Standard Certificate

The Standard Teaching Certificate, previously called the Provisional Certificate, is the first teaching certificate available to Michigan teacher candidates.  This certificate allows teachers to provide instruction in the subject(s) and grade level(s) indicated on the certificate. Eligibility requirements for the Standard Certificate vary slightly by teacher education program and are detailed below. The Office of Teacher and Administrator Certification at Western Michigan University provides information to and assists new WMU graduates in obtaining their initial Standard Teaching Certificate.  The Standard Certificate is valid for five years from the date of issue and can be renewed indefinitely.

Initial certification

Initial certification must be obtained within five years of program completion and testing. Failure to be certified within this time period will require a program review and a retake of the subject area test(s).

  • Secondary education testing

    Candidates seeking initial secondary certification, including K-12, must pass the appropriate Michigan Test for Teacher Certification subject area test(s) in the major or minor area in which they are seeking certification.

    In addition to a passing score on the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification subject area test in their language, candidates in Spanish, French, German and Russian must achieve a minimum score of Advanced Low and candidates in Arabic, Chinese and Japanese must achieve a minimum score of Intermediate High on the Oral Proficiency Interview prior to internship and certification

  • Elementary education testing

    The Michigan Test for Teacher Certification in elementary education (#103) is mandatory for all candidates seeking elementary certification including all special education and early childhood candidates.

    ¹Public act 282 (1992) and 267 (1986).

Initial standard certification requirements

Completion of the steps below is required for obtaining your standard certificate:

  • 1. Bachelor's degree

    A bachelor's degree is required for initial teacher certification in Michigan.

  • 2. Completion of a teacher certification program

    Must be approved by the Michigan Department of Education.

  • 3. Michigan Test for Teacher Certification subject area exam

    Michigan Test for Teacher Certification subject area exam must be passed before applying. Please visit the following link for test dates and study guides:

    If you are unsure about which test to take, please contact our office.

    • Elementary majors—must pass the elementary education test #103.
    • Early childhood majors—must pass the elementary education test #103; must also pass the early childhood test #106 to add the optional ZS endorsement.
    • Special education majors—must pass the elementary education test #103 and one special education endorsement area subject test.
    • Secondary or K12 majors—must pass the MTTC in the major or minor in which they are seeking certification.
  • 4. Adult and Child CPR and Standard First Aid

    All three components—Adult CPR, Child CPR, and Standard First Aid—must be a Michigan Department of Education approved course. There must be a hands-on component. And it needs to be active when recommended for certification. Documentation must be on file in the certification office. 

  • 5. Background Check

    A recent (within the last two years) background check must be on file in the certification office before we can recommend you for certification. A Michigan iChat  will meet this requirement. If you have any convictions, a Judgment of Sentence, Register of Action, or Case History must also be on file in the certification office prior to a certification recommendation.

  • 6. Complete additional requirements

    If you are seeking a standard CTE certificate—visit the standard CTE website for the checklist.

  • 7. Set up your Michigan educator accounts

    Set up your Michigan educator accounts and apply for certification—detailed instructions  on setting up your Michigan educator accounts.

  • 8. Apply for your standard certificate

    If eligible for both the initial standard and the standard CTE certificates, submit them together.

  • 9. Report convictions

    Honestly report any conviction or civil infraction, excluding speeding tickets.

    • Must report conviction information on all of your applications for current certification and all future certifications.
    • Provide the Judgment of Sentence, Register of Actions or Case History for each offense to our office.
  • 10. University review and recommendation

    After application, your identified university will review and recommend the application. Please allow five to seven business days for this process; a conviction may delay this process.

  • 11. Pay for your certificate

    The Michigan Department of Education charges a $160 fee for your standard certificate. If an application for both a standard and a standard CTE certificate are submitted together, there is only one $160 fee.

  • 12. Print your certificate

    Once the fee is paid, you will need to print your certificate and obtain notarization. The standard certificate and standard CTE certificate are valid for five years.