Provisional Certificate

The Office of Teacher and Administrator Certification at Western Michigan University provides information to new graduates that assist them in becoming certified.

Initial certification

Initial certification must be obtained within five years of program completion and testing. Failure to be certified within this time period will require a program review and a retake of the subject area test(s).

Secondary education

Candidates seeking initial secondary certification, including K-12, must pass the appropriate Michigan Test for Teacher Certification subject area test(s) in the major area(s) of preparation—regardless of areas in which they will intern teach—prior to certification.¹

In addition to a passing score on the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification subject area test in their language, candidates in Spanish, French, German and Russian must achieve a minimum score of Advanced Low and candidates in Arabic, Chinese and Japanese must achieve a minimum score of Intermediate High on the Oral Proficiency Interview prior to internship and certification

Elementary education

The elementary education test (#103) is mandatory for all candidates seeking elementary certification including all special education and early childhood candidates.

¹Public act 282 (1992) and 267 (1986).

initial provisional certification requirements

Completion of the steps below is required for obtaining your provisional certificate:

  1. Bachelor’s degree—your degree must be awarded when applying for certification. If you are a post-baccalaureate initial teacher certification candidate, please understand that all education coursework must be completed as well.
  2. Michigan Test for Teacher Certification subject area exam—must be passed before applying.
    Please visit the following link for test dates and study guides:
    If you are unsure about which test to take, please contact our office.
    • Elementary majors—must pass the elementary education test #103.
    • Early childhood majors—must pass the elementary education test #103; must also pass the early childhood test #106 to add the optional ZS endorsement.
    • Special education majors—must pass the elementary education test #103 and one special education endorsement area subject test.
    • Secondary or K12 majors—must pass the MTTC major subject.
  3. Adult and Child CPR and Standard First Aid—are required for certification and must be taken at an approved agency. There are two places where you can find approved courses:
  4. Complete additional requirements if you are seeking an interim occupational certificate—visit the occupational certification website for the checklist.
  5. Set up your Michigan educator accounts and apply for certification—step by step directions on setting up your Michigan educator accounts.
  6. Apply for your provisional certificate; if eligible for both the provisional and the interim occupational certificates, submit them together.
  7. Report convictions—honestly report any conviction or civil infraction, excluding speeding tickets.
    • Must report conviction information on all of your applications for current certification and all future certifications.
    • Provide the Judgment of Sentence, Register of Actions or Case History for each offense to our office.
  8. University review and recommendation—after application, your identified university will review and recommend the application. Please allow five to seven business days for this process; a conviction may delay this process.
  9. Pay for your certificate—The Michigan Department of Education charges a $160 fee for your provisional certificate. If an application for both a provisional and an interim occupational certificate are submitted together, there is only one $160 fee.
  10. Print your certificate—Once the fee is paid, you will need to print your certificate and obtain notarization. The provisional certificate and interim occupational certificate are valid for six years.

Print friendly initial provisional checklist 

 Provisional Certificate Renewal Information

For teachers holding a Michigan provisional certificate that is due to expire but do not meet the requirements for the professional certificate, review the Provisional Certificate Renewal Information.

If you still have questions regarding your provisional certificate or your certification renewal, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page.