Initial Professional Educator License

Teacher pointing to map

Get ready to begin your teaching career by obtaining your professional educator license (PEL). NIU offers several programs that will prepare you for initial educator licensure in Illinois.

Teaching Endorsement Areas

Your initial license will include at least one endorsement area. However, you may complete requirements for multiple endorsement areas at any time.

An early childhood education license qualifies you to teach children from birth through second grade. You can prepare for licensure by completing a bachelor's degree in early childhood education or a master's degree in early childhood education.

With an elementary education license, you'll be ready to teach children in first through sixth grades. The innovative curriculum for our bachelor's degree in elementary education includes emphases that lead to additional endorsements.

You can also pursue a master's degree in teaching that leads to initial elementary education licensure.

Our program in middle-level teaching and learning is housed in the College of Education and prepares you teach two content areas to adolescent learners from grades five through eight. You'll prepare for teaching in one major content area endorsement, either English language arts, mathematics, science or social sciences.

The secondary license authorizes you to teach specified topics to students in grades nine through 12. Licensure programs in secondary education are offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Health and Human Sciences and the College of Education.

Specific Programs

The special K-12 license qualifies you to teach students in all grade levels in one of the following areas:

The special education license authorizes you to work with individuals from preschool to age 21. NIU offers several programs that will prepare you for initial licensure in this area:

Contact Us

Office of Educator Licensure and Preparation
Williston Hall 320
815-753-0846
TeacherCertification@niu.edu