College of Education and Human Development

Department of Educational Psychology

Special education: MEd and licensure admissions

Note: This application process guides you through how to apply to graduate 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), or early childhood special education (ECSE) licensure programs with or without the MEd degree. You are also in the right place if you are applying for the MEd in special education degree program without teacher licensure. Follow the steps outlined below. Visit the MEd/licensure page for more information on these programs.

Admissions requirements

  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 2.8 on a 4.0 scale
  • Graduate school application
  • Application fee
  • Transcripts (Academic History)
  • Non-native English speakers: TOEFL, IELTS, etc. test scores
  • Strong personal statement
  • Resume/CV
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Copy of teaching license (if applicable)
  • Video of American Sign Language (ASL) skills (DHH applicants only)
  • Diversity Statement (optional but highly encouraged)


    Applications submitted between March 1 and July 15 will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Application reviews will occur round the 15th of each month and decisions will be sent out by the end of each month!

    *The DHH program is not accepting any new applications to start fall 2024.

    *We do not admit students for spring semester start, however, you can always elect to defer your acceptance for a semester if you can’t start until the spring.

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

    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.

    How to apply

    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 including Video of ASL skills (if applicable), Academic History (including transcripts), Test Scores (if applicable), Employment, Materials (including: Personal Statement, Resume/CV, 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

      Visit the Graduate School website for more information.

      Please note: If you apply for more than one program in educational psychology (e.g., special education and school psychology or special education and psychological foundations of education), you will need to pay more than one application fee.

      An application fee waiver is available for students unable to pay due to hardship. Review the Application Fee Waiver page for information on how to request the waiver.

      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

      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

      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.

      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.


      Required materials

        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.

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

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

        Copy of teaching license (if applicable)

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

        Video of your ASL skills (DHH applicants only)

        Please record your response to the following questions in ASL. (Do your best to try even if you have only taken basic ASL.) Limit your response to 15 minutes (or less) for all three questions. Once you’ve recorded your video and loaded it into YouTube (instructions here) or another online video player, be sure to add a link to your video when you’re prompted to do so in the graduate application tool.

        1. Why are you interested in DHH education? (You can include the DHH educational setting and/or age level you see yourself working with.)
        2. How do you think deaf/hard of hearing children learn to read?
        3. Based on your current knowledge and experiences, what would you say is your philosophy of DHH education?

        Writing Sample and Description of Research are not needed.

        Optional materials

          Supporting the development of a diverse student body is central to the University of Minnesota's mission. This mission is enacted by the inclusion of academically excellent students with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and/or a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Please write a statement that identifies the distinctive characteristics and/or life experiences, such as successfully overcoming obstacles or hardships, that you would bring to your graduate program and how that could contribute to the education and enhanced perspective of fellow students at the University of Minnesota. 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 inequalities. Describe how your background, experiences, and achievements will contribute to the program and the University’s goals of promoting excellence through diversity. Submitting the Diversity Statement is optional but highly encouraged.

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

          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 are not needed.


          Project I-LEAD

          Project I-LEAD helps fund future special educators or school psychologists interested in supporting students with severe learning disabilities in schools. Get more information on Project I-LEAD.

          Scholarships, fellowships and awards