Info

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Program

  1. How long is the UChicago UTEP master’s degree program?
  2. What teaching certification do I receive through UChicago UTEP?
  3. Can I receive certification to teach in a particular subject?
  4. Why should I enroll in a two-year masters degree program instead of a fast-track alternative, or even a nine-month, teaching certification program?
  5. What is the time commitment for the first year of the program?
  6. What is the time commitment for the second year of the program?
  7. Is there a break between the first and second years of the program?

Applying to UChicago UTEP

  1. What are the prerequisites for entering UChicago UTEP?
  2. What do you look for in a strong candidate?
  3. What if I am interested in becoming an elementary school teacher, but I have poor preparation in math?
  4. What are the important deadlines for application to UChicago UTEP?
  5. May I speak to past and current UChicago UTEP students?

Costs

  1. What is the total cost of the program?
  2. Is financial aid available?
  3. Since the first year of the program is only part time, can I take classes and work?

Post-Graduation

  1. Why does UChicago UTEP provide three years of coaching and other supports after graduation?
  2. Is there an extra fee for the three years of post-graduation support?
  3. Does UChicago UTEP require its graduates to complete a minimum number of years teaching in Chicago Public Schools or other urban school district?
  4. Do you help with job placement after graduation?
  5. How much do Chicago Public Schools teachers make?

About the University of Chicago

  1. What does it mean to be on the quarter system?
  2. When does the academic year start?
  3. What is it like to live in Chicago?
  4. What does it cost to live in Chicago? What does it cost to live in Hyde Park?

About the Program

1. How long is the UChicago UTEP master’s degree program?

UChicago UTEP is a two-year masters degree programs that leads to the MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) degree and the Illinois Initial Teaching License. The degree and license is awarded after the successful completion of the residency. Back to top »

2. What teaching certification do I receive through UChicago UTEP?

UChicago UTEP offers a Master in Arts in Teaching degree and certification in the State of Illinois.   Back to top »

3. Can I receive certification to teach in a particular subject?

UChicago UTEP Elementary offers four endorsements for grades 5 through 8: Mathematics, Social Science, General Science, and Language Arts.  Students are eligible to receive a middle-grades endorsement if they have sufficient undergraduate coursework in that content area and receive the endorsement upon successful completion of the UChicago UTEP Elementary pathway. UChicago UTEP candidates may choose to take courses beyond the program requirements—in mathematics or science, for example—in order to become eligible for particular endorsements.   Back to top »

4. Why should I enroll in a two-year masters degree program instead of a fast-track alternative, or a nine-month, teaching certification program?

Learning how to teach well in under-resourced urban schools takes time; there simply are no short cuts. The first year of UChicago UTEP’s two-year program is designed so that teaching candidates receive a strong understanding of the foundations of education while becoming acclimated to the urban-school context and the role of a teacher. The first year also gives candidates the time to develop some expertise in pedagogy and subject matter before beginning their yearlong teaching residency.  The yearlong residency opposed to a 5-6 week residency, allows our candidates to critically analyze their developing practice in multiple subject areas before taking over an entire class load.  Our aim is to have UChicago UTEP graduates enter their own classroom ready to teach their students well and with confidence beginning on Day 1. Back to top »

5. What is the time commitment for the first year of the program?

During the first year of UChicago UTEP, licensure candidates will be registered for 4-5 courses per quarter, (including summer quarter) as a full-time student. Candidates will also spend time in the classroom as tutors for UChicago Charter students. Back to top »

6. What is the time commitment for the second year of the program?

The second year coursework of UChicago UTEP in residency is full-time for four quarters . Candidates will spend most of their time in a classroom as a student teacher.
At the end of the residency, teacher candidates are awarded the MAT degree and Illinois Initial Teaching License.  Graduation is in June.  Back to top »

7. Is there a break between the first and second years of the program?

Yes. There is a two-week break between the foundations year and residency, and a two-week break between the fourth and fifth quarters of the residency. Back to top »

Applying to UChicago UTEP

1. What are the prerequisites for entering UChicago UTEP?

Candidates must have graduated from an accredited, degree granting institution in the continental United States; If you are a permanent resident, please contact the University of Chicago's Office of International Affairs https://internationalaffairs.uchicago.edu/page/students/prospective, for guidance. All applicants must successfully complete and pass the Test of Academic Proficiency (formerly known as the Basic Skills Test) provided by the Illinois Certificate Testing System, or a passing SAT OR ACT with writing score test, before they are considered for a program interview for admission.

2. What do you look for in a strong candidate?

Strong candidates for UChicago UTEP have had a rigorous college education and are committed to teaching in Chicago Public Schools. Candidates may have already sought out volunteer or work experience with students living in underresourced communities. We also look for candidates who demonstrate particular qualities—such as persistence, habits of inquiry, and the capacity to lead.  Finally, all successful UChicago UTEP candidates have a long-term commitment to social justice and effecting educational equity in urban schools. Back to top »

3. What if I am interested in becoming an elementary school teacher, but I have poor preparation in math?

UChicago UTEP Elementary prepares candidates to teach literacy, mathematics, and other subjects with passion and resourcefulness. If you are entering UChicago UTEP as a graduate student without a sufficient number of college-level math courses, you may be asked to take a supplemental math course during your first year in the program. During your first year, UChicago UTEP candidates will take Number Theory and Geometry. Back to top »

4. What are the important deadlines for application to UChicago UTEP?

The application deadline for the Elementary and Middle School pathways is December 19, 2016. Back to top »

5. May I speak to past and current UChicago UTEP students?

Absolutely! During the autumn and winter quarters, UChicago UTEP holds on-campus informational meetings so that prospective students can learn about the program and meet and ask questions of current students. If you live out of town, we hold periodic webinars. You may also contact uteprecruit@uchicago.edu  to request to speak to a student or alum. The Recruitment and Admissions Team can also answer many of your questions about the program. Back to top »

Costs

1. What is the total cost of the program?

The University of Chicago is committed to keeping the costs of UChicago UTEP as low as possible to attract the most qualified people to teach in Chicago Public Schools. Incentives include significantly reduced tuition, financial aid, and program tuition aid.

