Science Teacher Licensure - Northern Illinois University



Secondary Science License

Students completing the Secondary (9-12) Science Teacher Licensure programs in one of the five disciplines (Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Environmental Science or Physics) of the Science licensure areas will be given their Initial Teaching License by the State of Illinois in Science with an endorsement in the field of their major discipline (e.g. Science: Biology). This endorsement will allow students to teach that specific discipline at all levels including Honors and AP courses.  Students will also be able to teach any science discipline (Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Environmental Science or Physics) at the regular level of instruction.

Our program also builds a middle school science endorsement into the program completion requirements.  Thus every student who completes the program will have earned sufficient course credits for this endorsement as a matter of course.  This will change in the near future as the state of Illinois moves toward the separation of the middle school endorsement from both elementary and high school certification programs.

Before leaving the program students may wish to earn additional endorsements in any of the other science certification areas.  This can be done by taking 12 hours of coursework in the additional science discipline (Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Environmental Science or Physics) and passing the ISBE Content Test in the chosen area. 

Non Science Disciplines and Licensure Areas

This information applies to students who are completing a certification program in a discipline other than a science area.

Students who wish to get an endorsement in science but are enrolled in a non-science program must complete each of the following requirements:

  1. Pass the content-area test for the designation
  2. Complete 32 semester hours in the broad field of Sciences with a minimum of:
    1. 12 semester hours in the designation
    2. Courses in at least two other subject areas in the broad field

Please view the program requirements link on the home page for coursework at NIU for science teacher certification by discipline.

Students seeking an endorsement in Science should consult with our program Coordinator as well as the Illinois State Board of Education's Certification Guide  (section VII) on endorsements.