Residency Licensure

A Residency License (RL) allows individuals to work as licensed teachers in NC while they complete licensure coursework. The Graduate Certificate in Teaching is an SBE-approved EPP for Residency Licensure. To qualify for an RL, you must:

  • Be enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Teaching
  • Be employed as a full-time teacher
  • Satisfy content background requirements through either 24 relevant credit hours or SBE-approved licensure exams (edTPA is NOT required to receive an RL and will be completed later during the student teaching semester).
    • Credit hours considered relevant must be in the subject areas listed at the top of most of the plans of study available here.
    • Relevant credit hours for an RL in Elementary Education or Exceptional Children – General Curriculum are published in this document. Effective September 2021, qualifying for an RL in Elementary Education or Exceptional Children – General Curriculum via testing requires a passing score on all exams (excluding edTPA).
    • To qualify for an RL in Exceptional Children – Adapted Curriculum, candidates must have 24 credit hours specifically in Special Education or pass the associated Praxis Subject Assessments (5511 and 5545).

RLs are valid for one year and twice renewable (for a total of three years) so long as candidates continue to meet the above requirements. After successfully completing the Graduate Certificate in Teaching and passing all SBE-approved licensure exams, RL holders can apply for an Initial Professional Educator’s License (IPL).

NCDPI’s Form RL is used to document licensure eligibility. RL candidates should send a copy to Ms. Liz Adkisson at with the applicant and LEA portions complete after they have been admitted to the Graduate Certificate in Teaching and registered for classes.

Please contact Ms. Adkisson ( or 704-687-8882) with questions about the Residency Licensure process.