Teacher Certification and Licensing for Recent Graduates




Licensure provides the professional and public assurance that educators have met state teaching standards and have demonstrated their readiness to teach and improve student learning.” (National Education Association)


Embark on the Journey to Becoming a Certified Educator

Graduates who have successfully completed one of GSEHD’s state-approved teacher educator preparation programs and passed the ETS PRAXIS exams for licensure are eligible to receive a D.C. teaching license through the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), the state education agency for the District of Columbia. Once you have obtained your D.C. teaching license, you can apply for licensure in other states through reciprocity.

Please note, teacher certification is granted by individual state education departments, not any university. We recommend consulting with the appropriate licensing agency or board in the state or territory for which licensure is sought prior to beginning any course of study. For more information about licensure/certification in a specific state, please contact the appropriate state’s licensure agency.

Disclaimer: The information provided below is intended as a guide. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please refer to the official websites of the relevant education departments.




US map with dotted lines connecting place markers

NASDTEC Interstate Agreement of Reciprocity

Many states, including D.C., participate in the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement of Reciprocity. This agreement eases the process for those who wish to apply for their licensure in other participating states. Please note, participating states may have additional requirements for educators who are coming from another jurisdiction. 

Reciprocity is easier if you complete the certification requirements and obtain your teaching credential in the state where you completed your program requirements. Thus, we recommend that our graduates obtain a D.C. license upon completion of a GSEHD program to ensure a smoother transition between jurisdictions.

Learn More About NASDTEC Participating States





  PRAXIS Exams

The PRAXIS exams are meant to measure subject-specific content knowledge in preparation for licensure. The tests are required for graduation from the university for the programs listed below. Select your program to download a PDF guide to required exams and frequently asked questions.

Submitting Scores

Be sure to include GW and other licensing agencies as recipients of your exam score:

  • George Washington University (GWU) - RA5246
  • DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) – 7076
  • Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) – 8425
  • Maryland State Department of Education (MDOE) – 7403

For more information on state licensure requirements and their respective exam codes, please visit the ETS website.





  Obtaining Educator Licensure

Licensure is not automatically granted upon graduation. Candidates must submit a formal application to each state in which they seek a license. It is recommended that GSEHD graduates apply for D.C. licensure first to ease the process of reciprocity. Following receipt of D.C. licensure, candidates are eligible for reciprocal certification in more than 40 participating states. 

D.C. Licensure

To begin the application process for D.C. licensure:

  1. Visit the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) website to determine the requirements needed for a standard teacher credential.
  2. Create an account and submit your application on the Educator Credential Information System (ECIS) portal.
    • The application will require an official record of passing the appropriate Praxis exam(s), an official copy of academic transcripts, and an FBI criminal background clearance, which includes fingerprint submissions.
    • In addition, OSSE requires a program completer verification form (see below) to be completed by the George Washington University as a part of the D.C. licensure application process.

Please note: OSSE has an 8- to 10-week processing time from the date an application is submitted. The verification form can take an additional 1- to 2-weeks to process. You should plan accordingly to complete the certification process in a timely fashion.

Licensure in Other States

Please note that some states may require additional courses or national teacher examinations. Graduates should contact individual State Departments of Education for the most recent information on current state requirements, and be sure to consult the ETS Praxis website for the specific tests required by each state.

Many states require a program completer verification form (see below) to be completed by the George Washington University as a part of their licensure application process.

Instructions for Virginia and Maryland licensure:

Helpful Links & Resources






  Approved Program Completer Verification Form Request

In order to submit a request for a program completer verification form, please complete the following steps:

  1. Download the applicable verification form:
    • DC  (PDF - opens in new window)
    • Virginia  (Word Doc - saves file in your downloads)
    • For all other states, find the appropriate form within the desired state’s department of education.
  2. Fill in all the relevant student/applicant information. Feel free to only include the last 4 digits of your SSN or affix your full SSN after the form is returned.
  3. Be prepared to submit an official record of the most recent passing Praxis scores.
  4. Complete the following form:
Are you requesting verification for D.C. or another state?
Upload appropriate documents:
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One file only.
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Allowed types: pdf, doc, docx.
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  Contact Us

Should you have any questions or require guidance throughout the certification and licensure process, please feel free to reach out to Jessica Fohr, Associate Program Director, Partnerships at dcel@gwu.edu.