A Master’s degree can put you head and shoulders above other candidates for teaching positions.

Our accelerated master’s degree (AMD) allows students to complete 19 of 30 graduate credits by the time they complete their undergraduate degree, making the AMD a cost-effective and efficient option for interested students.

Why Choose Our Program?

Our program is a great fit for current undergraduate students in the Exceptional Education Bachelor’s and Teacher Certification program who:

  • Are interested in deepening their practice in teaching
  • Are interested in educational research
  • Have an interest and desire to pursue a Master’s degree
  • Have a desire to complete a graduate degree within a shortened timeframe (and while saving money!)


Sample Program of Study

K4-12 Special Education-Exceptional Education Accelerated Master’s Degree Program Sample Five-Year Plan (PDF)

Double-Counted Coursework

Forward Double Counted Course List – Select 2 of 3 (6 credits)

Forward-counted courses taken during the undergraduate career must be taken at the graduate (G) level to count forward toward the graduate career. Two of the following three courses should be taken at the graduate level:

  • EXCEDUC 532G – 3 cr
  • EXCEDUC 601G – 3 cr
  • EXCEDUC 679G – 3 cr

Backward Double Counted Course List – (13 Credits)

Backward-counted courses taken during the graduate career that count backward toward the undergraduate career:

  • EXCEDUC 488G – 1 cr
  • EXCEDUC 574G – 3 cr
  • EXCEDUC 588G – 9 cr

Students who elect to earn a bachelor’s degree in Exceptional Education without teacher certification in special education may take any of the following courses for the 13 backward-counting credits in their graduate career:

  • AD LDSP 598
  • AD LDSP 861
  • EXCEDUC 560
  • EXCEDUC 561
  • EXCEDUC 699
  • EXCEDUC 703
  • EXCEDUC 705
  • EXCEDUC 707
  • SOC WRK 774
  • SOC WRK 775

All of the above courses (19 credits) fulfill specific requirements for the Bachelor’s degree in Exceptional Education.


Program Admission Criteria

The following items must be met prior to applying for formal admission to the undergraduate Bachelor’s Degree in Exceptional Education and teacher certification program in special education:

  • At least 45 credits with a GPA of 2.5
  • Grade of “C” or better in MATH 175 (or equivalent) and ENGLISH 102 (or equivalent
  • Grade of “C” or better in CURRINS 300 (Intro to Teaching) and a positive field evaluation or equivalent (e.g., recommendation from instructor)

Students indicate their intent to apply to the Accelerated Master’s Degree program after their 2nd semester of professional coursework in the undergraduate Bachelor’s Degree in Exceptional Education and teacher certification program in special education. This allows them to be eligible to take graduate level courses during their undergraduate career in the 3rd semester of professional coursework, and students must meet the following criteria:

  • Meet the minimum GPA requirements for admission to the Graduate School at the time of enrollment in graduate level U/G or G coursework
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 on all work in the professional program
  • Declare their intent to apply for an accelerated master’s program
  • Complete service and/or undergraduate research in special education or a related field
  • Write and submit a 2 page (approximately) personal statement that explains: the students’ interest in a particular field of study, an appropriate faculty mentor tied to their interests, and reasons for desiring to enter the accelerated program
  • Submit 2 letters of recommendation from professionals who can speak to the applicant’s analytical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and ability to manage an increased workload
  • Receive a positive recommendation from the teacher certification program faculty, following an interview with the faculty
  • Complete the same academic work and follow the same performance standards as graduate students in the Exceptional Education master’s program

Approved enrollment into graduate level coursework during an undergraduate career does not guarantee admission to graduate school as part of the Accelerated Master’s Degree. Per usual UWM Graduate School criteria, students must obtain a “B” or better in all courses taken at the graduate level that are to be counted toward a master’s degree.

See the Sample Program of Study section under the Curriculum tab for the five year sample plan of study using the proposed double counted courses for the Accelerated Master’s Degree in Exceptional Education.


profile photoElizabeth DrameProfessorTeaching and Learningerdrame@uwm.eduEnderis Hall 397
profile photoSara JozwikAssociate ProfessorTeaching and Learningjozwik@uwm.eduEnderis Hall 319
profile photoLaura OwensProfessorTeaching and Learninglowens@uwm.eduEnderis Hall 361


Program Information

For general information or questions about the program, contact:

Dr. Nancy Rice
Professor & Faculty Program Coordinator