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Special Education

As a field, special education provides direct and indirect services for individuals with disabilities. Some services provided by people in the field of special education include K-12 education, rehabilitation for occupational development and daily independence, community-based case management, disability advocacy, school and individualized consultation services and various other services related to individuals with disabilities and their families. Through education, community awareness and ecologically-based service delivery, the focus of special education is to enhance and better the lives of all individuals with disabilities.


Quick Info

Program Code


Real-World Learning Components

Required teaching experience




Main Campus


Special Education
College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services


PO BOX 210022
Cincinnati,OH  45221
Wendy Riordan
Phone: 513-556-4189

Student Success Factors

Candidates who succeed in special education demonstrate:

  • a history of academic success
  • the ability to collaborate with others, including those from diverse populations
  • leadership characteristics
  • responsible, caring, fair, honest and ethical behavior
  • a commitment to social justice and a diverse society
  • a history of good critical thinking and problem solving
  • enthusiasm for working with children and adults with disabilities
  • a commitment to equity and the betterment of individuals with disabilities

Career Possibilities

In general, graduates of the special education program work as intervention specialists (teachers) in various K-12 education settings, including schools, hospitals, vocational training facilities and other institutions providing educational services for individuals with disabilities. Some graduates of the special education program work as advocates and/or case managers for social agencies.

Additional career options are listed on the Center for Exploratory Studies website.

Major Details

The special education program at the University of Cincinnati provides education at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels. Specific goals of the program vary by degree level. At the baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate levels, the program is focused on educating teachers to use evidence-based practices and meet licensure requirements for K-12 intervention specialists. Specifically, program participants are required to complete course and field experiences to meet the prerequisites for mild to moderate and moderate to intense disability licensure. The master’s program focuses on providing teacher-leaders in the area of special education. At the doctoral level, the program focuses on providing leading scholars for service in academic careers.

After completing the program requirements and passing appropriate Ohio Assessments for Educators exams, students are eligible to apply for a State of Ohio teaching license (mild/moderate and moderate/intense) in special education.


These tools assist students to identify course requirements and individual progress toward completion of academic programs. It is important to utilize these resources with personalized guidance from a UC academic advisor regularly to ensure timely graduation..

My Degree Audit - for confirmed and current students

My Transfer Course Equivalencies - for students considering transfer to UC

UC Schedule of Classes - search course availability and descriptions

Curriculum Guide Versions:

UC Advantages and Special Opportunities

Formed as the Teachers College in 1905, the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services continually merits local, state and national recognition. Recent commendations include:

  • accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the organization responsible for professional accreditation of teacher education
  • a 65th ranking in U.S. News & World Report
  • the Best Practice Award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)
  • consistently high scores by candidates on state mandated licensure exams

In addition, the special education program provides small classes, talented faculty in each discipline and extensive field clinical experiences in urban and suburban schools.

Admission Requirements


  1. Initial Teaching License
  2. A cumulative grade point average of 2.8 from all college work attempted

Admission Requirements

  1. Complete the application
  2. Submit the following documents along with the online application:
    • Candidate Information sheet.
    • Commitment Form.
    • Recommendation from principal or immediate supervisor (on letterhead) (Provided in sealed envelope, with signature of individual across seal).
    • Recommendation from another individual familiar with your success as a teacher (colleague, parent, school psychologist, etc.) (Provided in sealed envelope, with signature of individual across seal).
    • Copies of official transcripts from all college/university work attempted.
    • Copies of all teaching licenses/certificates.
    • Copies of the following reports:
      • BCI report (Please send a copy and keep the original for your records.)
      • FBI report (Please send a copy and keep the original for your records.)
      • Negative TB Test Results (Please send a copy and keep the original for your records.)
    • Complete an Authorization for Release of Records form.
    • Complete a Good Moral Character and Conduct form (please remember to have a witness sign/date this form in the appropriate place)
    • Documents can also be mailed to: CECH Student Services Center PO BOX 210014 Cincinnati, OH 45221

Post-Course Requirements:

Ohio Assessment for Educators licensure test



The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.