Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

Post-MSW PEL with School Social Worker Endorsement

This program is for graduates with a MSW degree from an accredited School of Social Work who are seeking the required courses and internship for licensure as a school social worker in Illinois (Professional educator license/PEL).


  • Master's degree in Social Work from an accredited program
  • Pass all four sections of the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) (formerly known as Basic Skills Exam.) Please note the following exception: The ITLS Basic Skills Test (#096) (administered prior to September 11, 2010) cannot be applied to fulfill passing requirements for the Test of Academic Proficiency.
  • Students may substitute the following tests for the TAP test:
    • ACT Plus Writing:
      • Prior to 9/1/15 - a minimum composite ACT score of 22 & a minimum score of 19 on the combined English/Writing portion 
      • After 9/1/15 - a minimum composite ACT score of 22 & a minimum score of 16 on the Writing portion
    • SAT: a minimum composite (mathematics and critical reading) score of 1030 and a minimum score of 450 on the writing portion.
  • Please review the substitution rules as outlined in the section entitled Applying for Full Admission to an Illinois Educator Preparation Program from ISBE at:
  • Please note that students have the option of re-taking the TAP,  ACT Plus Writing or SAT test in lieu of the TAP as many times as necessary to achieve passing scores.
  • Students who wish to substitute an applicable ACT Plus Writing or SAT test must request that an appropriate score report be sent to ISBE and posted to your ELIS account.
  • Application materials are due by March 1st

Program Requirements

  • Successful completion of 14 credits (2 required classes and one externship)
  • Pass the ISBE Content Area Test for school social work (ISBE #184) before the start of the second semester of the externship. Official test results with a passing test score is due to the School of Social Work Student Services Office, Maguire Hall, 5th Floor, Attention: Amy Greenberg, by January 1 in order to continue the externship. All content-area tests are administered only in computer-based testing (CBT) format.
  • Required Coursework
    • Enroll in SOWK 609 Social Work Practice in Schools (Fall only)
    • Enroll in CIEP 401 Exceptional Child (Summer prior to externship or Spring)
    • Classes may be completed online or in the classroom
    • Student must receive a grade of "C" or better in each class
  • Externship Requirements
    • Enroll in SWFI 640 for Fall (4 credits)
    • Enroll in SWFI 641 for Spring (4 credits)
    • Externships must be completed in a traditional Illinois public school (non-charter, non-therapeutic and/or non-alternative) for an academic year (August to June) for a minimum of two or three days per week
    • Students will work with Director of Internships & Student Services, Amy Greenberg, for referrals for externships.
  • Required Meetings: Students must attend one meeting per semester at Loyola with their assigned field liaison & academic advisor.

Program Outcomes

Standard 2.1.2 Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional judgments.
Advanced PB: Students at the advanced level will articulate their process of ethical decision-making in their work with client systems, distinguishing between personal and professional ethics. values and behaviors.
Standard 2.1.3 Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments
Advanced PB: Students at the advanced level will demonstrate critical thinking by communicating their professional judgment using oral and written communication as appropriate to the practice setting.
Standard 2.1.4 Engage diversity and difference in practice.
Advanced PB: Students at the advanced level will engage client systems in diverse settings to challenge oppression, discrimination, and privilege at the societal, institutional and personal level.
Standard 2.1.5 Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
Advanced PB: Students at the advanced level will use knowledge of the effects of oppression and discrimination on clients and client systems to guide treatment planning and intervention.
Standard 2.1.6 Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
Advanced PB: Students at the advanced level will use practice experience with clients to inform the formulation of researchable questions to enable them to become more evidence-informed in selecting interventions, particularly with diverse and marginalized clients.
Standard 2.1.7 Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.
Advanced PB: Students at the advanced level will select diverse theories of human behavior and the social environment to guide clinical practice.
Standard 2.1.8 Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services
Advanced PB: Students at the advanced level will communicate to stakeholders and policymakers the implications of policies and policy change in the lives of clients.
Standard 2.1.9 Respond to context that shape practice.
Advanced PB: Students at the advanced level will identify ways that they can maximize the strengths of the client context to design and promote effective interventions with clients.
Standard 2.1.10 Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Advanced PB: Students at the advanced level will demonstrate sensitivity to the interpersonal dynamics and cultural/contextual factors that can both strengthen and potentially threaten a therapeutic alliance.

Application Requirements

We accept applications to the post-MSW Professional Educator License program for the Fall term only. Applications and required test scores are due March 1st.

You must submit:

  • A Completed Application Form
    You may submit your application form online

Students who have already applied to a graduate or professional program at Loyola University Chicago should fill out the reapplication form.

  • Official Transcripts
    Applicants must submit official transcripts for all undergraduate and any graduate work. To be eligible for admission, your transcript must show an earned MSW degree or a MSW degree in progress. Certified copies of transcripts are acceptable; faxed copies of transcripts are not considered official. If you attended Loyola University Chicago previously, you do not need to request transcripts; we have them on record.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
    If you supply your recommender's email address as part of your completed online application form, then your recommendation letters may be submitted online. Or, your recommenders may mail them to:

    Graduate & Professional Enrollment Management
    820 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1200
    Chicago, IL 60611

    We ask that you submit no more than three letters of recommendation.  Recommendation letters can come from academic, professional or volunteer sources.  One of each is recommended.  If you graduated less than 5 years ago, at least one reference should be from an academic source.

  • Official Score Reports for Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP)          
    Test centers and dates can be found online at: www.icts.nesinc.com.
  • A Statement of Purpose
    In a double-spaced, typed essay, please explain why you are interested in obtaining the Post-MSW PEL School Social Worker Endorsement.