Graduate Special Education

Start this Fall (August). The priority application date is August 10. 

If your goal is to make a real difference in the lives of children with special needs, you should consider an advanced degree in Special Education. Our program is based in culturally-relevant socially just pedagogy with restorative justice practices, ensuring that the needs of today’s learners in inclusive classrooms are our priority.

Teachers who are licensed in Special Education are in high demand nationwide and in Wisconsin schools. A recent analysis of our graduates found that 100% of the students who completed the Edgewood College Special Education License program received DPI certification and were placed in special education teaching positions within one year of graduation.

Licensing for Teachers

  • Structured toward working professionals 
  • Strong community and individualized support
  • Fast track to licensure
  • Instructors bring real-world experience and school partnerships

Master's Degree & Advanced License
Obtain your master’s degree in conjunction with an advanced special education license by completing just 6 additional credits.


Program Highlights

  • Courses are taught by academically and professionally qualified faculty who combine sound theoretical knowledge with practical, real-world experience.
  • Instructors recognize the knowledge and perspective that students contribute to the learning process by encouraging engagement in the classroom.
  • Students have an opportunity to meet one-on-one with instructors and advisors to discuss individual goals, interests and special needs.
  • Our small class size promotes a sense of community and facilitates individualized instruction.
  • A recent analysis of graduates found that 100% of the students who complete the Edgewood College Special Education License program receive DPI certification and are placed in special education teaching positions within one year of graduation.
  • The Special Education program was developed in conjunction with the goals and objectives of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the National Council for Exceptional Children.
  • Edgewood College has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best National University,” among “America’s Best Colleges” by Forbes, and a “Best in the Midwest College” by Princeton Review.
  • Courses are offered on evenings and weekends to accommodate busy schedules.
  • Take one class, two classes or three classes. Begin in the fall, spring, or summer. It’s up to you!
  • 8-week accelerated courses

Unique Teaching Opportunities

As a student enrolled in the Special Education program at Edgewood College, you will have the opportunity to work in the Cutting Edge, a unique college campus outreach program for individuals with disabilities who are currently undereducated and underemployed. This special program gives students in our graduate special education program the opportunity to teach individuals with special needs in collaboration with their college professors. You will be involved with the Cutting Edge program particularly during your methods classes.

License and Degree Requirements

Special Education License Course Sequence

Candidates who do not hold a teaching license complete all licensing courses listed below.

  • ED 598S Cross-categorical Orientation (0 credit)
  • ED 635A Diversity in the Schools (3 credits)

CROSS-CATEGORICAL CORE REQUIREMENTS- Candidates complete 15 credits of cross-categorical core courses.

  • ED 704 XCAT Disability and Marginality (3 credits) Blended
  • ED 616 Transition I Individual & Family Process (3 credits) Blended
  • ED 672A Special Education Reading Literacy I (3 credits) Blended
  • ED 672B Special Education Reading Literacy II (3 credits )Blended
  • ED 672C Special Education Language and Communication Development (3 credits)


  • ED 675A XCAT SPED Assessment & Analysis (3 credits)
  • ED 676A Intellectual, Emotional and Learning Disabilities (3 credits)
  • ED 688 Applied Behavior Analysis for Teachers I (3 credits) 


Candidates who seek a Master of Arts in Education degree take 2 additional courses (34 credits total).

  • ED 603 Introduction to Education Research (3 credits)
  • ED 692 Research Capstone Project (3 credits)

Other Licensure Requirements

Assessments Required

  1. Transcript Audit upon application for Content Requirements & Wisconsin Statute requirements
  2. Certified Background Check upon Entry
  3. Foundations of Reading Test (FORT) passing score of 240
  4. Student Teaching
  5. edTPA (Teacher Performance Assessment)
    1. Required for all Initial Educator Licenses
    2. Completed during Student Teaching Semester
    3. Passing score of 38
  6. Maintain a 3.0 in Graduate Courses

Possible Assessments

  1. Praxis Core may be required depending upon Entry GPA
  2. Content PRAXIS II 5146 may be required
  3. Educator Portfolio
  4. ESL PRAXIS II may be required for ESL

Tuition and Financial Aid

Financing your Edgewood College License Certification or Master’s Degree

Edgewood College is committed to making a life-changing education more affordable and accessible to more people than ever before.

In response to a critical need in Wisconsin schools, we have redesigned our tuition structure allowing for a significant reduction in our Special Education License.  

