Are you passionate about making a difference in the lives of students with disabilities? Then UWM’s Exceptional Education Department can help you develop the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in this incredibly rewarding field.

As an undergraduate special education major, you can complete a bachelor’s degree and establish eligibility for a teaching certification in cross-categorical special education at the early adolescence to adolescence (grades 6-12) level, working with students ages 10-21. If you already hold a bachelor’s degree, you can gain EAA special education teacher certification as a post-baccalaureate student.

Note: The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has recently approved changes to Special Education Licensure to include K4-grade 12 instead of the current license categories of Middle Childhood – Early Adolescence (MCEA, grades 1-8) and Early Adolescence – Adolescence (EAA, grades 6-12). The Special Education program is currently undergoing review to make the switch to K4-12. When we have received approval, we will post it here. Until then, please know that we are working to make the change to our license structure as soon as possible. Our MCEA and EAA programs will continue to accept applications and admit students in the meantime.

Why Choose Our Program?

  • Our faculty are recognized leaders in the field of special education with expertise in urban teaching, inclusive education, language and literacy, curriculum, and assistive technology.
  • UWM is known as a pioneer in the field and offered the first college-level special education programs in Wisconsin nearly a century ago.
  • Our urban focus ensures you’ll learn culturally responsive teaching methods to reach students from diverse backgrounds.
  • We offer flexible class schedules, including evening classes, to meet the needs of working professionals.

Special Education Program Handbook

Special Education Program Handbook (PDF)

Contact Us

Contact a Special Education Early Adolescence – Adolescence Program Academic Advisor

Office of Student Services Advising
(414) 229-4721

(Last names A – L) – Tammy Badura

(Last names M – Z) – Tyree Bolden

Dr. Sara Jozwik
Special Education Early Adolescence – Adolescence Faculty Coordinator


Contact a Special Education Early Adolescence – Adolescence Program Academic Advisor to discuss program requirements more in-depth.

Office of Student Services Advising
(414) 229-4721

(Last names A – L) – Tammy Badura

(Last names M – Z) – Tyree Bolden

Undergraduate Program

The EAA Special Education major leads to a Bachelor of Science in Exceptional Education. Upon completion, you will be eligible to apply for a Cross-Categorical Special Education Teaching License from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for ages 10-21 (Grades 6-12).

Undergraduate EAA Program Sheet (PDF)

Professional Sequence Admission

The EAA professional sequence is a cohort program that begins a two-year course sequence each fall semester. Applications are due April 1 of the year you wish to begin. Generally, students apply to the professional sequence in the final semester of their sophomore year. Application to the professional sequence does not guarantee admission.

Students must meet all application requirements listed in the application packet. If you have not officially completed all coursework required to apply at the time of application but will do so before the beginning of the fall semester, we encourage you to submit a program application. We recommend you meet with an advisor to determine the best time to apply.

EAA Undergraduate Professional Sequence Admission Application (PDF)

Post-Baccalaureate Program

The EAA Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification Program is for individuals who already hold a bachelor’s degree. Students in this program work with faculty members who have expertise in areas such as urban teaching, inclusive education, transition, and assistive technology.

Upon completion, you will be eligible for an Initial Educator teaching license from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in Cross-Categorical Special Education for ages 10-21 (grades 6-12).

Do you already hold a special education teaching license in Early Childhood Special Education or Middle Childhood to Early Adolescence Special Education? You can add on EAA certification by completing 9-12 credits of EAA coursework, including a field experience.

EAA Two-Year Post-Bac Program Sheet (PDF) (for individuals without prior teaching certification).
EAA One-Year Post-Bac Program Sheet (PDF) (for individuals with active Wisconsin teaching certification).

Post-Baccalaureate Admission

The EAA program is a cohort model program that has rolling admissions. Individuals are encouraged to apply in the fall, or early in spring, for admission consideration.

You can find more information on our Post-Baccalaureate Special Education Teacher Certification Admissions page, which also includes the program application packet, information session dates, and additional admissions information.