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Master's in Middle Grades Education

Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) in Middle Grades Education

National Louis University’s Master of Arts in Teaching in Middle Grades Education program is designed for career changers and others who want to work toward their Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) endorsed for content specific middle grades classrooms in grades five through eight.

Information Session: "How to Become a Teacher"

Learn from the experts. Join us for an informative discussion about NLU's MAT programs and how you can become a teacher!

Consider getting your Master of Arts in Middle Grades Education degree at National Louis University (NLU) if you:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree in another discipline
  • Plan to teach at the middle grades level
  • Would like to get your degree in as few as 18 months
  • Want to study at a leading, well-established teacher preparation institution
  • Enjoy participating in a truly innovative curriculum

Learn more about NLU's M.A.T. degree programs >>

  • Teach young adolescents in response to their unique developmental needs.
  • Create joyful teaching and learning experiences with young adolescent learners.
  • Build effective and respectful learning communities within the middle grades.
  • Integrate critical and creative thinking when working with young adolescent learners.
  • Implement responsive strategies and appropriate practices with the diverse range of young adolescent learners.

Currently, our country's education schools don't graduate an adequate number of qualified teachers to meet the demand, and job prospects are best in areas including urban and rural school districts.

NLU students are recognized by school principals as teachers who are comfortable in the classroom, can improve student performance and understand how schools are run.

  • Deconstruct the impact of media/technology/popular culture on the lives of each young adolescent learner.
  • Use a diverse range of media/technology tools.
  • Be an advocate who supports, listens and responds to each young adolescent, family and community member.
  • Apply deep knowledge in chosen content teaching field(s) to create meaningful learning experiences that contribute to each young adolescent’s competence.

NLU has a long-standing reputation for its education and teacher training programs, and is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Since 1886, we’ve trained thousands of Chicago-area teachers and continue to graduate the majority of winners honored by Illinois’ two Golden Apple Foundations with one of the most prestigious teaching and leadership honors in the state. Our instructors bring both academic skills and practical experience to the classroom, offering the best in middle grades education. As a result, we’re well known for preparing educators who can meet the demands of today’s diverse classrooms and become leaders in the education profession. NLU’s middle grades professors are nationally known for their work in innovative, effective middle grade education.

It is a state requirement to complete a minimum of 100 hours of pre-clinical participation. These pre-clinical hours, at National Louis University are completed during MGE500, MGE503, MGE505, SPE500 and CIL531 classes and total 130 hours per our program’s requirements.Pre-clinical hours must be completed during the day and during school hours in middle grades settings. Candidates who work full time during the day and attend classes in the evening often use personal and/or vacation time in order to achieve this requirement. Candidates who are working in a school may be able to complete a portion of the 130 pre-clinical hours in the school where they are employed. The hours would need to be spent in a different middle grades classroom, working with a different teacher and groups. Approval for this will be given after consulting with the course instructor or NLU academic advisor. Candidates who choose to complete their pre-clinical hours from MGE503 in the school where they work may not return to that same school for MGE505 or for student teaching.

All applicants must meet NLU's general admission requirements as well as additional requirements specific to the M.A.T. in Middle Grade Education program. Refer to the appropriate application checklist available online at

Get more information today about enrolling in one of NLU's degree programs. Connect with an Enrollment Specialist or call 888.NLU.TODAY (888-658-8632).

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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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