Relay Teaching Residency: Chicago

The Relay Teaching Residency: Chicago is a two-year program that includes a gradual on-ramp year, a master’s degree, and recommendation for a Professional Educator License (for eligible applicants). 


TUITION & FEES: $35,000 ($17,500/year)

Students may qualify for additional institutional aid and federal aid toward total out of pocket tuition expenses. Payment Plans also available. Please contact Student Financial Services with any questions or for more information.

*The cost of licensure exams is determined by the State of Illinois and payment is due directly to the licensing authority. 

Refer to the Relay Chicago Candidate Guide for comprehensive information about enrolling for the 2020-21 school year.

**Relay GSE is an AmeriCorps partner. We strongly encourage you join the AmeriCorps program if you're eligible, as it aligns with Relay’s commitment to service and the work you do daily as a teacher. Participating students earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award upon completion of a full service term that may be applied to reduce the out-of-pocket cost of tuition. Failure to participate in the AmeriCorps program if you’re eligible, means that you are fully aware that Relay will charge you the deferred tuition amount equivalent to the AmeriCorps Segal Education Award and you will be responsible for paying that amount in full.


  • Chicago Public Schools
  • Distinctive Schools
  • Great Lakes Academy
  • LEARN Charter School Network
  • Namaste Charter School
  • Noble Network of Charter Schools
  • ReGeneration Schools
  • University of Chicago Charter Schools

Our school partners determine the subject areas for which they would like to hire Resident teachers. Typically, this has included Special Education, Elementary Education, and Middle or High School Math and Science. 

As a result, not all Major Areas will be available for selection by Residency candidates. Please refer to job listings posted by our partner schools to learn more about opportunities for the coming school year. Links to partner job listings are included in the Candidate Guide.

Available Majors

Middle Grades Mathematics (Grades 5-8)
Secondary Mathematics (Grades 9-12)
Middle Grades General Science (Grades 5-8)
Secondary Science — Biology (Grades 9-12)
Secondary Science — Chemistry (Grades 9-12)
Middle Grades Social Science (Grades 5-8)
Secondary Social Science — History (Grades 9-12)
Middle Grades Language Arts (Grades 5-8)
Secondary English/Language Arts (Grades 9-12)
Elementary Education (Grades 1-6)
Special Education (Grades PK-Age 21)


The Relay Teaching Residency is a 36 credit hour program. Relay’s academic calendar and program structure are designed to accommodate the demanding schedules of graduate students who hold full-time positions in schools. We deliver about 40% of the content via synchronous online classes and 60% in person so that graduate students have the flexibility to complete large portions of the coursework when it is most convenient for their schedules.


Relay has three terms each year (summer, fall, and spring). Coursework during the first year is done in a combination of online and in-person work, including:

  • A mandatory one-week summer session, typically in July, before the first year of the program;
  • A one- or two-week summer session between the first and second years of the program (differing based on major);
  • Approximately two weeknight in-person sessions each month for core instruction;
  • Approximately two weeknight online sessions each month for instruction specific to grade levels and subjects;
  • Occasional Saturday in-person sessions for Special Educators; and
  • During the first year, a weekly 3 hour deliberate practice session with Relay faculty in which Residents have additional time to rehearse core techniques they are learning in the program.

The school year schedule in year 2 of the program differs slightly depending on program major. In the second year, graduate students can expect to have in-person sessions 2-4 weeknights per month, online sessions 2 weeknights per month, and occasional Saturday sessions for licensure support.


In addition to the standard Relay Teaching Residency admissions and licensure requirements, participants in the Relay Teaching Residency: Chicago program must meet the following campus-specific admissions and licensure requirements.

Chicago Admissions

In order to be admitted to Relay Chicago, the state of Illinois requires that you hold an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education. Applicants can search the College Source Online database to determine if their institution is regionally accredited.

 Applicants must have secured a full-time classroom position at a Chicago-area partner school by the time they begin the program. If employment is terminated at any point, graduate students have one month to regain employment as a PK-12 teacher before they are at risk of being administratively withdrawn from the program.

 Chicago Licensure Requirements

Relay offers an IL teaching licensure track for all graduate students who meet the IL state eligibility requirements upon enrolling at Relay. Graduate students who meet the IL state eligibility requirements for licensure will receive an Educator License with Stipulations (ELS) at the beginning of the program and a Professional Educator License (PEL) upon graduating.


  • Cannot already hold an IL teaching license (paraprofessional or substitute licenses are okay)
  • Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, or conferred graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, or conferred graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • A major (or 32 credit hour equivalency) in the area seeking licensure or in a core content area or social science for Special Education or Elementary Education
  • Pass all required state licensure exams, including all content exams, before the program start date. Review our Testing Guide for more details.

These regulations are requirements of the Illinois State Board of Education for alternative licensure candidates and Relay does not have any flexibility.

Refer to the Chicago Licensure Eligibility Requirements article for additional information about eligibility. 

Additionally, each year Relay Chicago updates its Licensure Handbook with detailed instructions and timelines. Information for 2020-21 will be available in early 2020.

Please note that licensure steps occur prior to admission, during the program, and upon completion of the program. This information is important! Failure to pass licensure exams and meet other licensure criteria may result in loss of your teaching position and/or removal from the Chicago Residency or MAT program.

Contact Information


Relay Chicago
2911 W. 47th Street
Chicago, IL 60632

Relay Chicago will be relocating to a new campus in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago in 2020.

Chicago Skyline

Discover Chicago

Chicago is a center of opportunity and architectural beauty in the heartland. Learn more about our Chicago campus.