Recruit and Retain: The Future of Education

Teacher Certification in New Hampshire

New Hampshire teachers hold certification and endorsement. Their certification authorizes them to teach; their endorsements qualify them to teach in particular areas. Endorsements may be in school subjects and/ or grade bands.

Pathways to Teaching Certification in New Hampshire

The traditional route to teacher certification involves completing an approved educator program. The bachelor's program may be approved in New Hampshire or in another state. The New Hampshire Department of Education has provided a list of approved educator programs ( The list was revised in July of 2018.

New Hampshire has rules in place for awarding certification to professionals who have gained expertise through methods other than completion of an approved program. The state extends reciprocity to licensed out-of-state teachers who have at least three years of recent experience. They will need to meet testing requirements, but the licensing authority may accept comparable exams already completed.

The ‘Alternative 3’ pathway allows for certification of individuals who have teaching experience following portfolio review and an oral interview. Portfolio items will vary depending on academic area; the portfolio could include items such as art portfolios or videotapes. Alternative 3B allows for state credentialing on the basis of a nationally recognized certification. A teacher who was certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards would fall under this category.

Introductory Experience: Student Teaching or Post-Baccalaureate Internship

Traditional programs include student teaching. New Hampshire Rule Chapter 600 states that New Hampshire education students will have early field experiences and a culminating experience where they take on the full teaching role.

Individuals who hold bachelor's degrees may be hired into actual teaching positions before completing a program. They will ultimately complete a program but it may be different than the traditional one.

Alternative 4 allows for placement of teachers in critical shortage areas. In 2017, the list of critical shortage areas included secondary and middle grades mathematics, chemistry, physics, English as a second language, classical languages, world languages: American Sign Language, general special education, and early childhood special education, among others.

Alternative 5 is an additional option; it is considered a site-based credential. A teacher employed under Alternative 4 will have an Individual Professional Development Plan. Some positions (e.g. special education) cannot be filled through Alternative 4. An individual seeking placement at the secondary level will need 30 credit hours of coursework in the academic area. An individual seeking elementary placement will need to have had coursework in English, math, science, and social studies. New Hampshire has set minimum GPA requirements.

State rule allows for colleges to recognize life experiences as contributing to teacher competencies for those at the post-baccalaureate level. There are, however, some limits.

New Hampshire Teacher Endorsements

Teachers who work with younger students are often generalists. New Hampshire recognizes elementary credentials at both the K-6 and K-8 levels; the early childhood endorsement covers nursery school through grade 3.

There are also a number of specialized endorsements: some content-focused, some population-focused. They may cover the full grade range or a more limited range.

Endorsements are offered in core academic subjects in the grades 5-8 band: English, math, science, and social studies. Most of these endorsements are also available at the grades 5-12 or 7-12 level. However, at this secondary level, there are multiple science endorsements as opposed to a single general one; options include chemistry, earth and space science, life science, physical science, and physics.

The following are among the New Hampshire endorsement options:

  • Visual Arts Education
  • Computer Science
  • Physical Education
  • Comprehensive Family and Consumer Science Education
  • Comprehensive Business Education
  • Reading and Writing Teacher
  • Blind and Visual Disabilities
  • Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities
  • Specific Learning Disabilities

Currently, New Hampshire has eleven world language endorsements: nine modern languages and two classical languages.

The Assessment Process

Candidates can expect to take one or more tests along the way. Many are part of the ETS Praxis series. The Core test may be required for program admission; it tests prerequisite academic skills. Some students may be exempted on the basis of other qualifying scores (SAT, ACT, GRE). Demonstration of basic skills competency is required even of reciprocity candidates, though other tests may be accepted.

Subject area tests are offered as part of the Praxis series. Candidates will find multiple pages specific to New Hampshire on the ETS site (

Individuals seeking K-6, K-8, early childhood, and reading and writing teacher endorsements take the Foundations of Reading for New Hampshire test unless they have completed an equivalent test for another state. This test is also computer-delivered. Candidate information is available on a Pearson Education website (

The Application Process

Individuals who complete New Hampshire professional educator preparation programs can expect their programs to initiate the certification process by providing an institutional recommendation online. They will then go online to set up their account and pay fees. They can direct questions about the process to their programs.

Other prospective teachers can apply online or via paper application. Links to both options can be found on the website of the Bureau of Credentialing (

Out-of-state applicants will provide transcripts. Reciprocity applicants will either need an institutional recommendation from their school or verification of qualifying experience. Directions can be found in the application packet.

The fee is generally $130 for the first credential.

Alternative 4 and 5 applicants begin the process by seeking a statement of eligibility.

Additional Information

New Hampshire teachers are under the jurisdiction of the New Hampshire Department of Education ( Questions can be addressed by email to ‘Cert.Info at’ or by telephone to 603-271-2409.