Frequently Asked Questions

Below please find answer to some of the more commonly asked questions about our courses. If you have a question that is not on this list, please do not hesitate to contact our registrar, Rachel Harrison at (630) 654-0151 or at Our staff would be happy to speak with you.

Application Process

What is a complete application?

A complete application includes:

  • Completed admission application with $500 application fee
  • Official transcript (or evaluation report for foreign educational credential) in the sealed issuing envelope
  • Three references (can be emailed to
  • For non-native English speakers you must have a solid command of the English language (equivalent of a TOEFL Score of 72 or higher)

Upon review, the Academic Director will contact candidate for an interview appointment.

Do I have to come to Clarendon Hills for my interview?

No, applicants may have the interview by phone or video chat if they reside more than 150 miles from Seton. However, we encourage all applicants to interview in person and visit Seton Montessori Institute, if possible.

My degree is from an international college/university. Where do I get an independent transcript evaluation?

AMS and Seton require the applicant to have a transcript analysis sent directly from one of the evaluators located at this site: students have provided positive feedback from working with World Education Services ( and Educational Credential Evaluators (

Why is the non-native English speaker recommended to take the TOEFL?

Seton conducts all its coursework and assignments in English.

Who should my letters of recommendation come from?

You should try to submit recommendations from people who know about your academic or professional background. The letter of recommendation should give a sense of who you will be as a student and as a professional educator working with children in a Montessori setting.

How long will it be after my interview before I find out if I’m accepted into the program?

Typically, you will receive an admission decision within one week of your interview.

If I’m accepted, can I wait a year before starting the program?

Yes, we will consider requests for deferring your admission for one year. Requests for deferment should be made in writing. Deferred students may be asked to submit a $50 program change fee to hold their space for the following year and the tuition rates for the year when studies commence are applicable.

If I miss the application deadline can I still apply?

Absolutely! However, a nonrefundable $200 late application fee will apply. It is to the applicant’s advantage to apply early to the program in order to complete Orientation Seminar assignments and independent study work. Initial reading assignments are given at the interview.

What is the difference (for Infant-Toddler and Early Childhood applicants), in choosing the Spring or the Summer cohort?

Each cohort receives the same course material and attends the same clock hours of coursework whether they participate in the Spring or the Summer cohorts. By starting in spring, the applicant opts for an academic schedule that spreads seminar days over a longer span of time (starting with an initial series of spring weekends, and continuing with summer academics that take place on consecutive weekdays). The summer registrant condenses the same course content into one continuous session of consecutive weekday seminars (approximately six weeks in length). With either choice, the seminar days are full, eight-hour days, and both cohorts follow the same schedule for their advanced academics.

For more information, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) under Admissions on our website; or email our registrar at

Internships And Future Employment

What is a Practicum?

A Practicum (also known as student teaching or internship) consists of, at minimum, nine consecutive months working in a classroom at a Montessori school selected by the student teacher in an arrangement that meets requirements in keeping with American Montessori Society standards.

How do I go about finding a Practicum?

Your Practicum Coordinator will assist you (but cannot guarantee a position) in finding a Practicum site that meets the requirements of Seton and the American Montessori Society. Seton has collaborated with Montessori schools in all parts of the Chicago metropolitan area, in other parts of the United States and also in other countries.

Where can I work with an AMS Montessori credential?

Seton graduates work in private and public Montessori schools all over the world. It should be noted that in order to work in public Montessori schools additional state licensing requirements often need to be met. Check with your state and school regarding local and state regulations for additional requirements.

Financial Matters

What kind of financial aid is available?

The American Montessori Society and ETC-Montessori have need-based scholarships available (applications become available on January 1st). Elgin Community College also provides scholarships for those who live within their district. Many schools will sponsor students for our program. This can be done in the form of a loan or scholarship. In exchange for this assistance, schools normally ask a student to sign an agreement to work for the school for a specific period following certification. Seton offers limited sponsorship to applicants who complete their student internship at one of our Lab Schools.

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes! Four payment plan options are available and detailed specifically in the payment schedule section of the course information sheets.

Learn More

What are some of the advantages to choosing Seton Montessori Institute instead of another teacher preparation course?

As one of the oldest AMS courses in North America, we have had extensive experience with preparing Montessori educators for a wide variety of public and private settings. From the outset, our faculty has been international in its outlook, faithful to Maria Montessori’s insights, and committed to keeping up-to-date with the latest research. Each member of our highly qualified faculty team presents in the areas of their strongest skill and experience, the topics about which they are most passionate. Our program offers two Lab Schools that provide adult students with resources for learning and observation. In addition, we offer flexibility of scheduling and a staff that’s ready to assist in any area. We serve students across the U. S. and abroad, visiting them at their practicum sites throughout their enrollment in the program.

Can you put me in contact with a student or graduate to talk about Seton?

Yes. Contact the Office of Admissions at: or call (630) 654-0151. You will be put you in touch with an alum or current student.


© 2015 Seton Montessori Institute • 5728 Virginia Street, Clarendon Hills, IL 60514 • Phone: (630) 654-0151 • All rights reserved.

Design + code by