Chemistry

Our chemistry licensure program will prepare you to teach chemistry-related courses in grades nine to 12 at all levels, including honors and AP. You'll also be able to teach these introductory level classes:

  • Biology
  • Earth and space science
  • Physics
  • Environmental science

The program consists of 36 credits taken over four semesters. If you're an undergraduate student, you'll most likely complete the program during your last two years at NIU, along with your upper-level content classes.

Start Your Application

In order to enter the program, you must be pursuing a bachelor's degree in chemistry at NIU or hold a bachelor's degree in a related discipline.

You must also have the following minimum GPA:

  • Undergraduate: cumulative GPA of at least 2.50.
  • Graduate: cumulative GPA of at least 3.00.
  • GPA in all science and math courses must be at least 2.50.

You must complete the following requirements to earn your professional educator licensure with an endorsement in chemistry.

Observations

During your clinical placements, you'll complete a minimum of 100 hours of observations in at least three different high school classrooms in the northern Illinois region.

Subject Matter Test

You must successfully pass the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) content test in chemistry (106) before student teaching.

EdTPA (Teacher Performance Assessment)

You must successfully pass the edTPA during student teaching in order to receive an Illinois teaching license.

Criminal Background Checks

The schools at which you complete your clinicals may require a criminal background check. You will learn how to complete this in your clinical classes.

Health Checks

You must pass a TB test prior to your third semester in the program. TB tests are available for free to NIU students at Health Services and are good for one year.

Required Coursework

In order to earn your license, you must complete all required courses with a grade of C- or better. If you earn a D or F, you must repeat the course.

Contact us for guidance on course requirements if you are a transfer student or if you already earned a bachelor's degree in a related discipline.

You can read detailed descriptions of the following required courses in the NIU catalog. Equivalent courses from other accredited institutions may be substituted at the discretion of the certification advisor.

You may have some flexibility in your courses, as long as your selections meet the requirements for chemistry educator licensure.

Chemistry (30-36 hours)

  • CHEM 210 General Chemistry I (3 hours)
  • CHEM 212 General Chemistry I Lab (1 hour)
  • CHEM 211 General Chemistry II (3 hours)
  • CHEM 213 General Chemistry II Lab (1 hour)
  • CHEM 336 Organic Chemistry I (3 hours)
  • CHEM 338 Organic Chemistry I Lab (1 hour)
  • CHEM 337 Organic Chemistry II (3 hours)
  • CHEM 339 Organic Chemistry II Lab (1 hour)
  • CHEM 325 Analytical Chemistry (3 hours)
  • CHEM 440 Physical Chemistry (3 hours)
  • CHEM 442 Physical Chemistry Lab (1 hour)
  • CHEM 425 (4 hours), CHEM 460 (3 hours) or CHEM 470 (3 hours)

You must also take 4-9 hours of elective CHEM courses at the CHEM 329 level or above, excluding CHEM 370.

Physics (8 Hours)

  • PHYS 210 General Physics I, including lab (4 hours)
  • PHYS 211 General Physics II, including lab (4 hours)

Math (8 Hours)

  • MATH 229 Calculus I (4 hours)
  • MATH 230 Calculus II (4 hours)

English (3 Hours)

  • ENGL 350 Practical Writing (3 hours)

General Education

Your general education courses must include:

  • Oral communication (3 hours)
  • Written communication (3-6 hours): ENGL 103/104, ENGL 103/203 or ENGL 204
  • Psychology (3 hours)

Recommended Courses

  • BIOS 208 Fundamentals of Biology I (3 hours), plus BIOS 210 Lab (1 hour)
  • BIOS 209 Fundamentals of Biology II (3 hours), plus BIOS 211 Lab (1 hour)
  • CSCI 240 Computer Programming in C++ (4 hours)
  • GEOL 120 Introductory Geology (3 hours) or GEOL 325 Solid Earth Composition (4 hours) 

In most cases, you'll take licensure courses during the last four semesters before graduation. You'll be able to take upper-level content courses at the same time. During your final semester in the program, your entire schedule will consist of student teaching.

First Semester (Fall)

  • ILAS 201 Introductory Clinical Experience (30 hours of observation, 1 credit)
  • ETT 402 Use of Technology in Teaching (3 credits)
  • EPS 406 Human Development and Learning, Middle School and High School (3 credits)
  • CHEM 490x Nature of Science (2 credits)

Second Semester (Spring)

  • ILAS 301 Second Clinical Experience (30 hours of observation, 1 credit)
  • LTIC 420 Methods and Materials for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (3 credits)
  • CHEM 493x Interdisciplinary Teaching of Science in Secondary Education (3 credits)

Third Semester (Fall)

  • CHEM 401 Pre-student teaching clinical (40-plus hours of observation, 2 credits)
  • CHEM 495x Methods in Teaching Chemistry (3 credits)
  • SESE 457 Integrating Exceptional Students in the Regular Classroom (3 credits)

Fourth Semester (Spring)

  • CHEM 496 Student Teaching (10 credits)
  • CHEM 497 Transition to Professional Teaching (2 credits)