Special Education

College of Education


What is Special Education?

This major will prepare you to teach students from ages 3 to 21 with any disability in a range of educational settings. This includes teaching people with learning disabilities, social or emotional disabilities, autism, intellectual disability, physical disabilities, and multiple disabilities. Our program emphasizes an inclusive approach to education. This approach encourages the education of students with disabilities alongside their peers without disabilities. In this major, you will gain real-world experience through extensive fieldwork. This fieldwork will give you the opportunity to work with people of diverse abilities and ages.

Career Options

  • Adult education
  • Child psychology
  • Counseling
  • Occupational therapy
  • Special education
  • Social work

Post-Graduation Success1

90% employed or continuing education

88% employed after graduation

2% attending graduate school

$43,213 average starting annual income

Sample employer destinations: Chicago Public Schools, Champaign Unit 4 School District, Algonquin Middle School View All

Sample grad school destinations: Midwestern University View All

Review Criteria

First-Year Major-Specific Criteria

  • Strong English coursework and performance
  • Interest and experiences related to the major

View All Review Criteria

Transfer Criteria

Transfer Guide

Graduation & Retention2

3.8 years to degree

98% first-year retention rate

Four-year graduation rate: N/A

Six-year graduation rate: N/A

Annual Program Costs3

Illinois Resident

  • Tuition: $12,712
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,222
  • Total: $35,862


  • Tuition: $31,832
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses:$18,562
  • Total: $55,322


  • Tuition: $32,780
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,562
  • Total: $56,270