, Wednesday, Friday (9am - 3:30pm).
    • If your application is complete, the appropriate fee will be collected and the materials will be date stamped the day you visit. Your file will be evaluated and processed in date order received, and after any other applicant’s files received on a prior date. Processing time may take a minimum of 10 weeks.
    • Phone inquiries: Monday through Friday (9am – 3:30pm) 207-624-6603
    • Email inquiries:

For more information please contact:

Linda Evans, Certification Coordinator
Office of Educator Preparation, USM
8C Bailey Hall, Gorham, Maine 04038