It is required by law that public school teachers obtain certification in the state where they are employed. A teaching candidate does not need to be certified in any state except the state where she/he will be teaching. However, we strongly recommend applying for an Iowa teaching license upon graduation. Many school administrators will not consider a candidate for employment until the candidate has a teaching license from some state. Since all the courses necessary for Iowa licensure have been taken by Cornell teaching candidates, licensure in Iowa is assured.


  1. At a fall student teaching seminar a licensure application, waiver-release form and instructions or getting electronically fingerprinted will be given. The licensure application and waiver release form need to be turned into the Education Office at least two weeks prior to the electronic fingerprinting.
  2. Complete all forms and return them to the Education Office along with a $150 money order - personal checks will not be accepted. The money order covers the State's $85 fee for licensure and $65 fee for the background check.
  3. Arrangements are made by the Cornell Education Department to have electronic fingerprinting done by a Iowa Department of Education officer in the fall of the senior year so the background check can be completed on or before your graduation date.
  4. After the graduation ceremony and confirmation from the Registrar that all the requirements for graduation were completed, Ms. Diane Harrington shall complete the State of Iowa Department of Education on-line licensure application process. Generally, you will receive your Iowa license within 4 weeks after graduation.

To obtain a teaching certificate for any other state, check on-line for materials that may be downloaded to apply for a teaching certificate. URLs and addresses for each state's Teacher Education Division are available in the Education Office.

Some states have special requirements that the Cornell program does not meet. If you know that you wish to be certified in a particular state, you should contact that state's Teacher Certification Division and request a copy of the certification requirements. The Education Office (College Hall, room 103) has the requirements of most states on file.

The application forms from individual school districts often ask for the type of teaching license/certificate you hold. Your response on applications is that you are eligible for the "initial" Iowa license. The specific titles of teaching licenses/certificates vary from state to state.