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Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate Programs

Our students go forth as dedicated educators, committed to ensuring that all learners meet their potential and contribute to a just, cohesive, and highly productive society.

Graduate from one of our teacher education programs and you'll leave Illinois knowing both the subject you teach and the best ways to help your students to learn - a powerful combination. Becoming a teacher in Illinois requires two critical elements - an approved degree and licensure by the Illinois State Board of Education. You can get the quick overview of the options here, or you can go directly to our Student Academic Affairs Office for the comprehensive guide to undergraduate study.

Degree Options

The College offers undergraduate degrees in three programs:

Admission to the College requires junior standing for elementary and early childhood education majors. Special Education majors may be admitted into the program as sophomores or juniors. Incoming freshman interested in pursuing a teaching career may apply for admission to the Pre-Teacher Education curriculum.

Through the Minor in Secondary School Teaching, we also prepare new high school teachers in English, mathematics, social studies and the sciences (biology, chemistry, earth sciences, physics). In this program, you will earn your degree from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in your chosen content area while taking critical teacher preparation curriculum in the College of Education. Admission to this minor requires junior standing. If you're thinking about preparing for teacher licensure in secondary education you will apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for admission to the major subject in which they seek licensure.

Degree/Field Requirements 
Freshman Admission to Pre-Teacher Education Program How to apply button
B.S. Early Childhood Education How to apply button
B.S. Elementary Education How to apply button

B.S. Special Education

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Minor in Secondary School Teaching

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Undergraduate AdvisingUndergraduate Academic Advising

Through it all, in any program you select, you'll have the assistance of your own academic advisor to help you make the best choices for your career and to make sure that your Illinois experience is one that you'll remember for the rest of your life. The advising staff in the College of Education is a group of experienced, award-winning professionals who are dedicated to guiding you into your new career. If you have questions at any stage, from admission to graduation - our advising office is a great place to find answers. Illinois may be a large university, but here in the College, we'll make sure you're never alone.

For detailed information about any of these degree options, please contact the College Student Academic Affairs Office.

State Licensure for Teachers

Illinois (and all other states) requires that public school teachers be officially certified by the state before they can be hired. This licensure process requires students to demonstrate certain levels of academic preparation and practical skills. At Illinois, teacher licensure is managed by the Council on Teacher Education in cooperation with your degree program. The staff of the Council will work with you and your academic advisor during your Illinois experience to make sure that you've met all of the necessary requirements to begin your teaching career when you leave the campus. For more details about how licensure works on the campus, you can visit the Council on Teacher Education web site.

The James Scholar Honors Program

The James Scholar Program is a University-wide program established to encourage undergraduate research and independent study. Students designated as James Scholars are entitled to certain academic privileges, including access to the “stacks" in the library, priority in assignment of registration times and official recognition on the University of Illinois transcript. The program gives a student a special opportunity to explore various topics and to receive recognition for those endeavors. Specific eligibility and requirements are detailed on the James Scholar section of the College web site.