Admission Requirements for Special Education 2014 to 2020 and for Special Education Learning Disabilities K-12 and Elementary Education: Pk-3 2021 to present

All Western Michigan University undergraduate students will be assigned as pre-education designator at the time of admission to the university. This status does not ensure admission to the professional education curriculum in the special education program. The selection of a set number of students into the professional education curriculum in special education occurs each spring semester after a program faculty committee reviews all applications.

Priority deadline for Fall 2024 Special Education Cohort application is February 15, 2024.


Students must meet the following minimum requirements at the time of application:

    • Completion of 56 credits—this may include currently enrolled spring credits
    • Completion of an approved college-level writing course with a grade of "C" or better
    • Completion of ED 2500: Human Development, or an approved course, with a grade of "CB" or better.
    • Achievement of a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of *3.0 or better
    • Completed background check through CastleBranch
      • Submission of Judgment of Sentence, Register of Action, or Case History for any convictions, if necessary
    • Submission of a letter of intent for admission into the professional program, including professional goals and reason why special education degree is being sought
    • Submission of an application to the professional program


Students selected for admission comprise a cohort that begins taking courses in the special education sequence the following fall semester. The four semesters of special education coursework must be taken in the prescribed sequence. After completion of all coursework, students complete two fifteen-week intern teaching assignments, one in general (elementary) education and one in special education (Special Education internship is in learning disabilities and emotional impairments for catalog years 2020 and prior and is learning disabilities only for catalog years 2021 and forward).

*Candidates with a cumulative GPA between 2.75 and 2.99 can be granted provisional admission to the Elementary Education professional program. Candidates admitted under “Provisional Admission” can continue in their program provided they receive a “CB” or above in all professional education coursework.


College of Education and Human Development professional staff advisors and Special Education faculty provide advising to all students who wish to major in special education, whether or not they are currently enrolled in the department's curricula. Students are expected to meet with the College of Education and Human Development advisors and special education faculty early in their college career.