Courses (27 credits) in the Special Education License Sequence are offered at the discounted tuition rate of $600 per credit.  Licensure course can be applied towards a Master of Arts in Education with Special Ed concentration. Master Completion courses (6 credits) are at the tuition rate of $1,052 per credit.  

Financial Aid

Graduate students are eligible for financial aid in the form of Federal Stafford Loans. Learn more about Stafford Loans, including eligibility requirements and application instructions at Graduate Student Financial Aid.

Financial Aid Questions? Contact Edgewood Central at 608-663-4300 or

Our admissions and financial aid counselors have worked with thousands of students who have questioned how they could afford to complete their graduate education. They will use their experience to suggest creative solutions for financing your education. We work with students and organizations to manage tuition reimbursement plans, extend tuition discounts to various corporate partners in the region, offer third party billing and monthly payment plans, and work with veterans to maximize their available aid.

Teachers are encouraged to inquire about the Teach Grant

Special Education license seeking students may qualify for the TEACH grant; a federal grant which, “provides grants of up to $4000 per year to students who agree to teach for four years at an elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency that serves students from low-income families and to meet other requirements.” These funds do not need to be repaid if you “serve as a full-time teacher for a total of at least four academic years within eight years after you complete or otherwise cease to be enrolled in the program for which you received the TEACH grant.”

Please review carefully the TEACH grant website to review the program stipulations and obligations upon program completion. From this site, you can also find a link which lists current eligible schools and districts that serve low-income students.

To apply for the TEACH grant through Edgewood College, you must first notify your program advisor about your intent to apply. Your advisor will then verify your eligibility with the Financial Aid office and put you in touch with a Financial Aid officer to complete the TEACH grant enrollment process.


Admission Requirements

Applicants for any of the student classifications except non-degree must meet all of the requirements for admission.

  1. Provide evidence of a baccalaureate or more advanced degree from a United States regionally accredited or equivalent post-secondary institution with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale for regular admission status. The cumulative grade point average is computed on the highest degree held at the time of application to the Edgewood College graduate program.
  2. Complete and submit graduate application (including $30 fee).This application is for graduate students who want to pursue a Master’s degree, license or certificate, or take courses as a non-degree student.
  3. Request that official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate academic credits received from each post-secondary institution you attended be sent directly to Graduate and Professional Studies.
  4. Provide two letters of recommendation from college or university professors, supervisors, and/or professional colleagues who can focus on the probability of your success in graduate school. Letter of Recommendation Guidelines
  5. Submit a written statement listing the reasons why you think you will be successful in graduate school; cite how specific background experiences will aid in your success as a student.

Priority application deadlines for the Special Education Cross-categorical program are:
August 10 for admission in Fall semester
January 1 for admission in Spring semester.
May 10 for admission in the Summer session.

All required application materials should be submitted by deadlines. Applications received after deadlines will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

International Students may have additional admission requirements. Learn more.

Transfer Credits

You may submit up to 12 semester hours of graduate credit for consideration of transfer to Edgewood College for application to a degree program. Approval of the respective department is required. To be considered for application to a degree program, a course must have been taken within the past five years. For more information about transfer credits, please contact your admissions counselor.

Out of State Licensure

Although Wisconsin maintains high standards for our teacher education programs, there is not simple reciprocity between Wisconsin and all other states. Each state sets their own requirements for teacher licensure, but will generally allow for Wisconsin teaching and administrator licenses to be transferred. Specific requirements are left to each state’s department of education, which are linked below.

State Licensure/Certification Disclosure for Teacher Licenses
The information below reflects whether this program meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification in the specified states.
Satisfies Educational Requirements:
WI, IL, CO, CT, DE, HI, IN, IA, KS (secondary), LA, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NY, NC, PA, RI, TN, TX, VT, WA, WV, WY
Does Not Satisfy Educational Requirements:  
AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, FL, GA, ID, KS (elementary), KY, ME, MD, MS, NV, NH, NJ, NM, ND, OH, OK, OR, SC, SD, UT, VA

State Licensure/Certification Disclosure for School Administration Licenses
The information below reflects whether this program meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification in the specified states.
Satisfies Educational Requirements:
No Determination Made:
All states are referenced here


Please contact Drew Silver, Clinical and Advising Coordinator, with additional questions.

  • Mike_Turskowski
    Edgewood College made my educational needs feel important. Instructors always shared their real-life experiences and research-based academics. The administrators listened attentively and offered solid solutions and staff bent over backwards to match my education to my hectic life. Every step of the way, Edgewood College made the education fit me instead of trying to make me fit the education.
    Mike Truskowski, Monona Grove School District
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