About National Louis University

Mission Statement

National Louis University provides access to quality higher education that nurtures opportunity for students through innovative teaching, scholarship, community engagement, and service excellence.

A Brief History

More than 130 years ago National Louis University was founded on the principle that a quality education can transform lives, careers and communities. Founder Elizabeth Harrison, education pioneer and social reformer, opened a kindergarten training school to promote early childhood education, a radical idea at the time. Harrison's groundbreaking work helped launch the National Parent-Teacher Association and the Head Start program, and the National College of Education (NCE) became the first university in Illinois to offer a four-year teaching degree.

In 1986, Michael W. Louis made a historic $30 million gift to the National College of Education and the school was formally renamed National Louis University in 1990. This gift enabled the institution to expand its programs beyond education to also offer business, fine arts, English, psychology, public policy, social sciences and more. 

National Louis is the outcome of and testament to the vision of its founders. It is a contemporary university committed to innovation and best practices in both undergraduate and graduate education. A university that excels in creating learning communities where theory complements practice, NLU sustains a tradition of access to higher education for first-generation and urban university students who want to make a lasting impact in their lives and in their communities. 

Today, NLU offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 60 fields including business, education, health and human services, and social and behavioral sciences through its two colleges- National College of Education and College of Professional Studies and Advancement. Nivine Megahed, Ph.D. is the institution's eleventh president.

A Note from the President

Dear National Louis Student,                                                                                   

National Louis University is proud to offer a range of high quality, professionally focused programs in the fields of business, education, health and human services, and social and behavioral sciences. The 60+ programs that NLU offers are detailed in this catalog and we invite you to use this as your guide to finding the one that’s right for you. 

Programs are offered at the bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and certificate levels through our National College of Education and College of Professional Studies and Advancement. Whether you are seeking a graduate degree, undergraduate degree or non-degree certificate that will enrich your professional experience, National Louis has a program that will fit your lifestyle and help you achieve your goals. We offer programs in a variety of convenient delivery models that allow you the flexibility you need to pursue your education—on-campus, online, and at partner sites.

For more than 130 years, NLU has been proudly delivering holistic professional preparation and contemporary academic experience. Our mission is to prepare students to lead in their professions and communities, and we encourage excellence in the pursuit of career and personal goals. NLU students and graduates inspire us every day with their passion and dedication to bringing innovative ideas to their workplaces, their communities, and anyplace they see an opportunity to make a positive difference.

We invite you to explore our catalog and our website at www.nl.edu. Through these pages, you will learn about the richness of National Louis—its programs, its people, and the diversity of experience and ideas that keep our community motivated and energized.

Best wishes, 

Nivine Megahed, Ph.D.


Illinois Campuses

Chicago Campus

122 South Michigan Avenue

Chicago, IL 60603-3032


National Louis University’s main campus comprises five floors of a historic landmark office building in downtown Chicago. The campus includes classrooms, developmental skills laboratories, computer labs, a library and the NLU gift shop. The offices of the President, Provost and other academic and administrative personnel are also located on this campus.

Programs in the National College of Education and the College of Professional Studies and Advancement are offered on this campus with classes scheduled during the daytime, evening and weekend. The P.A.C.E. program at NLU is also housed on this campus.

Elgin Campus

620 Tollgate Rd.

Elgin, IL 60123-9364


NLU’s Elgin campus is conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31. The campus features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. With classes offered late afternoons, evenings and weekends, working adults at the undergraduate or graduate level can easily attend classes. 

Lisle Campus

850 Warrenville Road

Lisle, IL 60532


The Lisle campus offers working adults upper-level undergraduate and graduate programs in the National College of Education and the College of Professional Studies and Advancement. The Lisle campus includes classrooms, administration and faculty offices, computer labs, student lounges and a library. The Reading Recovery Center is also housed on this campus.


North Shore Campus

5202 Old Orchard Road, Suite 300

Skokie, Illinois 60077-4409


The North Shore Campus serves undergraduate and graduate students in the National College of Education and the College of Professional Studies and Advancement. The campus offers classrooms, computer labs, a library, and group study areas. Also located on this campus are the Reading Center and Lifelong Learning. 


Wheeling Campus

1000 Capitol Drive

Wheeling, IL 60090-7201


Classes at the Wheeling campus are easily accessible to adults who live and work in northwest Cook and Lake Counties. The Wheeling campus offers classrooms, computer labs and student lounges. It also houses the University Library Research Collection and student records. Many university faculty, administrators and staff members have offices on the Wheeling campus. The McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership is also located adjunct to the Wheeling campus.

Other Locations

Florida Regional Center

5110 Sunforest Drive

Suite 102

Tampa, FL 33634


Serving a diverse Florida population, this NLU location supports class groups throughout the state and offers programs through the National College of Education and the College of Professional Studies and Advancement. The Florida Regional Center provides a full range of NLU services, including enrollment counseling, academic services, financial services, academic development, information and library support and student affairs. The Center offers classrooms, a computer lab, library support and a student lounge.

Wisconsin Administrative Office

P.O. Box 11562

Milwaukee, WI 53211


The Wisconsin Administrative Office serves existing students of southeastern Wisconsin during the teach-out phase following the Milwaukee campus closing in September 2016. Located in the Milwaukee area, the administrative office provides local student advisement and information and acts as liaison with the offices of academic advising, student finance, library assistance, student affairs and academic development. 

Accreditation and Approvals


National Louis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, 30 N. LaSalle St., Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60606 312.263.0456, and is a participant in the HLC’s Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP). National College of Education meets all standards of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. Certain business programs in the College of Professional Studies and Advancement have earned professional accreditation from the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education. Selected programs in the National College of Education are approved by the Illinois State Board of Education for licensure of education professionals.


National Louis University is authorized to operate as a degree granting institution in the following states and foreign countries:

Illinois: The University is authorized to operate in Illinois by the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Florida: National Louis University is a not-for-profit organization registered with the Florida Division of Corporations to do business in Florida.

The University holds License by Means of Accreditation from the Florida Commission for Independent Education of the Florida Department of Education to operate as a university, to offer programs of instruction, and to award degrees.

Credit and degrees earned from colleges in the State of Florida which are licensed by the Florida Commission for Independent Education do not automatically qualify the holder for a Florida teaching certificate. Any person interested in obtaining a Florida teaching certificate should contact the Office of Teacher Certification, Department of Education, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400.

Graduates of the M.Ed. and Ed.S. in Educational Leadership programs may receive a transcript endorsement indicating the completion of a state approved program in Educational Leadership.

The M.Ed. degree in Teaching, Learning and Assessment does not provide for teacher certification by the Florida Board of Education. It is intended only for teachers who already hold certification. Additional information regarding NLU may be obtained by contacting the Commission at: 325 W. Gaines Street, Suite 1414, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400. Toll free phone number: 888.224.6684.

Poland: The University is approved by the Higher Learning Commission to offer select Bachelor of Arts degrees and the Master of Business Administration.