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Teachers from Out-of-State/Out-of-Country

Preparing to Apply

This checklist is for ...

Completers of out-of-state/out-of-country teacher preparation programs applying for their first Colorado teacher license (not alternative or CTE authorizations). 

Not in the right place? Review the other checklists.


  • An earned bachelor's or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university (or, for those with transcripts from outside the U.S., the equivalent as determine by a NACES member organization-prepared equivalency report);
  • Completion of an approved teacher preparation program, including student teaching (note: you must hold or be eligible to hold a teacher license in the state which it is approved); and
  • Documentation of content knowledge for each endorsement requested, to include one or more of the following:

Plan Ahead

Base Application Fee:


License Expires:

1, 3 or 7 years from date of issue depending on qualifications

Gather the Necessary Information/Documentation

You will need the following* to submit a complete application for a TEACHER license:

  • A valid form of government-issued identification. 
  • A copy of an official transcript for every college/university attended. [Unofficial transcripts are never accepted. Do not include them in your application.]
    • Of these transcripts, at least one must be an official, degree-conferred transcript from a regionally accredited college or university that demonstrates a bachelor's or higher degree.
    • Transcripts from institutions outside the US must be in English or include an authentic English translation and have been evaluated by a NACES member organization for course-by-course equivalency.
  • An approved program verification form completed by the registrar or certification officer of the college/university where you completed your program OR three or more years of full-time, fully licensed post-preparation teaching experience (not as a substitute, alternative, emergency, provisional, probationary, temporary or international teacher) within the past seven years in the content area(s) requested in the state of licensure. (You must hold a valid license with the endorsement(s) requested and have at least three years' full-time experience in each of the endorsement areas requested to qualify for the endorsement(s) via this provision.)
    • If requesting to be evaluated for more than one endorsement area, you must meet the requirements for each endorsement area requested.
      • Out-of-state applicants who completed an alternative preparation program but who have not yet accrued the three years' fully licensed experience post-preparation must also include an official, signed letter from the department of education in the state in which you completed the alternative program confirming that the program you completed was indeed state-approved. It must also outline entry and exit requirements for the alternative program you completed.
      • Individuals who completed programs at universities outside the United States do not need the program verification form, as that information will be included on the NACES member-prepared course-by-course equivalency report.
  • Documentation of content knowledge for each endorsement requested, to include one or more of the following:
    • A score report for any Colorado State Board of Education-approved exam passed;
      • Do not include results for exams other than those specifically accepted by the state of Colorado.
      • If you have not taken any of the exams listed, please do not select an exam in the pull-down menu. CDE will review your application materials to determine whether an exam is required.
    • A completed endorsement worksheet;
    • A CDE-provided Multiple Measures of Content Competency approval notice.
    • Our Credentialing Guide for Out-of-State Applicants provides clarification on what to expect from the licensure evaluation process.
  • All prior work experience.
  • Copies of all educator licenses (valid or expired)
    • Important note: The combination of the work experience you list and the license copies you provide is what determines "licensed experience." If you do not provide a license to cover work experience listed, that experience will not be factored into the evaluation or final outcomes.
  • Documentation for any self-disclosures related to the following:
    • Prior criminal history
    • Disciplinary actions
    • Issues related to licensure or employment

Then ...

  • Log in to COOL to create your licensure account (if you have not already done so.)
  • Submit fingerprints (via the dark blue "CDE licensure" icon) to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
    • Ensure you have a current background check on file. You have 30 days from the time CDE receives your background check to apply for a license.
    • If you have submitted fingerprints for CDE credentialing in the past, but allowed all credentials to lapse or did not submit within the 30-day window, you must submit a new set of fingerprints to CBI for licensure purposes.
    • The status of your background checks will be noticed in your COOL account and within your application(s).


Have everything ready to go?

Once you have gathered all required documentation, have submitted fingerprints to CBI for CDE licensure purposes and have reviewed the licensure process, log in to your COOL account to complete and submit a TEACHER application.

Final Reminders

At the risk of repeating ourselves, we again reiterate these important reminders:

  • You have 30 days from the time CDE receives your background checks to submit an application or you will need to submit a new set of fingerprints for licensure purposes at the time of application.
  • By submitting an application, you are verifying that you have submitted fingerprints for CDE licensure purposes, provided all requested documentation and answered all questions truthfully.
  • Within 45 days of receipt (usually far sooner!), CDE will evaluate the application.
    • Upon determination of qualification, CDE will notify the applicant and the corresponding certificate will be available for view or print in the individual's COOL account.
  • If for some reason CDE is not able to access all documentation in the application, the application will be deemed "incomplete" and CDE will notify the applicant via email and specify the information needed to complete it. This includes notification that we have yet to receive your background checks!
    • An applicant has 60 days from the date of this notification to cure the deficiency (i.e., provide the necessary information or submit background checks) or submit to the department a written request for reconsideration stating the basis for the request. Additional time is not granted to those who receive this notification due to background checks. Any additional deficiency noticed also will need to be cured within the original 60-day period.
      • Requests for reconsideration do not apply to background checks.
      • CDE will provide a written response within 30 days of any request for reconsideration.
    • An applicant who fails to cure the deficiency or request reconsideration within these 60 days will be deemed as having withdrawn the application, and such withdrawal shall not be subject to appeal or review.
  • State statute prohibits the refunding of any application evaluation fee.
  • Once you have submitted an application, check your COOL account regularly for notifications on its status and/or to print a copy of your certificate.




For questions, submit a Licensing Support Request form or call 720-739-3304 (7:30 am to 12:30 pm, Monday through Friday).