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Eligibility in North Carolina

45 minutes
45 minutes

Eligibility in North Carolina

This guide describes the eligibility requirements to apply for an educator preparation program, from academic history to the exams you’ll need to take.

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Eligibility requirements can vary by program and may change. If you have any questions about this process, reach out to a TeachNC application coach or educator preparation program staff for support. We’re here for you.

For links to all state-approved educator preparation programs, head over to the Department of Public Instruction’s list of approved EPPs.


To become an educator in North Carolina, you’ll need to show your mastery of core academic skills and prove knowledge of your subject area. Depending on whether you’re an undergraduate or already have a degree, you may need to meet one or more of these requirements before you apply to an Educator Preparation Program (EPP). This Guide will help you sort it out.

Academic History

When applying for your Educator Preparation Program (EPP), be prepared to provide your:

  • Transcript and GPA. Most programs require at least a 2.7 overall GPA, and some require a 3.0. 
  • Proof of core academic skills mastery. (Test scores such as SAT; we’ll explain this below).
  • Proof of preparation in the subject you want to teach. (We’ll explain this too.)

International Applicant Requirements

If your previous academic records are from outside of the U.S., you may also need to take the TOEFL or another language exam. You may also need to have your transcripts reviewed by a state-approved agency. Check with your program for details.

The Core Academic Skills Requirement

To apply for your Educator Preparation Program, you will need to provide test scores for the core academic skills of reading, writing and math. Your SAT, ACT or GRE scores may satisfy this requirement. If not, you can sign up for the Praxis Core Academic Skills test for educators.

Ask your EPP staff about the core academic skills requirement—you may have already met it. If you do need to take the Praxis Core Academic test, some programs only require you show that you’re registered for the test before you can apply.

For more information about the Praxis Core Academic Skills test, check out our Testing Guide.

Subject Area Preparation

Whether you have a degree or you’re still in school, you’ll need to keep coursework requirements and content area mastery in mind as you apply for EPPs. We’ve outlined the most common requirements at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Subject Area Preparation for Undergraduate Programs

  • Are you applying for an EPP as a freshman or an undergraduate transfer student? You’ll start by applying to the college or university that houses the program you’re interested in. You can see the list of North Carolina Department of Public Instruction approved EPPs on our Explore EPPs page.

Once you’re admitted, you should meet with an advisor in the program you want to attend to make sure you register for the best sequence of courses. Review the eligibility requirements below to get a head start.

  • Are you an undergraduate with 30 or more credit hours? Many undergraduate educator preparation programs require you to enroll in a major relevant to the grades and subject you wish to teach and maintain a grade average of B or better. This may mean you’ll declare an education major, or you may major in your teaching subject, like English or math, and declare an education minor. Typically, you will need to take one or more education courses before applying to the program as well.

The takeaway for undergraduates? Identify the grade level and subject you want to teach as soon as possible, find an EPP that offers the endorsements you want, and have your coursework evaluated early so you can enroll in the courses you need.

Subject Area Preparation for Graduate & Post-Baccalaureate Programs

To apply to graduate-level EPPs, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree and proof of mastery in the subject you want to teach. That typically means you’ll have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a major or significant coursework in the teaching subject.

For more information about the Praxis II test, check out our Testing Guide.

Additional Requirements to Keep in Mind

Some EPPs have additional eligibility requirements. You may need:

  • Documentation of prior field experience in K-12 education, especially for some graduate-level programs.
  • Additional testing in English writing proficiency.
  • Fingerprint clearance (a background check).

For International Students and Foreign Nationals

If you're an international student, you’ll need: 

  • Documentation that you are eligible to work legally in the U.S. (a copy of a valid work authorization, permanent resident card or U.S. passport)
  • Test scores, if applicable (Copies are okay.)

If you earned your degree in another country, you'll also need: 

  • An International Education Evaluation by an International Evaluation agency 
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