Admission Requirements for Special Education 2014 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.

Applications are now processed in Tk20.

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Priority deadline for Fall 2020 Special Education Cohort application is February 3, 2020


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

  • Completion of 56 credits—this may include currently enrolled spring credits
  • All WMU intellectual skills development requirements (e.g. MATH 1090, LS 1040, ENGL 1000) if required
  • 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 minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0
  • Achievement of upper-level criteria for reading, math and writing proficiency:  An earned Associate's Degree will meet this requirement.  Otherwise, SAT scores, ACT scores or grades in specified classes will be evaluated (see your academic advisor for minimum scores, classes and required grades).
  • 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
  • Completion and submission of a formal application in Tk20 by specified date

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 (learning disabilities and emotional impairments).


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.