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, an 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 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.

In 2015, NLU launched a new undergraduate experience offering students support services to overcome real-life barriers to college success. Designed to address cost barriers, it helps students attain the college degrees employers will require in the future.

In 2018, NLU closed on the transfer agreement of Kendall College’s baking and pastry, business, culinary arts, early childhood education, and hospitality management, as well as general education programs and other assets.

Today, National Louis offers more than 60 degree programs through four colleges – National College of Education, College of Professional Studies and Advancement, Undergraduate College, and Kendall College of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management. Bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs are available in education, management, human services, counseling, public policy, culinary, hospitality and others concerned with career and professional development.

The University serves more than 9,000 students at six locations in Illinois and Florida and is proud of the 80,000 living alumni using their NLU education to serve others. Nivine Megahed, Ph.D. is the institution's eleventh president. For more information visit www.NL.edu.

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 and technology, culinary arts and hospitality, 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 Undergraduate College, Kendall College of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management, College of Professional Studies and Advancement, and the National College of Education. 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 modalities that allow you the flexibility you need to pursue your education on-campus, online, through our weekend center, 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.


At National Louis we are most proud that our students aspire to go out into the world and make it a better place, not only for themselves, but for those around them. They make an impact in their community, and provide leadership in the workforce. We welcome and encourage you to use our resources to achieve your goals within our programs. 

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. Come join us for a National Louis University experience where you can build your success story.


Best wishes,


Nivine Megahed, Ph.D.








Illinois Locations

Downtown Chicago 

122 South Michigan Avenue

Chicago, IL 60603-3032



Gage Building

18 South Michigan Avenue

Chicago, IL 60603-3032


National Louis University’s main campus in downtown Chicago consists of space in two historic landmark buildings at 122 S. Michigan Avenue and 18 S. Michigan Avenue.  These buildings house campus 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, the College of Professional Studies and Advancement, the Undergraduate College and the Kendall College of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management are offered on this campus with classes scheduled during the daytime, evening and weekends. The P.A.C.E. program at NLU is also housed on this campus.


850 Warrenville Road

Lisle, IL 60532




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


North Shore (Skokie)

5202 Old Orchard Road, Suite 300

Skokie, Illinois 60077-4409




The North Shore location serves undergraduate and graduate students in the National College of Education and the College of Professional Studies and Advancement. It offers classrooms, computer labs, a library, and group study areas. This site also houses the Reading Center and Lifelong Learning. 



1000 Capitol Drive

Wheeling, IL 60090-7201




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

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.

Note: NLU also teaches courses at offsite locations but only with HLC approval and after a thorough review process to ensure that the facility meets the requirements for academic learning. Please contact an enrollment specialist to learn more about other locations.  


Accreditation and Approvals

Regional Accreditation

National Louis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), one of six regional institutional accreditors recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. 

Specialized and Programmatic Accreditation

While you can click on the respective college names to learn more about their programmatic and specialized approvals, a high-level summary is provided below:

State Approvals

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

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. Additional information regarding NLU may be obtained by contacting the Commission for Independent Education at: 325 W. Gaines Street, Suite 1414, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400. Toll free phone number: 888.224.6684.

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.

In the state of Florida, students need to graduate from a state-approved program and then pass the FELE in order to receive a certification from Florida DOE in Educational Leadership that enables them to hold leadership positions at the district and state levels. As a state-approved program, graduates of NLU's M.Ed., Ed.S., and Ed.D. in Educational Leadership will be awarded the degree which completes the first requirement needed to obtain a certification in Educational Leadership.  

For additional information regarding programs that lead to licensure and/or certification please visit the NLU Public Disclosures for Licensure page. 

NLU is also a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA). As a SARA member, NLU is authorized to offer distance education to other SARA member states.