Licensure & Credentials

Instructional Certification

Although an endorsement authorizes the holder to teach in the area of their endorsement, the individual must also meet the highly qualified requirements required by the federal government.  For further information on meeting the highly qualified requirements please go to http://www.nj.gov/education/profdev/nclb/.

Requirements for certificates of eligibility (CE)

Effective October 31, 2009, eligibility for the elementary school (K-5) Certificate of Eligibility or instructional area Certificate of Eligibility requires candidates to demonstrate knowledge of basic pedagogical skills appropriate to the area of endorsement prior to the issuance of a certificate.  The requirement may be met through successful completion of a minimum of 24 hours of study offered through a state-approved provider or through approved coursework at a NJ State-approved college as documented on a transcript.   You will need to submit the “Certificate of Completion” once the 24 hours are completed.  (Exceptions:  Holders of a CEAS, provisional, or standard certificate in another instructional area are exempt from this requirement.)

Effective September 1, 2009, eligibility for the Preschool through Grade Three Certificate of Eligibility will require applicants to demonstrate knowledge of basic pedagogy skills appropriate to preschool education prior to the issuance of a certificate.  The requirement may be met through successful completion of a minimum of 24 hours of study offered through a state-approved provider or through approved coursework at a NJ State-approved college as documented on a transcript.   You will need to submit the “Certificate of Completion” once the 24 hours are completed.    (Exceptions:  Holders of a CEAS, provisional, or standard certificate in another instructional area are exempt from this requirement.)  

(a) Except as indicated in N.J.A.C. 6A:9-11, to be eligible for a CE in instructional areas, the candidate shall:

  1. Hold a bachelor's or an advanced degree from a regionally accredited college or university;

  2. Achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.50 when a GPA of 4.00 equals an A grade for students graduating before September 1, 2004 in a baccalaureate degree program, higher degree program or a State-approved post-baccalaureate certification program with a minimum of 13 semester-hour credits; for students graduating on or after September 1, 2004, achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 when a GPA of 4.00 equals an A grade in a baccalaureate degree program, higher degree program or in a State-approved post-baccalaureate certification program with a minimum of 13 semester-hour credits;

  3. For subject area endorsements, complete at least 30 credits in a coherent sequence of courses appropriate to the instructional area. At least 12 semester-hour credits must be at the advanced level of study, including junior, senior or graduate level study. For the elementary school endorsement, complete a liberal arts, science, dual content or interdisciplinary academic major or a minimum of 60 semester hour credits in liberal arts and/or science.
    i. All coursework must appear on the transcript of a regionally accredited four-year college or university;

  4. Pass the appropriate State test of subject matter knowledge; and

  5. Pass an examination in physiology, hygiene and substance abuse issues pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:9-5.9, including the effects of narcotics and alcohol. The examination is administered at the county offices of education.  In lieu of this examination, the applicant may present basic military training or college level study in areas such as biology, health or nutrition.

Requirements for certificates of eligibility with advanced standing (CEAS)

(b) Except as indicated in N.J.A.C. 6A:9-11, to be eligible for a CEAS in instructional fields, the candidate shall meet the requirements in (a) above and complete one of the following programs of teacher preparation:

  1. A New Jersey college program, graduate or undergraduate, approved by the Department for the preparation of teachers pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:9-10;

  2. A college preparation program included in the interstate certification reciprocity system of NASDTEC;

  3. An out-of-State teacher education program approved by NCATE, TEAC or any other national professional education accreditation body recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation approved by the Commissioner;

  4. A teacher education program approved for certification by the Department in one of the states party to the NASDTEC Interstate Contract, provided the program was completed on or after January 1, 1964 and the state in which the program is located would issue the candidate a comparable endorsement; or

  5. An out-of-State college teacher education program approved by the state department of education in which the program is located.

(c) The teacher preparation programs listed in (b)1 through 5 above must culminate in college supervised student teaching.

