Kentucky's Rank System

Teachers in Kentucky are held to a three-tiered rank system. By completing additional education programs, teachers are able to advance their rank, leading to increased salary and promotion potential.

After completing a bachelor’s degree and earning a provisional teaching certificate, educators enter the field with Rank III eligibility.

By completing a 30-hour master’s degree, either to enhance competency in the initial teaching area or to add certification in a new area, educators are eligible to advance to Rank II.

Educators choosing to complete 30 hours above their Rank II are eligible to advance to Rank I. It is highly recommended that these 30 hours be taken as part of a second master’s program as Rank is not typically recognized outside of Kentucky. Rank I is the highest level attainable and typically carries the highest salary and promotion potential.


The Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) is responsible for conferring rank and rank changes. EKU prepares educators with the required coursework and experience but does not award initial rank or changes to rank.


Renewing or Enhancing Credentials

If you are interested in renewing or enhancing your credentials, EKU offers a variety of options, including:

  • Online Master of Arts in Education degree options
  • Online non-degree certification options
  • Online non-degree endorsement options
  • Online Specialist in Education degree and non-degree options

The Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) is responsible for issuing and renewing certificates for all Kentucky teachers and administrators. Check their website for complete details.

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