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Education Standards and Practices Board

Assuring highly qualified professional educators for North Dakota students
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2718 Gateway Avenue
Suite 204
Bismarck, ND 58503-0585
(701) 328-9641 - Phone
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ESPB square logo Licensure

How do I apply?

Have you ever held a North Dakota teaching certificate or license?

No, I do not have a ND teaching license.

You will need to apply for an initial license. See information on Initial Licensure or Interim Reciprocal Licensure or Provisional Licensure.

Requests for initial application packets should be made in writing and accompanied by a thirty dollar ($30) initial application packet fee. The application packet includes both application forms and instructions and fingerprint cards and instructions.

Initial Licensure

In order to receive initial licensure, applicants must:

  1. successfully complete a state agency approved bachelors level teacher education program. The program must include both a certifiable major or minor (see list on the back of the ND licensure application form) and the professional education sequence well as the general studies. ND requires 26 semester or 40 quarter hours of professional education coursework for secondary and 34 SH or 50 QH for elementary.
  2. have at least 2.50 overall grade point average
  3. have successfully completed at least 10 weeks of full time, supervised student teaching in the certifiable area at the appropriate grade level(s).
  4. clear fingerprinting screening for criminal convictions (See information on Provisional licenses)
  5. be recommended for licensure by recent supervisors.
  6. pay all applicable fees

If licensure is denied on the basis of requirements 1-3, you will need to contact a state approved institution to set up a course of study that will enable you to complete the additional coursework to become licensed. A hearing process is available if you wish to challenge denial. (interim reciprocal licensure)

Native American Studies Requirement

North Dakota State Law requires that all teachers who graduated after 9/1/80 take the approved course in North Dakota Native American studies. Only the specific curriculum, which was approved by the Native American nations within the state of North Dakota and by the ESPB, can be accepted. We cannot substitute other Native American or multicultural courses. The approved course is readily available from state institutions and by correspondence. This course is required for in-state and out-of-state applicants. The course must be completed within the time period of the first two-year license under which the educator becomes contracted in North Dakota. If this requirement is not met the license cannot be renewed until the course is completed.

Interim Reciprocal Licensure

North Dakota has conditional reciprocity with other states. To receive interim reciprocal licensure an applicant must first hold a valid, current regular teaching certificate or license from another state, province, or similar jurisdiction.

  1. Interim reciprocal entrance requirements. Those who apply to the education standards and practices board, meet the minimum reciprocity requirements and submit a satisfactory plan for completing the remaining ND requirements will be issued a 2-year interim reciprocal license which has a fee of $70. The minimum reciprocity qualifications are:
    1. a bachelors degree that includes a major that meets the issuing jurisdiction's requirements in elementary education, middle-level education, or a content area taught in public high school,
    2. completion of a professional education sequence from a state approved teacher education program, including supervised student teaching,
    3. fingerprint background check as required of all initial applicants,
    4. submission and education standards and practices board approval of a plan to complete all remaining requirements for full North Dakota licensure as stated in Section 67.1-02-02-02.
  2. Remaining North Dakota requirements. An applicant will be notified of remaining requirements for full North Dakota licensure by the education standards and practices board. All out-of-state applicants submit transcripts for review by the same criteria as ND applicants. The applicant must provide official copies of transcripts for all the institutions of higher education have attended. The non-refundable fee for the transcripts review process is one hundred seventy-five dollars ($175). 
  3. Renewals. The interim reciprocal license is renewable once, provided adequate progress toward completing the remaining requirements is documented and approved by the education standards and practices board. Individuals who are only substituting may hold and renew the interim reciprocal license and defer the remaining requirements is documented and approved by the education standards and practices board. Individuals who are only substituting may hold and renew the interim reciprocal license and defer the remaining requirements until they come under contract (part-time or full-time).

Provisional Licensure

Provisional Licenses. Provisional licenses will be issued for a period of forty (40) days under the following conditions:

  1. Consideration for provisional licenses will not be granted until after August fifteenth in any year.
  2. Provisional licenses can only be issued to those individuals who have met all of the other requirements for a license except for the final clearance of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
  3. The school wishing to hire the individual has submitted to the education standards and practices board a letter of need and intent to hire.
  4. The individual has submitted a letter to the education standards and practices board indicating no criminal background and the intent to accept the position.
  5. The provisional license can be issued for forty (40) days and may be renewed indefinitely at the discretion of the education standards and practices board and continued request of the school.
  6. There is a one-time fee for the provisional license of twenty-five ($25) dollars.
  7. Once the criminal background investigation has been completed, the education standards and practices board may issue the license for which the individual is qualified for with its respective fees and conditions.
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