Residency License

The Residency License is a North Carolina-specific pathway. Troops to Teachers participants may use residency licensing as one route to a teaching career. Residency licensing allows qualified individuals to begin teaching while completing North Carolina licensure requirements. Four "partners" are involved:

  • the individual,
  • a recognized Educator Preparation Program (EPP),
  • the Local Education Agency (LEA),
  • and the Department of Public Instruction (DPI).


Eligibility for a Residency License requires that the prospective teacher:

  • Has earned a bachelor's degree.
  • Has earned a 2.7 cumulative GPA on their degree.
  • Has either completed 24 semester hours of coursework in the requested licensure area or passed the content area examination(s) required by the N.C. State Board of Education for the requested licensure area.
  • Is enrolled in a recognized EPP, and;
  • Has completed preservice requirements prior to teaching.
  • Has been offered employment by an LEA.

"An alternative route to a K-12 education career!"


An LEA employs the individual. Employment often occurs before EPP affiliation.

  • The individual affiliates with a state-approved EPP — Educator Preparation Programs
  • The LEA will verify both employment and EPP admission to DPI through a form process when submitting for the residency license.
  • The individual successfully completes all course work and testing as required by the EPP prior to the end of the third year of school employment
  • The individual is recommended for clear licensure by their EPP.

What is an EPP?

An Education Preparation Program, or EPP, is an institution or organization that prepares, trains and recommends students for teacher licensure. Four-year universities or colleges are the most common EPPs, but some approved programs are not institutionally affiliated. With some EPPs, courses may not carry college credit but will still lead to a recommendation for teacher licensure. Please be sure to use a North Carolina approved Educator Preparation Program.

Process Steps

Step One

To qualify for a residency license, you must affiliate with an EPP and be employed as a teacher by an LEA. The employing LEA and the affiliated EPP are responsible for making sure that you meet eligibility requirements for residency licensure.

A school system can employ you before or after the affiliation with an educator preparation program. However, the residency license is issued only after both employment and affiliation have been completed. Affiliation with an EPP prior to seeking employment helps the individual by making them a more attractive candidate.

For EPP affiliation: an individual must be admitted to a state-approved EPP. Additionally, an "Individual Program of Study" (IPS) will be provided by your EPP. The IPS will detail the specific competencies and options for courses to meet licensing requirements. Some EPPs may not offer college credit for their residency license programs, but their programs will still lead to teacher licensure.

For LEA employment: the individual applies for teaching positions in eligible areas and once a position is offered and accepted by the individual, the next step commences.

The above items are not exhaustive requirements, as other N.C. State Board of Education requirements may apply.

Step Two

Once employed and admitted, you will meet with the LEA and they will follow the current process to request licensure through DPI. This will require completion of an appropriate licensure form which includes verification of admission to an EPP and verification of employment with the requesting LEA on the same form.

Step Three

The LEA's licensure specialist must document all completed course work. All course work within the IPS must be completed within the three school years of your initial residency license as the residency license is issued on a yearly basis and can only be renewed twice by the LEA. To maintain the residency license each renewal cycle, the candidate must maintain employment with an LEA and enrollment with the affiliated EPP.

Test scores must be documented by the LEA's licensure specialist. If the required tests are not successfully completed during the residency license period, your contract cannot be renewed.

The LEA should inform you of testing requirements when the license application is submitted. You will also be notified by DPI when the residency license is issued.

All requirements must be completed within a maximum of three (3) school years.

Step Four

When all course and testing requirements have been successfully completed in the residency license period, you will be recommended for clear licensure by your EPP to DPI.

Frequently Asked Questions about Residency Licensing Process

Tab/Accordion Items

It depends on your area of licensure. Please call TTT or the licensure specialist in your targeted school system to verify the correct exam/s.

When you associate with an EPP, you should be given a list of the courses that you must complete. That document is called an Individual Program of Study (IPS), and it must also be filed with your employing LEA. The number of courses you must complete depends on how your existing degree is structured, by the course curriculum of the chosen EPP, and whether you choose to be licensed at the bachelor's level or at the master's level. Courses may or may not include college credit, depending on the EPP.

You must be recommended by your affiliated EPP for clear licensure. Make sure to work closely with the EPP to get all necessary paperwork completed and submitted to DPI in a timely fashion.