The Master of Science in Special Education-Learning Behavior Specialist II (LBS II) program is designed to offer current special education teachers preparation in targeted academic and behavioral areas through a tailored academic program from an accredited institution. Program options include a comprehensive Master’s degree program with Illinois state endorsement(s) (MS-LBS II) or an endorsement only program. Candidates may select to earn the Illinois state endorsement in Curriculum Adaptation Specialist (CAS) or Behavior Intervention Specialist (BIS) or both as a part of the Master of Science degree. The option of endorsement without MS degree is also available.

Enrolled candidates may select one of the following program pathways:

  • M.S. degree and dual Illinois endorsement in CAS, BIS (30 credit hours)
  • M.S. degree and Illinois endorsement in BIS (30 credit hours)
  • M.S. degree and Illinois endorsement in CAS (30 credit hours)
  • Illinois endorsement in BIS only (15 credit hours)
  • Illinois endorsement in CAS only (15 credit hours)
  • Illinois endorsement in CAS and BIS (27 credit hours)

Courses required for either LBS II endorsement with master’s degree include five courses and a capstone experience course. To obtain an endorsement on the Professional Education License in either CAS or BIS, candidates must also pass the ILTS Content Test for the intended area.

Note: Candidates currently enrolled in Northeastern LBS I Focus Program may apply four courses as electives toward the LBS II MS degree. Interested candidates should submit a written statement to the College of Graduate Studies and Research indicating intention to begin LBS II coursework and submit a change of program form to the LBS I Focus Program Advisor.

The Special Education program is nationally accredited by the Council for Exceptional Children.

CEC logo

Credit hours required: 30


The program admits students for the fall and spring semesters.

Students must apply for admission to the Northeastern Illinois University College of Graduate Studies and Research. Additional information may be obtained by contacting Jolanta Jonak at

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Program Benefits

In order to meet the complex schedule of practicing special education teachers, Northeastern offers the LBS II program in a hybrid format with content courses delivered online and three in-person Saturday class meetings each semester (fall and spring). All other LBS II courses are offered exclusively online.

Benefits include:

  • Earning Illinois State Board of Education’s Learning Behavior Specialist (LBS II) Curriculum Adaptation Specialist and/or Behavior Intervention Specialist Endorsements
  • Taking online courses that are practical and relevant with immediate transfer
  • Earning an advanced degree from a highly-regarded academic institution
  • Taking coursework from highly experienced faculty with a long-standing, positive reputation for exemplary special education preparation
  • Entering a meaningful career where you can make a difference in the lives of individuals with exceptional learning needs
  • Tuition that is 25-50 percent lower than most public or private universities
  • Affordable and interest-free payment plans

Completion of the Master of Science in Special Education-LBS II will satisfy all standards for teacher licensure as required by the Illinois State Board of Education. Northeastern Illinois University has not made a determination as to whether this education degree program meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification in any of the other 54 U.S. states and jurisdictions. Specific requirements for licensure or certification in states other than Illinois vary from state-to-state. In some cases, you may need to take additional coursework or exams to meet individual state requirements and/or you may need to complete background checks.

Career Options

Graduates of the program obtain immediate employment as teachers as specialists in curriculum adaptations for learners with special needs and as specialists in supporting and promoting positive behavioral change for students with a wide range of behavioral challenges. Program graduates also function as teacher leaders and mentors for general and special educators who work with learners with special needs across a wide range of grades and disabilities. These professionals are well prepared to provide highly relevant and useful professional development for school personnel who work with students with a variety of learning and behavioral strengths and needs.

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 Science in Special Education LBS II and the courses offered toward the degree.

Special Education - LBS II, M.S.

Department and Contact Information

If you are interested in the program or have questions, please contact the Department of Literacy, Leadership, Development and Special Education.

Literacy, Leadership, Development and Special Education

About Northeastern

Northeastern Illinois University is home to 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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