Find an Education Path For Teaching in
North Dakota, (ND)

Anyone who wants to be a teacher must follow a series of specific steps, which are determined by where you are now on the path toward achieving your goal. Please choose the highest level of education that you have reached, so we can guide you through the steps to take as you advance towards a teaching career in North Dakota.

Choose Your Highest Level of Education

The information below will help you discover the steps you should take to become a teacher in North Dakota.

If You Have a High School Diploma or a GED

High school graduates who know they want to become teachers can increase their knowledge about the profession by joining groups like the Future Educators of America. Once students have earned a high school diploma or GED certificate they are eligible to apply for admission into a Bachelor’s degree program in education at a four-year college or university. Another option for students who have finished high school is to enroll in a two-year or community college where they can earn an Associate degree or certificate in the education field.

  1. Learn about accredited schools that offer Associate degrees or Bachelor’s degrees focusing on education, specific academic content areas or student populations.
  2. Decide what grade level and subject area you are interested in teaching.
  3. Contact colleges that fit your needs, and request information to help you make a decision about what school to attend and what degree program to pursue.

If You Have Completed Some College or Earned an Associate’s Degree

Two-year or community colleges offer education-oriented programs that can culminate in Associate degrees, certificates or credentials. Certificate programs in Early Childhood Education can qualify students to begin working with very young children as soon as their coursework and practicum experience have been successfully completed. Associate degrees offer general core classes that fulfill the basic requirements of Bachelor’s degree programs, and these credits are transferable for students who want to continue their education at a four-year university.

  1. North Dakota has policies stipulating that general education courses completed at many two-year colleges meet the requirements of Bachelor’s degree programs at state-approved four-year universities. These policies also help students who want to enroll at a North Dakota-accredited university, transfer credits they have earned at out-of-state colleges. Some Associate degrees fulfill basic requirements of the first two years of an undergraduate degree and qualify students to enter a four-year Bachelor’s degree program as a Junior. This option gives aspiring teachers a head start and allows them to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Education that will lead to the certification necessary to attain their career goal of teaching in North Dakota.
  2. Investigate various state-approved Bachelor’s degree programs to find out which ones will accept transfer credits from the college you attended. Contact the schools that interest you to request more information.
  3. Some aspiring teachers, who have earned Associate Degrees or Credentials in Early Childhood Education, choose to seek employment shortly after graduation. A certificate or Associate degree in Early Childhood Education, may qualify you to begin working as a teaching assistant or child caretaker with infants, toddlers and pre-school children at Head Start, preschools, childcare organizations or before- and after-school programs.

If You Have a Bachelor’s Degree

Prospective teachers must earn a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in order to apply for Initial licensure in North Dakota. The state requires certified teachers to have at least a Bachelor’s degree, with a major in the grade level, content area and/or specialty the student wants to teach. If a graduate has already received a Bachelor’s degree with a non-education major, the next steps toward certification will often depend on the courses the prospective teacher completed. All teaching candidates must satisfy state-mandated course requirements, fieldwork and exams before they qualify to apply for a teaching license. These requirements can be met during their current Bachelor’s degree program, if the curriculum includes a Teacher Preparation Program. If not, teacher preparation can be completed in a Post-baccalaureate or Master’s degree program.

  1. If you have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education in conjunction with an accredited Teacher Preparation Program, you have already fulfilled essential academic and teacher preparation requirements. Teacher Preparation Programs include coursework and classroom observations, fieldwork, and student teaching. Successful completion of all degree and teacher preparation requirements will qualify you to apply for a teaching certificate or license.
  2. To become a certified teacher in North Dakota, you must pass all three Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Tests (PPST). These tests measure your skills in reading, writing and mathematics. Aspiring teachers are also required to successfully complete the Praxis II subject-specific content knowledge exams, as well as Principles of Learning and Teaching exams that focus on grade level-specific teaching skills. North Dakota teaching candidates may be required to take the Praxis II tests prior to student teaching.
  3. Receiving a Bachelor’s degree with a major in liberal studies can be an important step toward certification as an Elementary level teacher. Some certification programs recommend the Liberal Arts major, because it prepares educators to teach in the many different subject areas taught in Elementary school classrooms.
  4. If you received your Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in the specific subject you wish to teach, you may have already satisfied some certificate programs’ recommended academic requirements. Majoring in a specific subject taught at the secondary school level prepares individuals to become endorsed or qualified to teach high school and middle school classes in that content area.
  5. Aspiring teachers who have not earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education and whose degree does not include the mandated teacher preparation coursework and student teaching have the option of following alternative routes on their path toward licensure. Some state-accredited Master’s degrees in Education are combined with Teacher Preparation programs, and earning this type of Master of Education degree is an approved route toward certification. Another option is a Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation program, which does not provide a Master’s degree, but which satisfies educator preparation requirements that qualify you to move forward toward becoming a licensed teacher in North Dakota.
  6. Individuals who seek licensure to teach in North Dakota must follow a series of steps on either the standard or the alternative paths available. The essential steps include: earning a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree with a focus on education and/or on a specific subject area, completing a state-accredited Teacher Preparation Program, completing student teaching hours, passing the mandatory Praxis I and II exams and being recommended by professors and fieldwork supervisors. Students who fulfill these requirements are eligible to be issued an Initial License, which is valid for two years. The Initial License may be renewed, as long as the teacher meets all requirements, including a mandatory course in North Dakota Native American studies.

If You Have a Master’s Degree or are in a Master’s Degree program

Colleges and universities that have state or regional approval offer on-campus and online Master’s in Education degrees. Aspiring teachers can choose from a variety of graduate degrees, such as a Master of Science (MS) in Early Childhood Education, a Master of Science in General Studies, which is designed for middle school or secondary level teachers, or a Master of Education (M.Ed.), a degree that offers graduate study on the advanced professional preparation of the classroom teacher. Graduate education or teaching degrees usually provide both academic coursework and Teacher Preparation curricula. Completing all requirements of these degree programs culminate in a Master’s degree that qualifies you to apply for and be issued a license to teach in North Dakota. Graduates who have earned a Master’s degree and obtained a teaching license may decide to continue their academic education by pursuing a Doctoral degree in the field of education.

  1. Accredited universities with graduate programs in education offer a range of Master’s degrees that can lead you to a teaching license and a career as an educator. Master of Arts or Master of Science in Education, or Master of Education (M.Ed.) degrees may be offered concurrently with a Teacher Preparation program that is required for certification. You may also have the opportunity to focus on Elementary or Secondary Education, with an emphasis on the subject area you hope to teach.
  2. When you are ready to begin your teaching career, you must demonstrate that you have completed all requirements for certification or licensure. These steps include finishing required academic coursework, completing an approved Teacher Preparation Program, passing mandated tests, and fulfilling student teaching hours. The next step is to apply for your teaching certificate and begin searching for a job in the education field. Contact the North Dakota Department of Education to request an application.
  3. Some people who have earned a Master’s degree in Education may decide to continue their education and pursue a doctoral degree. Earning an Educational Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) or a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) may increase your opportunities for a better job and a higher income. Gathering information about available doctorate degrees in your field or specialty will provide the information necessary to discover the best university and education program to meet your needs.