Certification Requirements to Become a Math Teacher in Maryland

If you want to become a math teacher in Maryland will need to complete the following steps to become certified:

Complete a Bachelor’s Degree and Educator Preparation Program in Math
Complete the Math Teacher Testing Requirements
Apply for Certification as a Math Teacher in Maryland
Renew and Upgrade Your Math Teacher Certification

Math teachers in Maryland prepare the state’s students to excel in the job market of the future. Seventy-three percent of eligible Maryland students took the SAT last year, and the state is consistently in the top 15 among states with the highest scores. As the world’s dependence on technology grows, students with strong math skills have become recognized as vital to the United States being competitive within the global job market of the 21st century.

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Prospective math teachers in Maryland will need to meet the certification requirements as established by the Department of Education’s Division of Certification.



Step 1. Complete a Bachelor’s Degree and Educator Preparation Program in Math

Your first step will be to earn a bachelor’s degree in the field of mathematics that is combined with an approved program for teaching math. There are currently 17 programs available in Maryland’s colleges and universities that offer a bachelor’s degree in math that also results in eligibility for a teaching certificate. As you set off studying math you can expect to take introductory and advanced courses in areas like:

  • Algebra
  • Calculus
  • Statistics
  • Discrete mathematics
  • Geometry

Your math teaching program will build on the skills you develop in mathematics and combine this with pedagogy courses, preparing you to become an effective classroom teacher.

As part of your teaching program you can expect to take courses focused on teaching skills and lesson development that will culminate in a student teaching assignment. Student teaching is a chance for you to put your theoretical knowledge of math and pedagogy to the test while under the close supervision of an experienced math teacher.

Alternative Programs for Students that Already Have at Least a Bachelor’s Degree

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If you already have a bachelor’s degree in the mathematics field but have not completed an approved teaching program you will have several options:

  • Complete a math teaching program during post-bachelor’s study (there are 19 such programs in Maryland).
  • Complete an alternate teaching program in math that leads to certification eligibility. These programs will start with an intensive segment focusing on pedagogy and education, followed by immediate classroom placement with close collaboration with an assigned mentor. Alternate teaching programs replace the traditional student teaching experience with on-the-job training.
  • Become eligible for a teaching certificate in the field of mathematics through a transcript analysis of your higher education experience. The requirements for this include the completion of:
    • Half of your total courses must be from the same institution
    • At least a bachelor’s degree or 30 semester credits in math
    • At least 21 semester credits that focus on teaching and education
    • Supervised mathematics teaching experience in the classroom or at least one year of teaching experience

Out-of-State Candidates

If you are from out-of-state you may be eligible for teaching certification in Maryland if you have completed a mathematics educator preparation program approved by your home state.



Step 2. Complete the Math Teacher Testing Requirements

Passing the appropriate tests is another one of the essential requirements for math teacher jobs in Maryland. You will need to pass two exams, both of which administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS):

  • Praxis I Exams for essential knowledge
  • Praxis II Exam for knowledge in the field of mathematics

Praxis I Exams

To ensure that all prospective teachers in the state possess the essential basic skills for communication, Maryland requires teaching candidates to pass three Praxis exams that will evaluate your basic knowledge of:

You can take these exams separately or combined as one long test. You may qualify for an exemption to these exams if you have achieved the corresponding minimum score on any of the following tests:

  • SAT between April 1995 and January 2005 – 1100
  • SAT after January 2005 – combined verbal and math score of 1100
  • ACT composite score of 24
  • GRE General Test combined verbal and quantitative score of 297
  • GRE before September 2011 – composite score of 1000

Praxis II Exam

This exam is offered in two formats depending on which grade levels of math students you intend to teach:

You can consult a study guide for the middle school mathematics test, which is to be completed over the course of 120 minutes and made up of 55 questions in the subject areas of:

    • Arithmetic and algebra
      • Numbers and operations
      • Manipulation of formulas, equations, and expressions
      • Representation of linear functions on a graph
      • Linear equations and inequalities


  • Geometry and data
    • Geometrical measurement
    • Discrete mathematics, probability, and statistics

If you are going to be taking the test for grades 7-12 you may also find it helpful to consult a study guide. There are 150 minutes allocated for the completion of this exam, which is comprised of 60 questions on the subjects of:

  • Number and quantity
  • Functions
  • Calculus
  • Algebra
  • Probability and statistics
  • Discrete mathematics
  • Geometry



Step 3. Apply for Certification as a Math Teacher in Maryland

Once you have completed a bachelor’s degree in math, a teaching preparation program, and passed the necessary tests you will be ready to make an application to the Certification Branch of the Department of Education.

There are three different types of certification you can apply for, depending on the path you have taken for eligibility:

  • Professional Eligibility Certificate for candidates who are not currently employed as a teacher in a Maryland school (this is the most common certificate for first-time applicants)
  • Standard Professional Certificate for candidates who are already employed as a teacher in a Maryland school
  • Resident Teacher Certificate for candidates who are participating in an alternative teaching preparation program

To initiate an application, submit the following materials to the Department of Education’s Certification Branch at 200 West Baltimore Street, zip code 21201 in Baltimore:

  • Application for Certification
  • Official transcripts from your degree and teaching preparation program
  • Test scores
  • $10 application fee
  • Cover letter with your personal information and type of certification for which you are applying

It can take up to 16 weeks to process your application for certification, and if you are successful you will be ready to start seeking vacant job positions in your new career.



Step 4. Renew and Upgrade Your Math Teaching Certification

Once you find employment as a math teacher in Maryland you can obtain a Standard Professional Certificate that is valid for five years. You can renew this by obtaining six semester credits that relate to the teaching of mathematics. These must be earned through a college, university, or an approved continuing professional development course.

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You can also upgrade your Standard Professional Certificate (SPC) to an SPC II after five years, provided you can meet the following requirements:

  • 3 years of verified teaching performance that judged to be at least satisfactory
  • 6 semester credits related to the improving your mathematics teaching
  • A professional development plan that details how you will become qualified for an Advanced Professional Certificate – the next level up from an SPC II – by continuing your professional growth

The math teacher certification requirements for an Advanced Professional Certificate are:

  • Hold an SCP II for at least five years
  • 3 years of satisfactory teaching
  • 6 semester credits that help you to become a better math teacher
  • Meet one of the following three options:
      • Master’s degree
      • National Board Certification and at least 12 semester credits of graduate-level courses
      • 36 semester credits of post-bachelor education
        • At least 21 of these credits must be at the graduate level

National Board Certification is conferred by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). This is a non-profit nation-wide organization that maintains a set of standards for recognizing educator excellence in many fields. As a math teacher, you will be eligible for NBPTS certification for the grade levels you teach, either:

Becoming certified will require you to collect proof of your effective teaching as demonstrated in your job performance, professional development, and student achievement over the course of a year. You will submit this evidence in a portfolio for review to the NBPTS and will also need to pass several assessments during this period of time.

Professional Organizations

Professional organizations are a good place to meet colleagues, find information about employment, or get the latest on continuing professional development. The following are some of the math teacher professional resources in Maryland:

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