Eligibility & application

Requirements for eligibility may differ whether you’re applying for a Master of Arts in Education, a Special Education Endorsement, or for Special Education Alternative Certification.

Before you apply

Eligibility for this program is dependent on your meeting certain criteria. As this is a competitive program, the Teacher Education Department will form a cohort from amongst the applicants who meet eligibility criteria. Meeting the eligibility criteria, or minimum standards, alone does not guarantee admission.

Minimum Standards

Bachelor’s degree

You have earned a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.

Grade point average (GPA)

For baccalaureate and any prior graduate coursework, you need at least a 3.00 on a 4.00 GPA scale.

*Note: This is true for all course work even if it did not lead to a degree. If you have multiple transcripts, we will calculate a cumulative GPA using each of them.

GPA exceptions

If your GPA is below 3.0, and you still wish to apply, please write a letter to the Admission Committee that:

  1. Clearly explains the reason(s) you have not met the 3.0 GPA requirements
  2. Describes your action plan using specific strategies to balance coursework (including class time and homework) and personal commitments. Develop your own strategies, or include the following: create and adhere to a schedule, use our writing support program and other campus resources, set regular meetings with faculty, and use specific study plans.

Testing requirements

For traditional Special Education initial licensure or an endorsement, you need to pass the PRAXIS Elementary Education exams. Coursework cannot be substituted for the Praxis content exam according to the Colorado Department of Education requirements. You will take the Praxis Special Education Generalist exam and Teaching Reading exam after your coursework is completed.

For alternative certification

Admission criteria for alternative certification is aligned with the Colorado Department of Education alternative certification criteria.

  1. Passing the PRAXIS Elementary Education exams are required for admission. You will take the Praxis Special Education Generalist exam and Teaching Reading exam after your coursework is completed.

  2. You must have a contract with a school/district for employment as a teacher-of-record in Special Education.

Teaching experience

While teaching experience in K-12 schools is not required for this program, we encourage you to apply if you:

  • Have full-time or part-time employment in a teaching position (or are on leave from a teaching position) in a school setting
  • Are a para-professional looking to gain licensure in special education
  • Have access to students if you are not employed as a teacher

Note: Full-time or part-time volunteers in schools are eligible for consideration under special situation

Fall 2022 Application and Scholarship Dates

November 19, 2021
Graduate online application activated for Fall 2022 applicants.

February 1, 2022
Priority application deadline for Fall 2022 applicants.

April 1, 2022
Second application review deadline and priority scholarship application deadline.

June 1, 2022
Third application review deadline and continued scholarship application review.

August 1, 2022
Final application and scholarship deadline (as space and funds are available)

August 2022 (Specific date TBD)
Mandatory online orientation program for new graduate students. Additional details will be emailed to you over the summer.


Please contact us gradstudies@fortlewis.edu as questions arise.