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ECU cannot confirm whether any of its courses or programs meet requirements for professional licensure outside of the State of North Carolina. ECU strongly encourages students to contact applicable licensing boards in states they wish to pursue licensure prior to seeking admission or beginning study in an academic program.

Lateral Entry

Lateral Entry Teachers are individuals employed in a North Carolina school system that hold at least a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the subject area they are employed to teach.

Lateral Entry Teachers are responsible for securing their own teaching position and will be teaching while they complete their licensure coursework. Failure to secure a teaching position will result in re-classification as Licensure only and may require additional coursework.

Click here for Qualifications for Lateral Entry in North Carolina

Individual Lateral Entry Teacher (3 year program or less)

Lateral Entry programs will vary by content area. The length of a Lateral Entry program will depend on your background in the content area and how many courses you are willing to take each semester. However, all coursework and licensure requirements MUST be completed by the end of your third year of teaching.

Typical Lateral Entry Plan of Study consists of:

  • Teacher Education Professional Studies Coursework(typically 15-18 semester hours)
  • Content-Area Coursework (specific to each individual based on a transcript evaluation)
  • PRAXIS II subject area test(s) as indicated in your letter from DPI


  • Enter the classroom immediately
  • No internship requirement (time and financial savings)
  • Three years to complete coursework and requirements
  • Previous education courses may count towards your licensure requirements

ECU Licensure Areas:

Art K-12


Business 7-12

Dance K-12

Elementary K-6

English 9-12

Family and Consumer Sciences 7-12

French K-12

German K-12

Health K-12

Marketing 7-12

Math 9-12

Middle Grades: Lang Arts, Math, Science or Social Studies

Music K-12

Physical Education K-12

Science 9-12

Social Studies 9-12

Spanish K-12

Special Education General or Adapted

Theater K-12

Procedures for Current Lateral Entry Teachers:

  1. Secure 1 copy of:
    1. All official transcripts (undergraduate and any post-baccalaureate coursework).
    2. Lateral Entry Provisional License issued by DPI
    3. Employment Contract with Local Education Agency (LEA)
  2. Send the documents listed above and a letter requesting a Lateral Entry Plan of Study with your desired area of licensure AND personal contact information (address, phone, email) to:

Office of Alternative Licensure
College of Education
109 Speight Building
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858
Phone: 252-328-2700
Fax: 252-737-2998

Once your transcripts have been evaluated a letter will be sent to you and your employing school system with your Lateral Entry Plan of Study (usually within 2-3 weeks). For next steps see Individual Lateral Entry Step-by-Step Guide.

Options for Potential Lateral Entry Teachers:

  • Consider beginning on a Licensure Only plan and transitioning to Lateral Entry status once a teaching position with a North Carolina public or charter school is secured as a Lateral Entry Teacher
  • Consider NC TEACH/Project ACT with the intention of obtaining a teaching position in a North Carolina public or charter school in the near future (program will require 1 year of successful teaching in your licensure area)