Attention Preservice Teachers

MSEd now offers both an English as a Second Language (ESL) and a Bilingual Education Endorsement. Interested in learning more?
Reach out to

K-12 Teaching

K-12 Teaching


Elementary Teaching and Secondary Teaching Degrees

Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) Teacher Education programs are committed to nurturing ways of learning and teaching that can help all students thrive by centering our work around four guiding commitments to: Advance Equity and Social Justice; Foster Subject Matter Sensemaking; Understand Learning and Human Development; and Engage Within and Across Community. In response to our current moment in history, we seek to develop educators who are prepared to form new social and cultural realities for all learners, and especially for those who have been underserved by various systems of education. Candidates in our programs will work towards a better understanding of self and system in service of collaborative change and improvement.

The size of the program allows for small, interactive courses where connections can grow between students and professors and within cohorts of teacher candidates. A combination of intensive coursework and deep clinical experiences are designed to develop strong understandings of the relationship between the skill of responsive practice and the explanatory power of theory. The teacher-candidate experience culminates in a capstone project that draws together clinical experience, action research, and the application of theoretical knowledge that allows students to understand the role of data and research in pursuit of transformative teaching and learning.

At a Glance

  • Coursework: 15 units (40 semester hours); additional content area coursework may apply depending on undergraduate background ( for more information see the licensure page)
  • Timing:
    • Most candidates complete the program over two academic years: 18 months of coursework spanning six academic quarters (fall, winter, and spring in consecutive years, with no classes in summer). This pathway has several advantages: 
      • Courses for the first three quarters of the program are two nights per week, allowing candidates to maintain employment during the first year.
      • Candidates experience an additional three quarters of guided field experiences to support their development as teachers prior to practicum and student teaching.
      • Candidates have opportunities to engage with activities, work opportunities, volunteer experiences, and the Northwestern community. Alumni have also reported that completing the program over two years provided them with the needed time and space to feel confident in their development as educators.
      • Candidates have flexibility for completing licensure requirements and applying for additional endorsements.
  • Clinical experience: Fall Practicum (2 days/week the school day, from mid-August through early December), Winter Student Teaching (full-time during the school day for 10 weeks)
  • Licensure: Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL). Those pursuing Elementary Teaching received an elementary endorsement (general classroom, grades 1-6); those pursuing Secondary Teaching received both Middle Grades (5-8) and High School (9-12) endorsements in a specific content area. Additional endorsements are available based on undergraduate background.
  • GRE: Not required
NEW! ESL & Bilingual Ed Endorsements. MSEd now offers both an English as a Second Language (ESL) and a Bilingual Education Endorsement. Beginning in Fall 2023, ESL/Bilingual Ed coursework will be embedded into our curriculum, and students may choose to add ESL and/or Bilingual Ed as an additional subsequent endorsement to their Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL).   Pending the completion of required coursework, ALL incoming students in the K-12 Teaching concentration will be eligible to add an ESL endorsement, and students who are proficient in a language (or languages) other than English will also be eligible for a Bilingual Ed endorsement. Interested in learning more? Reach out to  to be connected with an advisor!

Apply Online

Contact Us

Master of Science in Education School of Education & Social Policy

618 Garrett Place
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University

Phone: 847/467-1458


Connect with an Advisor