Academic Opportunities


NIU provides many opportunities for undocumented students, however, it is crucial that we identify the program requirements of the major they are interested in pursuing. The majority of NIU’s majors require students to participate in clinical experience, practicums, internships, or student teaching; yet, many undocumented students do not have the paperwork to complete these essential components toward their degree.

The following table is an overview of clinical experience, internships, observation hours and student- teaching requirements set by various academic programs at NIU. It also provides information on the process students will need to pursue to complete background checks prior to a required out-of-classroom experience in their chosen field of study.

More Questions?

For specific questions students should contact the designated advisor for their specific major.


Required Outside Classroom Experience:
Internships, student teaching, clinical experience, observation hours, etc.



Not required, but highly recommended. Some unpaid internships, but students will need to inquire of individual departments. A great opportunity for all majors is the Experiential Learning Center where students (junior standing) work on real company business problems

Depends on the company


Required for Elementary Ed., Special Ed, Physical Ed, Early Childhood Studies. Observations, clinical experience, and student teaching

Background checks are done at the Regional Office of Education (ROE) or at the school district's administration office (where the student will observe or teach) depending on the school district’s preference

Non-teaching majors

Athletic Training & Kinesiology: Observation hours required. Some can be done with trainers at NIU in the Recreation Center. Student is responsible to find an approved site

Varies by site

Liberal Arts & Sciences College

Required for teacher licensure programs, clinical experience and student teaching

Background checks are done at the ROE

Liberal Arts & Sciences

Internships are not required, but highly recommended for non-teacher licensure programs

Depends on the major and internship site

Visual & Performing Arts

Required for teaching licensure programs (Art & Music Education)

Background checks are done at the ROE
Non-teaching programs- depends on site

Visual & Performing Arts

Highly recommended for non-teaching programs

Depends on site


Only U.S. citizens


Engineering & Engineering Technology

Highly encouraged internships

Depends on the company

Health & Human Sciences

Most majors under the College of Health and Human Sciences require internships, observation hours, student teaching, or clinical experience
It is recommended that the student talk with an advisor on the specific major to better address the background-check protocol and site placement requirements

Teacher licensure majors under Health and Human sciences need to process background checks via the ROE or at the school district's administration office depending on the school district’s preference
All other majors requiring a background check need to consult with their primary academic advisor

Contact Us

Sandy López
Coordinator for Undocumented Student Support
Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Campus Life Building 230


Fall 2020 office hours beginning September 1.

Monday: Closed (virtual appointments only
Tuesday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Wednesday: 8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Thursday: 1-5 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.