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 office 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
  • Application Payment of $500 (only checks and money orders are accepted)
  • Official transcript (or evaluation report for foreign educational credential) in the sealed issuing envelope
  • Three reference forms or letters of recommendation (can be emailed to
  • Non-native English speakers 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.

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 reference forms or letters of recommendation come from?

You should submit recommendations from people who know about your academic or professional background. The reference form or 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 in starting my academics with the Spring cohort rather than with the Summer cohort?

For each of the course levels, starting in Spring gives you the opportunity to begin your academic attendance a bit earlier, allowing a more gradual entry into the experience of being a student, more time for digesting and applying the course content and some extra time for working on beginning assignments.  Since Spring Academics consists of three three-day (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) weekend seminars, participation in the Spring Cohort also effectively shortens the attendance commitment during the Summer Academics by two weeks.

  • For those in Infant-Toddler or Early Childhood courses, a Spring start means four weeks of continuous academics in the Summer as opposed to six weeks.
  • For Elementary candidates who are in need of completing the “Overview of Montessori Early Childhood” prerequisite, a Spring start reduces the span of academic attendance during the first summer from eight weeks to six weeks.
  • For candidates in the Credential Course for Montessori Leadership and Administration, Models I and III, participating in the Spring Academics reduces the first summer of course academics from four weeks to two weeks.

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 has need-based scholarships available (applications typically become available on January 1st). 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! After the application and initial payments are made there are four payment plan options 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 presents the topics about which they are most passionate in the areas of their strongest skill and experience. 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 and visit 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 Registrar at: or call (630) 654-0151. You will be put you in touch with an alum or current student.

© 2018 Seton Montessori Institute • 5728 Virginia Avenue, Clarendon Hills, IL 60514 • Phone: (630) 654-0151 • All rights reserved.

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