Become a Certified Teacher without a Degree in Education
The Teacher Certification (TC) program is designed for students with a bachelor's degree recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education who wish to be certified to teach without earning an additional degree. Students in the TC program will complete the essential requirements for teacher certification in the state of Illinois.
Day, evening and summer courses are offered on the main Chicago campus. Courses are seven to eight weeks long with daytime classes usually meeting twice per week and evening classes meeting once per week. Class schedules vary but most evening courses begin at 6:00 pm. Candidates may begin the program in any term.
TC programs are personalized for each candidate so they may vary in length. Most candidates are eligible for certification and may assume their first teaching position in less than two years. On average, candidates complete coursework in 18 to 24 months part-time and 12 to 18 months full-time. The number of deficiencies in a student's academic area of concentration or content area will affect the length of their program.
TC candidates may choose from four Illinois teaching certificates:
- Early Childhood Education (Infant to Grade 3)
- Elementary Education (K - Grade 9)
- Secondary Education (Grades 6 - 12)
- K-12 Education (Art, Foreign Language, Music, and Physical Education Only)
Illinois Teacher Requirements
All teachers in Illinois have the same requirements for certification, whether they come to the profession as undergraduate or graduate students.
The State Board of Education requires teachers to be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. However, international candidates can still earn a graduate degree in education.
Admission Requirements and Application Process
North Park University maintains a rolling admissions process for non-degree programs in education. We accept applications right up until classes begin. However, we encourage you to apply well in advance of the start of your first term. This will ensure you are prepared for the program and get the classes you prefer.
All applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution recognized by the State of Illinois.
GPA in Undergraduate Studies
Generally, applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 and a GPA of 2.75 in their major classes (on a 4-point scale) for Illinois Teacher Certification.
All applicants must supply official transcripts from all colleges and universities they have attended. A transcript is only considered official if it is an original copy, sealed by the institution and sent directly to North Park University at this address:
Office of Graduate Admissions
3225 W Foster Avenue Box 40
Chicago, IL 60625
All applicants must submit three professional letters of recommendation through the online application. Choose three people, not related to you, who can speak to your professional experience, skills and temperament. You will need names and email addresses for all three before starting your application.
All applicants must complete the online application.
TC applicants may be required to attend a personal interview upon request.
The Illinois State Board of Education requires all candidates for teacher certification to pass the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP), formerly known as the Illinois Basic Skills Test. Please visit the Illinois Licensure Testing System for more information.
Decisions on Admission
Your application will be reviewed by an admissions committee only when all materials have been received by the University. You will be informed of the committee's decision by both US Mail and by either phone or email within two weeks of completing your application. All documents submitted become the property of North Park University and cannot be returned to the applicant at any time.