Master of Arts in Teaching (Elementary Education with Licensure)


Earn your Illinois teacher licensure to teach grades one through six

Are you a working adult who currently holds a bachelor's degree in any field and desires to teach? Northern Illinois University Department of Curriculum and Instruction offers an evening program designed for working adults interested in obtaining a Master of Arts in Teaching degree leading to an initial license in elementary education. 

Scholarships and financial aid are available for students. 

Can I teach in Illinois Public Schools with this degree?

Yes! You will have met the requirements for an Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) with an endorsement in elementary education.

Does this degree include the ESL certificate?

You can add on a Bilingual/ESL certificate.

How long does it take to earn this degree?

This Master’s program is 44 credits and takes approximately seven semesters to complete.

Will I get to have clinical experiences in a classroom?

Yes! Teacher licensure candidates complete early clinical and student teaching courses. The early clinical occurs in a classroom during the regular school year in which you develop, teach, and assess literacy instruction. When student teaching, you will be placed in a school for 16 weeks full time during the day just like a regular teacher. 

What courses will I take?

You will take a variety of courses that will prepare you to meet the demands of the complex learning environment of an elementary classroom. Coursework includes the historical foundations of education, assessment and data-driven decision making, methods of instruction and curricular development, exceptionality and difference, and human growth and development.

How do I apply?

Apply to the NIU Graduate School as a Degree Seeking student or Student-at-Large (non-degree status).

Completed applications include the application, fee, career goal statement, two references, official transcripts, test scores (GRE or MAT), computer literacy course or exam and Test of Academic Proficiency.

A candidate may take a course as a Student-at-Large while waiting to be officially admitted into the program.


Nicholas Slicer
Graduate Advisor 

Program Flyer