Recruit and Retain: The Future of Education

Teacher Certification in Nevada

Nevada licenses teachers and issues them endorsements to teach particular grade levels, subjects, and populations. Teaching is, across the board, a bachelor's level profession. Licensure depends on education and training and on successfully completing a multi-step assessment process.

Nevada expects programs at both the elementary and secondary levels to include significant pedagogical coursework; this is in addition to coursework that develops competence in the subject area.

Nevada educational preparation programs now include a course in parental involvement and family engagement. This is a requirement for initial licensees. The Department of Education has provided a list of courses that meet this requirement (

Nevada Teaching Endorsements

State code identifies specific requirements for different categories. Program standards can vary in the total number of units as well as in coursework requirements. Secondary teachers have a major area of certification and may have minor areas.

Nevada elementary certification is issued for grades K-8. Approved programs include 32 hours of professional educator coursework. Coursework follows a particular distribution pattern, with nine semester hours of literacy and language arts methodology and nine additional semester hours of subject area methodology, which must include math, science, and social studies. The student teaching requirement is eight semester hours. There is a separate 18 semester hour requirement for coursework in social studies, math, and science disciplines and for coursework in educating, or adapting curriculum for, students with disabilities.

There are a number of endorsements that can be added to an elementary license. The Department of Education has provided a list, noting that specialized endorsements are not necessary to teach children in grades K-8.

Early childhood endorsements are recognized for all ages through second grade. There is a separate set of standards, significantly different than the elementary list. However, a teacher endorsed at this level will also have some coursework in language and literacy, social studies, and math and science.

The Nevada licensing authority offers a number of distinct special education endorsements. Some cover age three through age twenty-one. Some cover the traditional school grades. The early childhood developmental delays endorsement covers birth through age seven. There are multiple pathways to achieving this endorsement. The teacher may have a degree specifically in the discipline or may have a less closely related education degree or a degree in any of multiple fields where it is customary to work with children under age 8 who have developmental delays. Even a nursing degree may provide the foundation if the nurse has experience with pediatric populations. The licensing authority also requires 18 credit hours of coursework related to educating children with developmental delays. An individual seeking endorsement in this category will have a student teaching experience or a year of work experience.

Teachers at the secondary level (grades 7-12) have a pedagogy requirement and a content requirement. State code outlines requirements for specific secondary endorsements.

The secondary level teacher will need at least 22 credit hours of professional education coursework. He or she will have a methods course in a subject area and at least eight semester hours of student teaching. The required coursework in parental/ family involvement and educating/ adapting for disabilities can be credited as secondary level pedagogy. Additional pedagogical coursework could be in any of multiple areas, among them, adolescent growth and development, classroom management, educational psychology, differentiation of education, and/ or teaching English language learners.

Comprehensive majors and minors are offered in many common school subjects, among them, social studies, English, mathematics, and instrumental music. Comprehensive majors are 36 credit hours; comprehensive minors, 24. Nevada also recognizes a number of single subject majors and minors that can be noted on a teaching license; the list includes some less common ones like botany. Single subject majors are 30 semester hours; single subject minors, 16.

Nevada middle school endorsements are for grades 7-9.The Department of Education notes that they are not designed for teaching grade 9 in a high school setting.

The Assessment Process

Nevada teachers typically take two to three assessments en route to licensure. The state has adopted Praxis tests. The Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators, a test of general academic skills, is a requirement for many prospective teachers. The Nevada licensing authority also accepts the California CBEST. Students who have taken the GRE may be exempt, provided their academic achievement is sufficient ( Individuals who have failed a Core subtest have the option of taking a qualifying university course and earning a grade of at least B. The Department of Education has provide a list of approved courses.

Many prospective teachers will take the Principles of Teaching and Learning assessment at the K-6 or 7-12 level; this is a test of pedagogy. Subject area tests are typically also required; they correspond with endorsements. The ETS Praxis website includes pages specific to Nevada (

The Application Process

The application process has gone online. All prospective teachers now apply using the OPAL system. Required forms can be accessed from within the system.

Prospective Nevada teachers take a background check at the licensure level ( They often go through a background check at the employment level, too, as this information is not shared between the Department of Education and individual school districts.

Alternative Routes to Licensure

Nevada approves Alternative Routes to Licensure (ARL) programs for individuals who hold bachelor's degrees and meet other basic requirements. Candidates may qualify on the basis of having a major or minor in the area they want to teach. In some cases, they may qualify by assessment; this is the case with secondary fields and with K-12, art, music, and physical education. Individuals need to be accepted into ARL programs to receive provisional licenses. Ultimately they will need to complete the programs to continue teaching.

Out-of-State Teachers

The DOE website includes a notation that educators licensed in other states and territories are encouraged to seek reciprocal licensure in Nevada ( Many licenses will be accepted for direct reciprocity without additional testing, but this is not the case with all. The License Analyst may request additional documentation following review.

Additional Information

Information is available from the Department of Education, Office of Educator Licensure (

Regulations change periodically; new regulations were published in 2018.