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The Master of Arts in Gifted Education (MAGE) program is the first Gifted Education Endorsement Program in the state of Illinois. The program is designed for candidates who are interested in supporting, teaching, and guiding gifted children and their families and who already hold a teaching license.

Candidates may select from the following program options:

  • Master’s degree program with Illinois state Gifted Teacher Endorsement (30 credit hours) OR
  • Gifted Teacher Endorsement-only program (24 credit hours)

Students who select the master’s degree option are eligible to apply for financial aid. A limited number of Merit Tuition Scholarships are also available.

We are currently in the process of establishing cohorts at a site conveniently located near you. The cohort-based program takes approximately 2 years (fall, spring, summer) to complete. Courses will be scheduled at a time convenient for the majority of prospective students. Interested applicants should provide the required information as requested on the Gifted Education Cohort form.

Credit hours required: 30


The program admits students for the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters.

Students must apply for admission to the Northeastern Illinois University College of Graduate Studies and Research. Additional information may be obtained by contacting Dr. Michele Kane (

Program Benefits 

Courses at the Main Campus typically take place in the late afternoon/early evening during a 15-week semester. Currently courses are offered from 4:15-6:55 p.m. and 7:05-9:45 p.m. with beginning and end times adjustable to meet cohort needs.  

Presently Northeastern Illinois University is the only Illinois institution that offers the Gifted Teacher Endorsement. Other benefits include the following:

  • Earning Illinois State Board of Education’s Gifted Teacher Endorsement
  • Earning an advanced degree from a highly-regarded academic institution
  • Taking courses that are practical and relevant with immediate transfer
  • Participating in a cohort offered right in your own or a nearby district
  • Attending one night per week at time and day that address the needs of the teachers (for site-based cohorts only)
  • Tuition that is 25-50% lower than most public or private universities
  • Affordable and interest-free payment plans

Career Options 

Coursework includes a solid foundation in the nature of giftedness, identification of the gifted, program planning, gifted curriculum, differentiated educational strategies, and program evaluation. Exemplary program preparation culminates in an approved 90-hour supervised practicum experience working with gifted children/youth.

Careers that benefit from the program include:

  • Classroom teacher (including differentiation specialist, gifted specialist)
  • Gifted coordinator
  • Gifted/talented program planner for after school/summer
  • Advocate for gifted children/programming (e.g.,  parent specialist with emphasis on high ability learners)
  • Gifted policy specialist

For more detailed career information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Academic Catalog Information 

Take a closer look at the Master of Arts in Gifted Education and the courses offered toward the degree.

Gifted Education, M.A.

Department and Contact Information 

If you are interested in the program or have questions, please contact Special Education at (773) 442-5580.

Special Education Department Homepage

About Northeastern 

Northeastern Illinois University is home to 9,000 students from all corners of the world and is one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the nation. Our small class sizes, flexible schedules and dedicated faculty can help you succeed in your studies.

We offer an education with value.

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