State Teacher Licensure Information
Licence Types Available by State


December 2018

Requirements for teacher licensure vary by state and even within states. The SREB Teacher Preparation Commission recommends that states hold all new teachers to the same high standards and require practice-based assessments.

State License Types Approved Alternative
Routes to Licensure

Emergency certificate

Provisional certificates

Professional certificates, organized by degree level:

  • Class B (Baccalaureate)
  • Class A (Master’s)
  • Class AA (Specialist/Doctorate)

Provisional certificate in teaching field

Alternative Class A Program


Provisional license

Standard license1

Lifetime teaching license

Arkansas Professional Pathway to Educator Licensure

Master of Arts in teaching programs

Provisional professional teaching license

Five other approved programs or pathways, including Arkansas Teacher Corps and Teach for America


Emergency certificate

Certificates of eligibility (special education)

Standard certificate, with tiered licensure levels:

  • Initial License
  • Continuing License
  • Advanced License

Relay Graduate School of Education

Teach for America

University of Delaware Alternative

Routes to Certification Program


Temporary, non-renewable licenses

Professional license

District certification programs

Educator preparation institutes

Preparation via college coursework

Professional training option


The state has eight credential types:

  • Pre-Service
  • Induction
  • Standard Professional
  • Performance-Based Professional
  • Advanced Professional
  • Lead Professional
  • Life
  • Retired Educator
Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy program

Emergency certificate

Provisional certificates

Professional certificates, organized by degree level:

  • Rank III (Baccalaureate)
  • Rank I (Master’s)
  • Rank I (Master’s + 30)

Eight alternative pathways, including:

  • District training programs
  • Programs for career-switchers, veterans, and college faculty
  • Teach for America
  • University-based programs

The state issues seven standard certificates and five non-standard teaching authorizations.

Individuals enrolled in an alternative pathway have practitioner licenses.

Individuals who have completed a preparation program apply for professional level certificates.

Teaching candidates completing their yearlong residency work under a Resident Teacher Certificate, which is a non-standard authorization.

Three alternative pathways:

  • Certification-only program
  • Master’s degree program
  • Practitioner teacher program

Provisional licensure

  • Conditional certificate
  • Resident teacher certificate

Professional licensure

  • Professional eligibility certificate
  • Standard professional certificate
  • Advanced professional certificate

District certification programs

Transcript analysis2


Pre-service teacher license

Alternative route license

Five-year educator licenses (type denotes degree level)

Class A = Bachelor’s

Class AA = Master’s

Class AAA = Specialist

Class AAAA = Doctorate

American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence

Master of Arts in teaching alternate route

Mississippi Alternate Path to Quality Teachers

Teach for America

Teach Mississippi Institute

North Carolina

Emergency license

Provisional licenses, including:

  • Lateral entry license (for alternative routes)3
  • Resident license

Professional educator license, including:

  • Initial professional license
  • Continuing professional license
  • Regional alternative licensing center
  • Teach for America
  • University-based alternative programs

Emergency certificate

Standard certificate

  • American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence
  • Alternative placement program
  • Career development program for paraprofessionals
  • Teach for America
  • Three content-specific programs
  • Troops to Teachers
South Carolina

Alternative route certificate

International and adjunct certificates

Initial certificate

Professional certificate4

American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence

Adjunct certification

Career and technical education work-based certification

District-based certification

Program of Alternative Certification for Educators

Teach for America

Teachers of Tomorrow


Practitioner license (for beginning teachers, including those enrolled in alternative certification programs)

Professional license

Approved programs are Nashville Teacher Residency and Teach for America-Memphis.

Intern certificate

Probationary certificate

Standard certificate

The State Board for Educator Certification has approved over 200 alternative certification programs.

Program entities include:

  • Charter schools & networks
  • Community colleges
  • Counties
  • Districts
  • Education service centers
  • Private providers
  • Universities

Provisional license

Collegiate professional license

Postgraduate professional license

Alternative programs hosted by universities

Experiential learning route

Four career-switcher programs

West Virginia

Alternative teaching certificate

Temporary certificate

Professional licensure

  • Initial, three-year teaching certificate
  • Five-year renewable professional certificate
  • Permanent professional teaching certificate
The state board of education allows districts to start alternative program partnerships.

Source: SREB review of state law and state agency websites

1 Effective July 1, 2019, the Arkansas State Department of Education will issue standard licenses with one of the following designations: Early Career Professional Educator, Career Professional Educator, Lead Professional Educator or Master Professional Educator.

2 Individuals with a content-area degree qualify for professional certification after completing coursework, assessment, and teaching experience requirements.

3 The lateral entry pathway will end June 30, 2019.

4 Educators may advance their certificate classification by completing advanced degree or postsecondary coursework.