Licensure at NIU


What teaching and other education licenses are offered at NIU?

We offer 37 educator preparation programs. For program options and advisors, see the NIU Teacher Licensure Programs page, and choose from the programs listed by certificate.

Does NIU offer Alternative Routes to Teacher Licensure?

No alternative route programs are being offered at this time.

What reading credentials are available through NIU?

NIU offers a Reading Specialist licensure program and can also recommend for the Reading Teacher endorsement any candidate who completes 24 specifically-identified hours of coursework within that program.

NIU does not offer a separate reading teacher endorsement program. Candidates for that endorsement are expected to enroll in a reading specialist program and earn the endorsement as described above.

What social science designations are available through NIU?

History, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Psychology and Sociology/Anthropology

What science designations are available through NIU??

Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Environmental Science and Physics

What foreign language licensure programs are offered by NIU?

French, German and Spanish

Are the Bilingual and ESL Endorsements offered at NIU?

Yes, through the Department of Literacy Education in the College of Education.

Does NIU provide any special programs to assist Provisional Bilingual License holders earn full licensure?

Yes, NIU works with a number of school districts in the region to help their Provisional Bilingual License holders attain full licensure. Typically, this is through a cohort of candidates who come from one district or area and who go through the program together. For more information, contact the Department of Literacy and Elementary Education.

Can community college students transfer into NIU licensure programs?

Yes. See the NIU web pages on transfer admissions and then consult with an advisor in the program of choice.

What is NIU's policy on transfer credit from another four year institution in Illinois? From an institution outside of Illinois? From outside the United States?

NIU welcomes candidates from other institutions and countries. Interested candidates should review the NIU web pages on transfer admissions and then consult with an advisor in the program of choice.

How can I get information about admission to a teaching or other licensure program at NIU? How can I learn what is required for licensure?

A: For program options and advisors, see the NIU Teacher Licensure Programs page, and choose from the programs listed. For general questions, contact the University Office of Educator Licensure at

Does NIU have any teacher licensure requirements in addition to those required by the State of Illinois?

NIU teacher licensure candidates are required to successfully complete coursework which contributes directly to an awareness of cultural diversity. Additional requirements may be defined by the individual department or college.

Why does NIU require coursework related to students with disabilities?

This is a state law.

I have a bachelor's degree. Will I need to earn another degree to earn a license at NIU?

Not necessarily. Each licensure program at NIU has specific requirements. However, certification can be earned by

  • completion of an approved program as a postgraduate earning a second bachelor's degree, or
  • completion of an approved program as a student-at-large without completing a second bachelor's degree, or
  • completion of an approved program through a master's degree.

For program options and advisors, see the NIU Teacher Licensure Programs page, and choose from the programs listed by license.

Will I be able to complete a teacher preparation program at NIU in four years?

NIU is committed to working with undergraduate students to design their course of study so they will be able to complete their degree and licensure work in four years. However, individual circumstances vary so greatly that it is impossible to guarantee the length of time each person will need to complete their program. Candidates are encouraged to work with their advisors to plan the most efficient course of study.

How do I make an appointment with an advisor?

For program advisors, see the NIU Teacher Licensure Programs page, and choose from the programs listed by license.

How can I get my transcripts evaluated to identify what is needed to obtain a subsequent teaching endorsement through NIU?

Candidates who wish to obtain a subsequent endorsement will need to submit (1) official transcripts from accredited institutions of higher education where the individual has taken coursework or clinical experiences, (2) evidence of prior teaching experience and teaching performance and (3) evidence of other relevant professional experiences. There is a modest fee for the review of these materials. For more information, prospective candidates should read NIU's policy on subsequent endorsements and contact advisors in the program of choice.

What advanced programs provided by NIU require a teaching license?

Applicants for the following advanced programs MUST hold a valid Illinois teaching license: principal and superintendent, reading and media specialists.

The following advanced programs DO NOT require a teaching license: school psychologist, speech-language pathologist and school counselor and chief school business official.

What is the "School Counselor Intern" approval?

This approval was adopted by the State Board of Education to allow a district to employ a school counseling student while he or she is completing the internship requirements. NIU students and candidates should talk about this option with an advisor in the school counseling program.

How much does it cost to attend NIU?

The cost of a college education includes tuition, fees, housing and/or travel and many other variables. Specific information about these costs can be obtained from the Student Financial Aid Office.

State law requires that Illinois residents enrolling for the first time at NIU (or other state university) as degree-seeking undergraduate students in or after the fall semester, 2004, be charged a fixed tuition rate schedule for four continuous years, beginning with their initial enrollment. This will help candidates plan for the costs of obtaining a license through NIU.

Does NIU provide any financial aid for prospective teachers?

Northern Illinois University assists students in obtaining financial aid through a variety of financial aid programs and provides financial aid for students through a variety of scholarship and loans. Individuals who want specific information should review the Student Financial Aid Office website or contact the office in person or by email. Prospective teachers may consult with advisors in their departments and/or contact the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

Does NIU have job placement or similar services available to its education graduates?

NIU maintains a very active Career Planning and Placement Center whose services include an annual educators job fair and a job search handbook. For educator employment resources, visit the Career Planning and Placement Center website.

In addition to these formal programs and services, most educator candidates are able to obtain information about job opportunities from their departments. School districts and other employers in Illinois and surrounding states frequently contact NIU to advertise their need for certain kinds of candidates. However, because NIU is known for the quality of its educators, the colleges also receive job announcements from across the nation and the world.

How does a person obtain verification of completion of a licensure program at NIU?

Persons needing verification that they have completed an educator preparation program at NIU can request a completed State-Approved Program Verification form from the Office of Educator Licensure and Preparation, Williston #320, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115. The phone number for this office is 815-753-0846 or 753-0847.