Special Education, B.A.

The Special Education program is for future teachers who wish to teach special education students from the ages of birth to 21. Successful completion of the program enables students to apply for licensure by entitlement in Illinois for the Professional Educator License endorsed for LBS I (preK to age 21).

Special Admissions Requirements:

Admission to the Special Education program is a two step process. Students must first be admitted to National Louis University.

Applicants to the Special Education program must:

  • Pass the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) or ISBE approved alternative
  • Have completed all General Education courses and Foundational courses (except LIBR 200)
  • Have completed all General Education and Foundational courses (except LIBR 200, which may be completed after admission) Students who receive a “D” or “F” in a Foundational course must petition the Academic Policies Committee if they to receive permission to retake the course. Foundational courses may not be repeated without the permission of the committee.
  • Have a GPA of 2.5 or better at National Louis University, with a grade of “C” or better in each course required for the degree
  • Submit an application requesting Practicum III placement 

Program Details:

  • Requires 180 QH, including 61 QH of General Education, for completion 
  • 63 QH of coursework must be completed at NLU
  • Credit by examination is accepted for general education and elective credit
  • The Professional Education Sequence must be taken at NLU
  • A grade of “C” or better in all courses in the program is required
  • Completion of a minimum of 100 clock hours of preclinical experience (practica) is required prior to student teaching
  • Requires student teaching

Required Courses


LAE101English Composition I

LAE102English Composition II

LAT210Effective Speaking


LAE307Literature for Children

Fine Arts

Choose 4 QH of introductory coursework that includes content for the appreciation of art, and/or music, and/or drama. The courses listed below meet that description, though others may be accepted.

LAA101Art Appreciation I

LAA102Art Appreciation II

LAA110Introduction to Art

LAA200Arts in Chicago

LAT220Introduction to Theatre

LAU110Introduction to Music

LAU220Music as Social Experience

Quantitative Reasoning

LAM112Math Content for Teachers I

LAM213Math Content for Teachers II

Physical and Life Sciences

LAN110General Biology

LAN150Survey of Physical Science

Note: One course must have a lab.

Social Sciences

LAS120Introduction to American Politics


LAS200U.S. History and Culture: 1492-1828


LAS201U.S. History and Culture: 1828-1898


LAS203U.S. History and Culture: 1898-Present


LAS300Contemporary World Cultures


LAS110Introduction to Cultural Anthropology


LAS302Asian History and Culture


LAS303Sub-Saharan African Cultures


LAS304Middle and South American Cultures

Notes: Another U.S. History course may be accepted. LAS 300 is preferred. Another non-western social science course may be accepted.

Behavioral Science

LAP100General Psychology


LIBR200Digital Information Literacy

Additional General Education Requirements - 10QH

LAN300Ecology and Conservation




LAN304Human Physiology


LAN306Microbes--Global Perspectives


LAN325Human Genetics


LAN422Biological Evolution


LAM101Thinking Mathematically


LAM110College Mathematics: Application of Mathematical Ideas

Notes: For students who achieve the required COMPASS score, the requirement for LAM 101 or LAM 110 is waived and the students may select appropriate electives with advisor approval. Other science courses may be accepted in lieu of the science courses above.

Undergraduate Core - 16 QH

SPE210History and Philosophy of Education

EPS300Educational Psychology: Theory in Classroom Practice

SPE300Survey of Exceptional Children and Adolescents

TIE300Introduction to Technology in the Classroom

Professional Sequence - 63 QH

SPE305Practicum I: Inclusive Education and the Role of the Special Education Teacher

SPE310Foundations of Special and Inclusive Education

SPE315Assessment in Special Education

SPE320Methods for Social Emotional Support

SPE325Language Development: The Role of Language in Learning

SPE330Assistive and Instructional Technology

SPE335Mathematics and Inclusive Education

SPE400Collaboration and School-Family Partnerships

SPE405Practicum II: Advanced Practicum in Inclusive Education

SPE410Literacy in Inclusive Education I

SPE411Literacy in Inclusive Education II

SPE415Instructional Planning and Instruction for Inclusive Education I

SPE416Instructional Planning and Instruction for Inclusive Education II

SPE470Practicum III: Student Teaching

Electives - 30 QH

Choose elective courses to total 180 QH with advisor approval

Special Education Student Teaching Enrollment Requirements

Admission to and continuance in student teaching are contingent on the following actions.

Candidates must:

  • Be accepted into the National College of Education
  • File, by the designated deadline, the application form for student teaching
  • Submit to their advisor a report of a TB test taken within 90 days of the student teaching placement, results of criminal background check and acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter status form
  • Turn in a signed log of all the pre-clinical hours specified in their pre-clinical hours required for the program
  • Pass the LBSI (155) and Special Education General Curriculum (163) Content Tests prior to student teaching
  • Complete all of their licensure courses except for SPE 470 (Student Teaching)
  • Pass all methods courses at National Louis University with a grade no lower than a B
  • Participate in faculty assessment and receive approval of his or her portfolio (Livetext)
  • Provide evidence of emotional stability, adequate personality adjustment and competency as indicated by licensure coursework and departmental assessments