Undergraduate Program

Undergraduate Program

The Undergraduate Experience

The School of Education and Social Policy, or SESP, as we're lovingly known around campus, is one of the smallest of Northwestern's undergraduate schools. Our 500+ undergraduate students select one of six academic concentrations to pursue: Elementary TeachingHuman Development in Context, Learning and Organizational Change, Learning Sciences, Secondary Teaching or Social Policy. We also offer a Certificate in Civic Engagement. Students in SESP enjoy small, discussion-based courses, close access to faculty and a very hands-on advisers. The SESP community is a vibrant, passionate one committed to people, change, and leadership.

The school provides undergraduates with an interdisciplinary curriculum, practical experiences, and research activities that are closely linked to its faculty and graduate programs. The pursuit of any one of the five concentrations within SESP leads to a bachelor of science in education and social policy.

Core coursework across all SESP concentrations is centered around human development, research methodologies, social and structural inequities and practical experiences. The 2022-2023 curriculum comparison sheet highlights the curricular requirements for all of SESP's undergraduate concentrations.

Students studying human development, learning & organizational change, learning sciences or social policy have the ability to round out their major with several interdisciplinary extension courses, selected from a list of approved courses and/or in consultation with their SESP academic advisor.

SESP's undergraduate degree requirements are rounded out by distribution courses (distros), or liberal arts requirements. SESP students must take two courses in each of the following disciplinary areas: natural sciences, formal studies, historical studies, ethics and values, and literature & fine arts. Students should consult with their SESP academic advisors to understand double-counting rules governing the use of distros toward their SESP concentrations.

Social Policy

Social Policy


Students explore issues such as poverty, education
reform, and community development as they learn how policies affect people’s lives.

Learn more about Social Policy

Elementary Teaching


This program prepares students to excel
as classroom teachers for grades 1-6 and in the field of education as a whole.

Learn more about Elementary Teaching

Learning Sciences

Learning Sciences

Learning Sciences is an interdisciplinary field that involves understanding learning in a wide range of social contexts.

Learn more about
Learning Sciences

Secondary Teaching

Secondary Teaching

This program prepares students to excel
as classroom teachers and in the field of education as a whole.

Learn more about
Secondary Teaching

Human Development in Context 

Human Development and Psychological Services

Students investigate how families, schools, communities and the workplace influence human development.

Learn more about Human Development in Context  

Learning and
Organizational Change

Learning and Organizational Change

This program examines how
individuals and organizations respond to and create change.

Learn more about Learning and Organizational Change

Contact Us

Student Affairs Office

School of Education and Social Policy

Walter Annenberg Hall
2120 Campus Drive, Suite 123
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University

Phone: 847/491-3790

Email: sespsao@northwestern.edu