University of Chicago undergraduates take the Foundations of Education sequence as an undergraduate elective during their fourth year in the College. Graduates of other colleges enroll in the first year of UChicago UTEP as full-time graduate students, and pay tuition at a discount rate. During the second year of UChicago UTEP—the residency—all graduate students are full time, but can expect a sizable reduction in tuition.

All graduate students pay a quarterly $234 student life fee, which gives them access to campus services, including health and wellness, and to academic resources such as the libraries. The University also requires medical insurance, but students can opt out of the insurance fee by showing proof of coverage from another source. Find out more on the costs for graduate students at the University of Chicago. For additional information about the costs of UChicago UTEP, see the Costs and Aid webpages. Back to top »

2. Is financial aid available?

Significant aid is available for all students. The amount you receive is dependent on your financial aid eligibility. Low-interest loans are available through the forgivable Federal Perkins and Stafford programs. For more information on financial aid, see the UChicago UTEP Cost & Aid webpages and the University of Chicago Graduate Admissions Costs & Financial Aid webpage. Back to top »

3. Since the first year of the program is only part time, can I take classes and work?

It will be difficult to take on a full-time job since the first three quarters of UChicago UTEP still represent approximately 20 hours/week, and the UChicago UTEP coursework requires substantial homework. However, many first-year graduate students do take on part-time employment through the University or other external employment that is flexible with thier UTEP schedule. See the University of Chicago Student Job Opportunities. Back to top »

Post-Graduation

1. Why does UChicago UTEP provide three years of coaching and other supports after graduation?

An increasing number of school districts across the country recognize the importance of teacher induction to help acculturate beginning teachers into their schools and accelerate their development as teachers who achieve strong student outcomes. Because the transition from pre-service resident to teacher of record always represents a steep learning curve, UChicago UTEP built into its design an array of supports for its graduates. UChicago UTEP graduates teaching in Chicago Public Schools receive three years of personalized in-classroom coaching, professional development workshops, teacher leadership training, and monetary support to attend conferences and other professional development. Back to top »

2. Is there an extra fee for the three years of post-graduation support?

No. This support is built into the UChicago UTEP five-year experience, and graduates teaching in Chicago Public Schools receive in-classroom coaching, professional development workshops, and teacher leadership training for no charge. Back to top »

3. Does UChicago UTEP require its graduates to complete a minimum number of years teaching in Chicago Public Schools or another urban school district?

Our program is designed to give you the most comprehensive experience in urban schools here in Chicago.  We prepare our students to teach in the Chicago Public School system; however, you are not required (by loan or grant terms), to teach in Chicago Public Schools or other urban school districts.  Back to top »

4. Do you help with job placement after graduation?

UChicago UTEP assists its graduates in finding jobs as teachers in Chicago Public Schools, but does not place graduates in a position.  Our residents will participate in an annual job fair hosted on UChicago's campus.  Principals and other school leaders who attend the job fair are solely interested in our UTEP candidates.  All UChicago UTEP graduates obtained a teaching position by August (at the time of their graduation).  Back to top »

5. How much do Chicago Public Schools teachers make?

First-year teachers holding a master’s degree in Chicago Public Schools can expect to start at $56,000 or more. See the Chicago Public Schools website for more information. Back to top »

About the University of Chicago

1. What does it mean to be on the quarter system?

UChicago UTEP, like the entire University of Chicago, is on a quarter system. Each academic year is made up of four ten-week quarters. UChicago UTEP candidates enroll in eight continuous quarters, which includs two summer quarters. The University of Chicago academic year spans three quarters, October to June—roughly the equivalent of two semesters. During the residency, UChicago UTEP candidates work in schools on the Chicago Public Schools semester schedule while taking coursework on the University of Chicago quarter schedule. To help admitted graduate students transition to the quarter system, the University holds an orientation session each autumn. For more information, visit Graduate Student Affairs. Back to top »

2. When does the academic year start?

The University of Chicago’s autumn quarter typically begins in mid-September with a mandatory week-long orientation. Check out the dates of Orientation Week for the upcoming academic year on the University of Chicago website. Back to top »

3. What is it like to live in Chicago?

Chicago is a world-class city, with extraordinary cultural attractions, a lakefront with accessible beaches and parks stretching the entire length of the city, and a 24-hour public transportation system. It is also a city of diverse ethnic neighborhoods. Learn more about moving to Chicago and about Hyde Park, the neighborhood in which the University of Chicago resides, on the University website. Back to top »

4. What does it cost to live in Chicago? What does it cost to live in Hyde Park?

The cost of living in Chicago is generally less than on the East or West Coasts. Find out more about living in Hyde Park on the University website. Back to top »