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Licensure Information

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction requires that all North Carolina public school teachers hold a license in the subject area or grade span they teach. Visit the DPI website for more information about licensure, and to learn how to obtain your NC Professional Educator's License.

Lateral Entry

Lateral entry is a process that allows individuals with a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university to begin teaching immediately as they work toward obtaining their North Carolina teaching license.

How do I become a lateral entry teacher?

Step 1: Determine Eligibility

    In order to qualify for a lateral entry teacher's license, applicants must have a degree from a regionally accredited college or university, as well as:

    • A relevant degree, 24 semesters of coursework in the core area, or a passing score on an approved licensure exam for the teaching area; AND
    • A 2.7 GPA, five years of relevant experience, or a combination of standardized test scores and college GPA.

    Read this for more information on lateral entry qualification requirements.

    Step 2: Obtain Employment Offer

    Lateral entry candidates must apply for and be offered a job in a North Carolina public school system before they can begin the process of obtaining a lateral entry teaching license.

    View a list of our openings here.

    Step 3: Determine Pathway to NC Teaching License

    Once a lateral entry candidate is hired by a North Carolina public school, they must meet with a lateral entry specialist in their district to determine what must be done to qualify for a North Carolina teachers license. This pathway is determined by the NC Department of Public Instruction, and includes a combination of college courses and tests the individual must pass.

    Step 4: Fulfill Pathway

    It takes three years for lateral entry candidates to obtain a North Carolina teaching license. Candidates must complete their coursework at an accredited college or university, pass any assigned assessments and complete beginning teacher training through their district.

    Step 5: Become a NC Licensed Teacher

    After completing all requirements, lateral entry teachers receive a full North Carolina teaching license.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Will the district pay for my expenses (coursework, testing, etc.) to become a lateral entry teacher?
    Not at this time. All expenses are paid by the applicant.

    How long do I have to complete all the requirements to receive a lateral entry license?
    Three years. Applicants must attempt to pass the Pearson/Praxis by the end of their first year of teaching, and must pass it by the end of the following year. All coursework must be completed by the end of their third year.