Jul 16, 2024  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 

Educator Licensure Program - Physics

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Individuals wishing to receive licensure and/or endorsement to teach physics should consult with the departmental licensure coordinator as soon as possible and also refer to the “Educator Licensure Requirements” section of the NIU catalog. Admission to educator licensure in the Department of Physics may take place at any time once the student is enrolled at NIU. An application should be made in writing to the licensure coordinator. Undergraduates should formally apply for admission during the first semester of their sophomore year, except in the case of transfer students who normally apply during their first semester at NIU.

Please note: Graduate students and students who already possess the baccalaureate or higher degree and wish to pursue licensure and/or endorsement with or without becoming a candidate for a degree, should apply for admission to the coordinator of physics education as early as possible. All licensure students should seek advising as soon after enrollment as possible.


The student must establish a file with the departmental licensure coordinator and complete satisfactory reviews of progress each semester after establishment of the file. The student must have completed at least PHYS 253 and PHYS 273, and MATH 229, or their equivalents as determined by the coordinator. The student must be enrolled in a degree program leading to a degree appropriate to licensure being pursued or be in possession of an appropriate degree from an accredited institution. The student must have completed 6 semester hours of written communication and 3 semester hours of oral communication with grades of C or better. The student must have a minimum GPA of 2.50 in all undergraduate course work. The student must have passed the ICTS Test of Academic Proficiency. The student must also have a satisfactory interview with the departmental licensure coordinator in which the student demonstrates attitudes and motivations appropriate to the professional educator.


The program of courses the student chooses for meeting licensure requirements must be approved by the departmental licensure coordinator each semester prior to registration. Students are responsible for timely submission of all applications and permits required during the licensure program.

The State of Illinois has moved from a course-based set of requirements for licensure to course and standards-based requirements. Approved licensure programs must have requirements that meet or exceed the state requirements. A list of the current state minimum requirements is available from the Illinois State Board of Education web page. The physics licensure program requirements are designed to prepare candidates for licensure both to meet state requirements and to demonstrate that they meet state teaching standards.

At this time requirements include the possession of an appropriate baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, a minimum of 32 semester hours in the field, pre-student teaching clinical experiences at the 6-12 level or proof of teaching experience at the 6-12 level, student teaching or an approved teaching experience, passage of the Test of Academic Proficiency, the ILTS Assessment of Professional Teaching Test, secondary license subject matter examinations of the Illinois Licensure Testing System and demonstration that the candidate has met teaching standards for the physics teacher. Contact the department licensure coordinator for information on the necessary criteria that experiences must meet to be used to meet licensure requirements.

Outlined below is the required couse work as determined and approved by the licensure coordinators to meet state standards for the preparation of teachers, licensure requirements and student needs. It is strongly recommended that students completing requirements for the teaching license in physics also obtain an endorsement in at least one subject other than physics.

Please note: The following classes for educator licensures may change to reflect new state requirements.


A minimum GPA of 2.50 in all undergraduate course work at NIU and a minimum 3.00 GPA in all graduate course work at NIU.

Satisfactory review of progress with the physics education coordinator each semester after admission to the licensure program.

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