Master's Degree or Licensure

International Teacher Education Program (ITEP)

Quick Facts

  • 23-35 credits to a teaching license only
  • 51-66 credits to an MEd and teaching license
  • Online, on-campus, or combined


Oregon schools and school districts face a shortage of teachers from a diversity of backgrounds—a deep failing in our diverse 21st-century society. If you earned your teaching credential outside of the United States, the International Teacher Education Program (ITEP) provides you with a shortened and customized path to earn your Oregon teaching license. Your coursework will be focused on classes particular to working with children in American public schools. In addition, you can put ITEP coursework toward a master’s degree in education.


Bernd Ferner
Program Coordinator


Laura Sequeira
Admissions Advisor

Program benefits

  • Become a culturally responsive educator for our local public schools
  • Be acknowledged and valued for your international professional training and experiences and use them as a career ladder
  • Be able to take additional coursework to earn a master’s degree and/or additional endorsements (e.g., English for Speakers of Other Languages or reading)
  • Experience incredible value: Learn from experienced teachers who have scholarly expertise and advanced degrees—and do so in convenient locations and at an accessible price

Program specifics

  • Allows you to obtain an Oregon teaching license if you are currently licensed outside the United States
  • Offers you a shortened 23-credit licensure program instead of the typical 66-credit program
  • Gives you the choice of elementary or secondary levels
  • 'Lets you obtain your license in one year
  • Individualizes your program of study based on your teaching experience
  • Makes a master’s degree option available with additional credits

About the program

Chinese language teacher certification is an important focus within the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP) and the International Teacher Education Program (ITEP) at Portland State University, located in Portland, Oregon. GTEP offers two Chinese language teacher certification options, one for teaching Chinese in public middle schools and high schools, and another for teaching in public elementary schools, particularly in dual-language (Mandarin and English), classrooms. ITEP is a program variation of GTEP, which offers an individualized program to earn an Oregon teaching license at either the elementary or secondary level.

Our graduates

Earn a teaching license and teach in public schools. With the master’s degree, become an educational specialist or teacher leader. Our graduates are employed throughout the Portland metro area and nationwide, especially in schools with high linguistic and cultural diversity, including dual-immersion settings. Many take on leadership roles in education (e.g., Dr. Bernd Ferner, current ITEP coordinator, is an ITEP graduate).

Why PSU?

In today’s mobile society, teachers often move to Oregon and want to continue their career as teachers. If you have been a teacher outside of the United States, ITEP provides a shortened and individualized program to earn teaching credentials to work in Oregon public schools by acknowledging your professional teacher education and experience. In addition, you will have the opportunity to earn a master’s of education degree (MEd). Take at least 17 credits of graduate-level coursework based on the latest educational research and standards. Then, complete a 6 credit practicum with an experienced teacher as your mentor to become familiar with US classrooms. You will typically begin the program in summer term and complete the practicum in fall and winter so you can be ready to apply for the Oregon teaching license by spring break in March. However, this schedule may vary depending on your background and course availability.

Because of state licensure requirements, you will be able to earn a license to teach at the same level and in the same subject as your original teaching license/degree. Your foreign credential will be reviewed to determine eligibility and potential program outcomes. If your plan of study allows, you will be integrated into a regular teacher education cohort for additional support.

You also have the option to earn a master’s of education within seven years of program start. The 17 credits required for licensure will count as core classes. To complete the 45 required credits for the master’s, select courses that fit your needs and interests. These courses can be taken within PSU’s department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, or from the greater PSU community. Coursework offered through the master’s of curriculum and instruction are of great relevance and importance because these courses are designed for inservice teachers and explore more advanced areas in education.

The Graduate Teacher Education Program at Portland State’s College of Education, known for its strong focus on equity and social justice, prepares culturally responsive teachers to teach all students. ITEP graduates bring a multicultural and often multilingual perspective towards teaching. They are often hired to teach in dual-language programs.