Admission Requirements

All applicants to the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program in Early Childhood Education must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university/college.

A formal application process is completed through the Office of Admission and includes the following:

  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Copies of all undergraduate transcripts
  • A personal statement/essay that:
    • explains the primary reason for seeking admission to the licensure in early childhood education program
    • describes experiences working with young children in community and school settings
    • provides a rationale for a choice for an area of specialization
  • A 2.750 or higher GPA, which may be calculated in one of three ways:
    • a 2.750 combined GPA from all institutions of higher education,
    • a 2.750 cumulative GPA from the institution granting the most recent degree, or
    • a 2.750 cumulative GPA calculated using the last four semesters of college-level coursework (minimum of 48 semester hours).
    • All prior coursework used for prerequisite and licensure requirements must be used in the calculation of this GPA.
  • A State of Illinois criminal background check completed within the past 90 days
  • An interview with the program director in person or by phone prior to final admission
  • The following prerequisite coursework will be required of all students seeking to obtain an Initial Professional Educator License in Illinois:
    • One course in The Exceptional Child including methods (three semester hours),
    • Coursework in three laboratory science areas (i.e., physical, life, and earth and space); and
    • Coursework in four social sciences (i.e., history, geography, civics and government, and economics of Illinois, the United States and the world)

In addition, all students must submit state-required test scores for individuals who wish to become teachers in the state of Illinois by the semester prior to starting your student teaching:

Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) Scores

  • Passing test scores on the four sections of the Test of Academic Proficiency,


ACT Scores

  • Taken prior to Sept. 1, 2015: A composite ACT of 22 or higher and a minimum score of 19 on the combined English/writing portion
  • Taken between Sept. 1, 2015—Sept. 10, 2016: A composite ACT score of 22 or higher and a minimum score of 16 on the writing portion
  • Taken after Sept. 10, 2016: A composite ACT score of 22 or higher and a minimum score of 6 on the writing portion


SAT Scores

  • Taken prior to March 5, 2016: A composite score of 1030 (critical reading and mathematics = 1030 or higher) and a minimum score of 450 on writing
  • Taken March 5, 2016 and later: A composite score of 1110 (evidence-based reading and writing + mathematics = 1110 or higher) and a minimum score of 26 on writing and language

If the basic skills test requirements mentioned above are not successfully passed, an Illinois Professional Education License will not be issued. All interested students, are encouraged to work on completing this state requirement as soon as possible after admission.

For those students who do not have passing ACT or SAT scores at the time of admission, a waiver must be signed and submitted with other admission requirements.

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