Common Requirements for Initial Licenses


A candidate for initial licensure must be accepted for admission by the university and meet the criteria relevant to the individual's status as an undergraduate, graduate, transfer or student-at-large. For information about the admission requirements, please refer to the NIU Office of Admissions.

Each department offering a Licensure program establishes its own program admission requirements. However, all candidates for initial Licensure must have at least a 2.5 grade point average.

Prior to admission to an educator licensure program, all candidates must pass the state required Test of Academic Proficiency. Prospective students may use one of the following to substitute for the TAP:

  • For ACT tests taken prior to September 1, 2015, candidates must provide documented ACT Plus Writing score (minimum composite score of 22 and minimum combined English/Writing score of 19)
  • For ACT tests taken on or after September 1, 2015, candidates must provide documented ACT Plus Writing Score (minimum composite score of 22 and minimum writing score of 16).
  • Documented SAT score (minimum on the critical reading + mathematics of 1030 and minimum score on the writing of 450).

Acceptance to a Licensure program does not guarantee continuation in that program. In general, retention in a Licensure program requires that the student

  • maintain a satisfactory GPA, based on program requirements;
  • have good character, and be in sound mental and physical health; and
  • demonstrate the skills, attitudes, and behaviors necessary for working with children and/or adolescents, as applicable.

Each program determines the specific requirements for retention in its Licensure program; candidates should contact program advisors for specific information.