Admission Requirements: Master of Education in Special Education

Admission Requirements: Master of Education in Special Education
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Apply by the 8th of August to be eligible for the award. Contact an Enrollment Services Advisor to learn more.


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stack of documents icon Admission Requirements

Admission into the University of Cincinnati’s Master of Education in Special Education online program is selective and based on meeting the requirements outlined below.

Applications for the online program are reviewed in a holistic manner that carefully considers all items in your application portfolio. Our Admissions Office is happy to work with you to answer any question you may have and help determine your eligibility. Contact an Enrollment Services Advisor or email [email protected].

  • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 (4.0 scale).
  • GRE scores are optional for admission, but encouraged for applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 (4.0 scale).
Admission Materials
  • Statement of academic and professional goals.
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation.
  • Unofficial transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work.
  • A current, valid professional teaching license. For those wishing to apply without a teaching license, please contact [email protected].


All applicants will complete the online application for their requested program by the posted application deadline corresponding with the semester you wish to begin. Applicants must ensure that all required materials are successfully uploaded, and the application submitted. Incomplete applications will not be processed or reviewed.

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Application Fee

The application fee is currently waived, ask your Enrollment Services Advisor for more details.

  • Domestic Applicants: $65
  • International Applicants: $70

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required.

  • Recommendations should come from individuals who can attest to your academic and professional skills. References from current and former employers are always desirable. Additionally, recommendations from contacts within academia or professional organizations you’re involved in are also desirable.
  • Those writing letters should explain who they are, their relationship to the applicant, and what they know of the applicant’s academic and professional abilities.
  • Letters of recommendation from family, friends, or current students are not accepted.
  • Recommendations are submitted by the recommender themselves; they cannot be completed or submitted by the applicant or another party on behalf of the reference.

Resume or CV

  • Professional Resume: A resume relevant to academic and professional data. It should include the applicant’s name; phone; email; colleges attended with degrees, dates conferred, and grade point average; employment history; professional experience; present employer; and names of references.
  • Curriculum Vitae: A detailed look at the applicant’s career path, including achievements, publications, and awards. Including comprehensive information about candidate’s research background, presentations, publications, committee memberships and other experience of an academic, clinical, or scientific nature.

Goal Statement

The goal statement serves as a sample of the applicant’s writing quality and ensures their goals match with the program. It should denote applicant’s desired program concentration (if applicable) and highlight applicant’s motivation for pursuing a career in the field, and how the program will benefit them.

Unofficial Transcripts

All applicants are required to upload unofficial transcripts during the application process, showing all undergraduate and graduate course work completed, including degrees granted and dates of conferral.

Official transcripts are not required until the student has received and accepted an offer of admission from the university. Once the offer has been confirmed, the student must submit official transcripts.

Students who have received degrees from the University of Cincinnati do not need to submit official paper copies of their UC transcripts.

For questions regarding international students contact an Enrollment Services Advisor.

Optional Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores

GRE scores are optional for admission. Scores are recommended to strengthen applications that may be weak in areas. For example, applicants with a minimum undergraduate GPA of less than 3.0 should include GRE scores with their application.

  • GRE Scores: All three sections of the General Test taken within the last 5 years.
  • Desired Scores: 470 Verbal; 540 Quantitative, and 4.5 Writing (old scale) OR 151 Verbal; 147 Quantitative, and 4.5 Writing (new scale).

Transfer Credits

On a case-by-case basis, a student may petition to have graduate credit from an accredited college or university counted as the equivalent of another course in the curriculum and accepted as transfer credit. In such cases, a student will have to supply a course syllabus to ensure that the content in the course taken at another university is equivalent to the content of the course in the M.Ed. curriculum. A course with a similar name or the same name as a course offered at the University of Cincinnati does not necessarily mean that the content of the course is similar enough to accept it as transfer credit to our program.

Students may transfer up to nine (9) hours of graduate credit in Education courses from an accredited college or university. Special Education related graduate certificate and endorsement coursework completed at the University of Cincinnati may fully be applied towards this Master’s in Special Education. Graduate courses outside of Education will not be accepted. Courses taken outside an accredited college or university—such as non-credit professional development—will not be accepted. Only courses with grades of B or higher will be considered for transfer. No credit is given for previous work history. Courses taken more than seven (7) years prior to a student’s entrance into the program will not be accepted as transfer credit.

Speak with an Enrollment Services Advisor to discuss the petition process.

International Student Requirements

International students are required to submit official TOEFL, TSE, and TWE scores for tests taken within the last seven years, prior to the application deadline for the term of the application. These scores must be submitted directly to the program office.

More information about these tests can be found here.

Applicants who have earned a degree in China must submit an English-version verification report from the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) of their final transcripts and degree certificates. All verification reports must be sent to the University of Cincinnati directly by the CDGDC to be considered official. No other verification will be accepted. Applicants with Chinese transcripts must contact the CDGDC after their degree is completed and request that their degree verification report be submitted directly to the University of Cincinnati. Students who request a verification report prior to degree conferral will be required to submit a second report after conferral.

Verification reports can be ordered at the following websites:

  • Chinese
  • English

For questions regarding international student admissions contact an Enrollment Services Advisor.

After Being Accepted

Once an applicant has been extended an offer of admission to the University of Cincinnati and has accepted the offer, s/he must submit an official transcript showing conferral of a baccalaureate degree or higher as soon as possible to the address below. The university defines “official” transcripts as transcripts that have been received from a secure, authenticated issuing institution and bears validation (e.g., a seal, logo, or watermark), including a date, and an appropriate signature. Official transcripts MUST be sent forward in their original, sealed envelope. Students will NOT be allowed to complete a full semester without providing verification of an earned baccalaureate degree or higher. Any discrepancy later found between student-provided unofficial transcripts and official transcripts will be grounds for dismissal. The absolute final deadline for submission of official transcripts is one week before the start of the student’s first semester.

Official Transcripts should be sent to one of the following addresses:
Regular U.S. Postal Mail
Graduate School University of Cincinnati
110 Van Wormer Hall P.O. Box 210627
Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0627

Delivery via Parcel Delivery Service (FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc.)
Graduate School University of Cincinnati
2614 McMicken Circle 110 Van Wormer Hall
Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0627