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Admissions and Aid

The Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education offers different options in undergraduate and graduate programs. Select a program below to learn more about admission requirements and how to apply. To view frequently asked admissions questions, please visit our FAQ page.

Application Deadlines

Fall 2022 applications open in early September 2021.

MS in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
Fall admission: February 15

PhD in Rehabilitation Counselor Education
Fall admission: January 1

MS in Special Education: Research and Theory Named Option
Fall admission: January 1

MS in Special Education: Teacher Certification Named Option
Fall admission: January 15
Summer admission: May 15
Spring admission: October 15

PhD in Special Education
Fall admission: January 1

Admissions & Application FAQs

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Is the GRE required for admission?

Currently, the GRE is only required for admission to the rehabilitation counselor education doctoral program. For up-to-date admissions information, please visit that program’s admission page.

What documents are required to apply for each program?

International applicants may require additional documents.  Please see the Graduate School’s Requirements for Admission for more details.

Special Education Master’s

  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Resume or CV
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Unofficial transcript(s)

Special Education PhD and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling MS

  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Resume or CV
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Unofficial transcript(s)

Rehabilitation Counselor Education PhD

  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Resume or CV
  • Statement of Purpose
  • GRE or MAT scores (waived for fall 2021 applicants)
  • Writing Sample (maximum 20 pages)
  • Unofficial transcript(s)

Are any of your graduate programs offered online?

Unfortunately, no. We pride ourselves in building a community of teachers, researchers, and advocates in our programs. This is accomplished through in-person courses, seminars, and research.

What funding opportunities does your department offer?

The RPSE department, along with the School of Education, offers a variety of funding opportunities for it’s master’s and doctoral students.  Please see our Funding and Financial Aid page for up-to-date information.

What does the department look for in applicants for the master's programs?

Applicants are expected to meet general requirements for admission to the Graduate School. The admissions committee considers a variety of factors including academic preparation, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and professional experiences.

What does the department look for in applicants for the doctoral programs?

Rehabilitation Counselor Education

The following factors will be considered by the admissions committee: aptitude for doctoral-level study, relevance of prior academic work and career goals, stated goals for doctoral study, employment history, potential success in forming effective counseling relationships, respect for cultural differences, evidence of writing and research skills, letters of recommendation, and scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Special Education

Applicants are expected to meet general requirements for admission to the Graduate School. The admissions committee considers a variety of factors including aptitude for doctoral-level study, relevance of prior academic work and career goals, stated goals for doctoral study, respect for cultural differences, evidence of writing and research skills. Recommendation letters are also considered. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for admission to this program.

As an international student, what is required for admission?

Admission requirements for international applicants varies by country.  Please see the Graduate School’s Requirements for Admission, choose the country, and read the requirements carefully.  TOEFL and IELTS requirements are also found on this page.

What should I discuss in my statement of purpose?

Master’s program applicants should describe their interest in the field, relevant professional experience, research experience, and professional goals. There is no word or length requirement but 1-2 pages is preferred.

Doctoral program applicants are encouraged to discuss the above as well as their research interests and a potential faculty advisor they would like to work with.  There is no word or length requirement but 2-3 pages is preferred.

Please address any past academic issues or concerns.

I started one of the programs and stopped enrolling. How do I reenter my previous program?

For information about reentry into the major as an undergraduate student, please visit the Transfer and Reentry page. For information about reentry into the major as a graduate student, please contact Kayla Armstrong (armstrongalf@wisc.edu).

Contact Information

Undergraduate Programs

School of Education Student Services
(608) 262-1651
soeacademicservices@education.wisc.edu

Graduate Programs

Kayla Armstrong
Student Services Coordinator
(608) 263-4608
armstrongalf@wisc.edu