Certification Requirements to Become a Math Teacher in Montana

You will need to complete these steps to become a math teacher in Montana:

Complete a Bachelor’s Program at Minimum that Includes a Teacher Prep Program
Apply for Your Montana State Math Teacher’s License
Meet Montana’s Continuing Education Requirements

Montana adopted the Common Core Standards for math in 2011 and implemented them in the classroom in the 2013-2014 school year. These changes in the math curriculum are projected to better prepare Montana’s students for college, and the workforce in the 21st century.

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The Montana Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practices and Mathematics Content are designed to make the teaching of math more focused and coherent.

Elementary teachers in Montana are eligible to teach all subjects. Specialized teachers with a math endorsement teach at the secondary grade 5-12 levels in Montana. These teachers are also mandated by the state’s Constitution to incorporate the distinct and unique cultural heritage of American Indians in Montana into their math curriculum.



Step 1. Complete a Bachelor’s Program at Minimum that Includes a Teacher Prep Program

All teaching licenses offered by the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) will require you to complete at least a bachelor’s degree.

The standard way to become a math teacher in Montana is to enroll in a teacher education program. Alternate licensing options are also if you have a non-teaching bachelor’s degree in math.

If you have obtained a bachelor’s degree in teaching math from an approved Montana teacher educator program, you can apply for a Standard License. Of the nine schools approved by the OPI, eight offer a major or minor in teaching mathematics. A Standard License is also appropriate if you earn a master’s or doctoral degree in math education.

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A standard license requires you to have:

  • 40 semester credit hours in mathematics


  • 30 semester credit hours in a math major PLUS 20 semester credit hours in a content minor

Supervised teaching experience is also required to obtain a Class 2 Standard License. There are two ways that you can get this experience:

  • As part of your teacher preparation program
  • Teaching for a year in a state accredited school district (elementary and/or secondary)



Step 2: Apply for Your Montana Math Teacher’s License

Once you have completed all of the requirements to obtain a license to teach math in Montana, you can apply at the OPI’s website where you can find applications and instructions on getting fingerprinted.

Professional License

You can become a math teacher with a Professional License if you meet the qualifications for a Standard License and have:

  • Three years of verifiable experience as a K-12 teacher


  • One of the following:
    • A master’s degree in professional education
    • A math endorsement from an accredited university or college

Alternative License

If you meet some of the requirements for Standard or Professional licenses, you may be able to get an Alternative License to teach math. People typically obtain this license when they have a bachelor’s degree in math, but have not completed a teacher preparation program. You will have to sign a Plan of Professional Intent that indicates that you will get the training necessary to obtain either a Standard or Professional license within three years.

Internships to Add a Math Endorsement

If you are an active teacher in another field, and your school has an opening for a math teacher, you may be able to add a math endorsement by participating in an internship. This involves an agreement between you, your school district and an accredited educator preparation program in Montana

You will have three years to complete your math courses to get the endorsement.



Step 3. Meet Montana’s Continuing Education Requirements

In addition to college credit, math teacher licenses require varying amounts of renewal units during each five-year renewal period. The definition of a renewal unit is as follows:

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  • 15 renewal units = 1 semester college credit
  • 10 renewal units = 1 quarter college credit
  • 1 renewal unit = 1 hour of workshop attendance
  • 60 renewal units = National Board for Professional Standards

You should be prepared to document that you have met the requirements for professional development in one of the following manners:

  • Official transcripts
  • Original renewal unit certificates
  • Original grade reports

Standard Licenses

You need to the meet the following requirements to renew your Standard License after you have had it for five years. You must complete the following to be eligible for renewal:

  • 6 quarter credits
  • 5 quarter credits and 10 renewal units
  • 4 quarter credits and 20 renewal units
  • 4 semester credits
  • 3 semester credits and 15 renewal units

You must renew this license by August 31 after its expiration date.

Professional and Class 8 Post Secondary Licenses

Both of these types of license require 60 renewal units.

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