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Admissions: Special education MEd

This application process guides you through how to apply to MEd licensure programs in special education. You're in the right place if you're applying for the academic behavioral strategist (ABS), Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH), DD, emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) - residency based, or early childhood special education (ECSE) should. Follow the steps outlined here. Visit the MEd/licensure page for more information on these programs.


Note: The ABS, EBD, and ECSE programs have extended their fall 2020 deadlines to July 15. Applicants will be notified of decisions by August 1.

Watch a recent info session on the ABS, EBD, and ECSE programs.

July 15: Application deadline for summer or fall of the same year (Note: Deadline has been extended for ABS, EBD, and ECSE programs. The DHH program is full.)

You choose when you start. We do not admit students for spring semester start.

Review process

The admissions committee considers a variety of factors including your prior academic achievement, relevant employment and life experiences, personal statement, and letters of recommendation.

Admissions decisions

All complete applications for the following summer or fall semester are typically reviewed 6-8 weeks after the deadline. All applications submitted for fall 2020 by the July 15 deadline will be reviewed by August 1. For updates on the status of your application, visit the graduate application or send an email to the program.

The Office of Graduate Admission completes a final review of your materials. You will receive your official admission decision via the email address provided on the graduate application.

Student profile

"I am currently a teacher at Transition Plus, enrolled as a full-time graduate student and continuing my music career of the past 8-10 years. My life is crazy, stressful, and amazing. I love it."

How to apply

Start your graduate application

Upload and submit all application materials, including transcripts, directly to the graduate application. For additional information on how to apply, visit the Graduate School website.

Graduate school application

Required fields: Program Selection, Term Selection, Biographical Information, Personal Background, Special Education MEd and Licensure Programs, Academic History (including transcripts), Test Scores (if applicable), Employment, Materials (including: Personal Statement, Resume/CV, DHH Additional Application-if applicable), and Two Letters of Recommendation

Optional fields: Diversity Statements are optional but highly encouraged. All other fields or application materials are optional, but will be taken into consideration if submitted. A Writing Sample and Description of Research are not needed.

Choose the appropriate major/degree objective from the drop-down menu based on the statement below that best describes your situation:

  • “I do not have a teaching license”: Ed-Psych-Special Education-Initial Licensure MEd
  • “I have a teaching license but not a master’s”: Ed-Psych-Special Education-MEd Licensure
  • “I have a teaching license and master’s”: Ed Psych-Special Ed-Additional Licensure
  • “I just want a master’s”: Ed Psych-Special Ed-MEd Only

Application Fee

Visit the Graduate School website for more information

Transcripts (Academic History)

Unofficial transcripts or academic records should be uploaded directly to the graduate application under the "Academic History" section. International students should also upload an English translation if the transcript is not in English. Please do not mail in paper copies of your transcripts, there is no need for official transcripts or academic records for initial review.

If you are admitted, the University will then request official copies of this material.

More information about transcripts and credentials

Test scores

English language test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.)

Report your TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB scores (non-native English Speakers only) in the "Test Scores" section.

More information on English Language test scores

Other tests

Graduation Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required for admission.

Basic Skills Tests scores are not a requirement for admission to this program.

For rules regarding the policies on required licensure tests, see the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) site.

Letters of recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required. Recommendations should be from professors or others who are able to comment on your educational and professional goals and potential.

You must input the names and contact information for each recommendation provider in the graduate application.

Applicants to the residency based emotional and behavioral disorders licensure (MEd): You must be employed by one of our partner school districts and include, as one of your letters of recommendation, a recommendation from your district.

Applicants to earn funding through Project PACT: Please include one additional letter for recommendation for a total of three.


Required Materials

Personal Statement

Upload a statement (not to exceed two double-spaced pages) to your application. The statement should describe your professional goals and any experiences you have had that have influenced your professional goals. This statement is an integral part of your application and will be weighted heavily in its evaluation.

If you are applying to receive Project PACT funding, please indicate your interest in Project PACT and your commitment to serving Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) children and/or children with disabilities.

Upload the essay under "Personal Statement" in the Materials section of the graduate application.


Upload your resume/CV under “Resume/CV” in the Materials section of the graduate application.

Graduate Program Additional Material
Copy of teaching license (if applicable)

If you already have your teaching license, upload a copy under "Graduate Program Additional Material."

Deaf and Hard of Hearing additional application materials (DHH applicants only)

Complete the DHH Additional Application, and upload it under "Graduate Program Additional Material." If you know any ASL, you'll also need to include a video recording of your response in ASL to questions included in the DHH application.

Optional application materials

Diversity Statement

Submitting the diversity statement is optional, but highly encouraged, especially for applicants who have experienced hardships or obstacles to complete their previous undergraduate or graduate education (e.g., coming from diverse ethnic, racial, or educational backgrounds; coming from a low-income background; being a first-generation college student). This statement may be used to nominate exceptional applicants for graduate fellowships.

Tip: Tell your story. If you learned from obstacles you personally overcame, write about them. If you grew up with privilege, write about how you discovered your privilege. It might be tempting to write about someone else’s experience, an entire group’s experience, or diversity and inclusion in an abstract way. However, most often, admissions teams want to understand how you personally came to be empathetic, reflective, resilient, and aware of systematic inequalities. Describe how your background, experiences, and achievements will contribute to the program and the University’s goals of promoting excellence through diversity.

Upload the essay under “Diversity Statement” in the Materials section in the graduation application.

Extenuating Circumstances

You may upload a brief statement explaining any extenuating circumstances that may have affected your grades or your test scores under "Extenuating Circumstances Statement" in the Materials section.

Writing Sample and Description of Research

Writing Sample and Description of Research are not needed.


Project PACT

Are you interested in a teaching license in Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH), Academic and Behavioral Strategist (ABS), or cross collaboration between the two? Learn more about Project PACT and how you can get the funding you need to support your tuition throughout your graduate program!

Note: Additional requirements to your application are necessary to apply for Project PACT.

Scholarships, fellowships and awards

Special education scholarships, fellowships, and awards

College of Education and Human Development awards