Licensure, Endorsements, & Credentials

If you are looking for updates on recent Illinois policy changes related to teaching licensure, and especially as they relate to the ongoing pandemic, please visit the CTE website. CTE posts periodic updates on Illinois licensure policy on their homepage.

Earn a teaching license at the College of Education

The Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) is required to teach in public schools in Illinois, and is recognized in most every U.S. state. The PEL serves as a foundation to which any teaching endorsement can be added after applicable coursework and testing are completed.

UIC offers teacher prep/licensure programs in two colleges: here at the College of Education, and in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. All UIC licensure programs are coordinated through the Council on Teacher Education (CTE).

The College of Education offers the following programs to earn a PEL:

Bachelor's and master's programs that lead to licensure

Alternative licensure programs (no degree, license only)

We offer one alternative licensure program: Early Childhood Alternative Licensure. Please note, this program is currently prioritizing experienced early childhood staff in Chicago community agencies for admission.


Endorsements allow licensed educators to specialize or expand their expertise in different subject areas, grade levels, and more. Learn more on our endorsements page. The following programs allow students to add endorsements to the license.

Earning the Endorsement only, without enrolling in a graduate degree program

Licensed teachers & administrators can earn the following endorsements. Depending on the endorsement, students complete courses through UIC Extended Campus or as non-degree students in the Graduate College*.

*Check the Extended Campus website & Graduate College website for application deadlines. Please note that non-degree and Extended Campus students do not qualify for UIC scholarships and financial aid.

Bachelor’s degree programs that offer endorsements

Master’s degree programs that offer endorsements

Doctoral programs that offer endorsements

Programs with a * indicate you must already have a PEL to obtain the endorsements listed, as the program by itself does not lead to licensure.


Credentials are a recognition of knowledge, skills, and experience that are awarded by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). Unlike endorsements, some credentials can be earned without obtaining an Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL).

Students should note that credentials are not a substitute or an alternative to a teaching license.

Bachelor’s programs that offer credentials

Master’s programs that offer credentials

  • MEd Early Childhood Education
    • Illinois Gateways Level 5 Early Childhood Education Credential
    • Illinois Early Intervention Developmental Therapist Credential

About teacher prep programs at UIC

UIC colleges that offer teacher prep programs:

The Council on Teacher Education (CTE) oversees all of UIC’s teacher prep programs, including licensure and endorsements, candidacy and fieldwork for students of both colleges. Visit the CTE programs page to see the full list and faculty contact for each licensure and endorsement program at UIC.

The Illinois basic skills requirement for teacher licensure has been eliminated. If you have specific questions, please contact CTE at or 312-355-0714.

Learn more about teaching licenses and endorsements in Illinois

If UIC does not offer the license or endorsement you are looking for, be sure to search the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) website for a full list of approved Illinois programs.

Teaching Certificates vs. License

In 2013, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) changed its credentialing terms for educators from a certificate to a license. So what used to be called a “teaching certificate” in Illinois is now a Professional Educator License (PEL).