Special Education Degree Programs

M.S. in Special Education

red doors of the education building which houses the master's in special education program

Do you have your bachelor’s degree? Interested in being a leader, collaborating with others, and improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities and their families?

The special education master’s program is the academic home to many students who enjoy working with children and youth, especially children and youth with disabilities. Special education master’s graduates enter a high-need field with an almost 100% job placement rate after graduation. Employment opportunities are available all across the country.

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Student Loan Forgiveness

Federal Loan Forgiveness: All students in the teacher certification track of the Master of Science in Special Education program may be eligible for loan forgiveness as a teacher. To learn more about loan forgiveness or cancellation, please check the Loan Forgiveness page on the Federal Student Aid website.

Teacher Pledge: All students in the teacher certification track of the Master of Science in Special Education program are eligible for the Teacher Pledge Program. Pledge to work at a Wisconsin pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade school for three to four years after graduation. The School of Education pledges to pay the equivalent of in-state tuition and fees, testing and licensing costs. Learn more about the Teacher Pledge


  • Previously earned bachelor’s degree (can be unrelated to education)
  • Minimum of 3.0 GPA
  • Seeking initial special education teaching license
  • Interested in changing the lives of and empowering those around them

Application Process

  • To apply you will need:
    • 1 statement of purpose indicating your reasons for pursuing special education certification
      • Additionally, state your interest in any of the funding options (above)
    • 2 letters of recommendation
    • 1 current resume
    • Unofficial transcripts from colleges/universities attended
  • Apply for the “Special Education MS – Teacher Certification” program via Graduate School Application Portal
    • Choose which term you would like to start
    • Application fee required

Deadline to Apply

  • Fall 2021: Rolling
  • Spring 2022: October 15
  • Summer 2022: May 15


Courses are offered on campus, Monday-Friday, during the day and evening. Information regarding program requirements, course descriptions, and graduation requirements can be found in The Guide.

Additional coursework may be required if accepted into one of the funded programs.

Program Length

The master’s in special education with teacher certification can be completed in as little as 14 months, including summer coursework.