Human Resources → Educator Certification Information → MSDE Certificate → Advanced Professional Certificate (APC)

Advanced Professional Certificate (APC)

How Long Is This Certificate Valid?

Valid 5 Years


Issued to an applicant who has completed a master's degree, or the equivalent , including 6 semester hours of acceptable credit , and completed 3 years of satisfactory school related experience.

Prior to the expiration of the APC, you must:

  1. Complete a minimum of 6 semester hours of acceptable credit (PDF) or equivalent activities credit (PDF)
  2. Complete and verify 3 years of full-time satisfactory professional school-related experience
  3. Complete the APC Certificate Renewal Plan (PDF)

Certificate Renewal Plan

A certificate renewal plan is required by MSDE in order to obtain the APC and subsequent APC renewals, unless the certificate holder qualifies for senior status. The APC renewal plan must indicate what six acceptable credits or the equivalent the professional plans to complete in order to obtain the subsequent APC.

The types of acceptable equivalent activities and the requirements are listed on MCPS Form 440-37, Five-year Certificate Renewal Plan for the Renewal of the Advanced Professional Certificate (APC). If using equivalent activities for certificate renewal, please download MCPS Form 440-34, Verification of Equivalent Activities for Advanced Professional Certificate Renewal Purposes. 

Submission Deadlines 

All official transcripts and equivalent activities being used for the renewal cycle must be received by the Certification Unit by the certificate expiration date of December 31st or June 30th.

Certificate Processing Fee

A fee is charged by MSDE for issuance of a certificate and for each renewal. Effective January 1, 2004, this non-refundable fee is collected through automatic payroll deduction. Currently, a fee is not charged for adding new endorsements.



At the discretion of the local school system, professionals who fail to meet professional certificate renewal requirements are issued a Class II Conditional Certificate valid for two years. They will receive a provisional contract and will lose tenure. Experience completed under a Class II certificate may not apply toward salary advancement. For example, future step increases may be delayed based on the length of time the professional was on the Class II certificate. Failure to meet the remaining credits by the expiration of the Conditional Certificate will result in termination of employment.


Please note that COMAR 13A.12.01.11A(3) states that “the local school system may request a conditional certificate…for an employee who fails to meet the renewal requirements of the professional certificate.” 


Certificates are rated Class II because of failure to meet renewal requirements. In each case, the professional whose certificate is rated Class II will be notified of the change.All other certificates are rated Class I.

How to Submit Documentation

Find out how to submit coursework and other documentation


MSDE Certificate General Information

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