Why Study Special Education?

The Special Education Program provides IU Southeast candidate’s first-hand experience with understanding and designing classroom learning strategies for children with special needs. Candidates become special educators skilled at organizing and collaborating with other teachers, families, and community agencies. Candidates progress through cohorts with Elementary Education Majors.

The IU Southeast School of Education offers interested candidates a program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Special Education. The B.S. in Special Education leads to an Indiana teaching license for an all grades K-12 Mild Intervention certification or a Kentucky’s Learning and Behavior Disorders certification. This license qualifies the holder to teach elementary and secondary education students who have one or more of the following disabilities: learning disabilities, emotional disabilities, mild or moderate mental disabilities, orthopedic impairments, other health impairments, autism spectrum disorder, or traumatic brain injury.

The B.S. in Special Education requires the completion of 130 credit hours. Candidates can expect rigorous coursework which is practitioner-oriented, and completion of five semesters of learning experiences in a K-12 classroom. Guided experiences with a wide range of children and youth and master special educators are the foundation of the program. Candidates majoring in special education are expected to commit to demonstrating three broad program outcomes:

  1. Understanding their students’ needs and contexts
  2. Collaboratively planning and implementing effective learning experiences
  3. Continuously assessing the effects of their professional choices

Unique to this program, candidates will progress together in cohorts with the Elementary Education candidates. However, this license does not qualify a person to teach "general education" at the elementary, middle school or high school level.

The B.S. in Special Education is comprised of two components:

  1. General Education —These requirements meet the campus-wide general education
  2. Professional and Pedagogical Studies —Students complete courses and experiences leading to successful demonstration of what special educators need to know and be able to do.
  • Attend an Application Orientation Session-held at various times during the beginning of the semester.
  • Application Deadlines: October 15 and February 15

    Applications submitted by October 15: Applicant will be considered for the Spring Cohort.

    Applications submitted by February 15: Applicant will be considered for the Fall Cohort.


  • Candidates accepted into the Special Education Program will be required to complete four major summative decision points.
  • The Elementary Education Program accepts no more than 50 candidates each fall and spring semester. These candidates include both the Special Education Program and the Elementary Education Program.

Admission Requirements

  1. Have an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  2. Have a C or better in all core language arts and math courses completed.
  3. Have passing scores (as determined by the IU system and/or the Indiana Department of Education on the Praxis 1.
  4. Including current enrollment, have at least 36 credit hours towards general education requirements as outlined by the Special Education check sheet.

Please see the Bulletin for more detailed information

Program Completion Requirements

Students will pass through a series of summative decision points that start with admission to the program and ends when the program is completed. The chart below gives an overview of the summative decision points for all three program options.


Special Education Program Summative Decision Points
Bachelor of Science Degree Post-Baccalaureate Initial License Graduate Level Second License Area
  1. Acceptance into teacher education
  2. Continuance beyond general methods
  3. Continuance beyond first special education practicum
  4. Continuance into student teaching
  5. Completion of all courses and degree requirements
  1. Acceptance into program
  2. Continuance beyond the first field experience
  3. Permission to enter the last field experience
  4. Completion of all courses
  1. Acceptance into program
  2. Continuance beyond the first field experience
  3. Completion of all courses

More specific information about each decision point is contained in the handbook.

While NOT a program completion requirement, teachers applying for an initial Indiana teaching license must present a CPR certification card.

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