Certification Requirements to Become a Math Teacher in Missouri

Follow these four steps to become a math teacher in Missouri:

Complete a Math Educator Program
Take the Praxis II Math Exam and the MoGEA
Apply for Your Missouri Math Teacher’s License
Meet the Requirements to Renew Your Missouri Math Teacher’s License

Missouri’s math teachers helped design the new Mathematics Learning Standards that were implemented during the 2013-2014 school year. These changes are expected to better prepare Missouri’s high school graduates for college, and for the careers they will eventually pursue.

Sponsored Content

In keeping with the Common Core Standards for math, students in Missouri are being taught to apply their knowledge of math to real world situations.

The mathematics department of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) provides assistance to math teachers and other stakeholders as they adapt to the new standards. School districts and their math teachers are responsible for designing their own curricula and choosing which math texts to use to support these standards.

The DESE certifies math teachers in Missouri to teach math to grades 9-12 or 5-9. In addition, the DESE offers the option of becoming certified as a math specialist for grades 1-6.



Step 1. Complete a Math Educator Program

You will need to have a bachelor’s degree at minimum to become a math teacher in Missouri. There are several routes you can take ranging from getting a bachelor’s degree from a designated teacher education program, to pursuing certification through an alternate route.

Traditional Route

Many math teachers in Missouri obtain their certification to teach math by studying both math and education at one of the DESE’s approved teacher education programs offered at the bachelor’s or post-bachelor’s level. As of 2014, 35 schools were approved to prepare math teachers.

Grades 9-12 – The DESE requires specific coursework to become certified as a high school math teacher. In addition to your courses in the foundations and methods of teaching, you must also take at least 30 semester hours in math with courses in the following areas:

  • Algebraic structures – 3 semester hours
  • Calculus and analytical geometry – 8 semester hours
  • Computer science – 2 semester hours
  • Geometry – 3 semester hours

You must also take 4 semester hours of electives in these areas. In addition you must take at least 10 semester hours from at least three areas of math such as:

  • Completion calculus sequence
  • Computer science
  • History of mathematics
  • Linear algebra
  • Math for exceptional children
  • Number theory
  • Probability and statistics
  • Structure of the real number system

Teaching experience is an additional requirement. You need to have at least two semester hours of clinical experience at the secondary level before you start your minimum of eight hours of student teaching.

You must also have a GPA of 2.5 overall in your math courses, and you will need a recommendation from the designated official from your teacher education program.

Grades 5-9 –If you want to become a middle school math teacher, you will need to take a much greater number of courses in pedagogy. You will need just 21 semester hours of course specifically in math. You will also need:

  • 10 hours of clinical experience in teaching
  • A 2.5 GPA at minimum
  • A recommendation from your teacher education designated official

Alternative or Innovative Route

If you already have a bachelor’s degree in math, but haven’t completed the required pedagogy and student teaching, you may be able to teach while studying in a post-bachelor’s teacher education program.

Sponsored Content

You can become certified as a math teacher in Missouri through the Alternative or Innovative Route by pursuing a post baccalaureate certificate or Master’s degree in Education.

These routes will require you to take about 30 semester hours of pedagogy courses and then pass an exit exam.

Temporary Authorization Route

The Temporary Authorization Route will also allow you to become certified as a math teacher in Missouri if you have an existing bachelor’s degree in math, but not pedagogy courses or student teaching experience.

The Temporary Authorization Route to math teacher certification in Missouri will require you to take the following steps:

  • Take self-directed math courses
  • Teach for 2 years
  • Be mentored by your school district
  • Pass at least two exit exams

Certification as a Mathematics Specialist for Grades 1-6

You must meet a number of requirements to become certified as a mathematics specialist for grades 1-6:

  • A valid Missouri permanent or professional teaching license
  • Two years of experience teaching math
  • The recommendation of the designated official for teacher education in an institution approved for teaching math in Missouri
  • At least 24 additional semester hours in the following:
    • Mathematical content knowledge
    • Pedagogical content knowledge for math
    • Foundations of leadership
    • Clinical experiences



Step 2. Take a Praxis II Math Exam and the MoGEA

You have to take two sets of exams to show that you have mastered the skills required to teach, and that you have a high level of expertise in math.

Praxis II Math

You will have to take one of the Praxis II math exams depending on which type of certification you are applying for.

Grades 9-12 – To get certified to teach high school math, you will need to take the Mathematics 9-12 test and obtain a score of 167. This 150-minute test covers the following categories:

  • Geometry, probability and statistics, and discrete mathematics
  • Number and quantity, algebra, functions, and calculus

Grades 5-9 – For middle school math teacher certification in Missouri, you will need to take the Middle School Mathematics 5-9 test. This 2-hour test combines multiple-choice questions with constructed response questions, measuring your knowledge in the following content categories:

  • Arithmetic and basic algebra
  • Data, probability, and statistical concepts; Discrete mathematics
  • Functions and their graphs
  • Geometry and measurement
  • Problem-solving exercises


You will also have to pass the Missouri General Education Assessment, which assesses your general knowledge and proficiency in:

  • Mathematics
  • English language arts
  • Social science
  • Science
  • Writing



Step 3. Apply for Your Missouri Math Teacher’s License

Traditional Route

You will apply for your Missouri math certification through your school once you have completed the following steps:

  • Passed your exams
  • Obtained a recommendation from the designated official at your school

You will also need to schedule an appointment for the State Highway Patrol to take your fingerprints and perform a background check. You can skip this step if you have had a background check within the past year.

You will receive an initial certificate to teach math once your application has been approved.

Alternative Route

When you meet the following requirements, you can apply for a Provisional Certificate:

  • Within 12 semester hours of completing an approved teacher education program
  • Enrolled in an approved alternative program

You will have to take the following steps to get your certification:

  • Undergo a background check
  • Have your original transcripts sent to Educator Certification (PO Box 480, Jefferson City, MO 6502)
  • Have your school send the plan of study that you will complete

You will be able to obtain an Initial Certificate once you have completed the following:

  • Your coursework
  • Your exams
  • A recommendation from your school

Temporary Authorization Route

Under the Temporary Authorization Route, you will need to obtain a one-year renewable certificate while you are taking your additional courses and teaching. To get your certificate renewed each year, you will have to clock 9 semester hours per year.

The DESE will provide you with an Initial Certificate once you have completed all of your requirements.



Step 4. Meet the Requirements to Renew Your Missouri Math Teacher’s License

Only Initial Certificates and the Temporary One Year Authorization certificates can be renewed. You can teach for four years on an Initial Certificate before you need to renew it. You should do this 1-2 months before it expires.

Sponsored Content

You will need to meet these conditions to qualify for renewal:

  • 15 hours of professional development contact hours (1 college credit hour)
  • Proof of mentoring

Back to Top