Special Education

Leading the Way for Students with Disabilities

Are you interested in being a leader, collaborating with others, and improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities and their families? If so, a career as a special education teacher may be right for you. And the best part? You don’t need a special education background to get there — just a passion for helping those with disabilities and the desire to be an advocate for students and their families. 

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

Program Highlights

  • Start when it’s right for you: Summer, spring, and fall semesters offer flexibility to work the program into your everyday life. 
  • Earn your degree at your pace: You can complete the program in two years, or our accelerated timeline gets you a degree in 14 months, including summer coursework. Courses are offered in the evening so you are able to work during the day while in the program. 
  • Gain hands-on experience: You’ll work directly with school districts and gain valuable classroom experience. 

Get In Contact With Us!

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No hidden testing fees for licensure

The cost of completion of testing and licensure required for a recommendation for a Wisconsin teaching license is covered in the program.

Attend a Teacher Preparation Info Session

Special Education Timeline

Spring semester prior to program start date Submit all outstanding grades and/or/documentation related to subject preparation or conditional acceptance.
mid-May* First summer course registration
September to mid-January** Fall semester : campus courses and school based fieldwork
January to mid-June** Spring semester: courses and fieldwork- full time student teaching
March to May Teaching performance evaluation
mid-June to early August* Second Summer: Coursework and masters project
*Dates will vary (see UW Academic Calendar for official start dates) **Dates will vary by local school district calendars

Semesters Sneak Peak

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First Semester


  • Individuals with Disabilities (if applicable)
  • Introduction to Teaching in Special Ed
  • Teaching Mathematics in Inclusive Settings
  • Development, Learning and Education Foundations in Special Education

Second Semester


  • Access to the General Curriculum for Students with Disabilities
  • Classroom Management for Inclusive Classrooms
  • Student Teaching Seminar


  • Practicum

Third Semester


  • Diagnosis, Assessment, and Instructional Planning in Special Education
  • Language and Reading Instruction for Students with Disabilities
  • Methods in Transition and Vocational Education


  • Student Teaching

Fourth Semester


  • Multicultural Issues in Special Education
  • Introduction to Research in Special Education