College of Education > Academics > Leadership, Language & Curriculum > Licensure & Endorsements > Bilingual Education/ESL Endorsement

Bilingual Education/ESL Endorsement

In today’s increasingly multilingual and multicultural schools, there is an ever-growing need for responsive teachers who nurture students’ ability to speak more than one language. Bilingual educators know how students learn their first and second languages and are passionate advocates for bilingual students.

The Bilingual Education/English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement program offers practicing licensed teachers the opportunity to support educational and social change for traditionally underserved students, families and communities. In just one year, students can complete all of the coursework required to obtain an Illinois state endorsement in bilingual education, and by taking one additional class, they can also earn an English as a Second Language endorsement.

Program graduates work as ESL and bilingual teachers in urban and suburban public and private schools, dual language schools and charter schools. As the immigrant and English Language Learner (ELL) population continues to grow, so will the need for quality bilingual/ESL teachers.

Are you interested in enrolling in this program? View its admission requirements and application instructions here or contact the College of Education’s Office of Graduate Admission at (773) 325-4405.


The Early Childhood Bilingual/ESL Endorsement program leads to an Illinois state endorsement in bilingual education and ESL, which can be added to an Illinois teaching license (PEL).

Program Format

To accommodate working professionals, all classes in the Early Childhood Bilingual/ESL endorsement program meet in the evening at DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus. In addition, the program’s schedule is flexible, allowing students to enroll full-time or part-time as their professional and personal schedules allow.

Program Requirements

The Bilingual Endorsement program includes seven courses (28 quarter hours) in Bilingual/Bicultural Education and 100 hours of clinical experience.

Candidates seeking the bilingual endorsement must pass one of the state of Illinois’ language proficiency exams in a language other than English.

This program is typically eligible for financial aid. Please see this document and consult your advisor in the COE.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for the Bilingual Bicultural Education endorsement program, students must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and hold a valid teaching license.

To apply, please submit the following items to The Office of Graduate Admission:

  • A completed application
  • Application fee ($40.00)
  • One official transcript from all colleges and/or universities attended
  • A copy of valid professional educator license
  • A résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation from professors or employers
  • Statement of purpose indicating professional development goals and related experience (750 words)

Course Requirements

32 quarter hours, grade of C or better required in all courses

Illinois target language proficiency (TLP) test required in addition to the coursework and field experience hours below: 

Licensure Test

Individuals seeking a bilingual endorsement must complete the Target Language Proficiency (TLP) test in the non-English language.   

Endorsement Application

Individuals must submit an application directly to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) upon successful completion of the required coursework and licensure tests.  All individuals must meet ISBE requirements at the time of application.  Requirements are subject to change per the discretion of ISBE. 

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