Licensure & Certification

Individuals seeking  Initial Professional Licensure (teacher licensure) in North Carolina have several routes available to them; each route carries specific requirements and limitations. In all cases, individuals should seek additional information from appropriate offices or authorities; below is a brief overview of the routes.

Several licensure options exist for students:

Testing Requirements for a North Carolina License
Individuals seeking a North Carolina professional educator’s license must meet the testing requirements established by the State Board of Education. The Initial Professional License may be converted to a clear Continuing Professional License provided the State Board of Education-required exam is taken at least once during the first year of the license, and passed before or during the third year of the license. Current testing requirements are at the end of this section.

Initial Professional Licensure (IPL)

  • A four-year undergraduate degree is the most common route for students who enter a college or university with the intention of completing a degree in teacher education.
  • Students select a major, follow a prescribed course of study, and complete an official degree program designed to prepare teachers in a particular field.
  • Students are then recommended by the Reich College of Education for initial licensure.

For further information, visit Academics to learn more about the programs offered by Appalachian State University or visit the University Bulletin where majors and licensure requirements are detailed.

Applying for Traditional Applicant Licensure 

Upon the official conferral of your degree, submit an online application for licensure through the North Carolina Department of Instruction's (NCDPI) online application web-page.

The following information must be uploaded with your application:

  • Official Transcripts
  • Test Scores (NES or Praxis II)
  • Work Authorization (if not a US citizen)
  • $70.00 nonrefundable processing fee ($100.00 for speech pathology license)

* A Verification by Institution:  Completion of Approved Education Program (Form V) is not required when applying for an Initial License, adding a New Area by Program Completion or to Upgrade or Clear a License. Only in rare instances is this form required (Speech Pathology).

Initial Professional Licensure Application Process

Click here for complete details regarding the application process for Initial Professional Licensure, upgrade or clear licensure or Adding an area by program completion 

It takes NCDPI approximately eight to 12 weeks to process your application. 

Applications for licensure cannot be submitted until degrees are conferred and official transcripts are obtained. Appalachian State University confers degrees by the below dates:

  • Fall- January 31st
  • Spring- May 31st
  • Summer- August 31st.

Candidates may check their unofficial transcript via AppalNET Self Service to confirm degree conferral.

**Upon starting an application, applicants must complete the application within 30 days or a new application may be required.

Initial Professional License Graduate Certificates

Appalachain offers a variety of Graduate Certificate that lead to A-level teaching license eligiblity in as little as three (3) semesters (varies by program).  

These programs are offered completely online.  This is by far one of the quickest, most cost-effective and convenient means towards licensure. 

Graduate Certificates Offered:

  • Career and Technical Education

    • Business, Finance, and Information Technology Education

    • Business, Marketing and Entrepreneurship Education

    • Family and Consumer Sciences Education

    • Technology, Engineering and Design Education

    • Trade and Industrial Education

  • Birth through Kindergarten

  • Elementary Education (K-6)

  • Middle Grades Education (6-9)

    • Language Arts and Mathematics

    • Language Arts and Science

    • Language Arts and Social Studies

    • Mathematics and Science

    • Mathematics and Social Studies

    • Science and Social Studies

  • Special Education, General (K-12)

To learn more about these programs click here!

Licensure Only

For students who have a degree from a regionally accredited university and want to complete coursework before they obtain a teaching job.

This non-degree, licensure only program results in an "A" level initial license. This is the equivalent of the license earned by completing an undergraduate program in teacher education. 

  • Available to individuals who have completed a four-year degree from an accredited university.

  • The RCOE offers a FREE evaluation of academic records to determine what requirements are needed before being recommended for licensure. 

  • Study full-time or part-time. 

  • The length of time that it takes to complete the program varies by individual and is dependent on the number of courses required for licensure and whether a student is attending full-time or part-time.

  • Classes are not offered on weekends, but many are offered at night and during the summer. Visit the Office of the Registrar for details on when specific classes are offered. Visit App State Online for information about satellite programs.

  • Student Teaching is a program requirement of this program. Learn more about Student Teaching.

Ready to apply?

Complete the Transcript Evaluation Request Form and send with your unofficial transcripts to:

By email:

By mail:

Licensure Only
Appalachian State University
Reich College of Education, Office of the Dean
ASU Box 32038
Boone, NC 28608-2038

Allow 4-6 weeks for the review

Residency Model and Restricted License

A Residency License (RL) allows individuals to work as licensed teachers in North Carolina while they complete licensure coursework. Appalachian State University has developed graduate certificate programs to meet the Residency Licensure requirements.  

Appalachian State University offers an online Residency Model and Restricted License designed to assist residency candidates in meeting residency licensure requirements. For more information, email

Click here for more information regarding Residency Licensure programs