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Degree-Specific Application Information

Special Education

Required Criteria & Supporting Materials

International Applicant Criteria

Application Deadlines

Special Education Materials

Academic Statement

Please write a statement that answers the following questions (1,000 words max):

PhD Program Questions:

  • How has your academic background, including any training, research, or other educational  experiences, prepared you for graduate study? 
  • What are your intellectual interests, and what scholarly questions are you interested in exploring in graduate study? 
  • Are there any specific faculty members whose research interests align with your own with whom you would like to work?
  • How will our program help you achieve your academic and professional goals? 

EdM Program Questions:

  • How has your academic and professional background, including any professional training, prepared you for graduate study? 
  • How will our program help you achieve your intellectual and professional goals? 
  • What are your academic interests, and why do you wish to pursue graduate studies in this specific program?
Personal Statement (optional)
  • Please describe any experiences and/or challenges that may have shaped your intellectual and personal development. 
  • Provide insight into your potential to contribute to a community of inclusion, belonging, and respect in which scholars with diverse perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn and collaborate productively and positively.
  • Please address any concerns you may have in your application. If, for example, you do not believe that your academic credentials demonstrate your true capabilities, please explain why. Also, describe any gaps in your academic career and work experience or any extenuating circumstances in your profile of which the admissions committee should be made aware. 
  • If there is something that you would like to highlight that you have yet to discuss in other areas of the application, please do so here.
Resume / Curriculum Vitae

A minimum of two years paid full-time professional experience related to special education or working with persons with disabilities is preferred.

Letters of Reference

Please list the identities of all references who will be submitting letters of recommendation on your behalf.

  • Recommendations should be provided from employers, supervisors, professors, or others who are able to comment on your professional and educational goals and potential (no friends or relatives, please).
  • Recommendation letters should specifically address your ability to succeed in your proposed academic program and discuss any experience that may have prepared you to succeed in the program. 
  • If you have submitted an application to another program or term previously, you are able to import these recommendations to this application. If you are asking these references to provide a new letter, do not import these reference records as they will not receive a new request to submit a new letter. 
  • Recommendation letters should be submitted by your proposed program's application deadline.

At the time of application you are only required to upload unofficial copies of your transcripts into the application.  The unofficial copy can be a screenshot or scanned copy but should not be a photo of the transcript.  Applicants must have earned at least a degree from an accredited college in the United States or a comparable degree from a recognized institution of higher learning abroad.  If admitted, you will be required to submit official transcripts to the Graduate College. 

3.0 Minimum GPA

A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (A=4.0), or comparable GPA for an international applicant, for last two years of undergraduate study is a minimum requirement for admission.

Application Fee

Once you have submitted your application, you will be required to pay your application fee by credit card.

  • The fee must be paid within 3 weeks of submitting your application or your application will be unsubmitted.
  • The fee must also be paid prior to your application deadline
  • The fee is non-refundable and your application cannot be reviewed until the application fee has been processed.
  • The application fee amount is determined by your citizenship and/or visa status.
  • Domestic applicants are required to submit a $70.00 application fee.
  • International applicants are required to submit a $90.00 application fee.

There are a variety of application fee waivers available.  Please see the Graduate College's website for the waivers accepted by the University of Illinois.
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