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Special Education with Initial Licensure, M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months


Licensure requires teachers to build a knowledge base to identify and intervene with students who exhibit a wide range of disabilities, including learning disabilities, cognitive impairments (mental retardation and traumatic brain injury), autism, social/emotional disabilities, and physical disabilities/other health impaired. 

Moreover, although the licensure will cover grades K-12, candidates will have a working knowledge of issues and strategies appropriate for the grades P-12. The coursework is designed to allow the candidate both to evaluate research and conduct action research in the classroom. Furthermore, varied clinical practice and field experiences are considered an integral part to all courses so that the candidate can apply theory to practice and practice to theoretical conceptualizations. Candidates will be required to student teach.

For a candidate for whom this will be an initial licensure with student teaching, there are 51-53 total hours for the master's degree, which includes the two-course cognate. The main objectives of the coursework are twofold: to build the pedagogical expertise of the candidate; and to facilitate collaboration with his or her students, their families, their colleagues, and the community.

Candidates should be aware that the Illinois State Board of Education requires that these additional assessments be passed before an LBS I license will be issued:

  • The LBS I Content Area test (#155)
  • The Special Education General Curriculum test (#163)
  • edTPA

State licensure tests must be passed before the candidate may begin the final student teaching experience, except for the edTPA, which will be assessed during the student teaching experience.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Characteristics and Identification of Disabilities and the Law
  • Cognitive Development and Disabilities
  • Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Development:  Promoting Prosocial Behavior
  • Intervention Strategies for Problematic Behavior
  • Strategies and Assistive Technology for Students with Low Incidence and Multiple Disabilities

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: 3

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

  • A completed Graduate Application for Admission
  • Transcripts (official, sealed in envelope) for all prior college and/or university credit. 
  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with an average GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. If your grade point average is below that of a 3.0, you may be accepted on a probationary basis. 
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your professional potential related to this field
  • Pass a National Background Check (Criminal Activity and Sex Offender); completed after admission.
  • Tuition Fee

    • International Applies to you

      470 USD/credit
      Tuition Fee
      Based on the original amount of 470 USD per credit and a duration of 24 months.
    • National Applies to you

      470 USD/credit
      Tuition Fee
      Based on the original amount of 470 USD per credit and a duration of 24 months.
    We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

    Living costs for Aurora

    • 1120 - 1440 USD/month
      Living Costs

    The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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