Department of Special Education

Special Education Graduate Programs

The Department of Special Education offers campus-based and online graduate programs for students interested in teaching, research, and professional service related to infants, toddlers, children, adolescents, and adults with developmental delays and disabilities and their families. Since the 1970s, the department’s master’s and doctoral programs have received national and international recognition. The faculty is known for its leadership to the field, and commitment to high-quality, inclusive learning and development opportunities for children and youth with developmental delays and disabilities, innovative field-based research, and preparation of highly effective educators, researchers, faculty preparing educators, and policy specialists. The annual U.S. News and World Report's graduate program survey consistently ranks KU at the top when compared to more than 200 graduate programs in this field. As one of the most comprehensive special educator preparation programs in the country, the department attracts students from many states and countries.

Programs Offered

Students may pursue a Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.) in one of 5 areas: Students may pursue a graduate certificate(s) in the following areas:
Autism Spectrum Disorder (online) Autism Spectrum Disorder (online)
Early Childhood Unified (birth through kindergarten) (campus-Lawrence and Edwards) Licensure Endorsement in Early Childhood Unified (birth-k) (KS) (campus- Lawrence and Edwards)
High-Incidence Disabilities (online) High Incidence Disabilities Endorsement KS (online)
Low-incidence Disabilities (campus) Low Incidence Disabilities Endorsement (KS) (campus)
Secondary Transition Education and Services (online) Graduate Certificate in Transition (online)
Leadership in Special and Inclusive Education (online)
Interdisciplinary Early Intervention (campus-Lawrence and Edwards)
Kansas Teacher Licensure and Endorsement Opportunities
To obtain initial teaching License: Kansas endorsement add on to license for Special Education**
Early Childhood Unified MSE (birth through kindergarten) (campus-Lawrence and Edwards)) High Incidence Disabilities Endorsement (online)
OR Low-incidence Disabilities Endorsement (campus)
Early Childhood Unified (birth through kindergarten) Licensure Endorsement (campus-Lawrence and Edwards) ** You must have initial licensure in Early Childhood, Elementary or Secondary education to be eligible for the endorsement programs.

In Kansas to become a special education teacher in high or low incidence disability, one must first obtain an initial teaching license in: Early Childhood Unified, Elementary Education, or Secondary Education

Students seeking initial licensure or an endorsement in a state other than Kansas are encouraged to review their individual state's licensure requirements with the appropriate licensing or regulatory authorities prior to enrolling.

The campus-based doctoral program in special education is devoted to preparing civically-committed scholars who, through rigorous and relevant research and transformational interventions, address significant educational and social problems in ways that advance education, social policy, research, care giving and public service to enhance the quality of life of persons of all ages with (dis)abilities and their families. Program students and graduates rely on interdisciplinary theoretical knowledge and the full range of methodological approaches to engage, influence, and transform educational and social institutions and their practices to promote learning, equal opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency. 
For degree- and certificate-seeking students, maintaining a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher is required. A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher is required to remain in good academic standing and in order to graduate.