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The major in Special Education is designed to prepare undergraduate candidates to become highly proficient in the delivery of instruction and services to all school aged children and adolescents with exceptionalities. The program consists of a 48-credit hour major plus a 24-credit hour cognate (in lieu of a minor). Candidates are selected each October to begin studies in the subsequent spring semester as a cohort. Special Education major programs are offered at both the main campus and El Centro.

Department Website

Admission to the Program 

Undergraduate candidates must meet admission requirements listed below:   

  1. Hold and maintain minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.75.
  2. At least twenty hours of documented experience working with exceptional populations.
  3. Completion of a spontaneous writing sample.
  4. Interview with Department Program faculty.
  5. Compliance with program professional dispositions.
  6. Earned grade of “C” or higher in English 101, 102 and Speech/CMTC 101 or 202.
  7. Earned grade of "C" of higher in college-level mathematics course (i.e., MATH 104 or higher)
  8. Passing score earned on any of the following exams (current within the past 10 years):
  • Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP).
  • ACT plus Writing  composite score of 22 and minimum score of 19 in writing.
  • SAT composite score of 1030 and minimum score of 450 in writing.



Level One
Fall Semester I
EDFN 306 Education and Individual Differences (3)
Spring Semester I
EDFN 307 Psychology of Instruction and Learning (3)
SCED 311 School Curriculum (3)
SPED 371 Foundations of Special Education (Writing Intensive Program) (3)
SPED 372 Development/Characteristics of Children & Youth with Exceptionalities (3)
Summer Semester I
SPED 382 Strategies of Differentiating Instruction for Exceptional Learners (3)
ELED 302 Methods of Teaching Language Arts (Writing Intensive Program) (3)
Level Two
Fall Semester II
SPED 383 Informal Assessment and Progress Monitoring (3)
SPED 374 Supervised Field Experience I (3)
SPED 395 Technology and Special Education (3)
ELED 310 Methods of Teaching Mathematics - Elementary School (3)
Spring Semester II
SPED 384 Instructional Design for Individuals with Exceptionalities (3)
SPED 377 Supervised Field Experience II (3)
LTCY 311 Fundamentals of Reading Instruction (3)
SPED 379 Management of Behaviors in the Classroom (3)
Summer Semester II
SPED 376 Teaching Learners with Moderate to Severe Disabilities (3)
Level Three
Fall Semester III
SPED 323 Consultation & Collaboration in Special Education (3)
BLBC 340 Methods of Teaching Langauge & Culture in Diverse Settings (3)
SPED 385 Community Partnership & Advocacy (2)
SPED 316 Addressing the Professional Development of the Special Educator (1)
Choice of one of the following courses:
SCED 303H Methods of Teaching History in the Secondary School (3)
SCED 303R Materials and Methods for Teaching High School Science (3)
Level Four
Spring Semester III
SPED 381 Student Teaching in Special Education (12)

Aforementioned course sequence is subject to academic prerequisites and program criteria. Candidates should consult program advisor for complete information. Additionally, candidates must meet acceptable evaluations of dispositions and professional behaviors as well as all academic requirements.

Licensing Requirements 

In order to obtain Illinois state teaching credentials, candidates must ensure all program coursework is completed prior to student teaching (with passing scores on ICTS exams #155, #163 must be passed prior to student teaching). Additionally, candidates must successfully pass all required state exams (i.e., #188) and meet acceptable evaluations of dispositions and professional behaviors.


The Department of Special Education has a strong reputation for preparing quality special education teachers in Chicago and the surrounding area over the last 20 years. Graduates from Department programs enter K-12 schools prepared to meet the needs of diverse learners and to address critical issues in the field.

Program Contact Information 

Mickie Wong-Lo, Ph.D. (Undergraduate Director)
(773) 442-5595

Ebony Jiminez Lee, MA LPC NCC (Undergraduate Advisor)
(773) 442-5933


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