Initial license in Special Education w/wo MA

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In this program students will complete the requirements to be recommended for the initial license as Special Education Generalist.

Students in the Special Education Initial Licensure Program are provided the experiences and academic support to learn how to meet the needs of all students with disabilities in the general education classroom. Students will be taught to focus on student strengths in order to support academic and social progress in inclusive environments. Coursework and practicum placements will be linked by assignments. These carefully planned assignments will allow students to practice their skills and develop techniques and materials that will lead to their successful development at teachers.

The initial licensure is a cohort model program that begins each fall. The program requires students to take each class in the semester as indicated on the initial licensure program planning form. Students must commit to completing these courses in sequence.

Students only have the option of taking one course in the summer (SPED 5001) as unclassified students before they start the program.

The initial licensure program requires a significant amount of time spent working in the field. Applicants who anticipate problems in completing the 800 clock hour field experience courses of the program (4 week practicum, 1 day/week field experience, and student teaching) should speak with a faculty member immediately in order to discuss their individual situation.

Financial Aid Priority filing date is March 1

Selection of a university and graduate program of study is an important decision. Therefore, prospective students are required to meet and consult with a departmental faculty advisor as part of the application process. Students should schedule an appointment to discuss career goals and special circumstances with a member of the faculty as soon as possible by calling 719-255-4996 or This meeting will also serve as an admissions interview for the program.

The Special Education program begins their academic program each year beginning in August. Students are chosen during the spring or summer semester for admission the following fall. Up to nine hours of approved coursework may be completed as an Unclassified Student or as a transfer student prior to admission. Successful completion of Unclassified Student or Transfer Student coursework does not ensure admission to the program. Consult with a faculty member about courses you wish to take as an unclassified student or to transfer, as certain rules apply to these courses.

To be considered for admission to the Special Education program, prospective students must complete the following procedures:

Application Deadline: Rolling Admission

Application Process

    • Carefully read this Program Information Bulletin and identify questions you have about the program.
    • Complete the online Graduate application found at: Apply Now!
    • Pay the $60.00 application fee online during the application process (International students pay $100.00 application fee)
    • Contact the Financial Aid office to determine eligibility for aid. (Phone: 255-3460)
    • Schedule an admissions and information interview with a Special Education program faculty member early in the process. The goal of this appointment is to answer questions you have about the program, clarify the procedures for admission to the program, and to determine your level of interest in and preparation for the program. Call 719-255-4996 or to set up the appointment.
    • Have one copy of all previous academic transcripts sent directly to the Admissions and Records office. (See below for address).
    • Prepare a written “Goals Statement” to include a self-evaluation following the instructions in the application package. 
    • Obtain three letters of recommendation that speak to your ability to successfully complete a program in Special Education. Choose your references carefully. Persons who have been in positions to supervise and/or evaluate your work. Do not ask friends or others who might be biased to write a recommendation.
       <<SPED recommendation letterThis Links to a PDF
    • Mail all documents to:
      University of Colorado Colorado Springs
      Admissions and Records
      Special Education Department Admissions
      1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
      Colorado Springs, CO 80918

Additional items of note for International applicants:

English Proficiency must be demonstrated through providing evidence of an IELTS score of 6.5 or above, a TOEFL score of 550-(paper-based) or 80-(internet-based) or a Kaplan International Tools for English (KITE®) score of a minimum of 460. Students may make arrangements to take KITE® at the Global Engagement Office.

Applicants with any post-secondary course work from an international higher education institution that is recognized by their country’s Education Ministry must submit a course-by-course foreign degree evaluation by member of NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, AACRAO ( or World Education Services/WES

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status in admission and access to, and treatment and employment in, its educational programs and activities.

Background Check

All applicants must submit a copy of their background check with their application. This is required because many school sites require the background check prior to accepting a student for field work.

To obtain information and directions on the fingerprinting and background check visit the Student Resources Page and click Fingerprint/Background Check Instructions.

Required State and National Exams

>>Exam Information

Additional Courses to Complete the MA:

  • LEAD 5700 Introduction to Research and Statistics
  • SPED 5090 Applied Research Project
  • SPED 5091 Current Topics in Special Education

>>Special Education Generalist Initial Licensure Planning Form