To The Top

We strive to prepare educators to assist children, youth and adults with disabilities to be academically and socially successful life-long learners. Our faculty are consistently recognized — internationally and across the U.S. — for their individual and collaborative teaching and research excellence. The department’s unique mix of faculty expertise areas creates a wide range of opportunities for students and researchers. Special Education hosts or co-hosts several state and federally supported training, demonstration and research projects, including the following three centers that focus on facilitating positive developmental outcomes for children and youth with disabilities:

Center for School-Wide Positive Behavioral Supports
Center for Adolescent Research in Schools
Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Degrees Offered

Special Education, Master of Education/Master of Arts/Educational Specialist

100% Online On Campus

The program offers Master’s degrees in Special Education with emphasis areas in Autism, Behavior Disorders, Cross-Categorical with Certification, Early Childhood & Autism, Early Childhood Special Education, Gifted Education, Learning Disabilities, and Mental Retardation.

Admission Criteria

Fall deadline: May 1
Spring deadline: October 1
Summer deadline: March 1

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0/4.0

Minimum English Proficiency Requirements

Test Type Total Score Reading Listening Speaking Writing
TOEFL Internet-based10017171717
TOEFL Paper-based6005252N/A52
IELTS Academic76666

Minimum GRE Scores

Test Type Verbal+Quantitative
GRE291

Faculty selection committees review applications for admission into the various graduate programs. Factors considered in the graduate student review process include previous academic course work and performance, GRE scores, letters of recommendation from professors or professional supervisors and relevant professional work experiences. The letter of intent is evaluated for advising purposes and is an indication of the applicant’s motivation, professionalism and writing competencies. Interviews with faculty are often arranged as part of the admissions review process.

Required Application Materials

For the Office of Graduate Studies

  • Completed Graduate Studies online application
  • Unofficial Transcripts- As part of the application submission process, all applicants are required to upload unofficial copies of all post-secondary transcripts to the online application. Official transcripts are only required if accepted by the academic program.
  • Official Results of English Proficiency Exams (International applicants only)

For the Special Education Program

  • Personal Data Sheet
  • Statement of purpose (usually around 500 words) in which you summarize your professional goals, including career objectives, research interests, your motivation for graduate work and other pertinent information
  • A minimum of two letters of recommendation. Letters may be sent to the Special Education Department or they may be submitted electronically through the Graduate Studies online application.
  • GRE score report
  • TOEFL or IELTS score report. Students whose native language is not English must submit scores on a TOEFL or the IELTS administered within the last two years.

Special Education, Doctor of Philosophy/Doctor of Education

On Campus

The program offers Doctoral degrees in Special Education with emphasis areas in Administration & Supervision, Behavior Disorders, Early Childhood Special Education, and Learning Disabilities.

Admission Criteria

Fall deadline: January 15
Spring deadline: August 15

  • Minimum GPA: 3.5/4.0

Minimum English Proficiency Requirements

Test Type Total Score Reading Listening Speaking Writing
TOEFL Internet-based10017171717
TOEFL Paper-based6005252N/A52
IELTS Academic76666

Minimum GRE Scores

Test Type Verbal+Quantitative
GRE297

Faculty selection committees review applications for admission into the various graduate programs. Factors considered in the graduate student review process include previous academic course work and performance, GRE scores, letters of recommendation from professors or professional supervisors and relevant professional work experiences. The letter of intent is evaluated for advising purposes and is an indication of the applicant’s motivation, professionalism and writing competencies. Interviews with faculty are often arranged as part of the admissions review process.

Required Application Materials

For the Office of Graduate Studies

  • Completed Graduate Studies online application
  • Unofficial Transcripts- As part of the application submission process, all applicants are required to upload unofficial copies of all post-secondary transcripts to the online application. Official transcripts are only required if accepted by the academic program.
  • Official Results of English Proficiency Exams (International applicants only)

For the Special Education Program

  • Personal Data Sheet
  • Statement of purpose (usually around 500 words) in which you summarize your professional goals, including career objectives, research interests, your motivation for advanced graduate work and other pertinent information.
  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation. Letters may be sent to the Special Education Department or they may be submitted electronically through the Graduate Studies online application.
  • GRE score report
  • TOEFL or IELTS score report. Students whose native language is not English must submit scores on a TOEFL or the IELTS administered within the last two years.