Specialized Teaching Endorsements - Master's Degree

M.Ed. Specialized Endorsements

National Louis University offers a unique opportunity for practicing teachers to obtain a master’s degree while gaining in-demand specializations as they progress through their program. Candidates choose teaching endorsement preparation from two of five areas. This innovative new program allows you to enhance your employability via graduate-level studies that prepare you to impact schools and student learning outcomes.

NLU prepares you to earn multiple endorsements while getting your Master of Education. Choose 2 from the following:

  • ESL endorsement (on campus or online)
  • ESL/Bilingual Education endorsement (on campus or online)
  • Early Childhood Special Education (online only)
  • Reading endorsement
  • Special Education (on campus or online)

Consider getting a specialized endorsements master's degree at NLU if you:

  • Want to earn endorsements in two of five in-demand areas:
    • ESL (on campus or online)
    • ESL/Bilingual Education (on campus or online)
    • Early Childhood Special Education (online only)
    • Reading
    • Special Education (on campus or online)
  • Want to better serve your students and enhance your school’s performance
  • Seek a professional learning experience to develop work-related knowledge and skills
  • Wish to increase your employability by expanding your expertise with multiple endorsements in addition to the overall credibility of a high quality master’s degree
  • Are looking for a unique program to help you stand out from others in the job market with a general master’s degrees

Learn more about licensures and teaching endorsement programs at NLU >>

Why Earn Your Specialized Teaching Endorsements Master's Degree at NLU?

Since 1886, NLU has been the "educator of educators," preparing thousands of Chicago-area teachers and graduating the most Golden Apple award winners in Illinois. Accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), NLU continues to be the innovator in teacher education in Chicagoland through programs like the M.Ed. Specialized Endorsements, which features:

  • Master’s level training — Unlike traditional endorsement programs, candidates are immersed in a full, intensive experience leading to a master’s.
  • Classroom impact — Candidates get the training needed to help fill in-demand areas, boost student performance and improve their school’s report card.
  • Proven faculty — Instructors are immersed in the education field and driven by improving classroom outcomes.
  • Stackable credentials — No other master’s program in the area allows teachers to stack in-demand endorsements in one course of study.

What You Will Learn

  • Deeper skills — Candidates enjoy professional development from a full master’s program, enabling them to make an impact on student learning outcomes and overall school performance.
  • Real-world applications — Faculty-directed field activities and classroom observation show candidates how to apply what they’ve studied to learning environments.
  • Integrated approach — The program’s capstone project helps candidates bring together everything they’ve learned in an effective approach to the classroom.
  • In-demand specializations — Candidates earn endorsements in two high-need areas of education today.
  • Career Development — Throughout their studies, candidates have access to online career resources, assessments and exercises, resume and cover letter builders, practice interviews, job search development and feedback from NLU’s Career Development office.

Earn Your Teaching Endorsements Master's Degree Completely Online

NLU offers a completely online course of study if you pursue endorsements in ESL, ESL/Bilingual, Early Childhood Special Education, Special Education or a combination of online and on-campus classes if you pair one of these with Reading.

Career Outlook

Two of the five endorsement areas — Special Education and Bilingual Education — offered in the M.Ed. Specialized Endorsements program have been cited by the Illinois State Board of Education and the U.S. Department of Education as having teacher shortages in Illinois. Graduates of the M.Ed. Specialized Endorsements will leave the program with a full master’s and up to three critical endorsements to match these in-demand areas and increase their employability.

Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook has stated that career opportunities for special education teachers are expected to increase by 17 percent from 2008 to 2018 as many districts report problems finding adequate numbers of certified teachers.

Specialized Teaching Endorsements Master's Program Admissions Requirements

All applicants must meet NLU’s general admission requirements as well as additional requirements specific to the M.Ed. Specialized Endorsements program. Refer to the appropriate application checklist available online at www.nl.edu/applyonline.

Get more information today about enrolling in NLU’s M.Ed. Specialized Endorsements program. Talk to your Enrollment Specialist today.

Please note: The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) may change the state licensure and endorsement requirements at any time and without prior notice. Teacher candidates will be bound by the requirements in place when applying for licensure, not by the licensure requirements in place when beginning their program. That is, the state may specify that a new regulation is immediately applicable to all candidates with no provisions made for candidates who began their work on licensure under different regulations.


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Established in 1988 and located in one of the city's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to six classrooms, this location features a conference room, a computer lab with high-speed Internet access, an extensive research library and comfortable student lounges.

    5110 Eisenhower Boulevard Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
    Info » | Directions »

    NLU's Milwaukee campus has a proud history of serving graduate students in education in southeastern Wisconsin. Nearly one in five certified Wisconsin teachers looks to NLU for graduate education programs – more than any other university in the state. In addition to classrooms with high-tech media equipment, the campus offers a state-of-the-art computer lab with wireless Internet access and an extensive IDS research library.

    12000 West Park Place, Suite 100
    Milwaukee, WI 53224-3007
    (414) 577.2658
    Info » | Directions »