Tuition and Financial Aid

Funding your graduate degree may be the biggest investment you make in yourself. Northwestern University is committed to helping you finance your graduate education, and early planning is essential to make the most of the financial aid opportunities available to you.

Tuition Information

The tuition rate for the 2014-15 academic year is $3,134 per course unit (most courses are one course unit; student teaching is two units, the gifted capstone is broken into two quarters at .5 units each, and the practicum in school leadership is also broken into two quarters at .5 units each). If a student took all 15 course units required for the master’s degree at the 2014-15 tuition rate, the total cost of tuition would be $47,010. Tuition does not include the cost of books.

Practicum and Student Teaching Fees

edTPA is a teacher performance assessment required of all pre-service teacher candidates in Illinois in order to receive licensure. Videotaped classroom lessons must be submitted as part of edTPA. Starting in fall 2015, candidates registered for Practicum and Student Teaching will be assessed a $500 fee that covers the $300 edTPA registration fee and $200 for video-related hardware and software. Students will receive an edTPA registration waiver, an Edthena video annotation log-in, a wireless microphone and a tripod. Students will keep the microphone and tripod for their own professional use.

Other Costs Related to Field Experience and Licensure

Candidates are responsible for their own transportation to and from their school sites.

Candidates are required to video-record lessons during Practicum and Student Teaching at their school sites. Candidates are responsible for providing or procuring a video camera and video editing software. Most phones or tablets can record adequate video, and often schools are willing to let candidates borrow equipment from the school. Standard video editing software on any computer should suffice. The MSEd program will offer a list of suggested or minimum requirements for video, audio and software.

The Practicum and Student Teaching fee (starting in fall 2015) will provide candidates with a microphone and tripod, as well as access to the Edthena video annotation and editing program.

Licensure Tests
There are three tests required to become licensed, all offered through the Illinois Licensure Testing System. Each test costs $125 plus a $25 registration fee. The three tests are as follows:
  • Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP); this test has replaced the Basic Skills Test
  • Content Area (specific to the subject you will teach)
  • Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT)
Of the three tests listed above, only the TAP is required prior to entry to the MSEd Program.

Illinois Professional Educator License Application Fee
The application fee for a new Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) is $75. The fee for adding an endorsement to an existing license is $50 per endorsement. All licensure fees must be paid online with a credit or debit card at the time of license application.

Departmental Scholarships
Each year the Master of Science in Education Program offers a small number of partial tuition scholarships to the most academically competitive applicants (valued at $5,000-$16,000 in the 2013-14 academic year). There is no separate application for these scholarships. If you would like to be considered for a partial tuition scholarship, you should indicate that you would like to be considered for financial awards in the "Financial Aid and Awards" section of the online application form. There are a limited number of awards available, so applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for the early application deadline if they wish to be considered for these awards.

Sponsored Scholarships
Each year, the Master of Science in Education Program offers a number of sponsored scholarships. The number and value of such scholarships vary each year. In 2013-14, the scholarships were valued at $5,000-$16,000. In the past, the following have been offered:
  • Marjorie Gosselin Fitzgerald Fellowship (elementary teachers only)
  • Kappa Kappa Gamma Fellowship (elementary teachers only)
  • Lorraine H. Morton Scholarship
  • Carol W. Keenen Fellowship
  • Mary Lou and John Scott Fellowship (NU-TEACH completers only) 

There is no separate application for these awards. To be considered, please indicate your interest in the "Financial Aid and Awards" section of the online application form. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for the early application deadline to be considered for this award.

Northwestern Alumnae Scholarship
The Alumnae of Northwestern University offers the Alumnae Graduate Fellowship (AGF) to Northwestern alumni (those who earned their undergraduate degree at Northwestern University), preferably females, who show promise of achieving distinction in their field and bringing credit to the University. The award is valued at up to $20,000.

Criteria for selection include quality of scholarship, leadership, community service, professional experience and financial need. Special consideration will be given to students who plan to pursue a career that serves the public good.

Applicants must be admitted as full-time students to a terminal master's degree program at Northwestern in order to be eligible for this fellowship. The deadline to apply is typically in April. The application is available through the Fellowship Office from January through April.

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Education Grant Program (known as the TEACH Grant) provides grants to students of up to $4,000 per academic year ($8,000 during an entire graduate program of study) who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families.

TEACH Grant recipients must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students, for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing their program of study. Learn more about the TEACH Grant.

Master of Science in Education Graduate Assistant Positions

Master of Science in Education graduate assistants work part-time in the program office. Two graduate assistant positions are awarded each fall to academically competitive applicants. Positions typically begin in the fall or summer and last one or two academic years.

The graduate assistant position includes tuition remission for one course per quarter and a $2,100 quarterly stipend. Assuming a four-quarter-long appointment, the total value of the award (as of fall 2014) is $20,936.
  • Tuition scholarship: $12,536
  • Stipend: $8,400
Graduate assistant duties generally include the following:
  • General office work such as answering phones, making copies, etc.
  • Periodic involvement with faculty/staff in special projects/emphases
  • Other tasks as deemed necessary by department administrators
There is no separate application for the graduate assistant positions, but an interview is required. Accommodations can be made for students who are unable to interview in person. To be considered for a graduate assistant position, please indicate your interest in the "Financial Aid and Awards" section of the online application form. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for the early application deadline to be considered for this award.

Student Loans

Most matriculated students are able to borrow up to their full cost of attendance, including tuition and a cost of living allowance. Low fixed interest rate federal student loans are available to matriculated students who are enrolled at least half-time (two courses per term) and are citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Continued eligibility for federal student loans requires compliance with Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines.

Prospective matriculated students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) around the same time as completing their application for admission to determine their eligibility for federal student loans. The FAFSA school code for Northwestern University is 001739.

Non-matriculated students and matriculated students registered for fewer than two courses per quarter may be eligible for private or alternative loans. Additional information about private and alternative loans is available at

Student loans for Master of Science in Education students are administered through Student Financial Services. Please visit the Student Financial Services web site for full details. Students may not receive their student loan offer at the same time as their scholarship and awards offer.
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Master of Science in Education
School of Education & Social Policy
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