Program Requirements


Secondary Science Teaching

Individuals wishing to receive a license to teach science (biology, chemistry, environmental science,  geology, or physics) at the secondary level have a number of program options.  You may complete the program while pursuing your degree in the science discipline or may apply to the program as a post graduate, student at large or graduate student.  Teacher preparation in the sciences at NIU is an "entitlement program." This means you are recommended to the ISBE for a license to teach in the Illinois Public Schools. This recommendation is based on satisfactory completion of all program requirements and demonstrating competency in all applicable standards as mandated by the ISBE for the professional preparation of science teachers. Candidates successfully completing the teacher licensure program in one of the sciences will be recommended for a Secondary Teaching License (grades 9-12) with a primary endorsement in their major. 

  • The necessary course work and other program requirements for each discipline are clearly identified under the quick links on this web page. Additional ISBE requirements include taking and passing the Illinois Teacher Certification Tests (ICTS).   Also, individuals with BS degrees awarded prior to 2005 must demonstrate currency in the field of science before their potential candidacy will be considered. This may be accomplished by passing the ICTS science (biology, chemistry, earth and space science, environmental science or physics) subject area test and satisfying any additional requirements determined by each department. 

Students are responsible not only for meeting the requirements of their degree program, but also the teacher preparation program and the requirements for a secondary teaching license as set by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).  While the program provides extensive advising, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to keep track of their progress and to complete all requirements.

Contact Us

Photo of Paul Fix

Paul Fix, Asst. Director
Secondary Science Educator Licensure
326 Faraday
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
(815) 753-6819