Frequently Asked Questions

We get many variations on the "when" and "where" question but it all boils down to a few factors: The date the degree is posted to your transcript and whether all other items on your licensure checklist are complete!

When your degree is posted to your transcript, you have 1) a submitted licensure application in the AELS database, 2) paid the 75.00 application fee and 3) the licensure office has verified all Praxis scores, professional development, and course requirements (see your licensure checklist for a breakdown of needed items), you will be recommended for licensure (electronically) to the Arkansas Department of Education by the Razorback Educator Development Hub licensure officer.  At this time the U of A licensure officer will also request that your transcripts are sent to ADE electronically.

You will be able to check the status of your license in the Arkansas Educator Licensure System and see the date that we recommended or approved you for licensure: Arkansas Educator License System (AELS).

ADE will then begin their verification process to issue a teaching license to the applicant.  I anticipate this will take 10 to 14 days. During peak times (i.e. summer) processing can take longer – sometimes up to two weeks longer.

Please do not call the Arkansas Department of Education to inquire about the status unless it has been at least 2 weeks since the time that the university approved your recommendation for licensure on the AELS database.

After the license is issued, login to AELS and download an electronic copy. 



We have students completing degrees in the College of Education and Health Professions, Bumpers College, Fulbright College, and the Graduate School. All will generally have different timing for accomplishing the task of degree clearance. A good rule of thumb is to plan on at least 4 weeks after the actual graduation date.

A simple way to check whether the degree has been posted is to login to your UA Connect account and check the unofficial version of your transcript in your Student Center. If it has posted then it will be listed at the end of the transcript with the conferral date.


The best way to monitor whether the licensure office has everything ready to send to ADE is to use the online licensure checklist that has been created for you! Its purpose is for you to document the completion of all items that are needed for licensure, provide links to those sites where you can submit the licensure application and check the status of your background checks (and much more)! See the first question in the FAQ for a timeline of when you will get the license and the how it is processed but generally, the waiting is the hardest part.


It is likely that you will have to update all three of your background checks prior to initial licensure. In order to check the status of your background checks you should log into the Arkansas Educator Licensure System database. All three parts of the background checks should be no more than a year old since the listed approval date. To schedule and complete new background checks go to the Razorback Educator Development Hub website


Yes, you will get an actual paper license from the Arkansas Department of Education and it will be mailed to the address you listed on the licensure application. If it has been so long that you can’t remember what you listed – you are more than welcome to come by the licensure office in 110 Peabody Hall and we will pull the application. If you will be needing the license quickly to provide to an employer, you can login to the Arkansas Educator Licensure System database and download an electronic version of the license.


Yes! We have a “Teacher Candidacy Verification” letter posted on the licensure website that basically states that pending the completion of all licensure requirements that we will mail all licensure materials to ADE. Feel free to download this letter and submit it when applying to school districts. In some cases, if you have been offered a position in a district, a principal or superintendent may request a more detailed letter to submit to a school board that states where you are in the licensure process. In this case, please let the OTE licensure officer know and we will be able to provide one to you.


The Arkansas Department of Education advises that the name on your licensure application must match your legal name at the time it is submitted for processing. If you are getting married this summer and have legally changed your name prior to us mailing all license application materials, contact the licensure officer to update the application.

If you must change your name after the license has been issued, the change can be initiated by submitting a completed Educator Licensure Application form to the Razorback Educator Development Hub and checking off the box for name change. A new set of three original licenses will be mailed out reflecting the name change. 

You may also go to the Arkansas Educator Licensure System (AELS) Educator Log In, follow the log-in instructions, and make a name or address change in your personal licensure file.  This will automatically update your licensure file, however a new license will not be issued without a completed application.


You will have a standard license that is good for five years.


The recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) rescinded the Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) provisions in No Child Left Behind. The Arkansas Department of Education has instituted Arkansas Qualified Teacher (AQT) requirements that is applied in certain situations.

For more information, visit the Arkansas Department of Education website or you may direct questions to Dr. Frank Servedio,

Licensure or certification in another state is facilitated by first receiving a license in Arkansas. An application must be made directly to that state's department of education by the student. The licensure office does not submit licensure packets or applications to other states but in some instances, the applications will have a section to be signed by the licensure officer to verify the completion of a program.

Educator licensure in each state is regulated by specific laws in that state and dependent on education standards that the state has adopted.

In order to address teacher shortage areas and facilitate the movement of teachers among states there are agreements among states that make it possible for a teacher to be licensed in another state via reciprocity. It is important to understand reciprocity in regards to what it is and also what it is not.

The National Association of State Directors or Teacher Education and Certification have compiled the most up to date information on these agreements. If you are moving out of state it is recommended that you visit the below websites in order to determine whether they have reciprocity and how it is defined in that state.

What is an Interstate Agreement or Reciprocity?

Information for Out of State Applicants (reciprocity by state)

Directory of Licensure Offices (by state)

If you are interested in adding any licensure area to your license, it is important to determine whether that area will require additional coursework or testing. It is recommended that you work with the licensure office to ensure all requirements are met.