A tapestry hanging on a wall that says "you matter," in a classroom where there are students and a teacher working at a table in the background

Special Education: B.S.Ed. - Bachelor of Science in Education

Teaching special education is a truly rewarding career that is in high demand. Our top-ranked special education program prepares you to be the knowledgeable, compassionate classroom advocate that students with disabilities need.

At a Glance

Program Results

B.S.Ed. - Bachelor of Science in Education

in Special Education

Initial licensure in Virginia with Special Education – General Curriculum K-12 endorsement

Best Suited To

Current UVA undergraduates or transfer students from another institution.

Program Type

  • Full Time


  • In-Person

Estimated Length

4 years (or 2 academic years after admission into the program)

Application Deadline

Internal to UVA:

  • February 1 (priority deadline)
  • June 1 (final deadline)

External transfers from other institutions: March 1



About This Program

Our programs reflect the depth of our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as we work together with our students toward actualizing a more just society. By drawing upon the expertise of experienced educators and community partners, we prepare teacher candidates to honor and grow the assets and resources that students bring to classrooms and schools. We lead with integrity, committed to student, family, and community success and well-being. We are equity-oriented teacher educators, collaborators, and innovators.

  • This clinically based program prepares you to teach students with mild to moderate disabilities in grades K-12, combining intensive classroom study with significant time spent applying your knowledge in real classrooms. 
  • This program offers a more affordable option to becoming a special education teacher.
  • Students must transfer into this program and are invited to apply to this program as a first- or second-year student at UVA or if transferring from another institution.
  • Applicants must be on track to complete the teacher education general studies requirements, which are more specific than the general studies requirements from the College of Arts and Sciences or the School of Education and Human Development. 
  • Although you do not need to have all requirements done in advance, it is recommended you are nearly finished with these requirements if you are a second-year student applying to join us for your third year. 
  • Graduates from this program are eligible for guaranteed admission to select UVA master’s programs for up to five years after graduation.

Program Overview

Admission Requirements

Current UVA undergraduates interested in this major must apply to transfer to the School of Education and Human Development from the College of Arts and Sciences. Transfer students from other institutions should refer to the transfer student admission process to determine course requirements needed for your transfer application. This program does not accept applications from current high school students. For high school students interested in pursuing this major, application is first made for regular admission to UVA through the College of Arts and Sciences. Once at UVA, Students can then apply for transfer into this program in their first or second year of study.

Explore our Undergraduate Admission page to explore the application process specific to your background.

Undergraduate Admission

Application for admission is made to the School of Education and Human Development Office of Admission & Enrollment. For more information about the undergraduate admission process, please visit our Undergraduate Admission page.

Third-Year Coursework

To learn more about specific courses taken as part of the completion of this degree, visit UVA's Undergraduate Record website which represents the official repository for academic program requirements.

Third-Year: Fall

Required coursework:

  • EDIS 2800: Understanding P-12 Educational Contexts 
  • EDIS 3011: Behavior and Classroom Management
  • EDIS 3015: Introduction to Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment 
  • EDIS 3221: Introduction to Reading Foundations 
  • EDIS 3887: Field Experience - Special Education (2 credits, practicum)

Prior to third-year spring, take the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment.

Third-Year: Spring

Required coursework:

  • EDIS 4060: Mathematics Instruction for Special Education
  • EDIS 4230: Reading and Writing Instruction for Special Education 
  • EDIS 3887: Field Experience - Special Education (2 credits, practicum)

Students who have not completed the following must also take:

  • EDLF 3150: Introduction to Child Growth and Development (may substitute another approved child development course)
  • EDIS 3020: Exceptional Learner

Prior to fourth-year, complete licensure training modules and take the Praxis Teaching Reading: Elementary. 

Special Education Course Descriptions

Information on courses that are part of the B.S.Ed. in Special Education curriculum can be found on the UVA Undergraduate Record website.

Fourth-Year Coursework

To learn more about specific courses taken as part of the completion of this degree, visit UVA's Undergraduate Record website which represents the official repository for academic program requirements.

Fourth-Year: Fall

Required coursework:

  • EDIS 4140: Methods of Instruction and Collaboration in Special Education
  • EDIS 4141: IEP and Transition Planning (1 credit)
  • EDIS 4040: Introduction to Psychoeducational Assessment
  • EDIS 4867: Clinical Experience in Special Education (6 credits, Internship I)

For Internship I, students are placed in a local special education classroom, working alongside a mentor teacher three days per week. Placements begin in mid-August and continue through the end of November. 

Fourth-Year: Spring

Required coursework:

  • EDIS 4877: Seminar: Teaching Internship - Special Education
  • EDIS 4887: Teaching Internship - Special Education (12 credits, Internship II)

In Internship II, also known as “student teaching,” students are placed in a new special education classroom. Students attend during contract hours every day from the first week of January to the end of April. Students may not take additional coursework during the final semester of study.

Special Education Course Descriptions

Information on courses that are part of the B.S.Ed. in Special Education curriculum can be found on the UVA Undergraduate Record website.

African American Teaching Fellows

African American Teaching Fellows (AATF) works to recruit, support, and retain African American teachers to serve the public schools of Charlottesville City and Albemarle County. Fellows become part of a network of African-American educators in the region, participate in a teacher-leader summer institute, receive mentorship and support from local teachers and administrators, and receive $5,000 toward the cost of tuition. Fellows commit to teaching in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area for several years after graduation.

Read more about AATF on their website; applications are typically due in January
Learn more about Executive Director Tamara Wilkerson
Hear from AATF's Program Director, Jaime Duke-Hawkins, and two AATF fellows

Special Education News

Program Faculty

Bryan Cook

Bryan Cook

  • Professor
Lysandra Cook

Lysandra Cook

  • Professor
Colby Hall

Colby Hall

  • Assistant Professor
Michael J Kennedy

Michael J. Kennedy

  • Professor
Stephanie Morano

Stephanie Morano

  • Assistant Professor
LaRon Scott

LaRon A. Scott

  • Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Associate Professor
William J Therrien

William J. Therrien

  • Thomas G. Jewell Professor of Education

Contact Us


As a member of the State Authorizations Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), the University of Virginia (UVA) is authorized to provide curriculum in a distance learning environment to students located in all states in the United States except for California. (34 CFR 668.43(a)(6)& 34 CFR 668.72(n)). Although California does not participate in SARA, it allows students to enroll in out-of-state programs.

Upon completion of the B.S. in Education - Special Education program at the UVA School of Education and Human Development, graduates may be eligible for initial professional licensure in another U.S. state by applying to the licensing board or agency in that state. Please visit the University’s state authorization web pages to make an informed decision regarding which states’ educational requirements for initial licensure are met by this program. (668.43(a)(5) (v)(A) - (C)) 

Enrolled students who change their current (or mailing) address to a state other than Virginia should update this information immediately in the Student Information System as it may impact their ability to complete internship, practicum, or clinical hours, use Title IV funds, or meet licensure or certification requirements in the new state. (34 CFR 668.402).