Recruit and Retain: The Future of Education

Teacher Certification in Indiana

Indiana licenses educators to work in elementary and secondary classrooms. Teaching is a bachelor’s or graduate level profession. The pathway varies depending on what a person wants to teach and what his or her background is.

Educator Degree and Program Options

Often teacher preparation programs are offered in conjunction with bachelor's degree programs. Prospective teachers complete approved programs that include at least nine weeks of full-time student teaching.

Programs can also be pursued at the master’s level. Indiana boasts many Master of Art in Teaching (MAT) programs ( A teaching credential may be earned with as few as 30 post-baccalaureate credit hours.

Professionals who already have their bachelor's sometimes complete a different type of program, one that puts them in their own classroom sooner. Teach for America and Indianapolis Teaching Fellows are among the programs that are considered to be teaching fellowships (

Indiana now has a licensing option for middle school and high school teachers that is based on holding a graduate degree in a particular content area and having had actual classroom teaching experience; college teaching could be credited. While a formal teaching program is not required, the individual will be required to pass some assessments and complete some mandatory trainings (

Teaching Areas and Endorsements

There are many different tracks and many corresponding endorsements. Indiana educators can opt for an early childhood generalist credential, valid from preschool through third grade, or an elementary generalist one, valid for kindergarten through sixth grade. The state boasts a number of subject-specific tracks. Some are valid in all grades while some are valid in middle and high school; Indiana issues the latter for a fifth grade through twelfth grade range (5-12). Licensed teachers can add additional content areas later by examination, though there are some limitations.

Indiana recognizes five 5-12 science disciplines (chemistry, physics, life science, physical science, earth and space science) and six social studies disciplines (historical perspectives, geographical perspectives, economics, government and citizenship, psychology, sociology). There are four fine arts P-12 arts designations (visual arts, instrumental and general music, vocal and general music, and theater).

There are multiple options for those interested in teaching students with exceptional needs; programs may cover P-12.

Like other states, Indiana has an approval process for educator preparation programs.

Educator Assessments

Indiana educators go through a multi-step assessment process. The state has its own assessment program, the CORE Assessments for Educator Licensure program (Indiana CORE Assessments).

The first step, required of most individuals who are brand new to teaching, is an assessment of general academic skills. This may entail taking the CASA. CASA assessments are not required for licensure but may be required for program entrance. Some students will be exempted based on scores on other academic tests. Those with master's degrees from regionally accredited institutions can be accepted into education programs without documentation of test scores.

Candidates will later take the pedagogy/ developmental exam that corresponds to their grade band. They will also take an examination that is specific to the subject area they will be teaching.

Pearson administers Indiana CORE Assessments. Teachers will find a dedicated website with information about examination preparation, registration, and policy (

Most subjects can be added to an existing teaching license by examination. This is not the case, though, with early childhood, elementary, exceptional needs, communication disorders, English learners, high ability, or fine arts. A teacher can add one of these subjects only by completing a new program. Examination is additional validation.

Indiana officially recognizes Montessori credentialing. The process for adding a Montessori endorsement is somewhat different.

Indiana Teacher License Reciprocity

Individuals who have completed educator preparation programs in other states can apply in Indiana, though, depending on circumstances, they may have additional requirements to meet. Indiana requires content area assessments but may issue temporary permits to out-of-state teachers who have not had them.

There are some endorsements that Indiana can grant only to a person who has completed a program in that area, though again a reciprocal permit may be issued.

The licensing agency has provided application instructions for several scenarios, including out-of-state licensees who have completed CAEP-accredited or state-approved programs in other states and have met content area assessment requirements, out-of-state licensees who completed similar programs but were not required to take content area assessments, and individuals who hold bachelor’s degrees and Montessori certification. Some teachers may meet base requirements by virtue of degree and experience.

Indiana mandates Heimlich Maneuver/ CPR training and suicide prevention training for all teachers. The Department of Education has provided links to approved CPR providers ( and online suicide prevention training programs (

The Application Process

Prospective teachers apply online, through the Licensing Verification and Information System (LVIS) system (

In-state students will be recommended by their institution. They are advised to contact the licensing advisor at their own school with their questions.

Additional Information

Indiana educators are under the authority of the Indiana Department of Education. A customer service specialist can be reached at (317) 232-9010. Licensing questions can be directed to’Licensinghelp at’. Other contact information is available online (

Requirements periodically change. During 2018 and 2019, Indiana is completing the transition from Rules for Educator Preparation and Accountability (REPA) to REPA III.

The Indiana State Teacher’s Association is an additional professional resource but is not involved with licensing (