• All educators wishing to teach must receive certification from the State Department of Education. Applicants must meet all requirements for certification that are in effect for the calendar year in which they are applying.

    The following are required to qualify for certification in South Carolina:

    • A bachelor’s or master’s degree from an institution with a state-approved teacher education program. The degree must either be in education or in a relevant academic area.
    • Submitted test scores from the general professional knowledge exam.
    • Applicant must be at least eighteen years old.
    • Criminal records checks both from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the FBI.


    Teachers and administrators transferring from another state must provide their teaching examination scores that were required for certification in the state they were certified. If no exams were required in the state where they were certified, then out-of-state applicants must complete and submit scores from the general professional knowledge examination.


    After receiving initial certification in South Carolina, educators can apply to upgrade their certification status. Descriptions of the different types of certifications issued can be found on the Licensure Topics page.

    To fulfill needs in critical subjects, individuals may elect to receive certification through the PACE program. PACE allows qualified individuals the opportunity to gain certification while working within the classroom.

    The South Carolina Department of Education Licensure Manual outlines the specific steps and criteria that are required to achieve certification in our state.