Undergraduate Majors

NIU College of Education -
The Smart Choice!

  • Our teacher licensure programs are accredited nationally by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and are approved by the Illinois State Board of Education.
  • Our Kinesiology major is recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. 


Early Childhood Studies

This program prepares our students for a variety of professional roles serving children birth-age 8 and their families and includes the Early Childhood Special Education Approval to teach children with disabilities in pre-kindergarten. Our program is recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. If you are interested in being an early childhood educator, contact an advisor at 815-753-8361, visit the Early Childhood Studies website or view the Undergraduate Catalog.

View our video about Early Childhood Studies.

Elementary Education

Our students develop expertise in the teaching of reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science for grades 1 – 6. They learn to adjust instruction to support young learners with a wide variety of cultural and language backgrounds and learning styles. For more information about a teaching career in elementary education, contact an elementary education advisor at 815-753-8350, visit the Elementary Education website or view the Undergraduate Catalog.

View our video about our Elementary Education Program.


Students develop a wide range of skills that prepare them for dynamic roles in fitness, health, and sports industries and for graduate study in related fields. Career paths include personal training, corporate fitness/wellness, sports performance and conditioning, sports management, and older adult fitness. If you're interested in Kinesiology, call the advisor in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education at 815-753-8285, visit the Kinesiology website or view the Undergraduate Catalog.

Check out our kinesiology video.

Middle Level Teaching and Learning

Students receive in-depth content knowledge and instructional methods preparation in two endorsement areas to teach in grades 5 – 8. Major content areas include English, Mathematics, Science, Social Science; for a list of minor content areas, including Bilingual/ESL, please contact the academic advisor at 815-753-8350 or view the Undergraduate Catalog.

Physical Education

As highly qualified educators, our graduates help students to learn the skills and benefits of physical activity. Students have many opportunities for hands-on experience working with learners of various ages and ability levels in grades K-12. Call the advisor in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education at 815-753-8285, visit the Physical Education website or view the Undergraduate Catalog.

Special Education

Our graduates teach students who range from preschool – age 21 with a wide spectrum of special needs including learning and developmental disabilities, behavior disorders, autism, or vision impairments. Students experience highly interactive classes including extensive training in the use of assistive technology. Contact the special education advisor at 815-753-8361 or visit the Special Education website or view the Undergraduate Catalog.

Check out our videos about special education and vision impairments.