College of Education > Academics > Counseling & Special Education > Graduate Programs > Special Education (MEd)

Special Education (MEd)
Special Education (MEd)
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Guide diverse learners with compassion

The Special Education master’s program will prepare you to help exceptional students in kindergarten through 12th grade. You’ll also learn to manage teams, mentor colleagues, coach paraprofessionals and work closely with parents. Your knowledge will fill a nationwide need. According to the National Education Association, 98 percent of U.S. school districts report a need for qualified special educators.

You’ll select one of three concentrations within this program:

The Pre-Service Special Education concentration is for students who seek to obtain their initial Illinois licensure. Upon completion, candidates will be eligible for an LBS1 endorsement (Pre-K through age 21) as well as additional Illinois State Board of Education requirements.

The Special and Elementary Education concentration is for those seeking their initial Illinois licensure with additional endorsements in special and elementary education. Upon completion, candidates will be eligible for Illinois licensure with an LBSI endorsement and Elementary Education Endorsement (1–6).

The Special Education for Teachers concentration is for candidates who already hold a current and valid Illinois Professional Educator License. Courses within this concentration are designed for practicing educators and are not open to students seeking their initial Illinois teaching license.

You have the option to pursue an initial Illinois Teaching License (PEL) with a Special Education (LBS1 preK-21) endorsement or with combined Special Education (LBS1 preK-21) and Elementary Education (grades 1-6) endorsements. If you are already licensed a teacher, you can add a Special Education (LBS1 preK-21) endorsement to your PEL.

Classes are offered on DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus, and this program can be completed in two to three years.

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Aligned with the AUSL and Chicago schools

The Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) provides opportunities for students in low-performing Chicago Public Schools. The College of Education has partnered with AUSL’s accelerated residency program that will immerse you in city classrooms and provide access to the AUSL’s wide network of resources.

Application Deadlines

The Special Education program admits new students every fall quarter. The application deadline is August 15.

Admission Requirements

Submit an online application, essay, résumé, personal statement, writing sample, letters of recommendation and official transcripts.

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Required Courses

Depending on your concentration, you’ll take 13 to 17 classes, and complete field experiences and student teaching.

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of Special Education graduates were employed, continuing their education or pursuing other goals within six months of graduation.


The median salary for Special Education master’s graduates was $57,000.

Instructors with high standards

You’ll collaborate with skilled faculty who have firsthand experience in the field of Special Education. Associate Professor Eva Patrikakou is an accomplished researcher in parent involvement and its effects on children’s academic, social and emotional development. She describes her students as “highly motivated and multifaceted.”

“DePaul's mission, vision, purpose and values have shaped me to be an excellent teacher who advocates for those who need it most. I benefited from learning about special education strategies and law. I am passionate about my dedication to teach in a community that is underprivileged.”

Helma (General and Special Education ’08)

Director of Student Services, Academy for Global Citizenship

Alumni Network

Our alumni community is over 195,500 strong, and over 122,500 of those Blue Demons still live in the Chicago area. The College of Education keeps its alums in the loop with professional development workshops and other useful resources.


Graduate school is an investment in your future. Learn more about the financial aid and scholarship opportunities available to you.

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Contact Information

For more information about applying, contact The Office of Graduate Admissions for DePaul’s College of Education at (773) 325-4405 or

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We’ll send you information about the degree, admission requirements and upcoming info sessions. Let’s get started.

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