Graduate Studies

Special Education

“Why choose the WIU-QC Special Education Graduate Program? Why would you choose something else? Small class sizes, comfortable class environments that allow you to be yourself, knowledgeable professors who are current with academic trends and information, professors who care and are there to help and guide you toward your academic goals.  I would choose WIU all over again (even a third time!).” - Amber Wetzel, MS Ed., 2013

“Choosing the WIU-QC Special Education Graduate Program is a logical choice for any teacher wishing to expand their knowledge base and marketability in what is becoming an overwhelmingly competitive career field. My professors are knowledgeable, highly experienced, and approachable, and I feel as though all of my professors are personally invested in my professional success.” - Kelly Jacoby, MS Ed., 2013

Special Education


  • Track I
  • Track II

Program Overview

The Special Education graduate program provides opportunities for two groups of candidates: Track I: those with general education certification who wish to also earn special education certification and Track II: those with special education certification who wish to increase their skills through advanced study. The program integrates the needs of Illinois and Iowa certification requirements in order to serve teachers from both sides of the river in the Quad Cities. Degree candidates must complete an action research project that demonstrates their ability to impact their classroom or their school.

Possible Careers

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction provides comprehensive graduate programs for candidates desiring professional careers in special education. Candidates completing this master’s degree usually assume positions as classroom, consultant, or inclusion teachers of children and adolescents with varying disabilities in schools, clinics, and residential facilities.

Why Choose Special Education at WIU?

The Special Education program makes every attempt to accommodate licensed teachers in both Iowa and Illinois who wish to re-focus their teaching goals and earn certification in special education. In addition, the department provides advanced study for those who already possess special education certification and experience. The program provides candidates opportunities to learn how to design and implement action research in their own classes. Through this structured experience, candidates develop the skills needed to effectively use evidence-based practices in their own classrooms and ultimately enhance student learning. Western Illinois University is an accredited institution. The graduate level Special Education program is 100% online.

Our Faculty

Faculty members have a strong interest in helping teachers enhance their effectiveness and their ability to promote student learning. All faculty have practical experience with special populations. Professors in the department have a doctorate in their field. Faculty are actively involved in a variety of professional organizations; provide continuing education workshops for teachers; and publish books and articles in state, national, and international journals.

Extracurricular Opportunities

Candidates are encouraged to become involved in local, state, and national professional organizations.

Other Information

For additional information about the Curriculum and Instruction programs, please visit

Quick View

Degrees Available:

  • M.S.Ed.


  • Online

Required GPA:

  • Cumulative: 2.75 or
  • Last 2 years: 3.0

Admission Requirements:

  • Transcripts
  • Teaching License

Interesting Facts: Fall 2018

  • Currently enrolled: 25
  • International: 0
  • Minority: 1
  • Male: 3
  • Female: 22
  • Students with Assistantships: 0

Department Contact Information:

WIU Quad Cities