Alternative Routes to Licensure

Earn your Virginia teaching license without attending a full-time teacher education program.

If you want to earn a license to teach in a Virginia public school (preK-12), but a full-time teacher education program isn’t right for you, the Curry School offers individualized advising and flexible online coursework designed to help you meet the requirements you need for the alternative route to licensure available in Virginia.

We can provide you with personal advising for obtaining the specific license you need. You can also browse through the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE)’s licensure page to identify the specific endorsement you want to become licensed to teach. Based on your past work experiences and college degree(s) and/or technical certifications, we can point you toward the most appropriate path to licensure. The VDOE’s “Routes to Licensure” webpage provides an overview of the different paths to licensure.


Though you may be eligible for hire on a Provisional License before you have completed these requirements, in order to obtain the 5-year renewable teaching license, you will need to meet the requirements within the following five categories:

  • Endorsement course work

    These relate to the specific content area you are interested in teaching. These are course requirements that are usually met through a person's undergraduate degree, but if there are any courses you are missing from this category, you can take these at any accredited college or university.  Look for the specific endorsement course requirements area on the VDOE’s licensure page.

  • Professional studies course work

    These relate to the more pedagogical aspects of the teaching license. Depending on the specific endorsement you are seeking, there are slightly different requirements. There are 18 credit hours required for middle and elementary school endorsements, and 15 credit hours for k-12, secondary, and special education endorsements. UVA provides these courses on-line for the different endorsement areas.

    Professional Studies Course Series
  • Professional teacher's assessments

    Refer to the VDOE’s webpage describing the assessments for the specific endorsement areas.

  • Field experience

    In a traditional teacher education program, there are multiple field experiences, including a “student teaching” period. Those seeking licensure through the alternative route must complete one year of full time teaching (in their specific endorsement area) in an accredited Virginia public or nonpublic school. The hiring institution will apply for a 3-year, non-renewable provisional license on your behalf; you then have those three years to complete any unmet licensure requirements. You do not need to have fulfilled all other requirements before doing your field experience.

  • Other requirements

    There are four other requirements that do not fall under the other categories:

    There is also technology standard that must be met, but this will be done through the school division that hires you.