North Dakota Teaching Certification


North Dakota Ed. Statistics

Avg. Elem. Teacher Salary*$55,630
Avg. Sec. Teacher Salary*$56,250
Avg. Admin. Salary*$101,020
Teacher Retention (?)96%
Vacation Wks/Yr15

Learn how to become a teacher in North Dakota (or administrator). Choose the description of certification you are most interested in or situation that best describes you:

Getting Involved…

Investing in our future is vitally important and strangely difficult. In order to fight oppression from the greedy and power-hungry elite, to better our ways of life with advancing technology, and to increase our country’s overall views toward the concept of acceptance, we need education to be a priority. Learn how you can be a spoke in this terribly important wheel. See how North Dakota measures up to the rest of the country by viewing the percentage of state revenue going toward education in each state. (see State Education Spending vs. Overall State Revenue).

Step 1
Learn About Your Governor’s Track Record

Learn about your Governor’s views and voting record with regard to education. (see North Dakota Governor’s website).

Step 2
Give Your Knowledge Power By Voting

Hold your public servants accountable. It is our duty as residents of Alabama.

Help Make Education A Priority

Initial North Dakota Teaching Certification

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction has put in place the North Dakota Statewide System of Support (NDSSOS) designed to help schools implement policies and procedures to improve teaching and learning throughout the state. Specific areas in which the program seeks to achieve sustained and continuous improvement include leadership, curriculum and instruction, assessment, school culture and climate, and professional development. Through this program, the state is working to ensure that all students and teachers have the best possible environment in which to learn and teach. Find schools offering teaching certification programs in North Dakota.

Education Requirements

The North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB) (701-328-9641) expects that as a candidate for teacher licensing, you complete a state-approved, bachelor’s and master’s level teacher education program. You will be expected to major or minor in the area in which you intend to become licensed. The program must include a professional education sequence and a general studies sequence. You must have an overall GPA of at least 2.5 and complete a course in North Dakota Native American studies.

  • If you wish to be licensed at the elementary level, you must complete 34 semester hours (50 quarter hours) of professional education coursework
  • If you wish to be licensed at the secondary level, you must complete 26 semester hours (40 quarter hours) of professional education coursework

You may attend an out-of-state teacher education program and receive credit towards teacher licensure in North Dakota if the program meets certain standards. Teacher education standards for each area of licensure available in the state are found here. You must also meet the state’s major equivalency requirements.

Licensure Options
The type of North Dakota teaching license you acquire is dependent upon your qualifications. Types include:

  • Initial License – This is the most common type of license obtained by new graduates and is valid for two years.
  • First Five Year License (Professional License)– Once you have completed at least 18 months of teaching in North Dakota and complete the necessary renewal semester hours, you are eligible for this license. It is valid for five years.
  • Subsequent Five Year Licenses – After obtaining your first five-year license, if you have taught for at least 30 days in North Dakota within the past five years and complete necessary renewal semester hours, you are eligible for this license. It is valid for five years.
  • Thirty Years of Teaching Life License – If you have been licensed to teach in North Dakota for 30 years or more and complete the necessary renewal semester hours, you are eligible for this license. It is valid for life.

A listing of all North Dakota licensure areas and their corresponding codes may be found here.


For a brief overview of teacher licensure testing requirements in North Dakota, visit the Praxis website.

Basic skills testing:
All new teachers in North Dakota must pass the Praxis I Basic Skills exam in Reading (with a score of 173), Writing (score of 173) and Mathematics (score of 170).

Content area assessment testing:
You must pass the Praxis II exam(s) in the content area(s) in which you wish to become licensed:

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Middle School English
  • Middle School Mathematics
  • Middle School Science
  • Middle School Social Studies
  • Secondary Education (Grades 7-12):
    • Agriculture
    • Art
    • Biology
    • Business Education
    • Chemistry
    • Composite Science
    • Drama
    • English
    • Economics
    • Earth Science
    • Family and Consumer Sciences
    • Geography
    • Government/Political Science
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Music
    • Physical Education
    • Physics
    • Social Studies
    • Technology Education
  • World Languages:
    • French
    • German
    • Latin
    • Spanish
  • Special Education:
    • Core Knowledge and Applications
    • Early Childhood
    • Education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing
    • Emotional Disturbances
    • Gifted and Talented
    • Intellectual Disabilities/Developmental Disabilities
    • Learning Disabilities

Experience Requirements

Under rules of the ESPB, all new teachers must complete two experience requirements:

The first is a practicum you’ll participate in as part of required education courses in your teacher preparation program. During your practicum, you will mostly observe classroom teachers at work, gleaning knowledge on classroom management strategies, leadership ideas, and more. You may also be allowed to lead the class yourself from time to time.

Second, you must participate in at least 10 weeks of student teaching. This must be full-time and at the grade level/subject area in which you seek licensure. This will involve taking full control of the classroom for extended periods of time, developing lesson plans, and leading the class in instruction. Some portion of your student teaching assignment will be observed and assessed.

Document and Application Requirements

If you have completed the educational requirements, fulfilled all experiential requirements, and passed the necessary exams, you are ready to file the Application for North Dakota Educator’s Professional License. Along with your completed application form:

  • Send a Record of Education form to all colleges where you obtained degrees
  • Send official transcripts from all colleges where you received credit
  • Send copies of your Praxis I and II test scores
  • Send a completed fingerprint packet (see below)
  • Send check, money order (payable to the Education Standards and Practices Board) or credit card form with the correct application fee

Send everything to North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board, 2718 Gateway Ave, Suite 303, Bismarck, ND 58503-0585.

Criminal History Background Check

All beginning teachers in North Dakota must be fingerprinted and undergo a criminal history background check. Your college program’s licensure officials will provide you with the fingerprinting instructions and packet. You must complete the fingerprint cards and release forms and designate the ESPB as the agency that will receive the criminal history report.

Your fingerprints must be taken by an authorized law enforcement agency such as a police department, sheriff’s office, or university campus police. You are responsible for paying all fees associated with fingerprinting and the background check. Mail the fingerprint cards and release forms to the ESPB, along with your application and supporting documents. It may take as long as eight weeks to complete the background check. You will not be issued a teaching license nor be permitted to teach in any North Dakota school until the check is completed and your license has been issued.

Contact Information

If you would like further information on colleges and universities in North Dakota offering approved teacher education programs, contact the institutions directly.

For more information on the teacher licensure process in North Dakota, contact the ESPB at 701-328-9641.

*2019 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data – Conditions in your area may vary.

**Teacher Retention Sources – U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education, Statistics Schools and Staffing Survey, 1999–2000 (“Public School Teacher Questionnaire,” “Private School Teacher Questionnaire,” and “Public Charter School Teacher Questionnaire”),
and 2000–01 Teacher Follow-up Survey (“Questionnaire for Current Teachers” and “Questionnaire for Former Teachers,” Table 1.01). Washington, DC.

State estimations based on analysis by Richard Ingersoll, Professor of Education and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, from the National Center for Education Statistics Student and Staffing Survey, and therefore include a slight margin of error.