Currently, the Massachusetts Department of Education requires teacher candidates to pass licensing exams. While we do not require these as entrance exams, they are required to obtain a state teaching credential. We support graduate students in this process through our Student Support Access and Success (SSAS) Framework. 

MTEL Tests Required for Licensure

Each time you take an MTEL, designate Stonehill College to receive your score. All tests are offered only as computer-based tests (CBT). Please visit Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's (DESE) Website for current information.

License Area: Initial licensure in special education, PreK-8 or 5-12

Required MTELS:

  • Communication and Literacy Skills (01)*
  • Foundations of Reading (90)**
  • General Curriculum (03)*

A score of 240 or higher on a subtest or test is reported on your Educator Licensure and Renewal (ELAR) account as a “Pass.” All educators must pass all required tests only once. For MTELs passed prior to your arrival at Stonehill College, provide score reports to your academic advisor.

A licensed teacher is not required to retake a previously passed MTEL but must pass the required subject tests when pursuing an additional license.

* These MTELS have two subtests. Candidates may take one or both subtests at a given administration. A passing score on a higher-level Mathematics MTEL (53, 47 or 09) will meet the math subtest requirement for General Curriculum, but is not recommended unless seeking math license.

** Take a literacy course before attempting the MTEL. 

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Planning for the MTEL

Advance planning is essential, and it is helpful to consult with your academic advisor. When it comes to licensure, it is best to work backwards and ask:

  1. How long is your program of study? When will you graduate?
  2. Will you need test accommodations? If so, alternative testing requests require extra time and planning.
  3. When do you plan to do your practicum?
  4. How many MTEL tests are required for the license you seek?

Allow time to retake an MTEL if not successful (at least 45 days are required), and plan for additional intensive preparation.

The Tests

  • This is a test, not a success measure of your life or of your entire knowledge base. Take the exam rested, nourished and as free of stress as possible.
  • Be familiar with test-taking strategies.
  • MTEL tests that you have passed and those you have attempted will show only on your own ELAR account. Districts cannot view attempts.
  • Keep a print copy of your MTEL reports in a safe location and bring them to advising meetings. Designate Stonehill College to receive your scores each time you register.
  • Keep your advisor informed of your plans.

You are required to use your MEPID# to register for each MTEL.

Specific Preparation Suggestions

  • Go to and print the test objectives for each exam required for your license and link objectives to Stonehill coursework and to the MA Curriculum Frameworks,
  • Print and take the practice MTEL(s) – attempt to replicate test conditions.
  • Go through computer-based testing (CBT) directions/tutorial several times before taking exam.
  • Seek peer support. Study together with a plan and schedule to boost performance. Consult with other teachers for help.
  • Use individualized tutorial support if needed for Communication and Literacy

MTEL/Licensure Resources

ELAR Account:

MTEL — Test Objectives, Test Dates, Practice Tests, Registration, Faculty Guide, Test Information Booklets

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: (MA DESE), 75 Pleasant St, Malden, Massachusetts, 02148-5023.

MTEL FAQs and MTEL Notices from ESE, Test Preparation info:

Licensure Requirements Tool:

Licensure Call Center: 781.338.6600, Monday-Friday, 9am-Noon and 2pm-5pm 24-hour Automated Line — 781.338.3000; press “2” to obtain status of existing license application

Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks:

Candidate Assessment of Performance:

Rethinking Equity and Teaching for English Language Learners (RETELL): — information about the Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Endorsement required for core academic teachers

Foreign Degree and Credit Equivalency (Transcript Evaluation Services)

Contact Information

Rebekah C. Louis

Rebekah C. Louis

Assistant Professor/Coordinator of Graduate Clinical Experience, Director of Graduate Teacher Education, Coordinator of Graduate Clinical Experience