AR Certification Requirements and Available Licenses

Arkansas Certification Requirements and Available Licenses


Early Childhood Education (P-4)

Elementary (K-6)*

Special Education (K-12)

Social Studies - Secondary (7-12)

Mathematics - Secondary (7-12)

Earth Science (7-12)

Biology/Life Science (7-12)

Chemistry (7-12)

Physics (7-12)

English Language Arts - Secondary (7-12)

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) (K-12)

Building-Level Administrator (P-12)

*Arkansas may also award additional 4-8 licenses based on applying with a Utah K-8 Elementary license.

Arkansas has the following general requirements for those who apply for initial teacher certification via completion of an out-of-state teacher preparation program (i.e. reciprocity):

1. RECIPROCITY / INITIAL OUT-OF-STATE LICENSE: Teaching license awarded by another state's department of education (Please see Utah teacher certification requirements).

2. DEGREE REQUIREMENTS: Graduation from a Bachelor's degree or more advanced degree program.

3. PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS: Completion of a teacher preparation program approved by a department of education to lead to teacher certification.

4. BACKGROUND CLEARANCE: Background clearance resulting from completion of the required background check at the time of application for certification. Note that you will complete two separate background checks for WGU during your program and a third background check for certification after you graduate.

5. EXAM REQUIREMENTS: Applicants with fewer than three years of teaching experience on the out-of-state teaching license they are using to apply for certification in Arkansas through reciprocity must submit passing score reports for the exam(s) they passed for that state's Initial or Standard teaching license.  These exams may be accepted in lieu of exams(s) required for Arkansas teacher licensure in compatible areas.


If the out-of-state licensing state doesn't require content area and pedagogy exams (and the stand-alone reading assessment for licensure in Elementary Education (K-6) or Special Education (K-12)), the applicant must submit passing scores, for the corresponding exams approved by the Arkansas State Board to qualify for Arkansas licensure.


The Department of Education will notify the applicant if any additional exams will be required after their application has been reviewed.  If additional exams are required, you will still be issued your one-year provisional license and have the first year to take any exams deemed necessary.

6. AR HISTORY COURSE: Arkansas requires that all teachers being licensed in early childhood, elementary, any middle school area, or secondary social studies must complete a three-hour course in Arkansas History before receiving a standard Arkansas teaching license. Note: This coursework is not offered by WGU and must be taken at a local AR college/university. A one-year, non-renewable provisional teaching license is available for those that haven’t completed the three-hour Arkansas History course. During that year’s time, this course must be taken.


All WGU graduates will receive a one-year provisional license. During the first year of teaching, they will make up additional requirements as described above.

A full, detailed outline of these requirements is available on the AR Department of Education Reciprocity web page.


7. TEACHING PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT: Completion of the Arkansas Teaching Performance Assessment (for students beginning demonstration teaching on or after 8/1/2016).


Important Information About Teaching Licenses in Arkansas:  Effective January 1, 2019, Arkansas will implement a tiered licensing system. Applicants who are eligible for the Standard License will receive an Early Career Professional Educator License, a five year, renewable teaching license. 



Article Number: 19384, 1688
Version history
Revision #:
14 of 14
Last update:
‎01-22-2019 02:49 PM
Updated by:
Labels (1)
Tags (1)