Special Education M.S. Programs

Medical imaging Carillon Tower Glass blowing Laptop and lecture A smiling student Sunrise over the Education Building Chairs on the Memorial Union Terrace Bascom hall staircase Graduating students in silhouette Crowd of people on Bascom Hill A student tutoring Student with diploma Dance Department performance Night view of Bascom in the winter Memorial Union Terrace in autumn Memorial Union Terrace chairs Dance department performance Bucky Badger in front of a parade float Bascom Hall in the summertime Lincoln statue Students walking in the snow University of Wisconsin - Madison Crest Lincoln statue in the snow Forward Logo Student at graduation Bicycle in the snow Rathskellar Fireplace Sailboat with Capitol Building in the background A sailboat at the Memorial Union Bascom Hill in Autumn Bucky Badger studying with a student. Students among blooming trees at UW-Madison Bucky reading a book University flag on Bascom Hill Video camera view screen Student on a frozen lake Lincoln Statue on Bascom Hill Bascom Hill in winter Students collaborating Memorial Union Terrace chairs in the snow Kohl Center logo Graduates with diplomas A hands-on project Stacked, illuminated figures View from the top of Van Hise


Main Office

Department of Rehabilitation Psychology & Special Education
School of Education
Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall, Rm. 431
MadisonWI  53706

Tel: 608/263.5970
Fax: 608/263.5970

Email: rpseinfo@education.wisc.edu
or by contact form

Special Education Master's Programs

M.S. - Special Education: Cross-Categorical Teacher Certification


The M.S. Special Education Teacher Certification program is an initial certification program preparing students to:

  • Serve as resources and advocates for persons with disabilities and their families
  • Work cooperatively in and outside schools to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities and their families
  • Assume leadership to enhance the education of all students

The M.S. Special Education Teacher Certification program offers:

Special Education Video Photo 2014Course work and experiences in elementary and middle/high schools with students who have a wide range of abilities including students with significant disabilities.

A full-time, four-semester program combining education course work, practicum experiences and student teaching in local schools. 

Cross-categorical Special Education certification with emphases in intellectual and developmental  disabilities, learning disabilities, and emotional/behavioral disabilities. Graduates are eligible to apply for a cross-categorical Special Education license at the Middle Childhood through Early Adolescence level (ages 6-12/13), and also at the Early Adolescence through Adolescence level (ages 10-21).

These certifications correspond to Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction license numbers 801 (code 72), and 801 (code 73). Students admitted to the program who are selected for the Project EPIC Traineeship (see below) will  also earn teacher certification in ​intellectual disabilities (Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction  license number 810). 

M.S. Special Education Teacher Certification
Degree Requirements and Program Planning Information

Application Information 

Project EPIC master's with teacher certification program

Project EPIC is an additional training program to develop leadership skills and knowledge to promote inclusive educational experiences for students with significant disabilities, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders and/or Intellectual Disabilities. It offers:


  •  Coursework focusing on inclusive education for students with significant disabilities (i.e., Autism  Spectrum Disorders and/or Intellectual Disabilities)

  • Specialized training in collaborative problem solving in educational settings

  • Tuition remission and stipends each year of the program

EPIC Program Brochure 
EPIC Program Application Information

M.S. - Special Education: General Master's Program


The general master’s degree program is flexible and individualized to meet the needs of each student. Programs can provide:
  • Advanced study in areas of special education for students who are already certified to teach.
  • Predoctoral study consisting of clinical and academic coursework.
Together, the student and a faculty advisor design a master’s program based on the student’s previous education, experience and interests. Completion of the degree requires a minimum of 30 graduate degree credits to include a research seminar course (RPSE 700) and additional course work determined in consultation with a faculty advisor. Students completing this degree program are also required to complete a project and/or thesis and must pass a culminating master's comprehensive examination.



New program beginning fall 2015!

The Ph.D. degree is a research-based program preparing leaders in the field of Special Education to bring systemic change to educational and community settings in ways that improve access and equity for children and youth with disabilities and their families. The program prepares graduates to address pressing issues in the field including:

  • Increasing equity across diverse groups of students
  • Improving postschool outcomes for individuals with disabilities
  • Enhancing teacher efficacy in secondary education methodologies with students with disabilities

Faculty research interests reflect a focus on research methods, adolescence, transitional and vocational education, and diversity and equity issues in the field of Special Education. The program focuses on developing outstanding researchers and leaders who will contribute to creating, integrating and disseminating new knowledge related to the education and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities.

Program Faculty

Doctoral Handbook

© 2016 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System • Please contact the School of Education External Relations Office with questions, issues or comments about this site.