Special education B.S. & ABS licensure

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College of Education and Human Development wordmark.
Department of Educational Psychology wordmark.

Special education B.S. & ABS licensure

Earn your degree and teaching license in four years

Become an expert at meeting students’ needs by providing individualized instruction to students with disabilities in grade K through age 21. The program leads to an Academic and Behavioral Strategist (ABS) teaching license, which qualifies you to teach students with mild-moderate disabilities in the following areas:

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Emotional/behavioral disorders
  • Learning disabilities
  • Other health disabilities

Rated #3 in the nation among special education undergraduate programs by Best Education Degrees in 2017


  • View a sample plan of classes or a complete list of program requirements.
  • Coursework includes educational and child psychology and academic and behavior interventions using research-based practices
  • Gain experience working with students with a variety disabilities through elementary and secondary practicum placements
  • After you begin teaching, you may choose to take additional credits to earn your specialty license to work with students in the moderate-severe range, including:
    • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
    • Developmental disabilities (DD)
    • Emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD)
    • Learning disabilities (LD)
  • Your B.S. coursework can be applied to advanced licenses in moderate to severe autism, developmental disabilities, emotional/behavioral disorders, or learning disabilities. Should you choose to apply for your master of education (M.Ed.) degree, additional requirements for these advanced licenses will be fulfilled as part of your master's coursework.


  • Elementary, middle, high schools
  • 18-21 transition programs
  • Social service agencies

Get more information on careers in special education.

Tuition & financial aid

Visit the College of Education and Human Development's Tuition and financial aid page for more information on available financial aid.


Incoming first-year students who are interested in special education are automatically considered for the Campbell Scholarship for Education. Visit the Office of Admissions scholarships page for more information on this and additional CEHD scholarships available to incoming first-year students.

Learn more about teaching scholarships available to undergraduates in the College of Education and Human Development.

"If you never learn to read, someone will read you your rights."

Jazmyne McGill headshot

Jazmyne McGillUndergraduate student | mcgil178@umn.edu

Interests: Music, modeling, going to museums, and hanging out with kids!

Work: Jazmyne worked at L.C. Webster Elementary school as a behavior paraprofessional. She loved working with kids and teaching them coping mechanisms to handle stress and anger.

Future plans: She would like to earn her masters and possibly go to law school for educational policy. Jazmyne hopes to go into school administration or educational reform politics.

Faculty and staff

Amy Kunkel headshot

Amy KunkelSpecial education B.S. and ABS program academic advisor

  • Response to intervention
  • Computer-assisted instruction
  • Meta-analysis of educational research
Rose Vukovic headshot

Rose VukovicDirector of undergraduate studies
rvukovic@umn.edu | Lab

  • Learning disorders
  • At-risk learners
  • Underserved populations
  • Early identification, intervention, and prevention
  • Social justice


Amy Kunkel

Special Education B.S. and ABS Program Academic Advisor


Rose Vukovic

Director of Undergraduate Studies