Information for Graduate Students


People who already hold bachelor's degrees often come to our program to seek initial educator licensure. While you can pursue licensure as a post-baccalaureate student, you can also do so as a graduate student who will seek an additional advanced degree at the same time as they achieve initial educator licensure. If you are interested in this option, please review the information below. You should always consult the educator licensure requirements and the NIU catalog and speak with an educator licensure advisor on a regular basis.  

Basic Considerations

  • Educator licensure is not a degree program. If you want a graduate degree, you must complete the requirements for a master’s degree in your discipline (see departmental graduate requirements). 
  • Students who already have a bachelor’s degree in history or one of the social sciences may enroll in the licensure program at either the post-baccalaureate (undergraduate) or graduate level. 
  • Students pursuing licensure at the graduate level must apply for admission to the graduate school as either a student-at-large (SAL) or master’s degree candidate. 
  • Students wishing to complete the program at the graduate level must have completed all required history and social science foundations courses listed in the program requirements page. A transcript review by a licensure advisor will identify undergraduate history/social sciences deficiencies to be completed. Those courses must be taken prior to changing to graduate status. 
  • Students may substitute courses taken at other institutions for program requirements in history and social sciences with approval of the educator licensure program. 
  • Transfer credit for professional education or clinical experience requirements is only accepted in rare cases and only with documentation proving that the transferred course or clinical experience is equivalent to the program’s required course or clinical. 
  • Graduate students must maintain a 3.00 cumulative NIU GPA and a 3.25 discipline GPA for admission and retention in the program. These are higher than the undergraduate GPA minimums of 2.75 and 3.0 respectively. 

Program Requirements

At the graduate level the initial educator licensure program will require completion of all of the following elements.

  • Hold B.A. or B.S. degree in history or one of the social sciences
  • Be enrolled in a graduate program in history or one of the social sciences
  • History and Social Sciences Foundations Courses (undergraduate)
    • ECON (6 hours): ECON 160, ECON 260, ECON 261 or ECON 425
    • GEOG (6 hours): GEOG 101, and GEOG 202 or GEOG 253
    • HIST (15 hours): HIST 170, HIST 171, HIST 260, HIST 261 HIST 359
    • POLS (6 hours): POLS 100 or POLS 150, and POLS 260 or POLS 285
    • PSYC (3 hours): PSYC 102
    • SOCI (3 hours): SOCI 170
  •  Professional Education Courses (graduate level)
    • LTRE 511Teaching Reading in the Content Areas
    • LTIC 520 Methods and Materials for Teaching English as a Second Language in Content Areas
    • ETR 530 Test Construction and Evaluation
    • SESE 557 Methods for Including Middle and Secondary Students with Exceptionalities in the General Education Classroom
    • EPS 550X Classroom Management
  •  Clinical Experiences
    • ILAS 501—Clinical Experiences in High Schools (minimum of 100 hours of pre-student teaching clinical experience) 3 credit hours
    • HIST 500—Student Teaching (minimum of 14 weeks full-time student teaching experience) 12 credit hours

Admission to the program

  • Admission to the university does not guarantee admission to the licensure program.
  • You are eligible for admission to the licensure program at the graduate level once you have:
    • been admitted to the graduate school as an SAL or master’s student
    • met with a educator licensure advisor and developed a schedule plan
    • completed required undergraduate level history and social science foundations courses
    • established an NIU cumulative GPA of 3.00
    • attained a discipline GPA of 3.25 in your major
    • a passing Test of Academic Proficiency score (or ACT/SAT substitution) posted with the Illinois State Board of Education
    • an accepted application for ILAS 501, Clinical Experience in High Schools

Clinical Applications

Applications for clinical experiences are due mid October for the following spring semester, mid February for the next fall. Application notifications reminders are sent via email to your NIU email address in September and January each year. You should apply for the clinical in the semester indicated on your schedule plan given to you by the licensure program advisor. 

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