Licensure Frequently Asked Questions

Can I be recommended for my initial teaching license without student teaching?

No. All candidates must successfully complete student teaching with a grade of P before they can be recommended for an initial teaching license or clear a lateral entry license through UNC Charlotte.

Do I need to apply for a license?

Yes. All candidates seeking to receive an initial license, upgrade an existing license, clear a lateral entry license, or add an area to an existing license must submit an application to the NCDPI portal.

For what type of license do I apply?

Graduates of a teacher education program who do not currently hold a professional educator’s license should select the “I completed a NC teacher ed program” application type. Candidates who are seeking to upgrade an existing license to a new level or who are clearing a lateral entry license should select the “upgrade of clear license area” application type. Candidates who already hold a professional educator’s license and are applying to add a new licensure area should select the “add area by program completion” application type.

How do I know if I have been recommended for licensure?

You will automatically be emailed a verification memo from within a week of the recommendation being made to NCDPI. This memo is typically accepted by school districts as verification that you have met all licensure requirements and that your application is pending final NCDPI review.

How long does it take for NCDPI to issue my new license?

NCDPI processing may take a few weeks to a few months, depending on the number of pending applications in queue. The standard processing time is 30-45 days after a recommendation is received from Charlotte. You can monitor the progress of your application from the NCDPI portal.

How long does it take to be recommended by UNC Charlotte?

The application will be processed by TEAL staff as quickly as possible. An official transcript will be required before a recommendation can be made. The Office of the Registrar awards degree several days after graduation.  

How much does it cost to apply for a license?

TEAL does not charge a fee to process licensure applications, but candidates must pay NCDPI’s application fee before their application can be submitted and routed to UNCC. Fees vary depending on the type of application and range from $35-$70. However, all candidates who complete a teacher education program in NC and successfully apply for an initial license will have their application fee refunded by NCDPI within 30 days of the license being issued. The refund will be processed to the credit/debit card used for payment.

I completed a doctoral program at UNCC. Can I apply for a doctoral-level license?

Yes, but only if you completed the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership – Superintendency or Curriculum and Supervision concentration. Those two concentrations within the Ed.D. are the only doctoral programs at UNCC currently approved for doctoral-level licensure. The Superintendency concentration leads to a doctoral-level Superintendent license and the Curriculum and Supervision concentration leads a doctoral-level Curriculum Instructional Specialist license. For Curriculum and Supervision concentration graduates who do not currently hold a lower-level Curriculum Instructional Specialist license, the Educational Leadership: Administration and Supervision (5412) Praxis exam is required.”

I submitted an application but I’m not sure if I completed it correctly. How will I know if something is wrong?

TEAL will notify applicants of problems with their application (e.g. missing requirements) within two weeks of it being submitted. If you receive an email from NCDPI stating that there is a problem with your application, contact TEAL immediately for help with resolution.

I want to add a second teaching license by taking the licensure exam(s). Can I do this?

Yes. Candidates who hold a clear teaching license can add another licensure area by taking ALL required exams for that area. If you pass the extra exams (and UNC Charlotte has your scores) prior to applying for your initial license, TEAL will request that the second licensure area be added for you through your initial application. If you pass the extra exams after TEAL has processed your initial application, you will have to submit a new application to add the area. Note: Only teaching areas can be added via testing. Administrative or student support licenses (e.g. counseling) can only be added via program completion.

What if I am moving out of state after graduation?

It is best to consult the licensing agency in the state where you are moving.  Some states prefer that you are fully licensed in another state, some only require that applicants be eligible for licensure, and some only need a form verifying the completion of a licensure program.

What is required to be recommended for licensure by UNC Charlotte?

Visit TEAL’s main licensure page for a list of required items you will need to upload to the online licensure system.

When should I apply for my license?

Candidates should not submit an application until they have met all licensure requirements (i.e. program completion and testing). Applications are automatically denied by NCDPI if they have been pending without IHE recommendation for more than 30-45 days. If this happens, candidates will need to submit another application and pay NCDPI’s application fee again.

Where do I apply for licensure?

All licensure applications are completed online at

Where do I direct additional questions?

You can send an e-mail to or call TEAL directly at 704-687-8725.