Preparing Educators as Leaders

Licensure FAQ

"I'm a licensed teacher and need to add an endorsement. I've heard some rules changed in 2012 that could help me - is that true?"

Yes, in June 2012, KSDE extended a rule which helped 5,000 teachers add endorsements over the next 5 years: licensed teachers may add an endorsement in any area (except Elementary, Early Childhood, Special Education or Administration) simply by passing the appropriate licensure exam. This was a radical change from prior practice. After you receive the passing score, file the Form 22 from the KSDE web site.

"I'm licensed in another state. How can I become licensed in Kansas?"

Download the Form 2 Out-of-State application from the KSDE web site. One page of the application will go to the Licensure Officer at the school where you completed your teacher education program.

"I just finished the coursework for my ESOL endorsement at KU. What form do I need to file to add this to my license?"

If your regular Kansas license is current, visit the KSDE web site and take about 15 minutes to read the instructions for the online Form 1 and file it. We must have your passing ESOL subject exam on file at KU to complete the application.

"I need to renew my regular license and add an endorsement at the same time - how can I do this?"

You can renew a license only 6 months before it expires. When you want to complete two actions at the same time, it takes two applications. If you complete both applications at the same time, you may save money, since KSDE will typically only charge one fee. Contact the licensure officer by email if you have questions, describe your situation and include your KUID and mailing address.

"My Kansas certificate has lapsed. What do I need to do to renew it?"

We are not the authorities for renewals at KU.  Most newer licenses will have renewal requirements printed on the bottom of them. Under the new licensure system, you may have to work with your school's Professional Development Council (PDC) to seek their approval for renewal requirements. Talk to your employer, your local school district, or KSDE if you have questions. Renewals are processed directly through KSDE in Topeka, Kansas. If you have specific questions, please call 785-291-3678 and ask to talk to a Licensure Consultant. You will follow the renewal rules in place when your last certificate/license was issued. If you haven't taught recently, you may need 8 college credits (earned in the past 6 years). Courses should be in an area for which you plan to seek an added endorsement, such as Special Education, ESOL, Administration or another teaching content area. We have many great course options in Lawrence, in Overland Park, and online. When finished with the courses, you will send an official transcript along with your renewal application.

"How do I order a KU transcript?"

Go to to order online or call the KU Registrar's Office at 785-864-8927. They will need some detailed information and a fee per transcript. Order hard copies in most cases, since many state licensure offices will not accept an electronic transcript.

"I mailed my out of state form to you two weeks ago. What's the status of my application?"

In the best of times, your application will leave my desk in about 7-10 days, however in busy periods and especially in the summer, it may take up to 3 weeks. Applications are processed in order of date received, except at the ends of semesters, when I process recent grads first. My best advice is to file early and allow enough time for processing!

"I already have a bachelor's degree but I want to become licensed to teach. How long will it take to complete KU's program?"

Depending on your background and the subject you want to teach, it may take 2-3 years of additional, full-time coursework to complete our teacher education program. First, decide what subjects and grade levels you are interested in teaching. For example, if you have a BA in History and want to become licensed in Secondary History and Government, it will usually take 2.5 years full-time at KU. If you have a BA in Psychology and a master's degree in Human Resources but you'd like to teach Elementary K-6 or Secondary English, it will take about three years full-time. Find detailed program and admissions requirements here.

If you want to work with children birth through kindergarten, both regular education and special education, we have a graduate level program in Early Childhood Unified (Birth-Kindergarten) through the Department of Special Education. Candidates typically have a degree in a human services area such as Psychology or Human Development, with at least a 3.0 GPA and experience working with young children.

School of Education Advisors are always happy to visit with you by email or appointment; contact them at or 785-864-9616. We can review your transcripts by appointment in Lawrence.

If you want to teach Art, visit the Visual Art Education program page.

If you want to teach Music, visit the Music Education program page.

If you want to teach Secondary Mathematics or Secondary Science, visit the UKanTeach web site.

"I am licensed in History & Government, but I'd like to add an endorsement in Special Education. What does it take to get a provisional license?"

Provisional licensure is available after completion of the appropriate methods, characteristics and practicum in the specific area requested. For example: High Incidence (Adaptive), Low Incidence (Functional), and Unified Early Childhood (Birth - Kindergarten). You must have a job offer requiring the special education endorsement before you can apply for this license. A provisional license is effective for two years, during which time most students can complete the remaining 5-6 courses in the program. If necessary, you may request a second provisional, allowing up to 4 years total to complete all the classes, as long as you have made sufficient progress during the first provisional.


"A local district wants to hire me as a Special Education teacher but I'm not licensed in special education yet. Can I work through KU to get a waiver while I'm taking classes for licensure?"

Yes, about 20 students do this every year. Call or email the licensure officer as soon as you have the job offer and review the licensure waiver instructions (pdf). You must be a regularly licensed teacher in Kansas, admitted to KU and enrolled in one course before we can write the plan of study letter.  KSDE deadlines for receiving waiver applications from schools are November 1 and February 1. Some districts will not employ teachers under waivers, as they must be listed as "not highly qualified".

"I've heard there have been changes in Early Childhood Education in Kansas. Can you tell me about that?"

Under the old system, early childhood level was defined as birth through age 5 (strictly pre-school) and separate programs prepared teachers in regular education or special education. Under the new licensure system, Early Childhood Unified is offered at two levels (birth-3rd grade or birth-kindergarten), and prepares teachers for working with both regular and special education students. We admitted our first undergraduate group in UEC Birth-3rd grade in Fall 2005. This is a 4-year program and admission is highly competitive. Additionally, we offer a master's degree program for UEC, birth - kindergarten, which was approved in June 2008. This is a 33-hour master's degree program, an excellent licensure option for a person with a BA in Psychology, Human Development , Speech-Language-Hearing, or related area who wants to work with regular or special needs children birth through kindergarten. 

"I am moving to another state and need information on how to become licensed there? Can you help?"

The KU School of Education Licensure web site includes a full section on out-of-state licensure information. 

Licensure Announcements
  • KSDE no longer prints or mails paper licenses. Access your license online.
  • The ETS code for KU School of Education is 6871.
  • Fingerprint packets may be picked up in JRP Hall #208
KU Licensure Officer

Alisa Branham
#211 JRP Hall

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#1 public program in nation for special education
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Assists public schools and other partners in all 105 Kansas counties
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Research expenditures of $36,804,773 for 2011-12
Research from KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, assists educators, children, and families across the United States
The award-winning special education faculty published 140 refereed articles, 11 books, and 60 chapters in 2015-16
Students with intellectual disabilities are participating in KU undergraduate programs through a grant-funded KU special education program
Researchers on a $3.5 million grant are collecting data on an innovative reading program designed to teach reading to students with the most significant disabilities in seven Kansas school districts
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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