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Master of Science in Education - Special Education 

At UW-Eau Claire 

Currently Suspended and Not Accepting Applications

(Printable version)

The program provides students the opportunity to complete requirements for a master of science in education degree. The primary goal of the graduate program in special education is to provide an opportunity for teachers and related professionals to pursue in-depth study or pursue new interests based on individual professional development goals.

As part of your graduate studies, you may work toward state teacher certification in the following areas:
• Cognitive disabilities.
• Early childhood — special education.
• Emotional behavior disabilities.
• Learning disabilities.
You also may pursue an MSE in special education without certification.

special education major


The graduate program in special education is designed to engage students in intellectual pursuits. The Graduate Assessment Plan for the department of special education lists the following goals for students seeking an MSE degree:
• Communicate information about a variety of professional topics.
• Make connections among related disciplines.
• Engage in scholarly activity.
• Engage in higher-level thinking.
• Apply and generalize theory to practice.
• Demonstrate professional growth.


The MSE in special education requires students to complete a minimum of 30 graduate credits including 15 credits at the

700 level. Three courses are required for students seeking an MSE in special education

• SPED 708, Introduction to Graduate Studies in Special Education.
• SPED 735, Intervention for Students with Academic or Social Needs.
• SPED 775, Advanced Seminar and Practicum in Assessment.

All other courses are electives and are selected in consultation with your adviser. A grade of A or B in SPED 708 is required for continuation in the graduate program. MSE candidates select their permanent adviser following completion of SPED 708. In addition to course work, students must pass a written and oral comprehensive examination, or complete a thesis or research paper, including an oral defense.

Thesis or research paper

Students seeking an MSE degree may complete a thesis or research paper in an area of interest. This option gives you the opportunity to explore an area of interest in depth. Students who select the thesis/research paper option must take FED 740, Introduction to Research in Education, in preparation for writing the paper. All papers must be written in American Psychological Association style and must meet the requirements established by the department of special education. The thesis/research paper may be completed in place of the written comprehensive examination.

Written comprehensive exam

The written comprehensive examination is taken upon completion of all course work. It is designed to allow you to demonstrate the ability to synthesize knowledge from a variety of sources including course work, independent study, other professional development experiences and practical experience. The comprehensive examination is a four-hour essay examination. Some questions for the written comprehensive examination are selected from a pool of comprehensive exam questions written by the entire faculty and other questions are individualized.

Oral examination

Upon successful completion of the written comprehensive examination or the thesis/research paper, you must complete an oral examination. You are required to give a presentation on a topic of your choosing. Students who have written a thesis or research paper will present the results of their research.


Applicants must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. Applicants to the early childhood special education program with degrees, certifications and licenses in other human service fields (e.g., speech pathology, recreation therapy, nursing) may be admitted to the alternative program in ECSE. You must have an overall grade-point average of 2.75 or above for admission with full standing.

Application requirements

To apply to the MSE in special education

program, submit the following documents:
• A complete application for graduate admission and the application fee.
• Official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions previously attended.
• A letter of intent describing personal and professional abilities to work with children and adolescents. Also address your intent to enter the program, your long-term professional goals and strengths that will enhance your professional success in the field.
• Three letters of recommendation from people who know you and

can address the following: ability as a classroom teacher, personal strengths and weaknesses, ability to work with exceptional students, and potential for academic success.
• A copy of your certification or license.

Send materials to:

Graduate Admissions
UW-Eau Claire
Schofield Hall 111
Eau Claire WI 54702-4004

For information contact:

Dr. Rose Battalio, Director
Human Sciences & Services 242
Phone: 715-836–5352

note wide
• UW-Eau Claire offers flexible graduate programs, such as the community of learners, a program in which education graduate students spend one weekend a month together for two years sharing experiences, research and teaching strategies.
• Education and health science graduate students gain hands-on experiences and research opportunities while working with clients in on-campus clinical facilities with state-of-the-art technology.
Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.