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Illinois Teacher License Requirements

To receive your Illinois teacher licensure, you need to meet certain state requirements. These include taking exams, completing a degree program, and obtaining licensure.

Steps to Illinois Teaching Licensure

To learn how to get a teaching license in the state of Illinois, review the complete requirements below.

  1. Pass the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP). This is a test of your basic academic ability and must be taken before you can be admitted into a teacher preparation program. Written tests are offered every other month. You may also take the test online in a state-approved testing center (visit for more information). If you’ve passed the TAP or Basic Skills Test, you don’t have to retake them. A composite score of 22 or better on the ACT plus writing or composite mathematics and critical reading score of 1030 or better on the SAT with writing may be substituted for the TAP.
  2. Enter an approved teacher preparation program. The state of Illinois maintains a list of approved teacher preparation programs. All of National Louis University’s undergraduate and graduate teacher preparation programs are on that list.
  3. Complete all your NLU coursework with a grade of "C" or better if you're an undergraduate student or a "B" or better if you're a graduate student.
  4. Pass the content test for your area of endorsement before you begin your student teaching. An "area of endorsement" is your education specialty (for example: early childhood, elementary education, middle grades or special education). If you intend to teach high school, you must pass the content test for your chosen subject prior to admission to a teacher preparation program.
  5. Pass the Educative Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) during your student teaching.
  6. Apply for your state of Illinois teaching license upon completing your student teaching and passing the edTPA. A representative from the National College of Education at National Louis University will assist you with this process.

Teacher Preparation Checklist

Upon successful completion of a bachelor's or master's in teaching program at NLU, graduates will obtain an Illinois Professional Educator License, commonly referred to as a teaching license.

If you’re ready to get started, take a look at our checklist for preparing to become a teacher in Illinois.


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
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    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
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    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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