Licensure Areas

We offer science educator preparation programs in five areas:

Our programs are designed to be completed in two years. If you attend part time or need to meet additional requirements, it may take longer. When you complete the program, we'll recommend you to the Illinois State Board of Education for a license to teach in Illinois public schools.

License and Endorsements

The professional educator license (PEL) you obtain will allow you to teach all regular-level science classes at Illinois public schools, in grades nine through 12. Your PEL will include a primary endorsement in your area of study, which will enable you to teach advanced classes, such as honors and AP classes, in that subject.

We recommend that you earn an additional endorsement in another science area. This will expand the range of advanced classes you can teach and make you a more competitive candidate for employment.


Your requirements, such as tests and coursework, will vary depending on your area of study. See your program page for details.

In general, you must have a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in your subject in order to obtain licensure. If you're an undergraduate, you'll complete the licensure program during your last two years at NIU.

You may need to complete additional coursework if:

  • You have a degree in a different discipline.
  • You completed a science degree and want to get a teaching license.

If you're enrolled in a non-science licensure program and want to get a science endorsement, you must:

  • Pass the content test for your subject.
  • Complete 32 semester hours of science courses in at least three areas, including 12 in your chosen subject.

Learn more about Illinois requirements for educator licensure.