(d) A candidate who graduates on or after September 1, 2004 with a GPA that is below 2.75, but at least 2.50 when a GPA of 4.00 equals an A grade, and whose score in the appropriate State test of subject matter knowledge exceeds the passing score by 10 percent or more will meet the requirements of (a)2 and 4 above. This alternative requirement to (a)2 and 4 above should not be construed as a waiver to N.J.A.C. 6A:9-17.16. See Test and GPA Flexibility Rule

(e) A candidate who graduates on or after September 1, 2004 with a GPA that is 3.50 or higher, when a GPA of 4.00 equals an A grade, but whose score in the appropriate State test of subject matter knowledge falls below the passing score by no more than five percent will meet the requirements of (a)2 and 4 above. This alternative requirement to (a)2 and 4 above should not be construed as a waiver to N.J.A.C. 6A:9-17.16. See Test and GPA Flexibility Rule

Requirements for the standard certificate

(a) Except as indicated in N.J.A.C. 6A:9-11, to be eligible for the standard certificate in any instructional area, the candidate shall:

  1. Possess a provisional certificate pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:9-8.2; and

  2. Successfully complete a State-approved district training program pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:9-8.3 and 8.4 while employed provisionally in a position requiring the appropriate instructional certificate.

(b) A candidate who holds a standard New Jersey instructional certificate shall be eligible for additional standard certificates if the candidate meets the requirements of N.J.A.C. 6A:9-8.1(a)1, 3 and 4. This provision does not apply to holders of the Teacher of Military Science endorsement or candidates seeking vocational education, special education, English as a second language, bilingual/bicultural education and preschool through grade three endorsements.

(c) A candidate who has completed the requirements pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:9-8.1(b) and at least one year of appropriate teaching experience under a valid out-of-State license or certificate shall be eligible for a standard certificate upon completion of the test requirement. For the candidate who has completed the requirements pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:9-8.1(b) but has not met the GPA requirements pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:9-8.1(a)2, three years of successful teaching experience under a valid out-of-State certificate is necessary. Successful teaching experience will be demonstrated by the offer of contract renewal from the employing district; or submission of satisfactory performance evaluations; or submission of letters of experience on official school letterhead.  See Guidelines for letters of employment experience.

(d) A candidate who holds National Board for Professional Teacher Standards (NBPTS) certification and the corresponding out-of-State license or out-of-State certificate shall be eligible for the standard certificate in the NBPTS certificate field without additional requirements.

(e) A candidate who presents official evidence of the following requirements shall be eligible for a standard certificate:

  1. Completion of requirements pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:9-8.1(a);

  2. Completion of at least one year of appropriate, successful teaching experience under a valid out-of-State license or certificate; See Guidelines for letters of employment experience.

  3. Completion of an out-of-State non-traditional or alternate route teacher preparation program that is determined by the Department to be comparable to the State's school-based training and evaluation program provided to all New Jersey novice teachers; and

  4. A valid standard certificate from the state in which (e)3 above was completed.
Applicants are strongly advised to consult the New Jersey Licensing Code for specific eligibility requirements for obtaining provisional and standard instructional certificates.Exceptions to Requirements for Instructional Certification Starting with N.J.A.C. 6A:9-11 on page 58 of the New Jersey Licensing Code, exceptions to the requirements listed above are outlined.  Please consult these regulations thoroughly for specific requirements. The following instructional certification/endorsements have unique requirements:
    • 6A:9-11.1 Preschool through grade 3
    • 6A:9-11.2 Vocational-technical education
    • 6A:9-11.3 Special education
    • 6A:9-11.4 Bilingual/bicultural education
    • 6A:9-11.5 English as a second language (ESL)
    • 6A:9-11.6 Driver education
    • 6A:9-11.7 Military science
    • 6A:9-11.8 Health and physical education
    • 6A:9-11.9 Physical science
    • 6A:9-11.10 World languages
    • 6A:9-11.11 Elementary school with subject matter specialization (often referred to as "Middle School certification").  Applicants for this endorsement MUST hold at least a CE in Elementary K-5 to be eligible for this endorsement! In addition, candidates for the Elementary school with subject matter specialization endorsements must complete study in adolescent development in order to obtain the standard certificate.  Alternate route teachers study adolescent psychology in their Alternate Route training classes and, therefore, meet this requirement.
    • 6A:9-11.12 Swimming and water safety
    • 6A:9-11.13 Technology education