Program Requirements - Science Teacher Education

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Program Requirements

Secondary Science Teaching 

Individuals wishing to receive a license to teach science (biology, chemistry, geology, or physics) at the secondary level have a number of program options.  Although a Bachelor of Science Degree in one of the science areas listed above is required to qualify for the program, it is not necessary to complete a degree program at NIU at the same time as completing license requirements.  It is strongly suggested that all the professional education requirements be completed at NIU.  Candidates successfully completing the teacher certification program in one of the sciences will earn a Type 09 certificate (grades 6-12) with a primary endorsement in their major.  An endorsement to teach middle school science is included in the program as well.

Students may pursue certification as an undergraduate, post-graduate, student-at-large, or graduate student. Which strategy to follow depends on personal goals and academic back-ground. The teacher certification program in the sciences is not a degree program in secondary education. Teacher certification in the sciences at NIU is an "entitlement program." This means you are recommended to the ISBE for certification 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.

  • 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). The certification program requires potential candidates to have passed the basic-skills test before candidacy to pursue certification will be considered and the science subject area test prior to student teaching.  To read about the Basic Skills or content tests or to register for the tests follow the link:  Illinois Certification Testing System

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 certification program and the requirements for a teaching certificate 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.