Special Education Certificate


Applicants for admission must:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree in education from an accredited institution and provide an official transcript
  • Provide copy of teaching license or certificate
  • Provide a resume that documents at least one year of full-time regular teaching experience in a K-12 classroom and current teaching position in a K-12 classroom
  • Meet one of the following:

a. An overall undergraduate grade point average of at 2.85 on a 4.00 scale, or
b. An average of at least 3.00 in the last half of all undergraduate work, or
c. An average of at least 3.00 for no fewer than 12 semester credits of graduate study at another accredited graduate institution.

  • Complete a successful criminal background check (CBC) initiated by UWL

Criminal background check

The WI Department of Public Instruction (DPI) requires that candidates for admission to a teacher education, administration, or pupil services program successfully pass a criminal background check (CBC) as one criterion for admission. By applying for admission to one of these programs, candidates agree to provide the necessary personal information to UWL in order to initiate their CBC and to complete their portion of the process prior to the deadline specified in their admission letter. Teacher candidates are responsible for all costs associated with their criminal background check(s).


The graduate Special Education Certificate Program is aligned with InTASC Teacher Standards and Council on Exceptional Children (CEC) Standards.

RDG 704Emergent Literacy3
EDU 755Introduction to Special Education for In-Service Teachers (Introduction to Special Education for In-Service Teachers)3
EDU 756Inclusive Classroom Practices in Special Education (Inclusive Classroom Practices in Special Education)3
EDU 757Co-Planning and Co-Teaching in Inclusive Learning Environments (Co-Planning and Co-Teaching in Inclusive Learning Environments)3
EDU 758Advanced Special Education Assessment (Advanced Special Education Assessment)3
EDU 759Advanced Methods: Teaching Students with Disabilities (Advanced Methods: Teaching Students with Disabilities)3
EDU 760Classroom Management and Positive Behavioral Practices (Classroom Management & Positive Behavioral Practices)3
EDU 761Practicum in Special Education (Practicum in Special Education)3
Total Credits24

Program completion and eligibility for certification

Eligibility for K-12 Cross-Categorical Special Education (2081) certification is contingent upon:

  • Completion of all graduate program requirements
  • Cumulative graduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.01
  • Meeting all WI state statutory requirements for a teaching license (via existing WI initial teaching license)2
  • Completed DPI employment verification form indicating at least 3 years of employment as the teacher of record in K-12 schools

Students who do not meet the 3.0 GPA requirement and are seeking readmission through appeal must demonstrate content knowledge by earning a passing score of a 146 on the Praxis II test (test code 5146).


Out of state license holders may contact the School of Education Certification Officer for assistance with applying for an equivalent WI teaching license.