The Department of Special Education offers graduate online and campus based education for students interested in teaching, research, and professional service related to infants, toddlers, children, adolescents, and adults with low and high incidence disabilities and their families. Since the 1970s, the department has received national and international recognition. The faculty is known for its leadership to the field, commitment to high-quality inclusive learning and development opportunities for children and youth with low and high incidence disabilities, innovative field-based research, and preparation of highly effective educators. The annual U.S. News and World Report graduate program survey consistently ranks KU's Department of Special Education 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.
Students may pursue a master’s degree in one of 5 areas:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (online)
- Early Childhood Unified (ECU, birth through kindergarten) (campus-Lawrence and Edwards)
- High-incidence Disabilities (online)
- Low-incidence Disabilities (campus-Lawrence)
- Secondary Transition Education and Services (online)
In Kansas to become a special educator in high or low incidence one must first obtain an initial teaching license in: Early Childhood Unified, Elementary Education, Elementary Education Unified, or Secondary Education
Students seeking initial licensure or an endorsement in a state other than Kansas may find different eligibility requirements in their state. Therefore, students are encouraged to review their individual state licensure requirements with the appropriate licensing or regulatory authorities prior to enrolling in our various licensure/endorsement programs to ensure whether our coursework complies with individual state requirements.