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Start teaching today with a bachelor's degree
Start teaching today with a bachelor's degree

Which pathway will you take?

If you want to get a license before you start teaching, there are many options available to you. You could pursue the "traditional" route and get your license along with your degree. Many colleges and universities will offer an Educator Preparation Program (EPP) that goes along with a degree in education or a particular teaching subject. So you might major in English or math, minor in education and earn your teaching license at the same time.

If you already have a bachelor's degree or higher, you could take the certificate-only route and go through an EPP by itself. This is usually much faster than the previously mentioned college graduation route.

We recommend you take a look at the EPPs available to you in our Explorer.

  • Earn your license before you teach

    If you want to get a license before you start teaching, there are many options available to you. You could pursue the "traditional" route and get your license along with your degree. Many colleges and universities will offer an Educator Preparation Program (EPP) that goes along with a degree in education or a particular teaching subject. So you might major in English or math, minor in education and earn your teaching license at the same time.

    If you already have a bachelor's degree or higher, you could take the certificate-only route and go through an EPP by itself. This is usually much faster than the previously mentioned college graduation route.

    We recommend you take a look at the EPPs available to you in our Explorer.

  • Earn your license while you teach

    If you’ve already earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, you might be eligible to start working in a teaching position while obtaining your license. This process is called residency licensure and it lets you get on-the-job experience (and a paycheck) while you get licensed to teach. We've outlined the steps to get started on this path below.

Residency Licensure Steps

  1. Have at least a bachelor’s degree

    To be qualified for any alternative licensure route, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree at a minimum.

  2. Find LEA employment

    The human resources team at a Local Education Agency (LEA) will be able to share what positions they have available and what pathway makes the most sense based on your academic background. Note that each LEA has different needs and positions available and their hiring needs change often. You will want to apply to multiple LEAs to ensure the best chance of gaining employment. Once you have a teaching role secured, you can be admitted into a participating Educator Preparation Program (EPP).

    Click here to access the statewide TeachNC job board and see what teaching jobs are available.

    Pro tip: Before applying online, we recommend that you reach out directly (via phone or email) to the HR representative of the LEA(s) you are interested in.

  3. Explore EPP options

    Shop around to find a program that is a good fit for you. The LEA HR staff will be able to assist you in determining what to look for in an EPP. After identifying your top 3-5 programs, reach out to those EPPs to learn about their requirements for admission.

    FYI: Entrance requirements differ by EPP. Reach out to your top EPPs to find out their specific requirements for enrollment, like GPA minimums or specific coursework needed (for example, for some licenses you’ll be required to complete 24 hours of college coursework in your licensure area in order to be eligible to teach that subject).

  4. Apply and enroll in a recognized Educator Prep Program

    Create a checklist for top program(s) to keep you on track.

    FYI: there may be scholarships available for you as well. Check out our Aid Explorer page to see what options are available.

  5. Meet all other requirements

    Once you’re enrolled in an EPP and employed full-time by an LEA, you’ll need to meet all other licensure requirements established by the North Carolina State Board of Education (NCSBE), including pre-service experience, NCSBE required exams, etc.

    Explore programs in North Carolina for more information on licensure options.

Additional Resources

Need more information? Here are some more resources to help you get started.
  • North Carolina's Approved Educator Preparation Programs

    Review which North Carolina EPPs offer licensure areas in which grade levels and subject areas.

    Learn More
  • Troops to Teachers

    Find out about exclusive opportunities available to North Carolina’s military veterans to get licensed to teach.

    Learn More
  • NC Department of Public Instruction’s FAQ

    Skim through this set of FAQs to get your questions answered. 

    Learn More
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