Include and Inspire

Longwood's Education graduate programs with concentration in Special Education General Curriculum provide a variety of options to become a licensed special education teacher. Each option insures that you will have all the tools, experience and knowledge to design and implement education programs for students with special needs in the general education classroom in grades  Kindergarten through twelve.

Through close guidance from faculty and small class sizes, you will be part of a learning community that will become your second family. Classes are offered online and on-campus, providing flexibility for a variety of schedules.

Longwood’s program was one of the first five teacher and educator preparation programs in the United States to earn National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) in 1954, we continue our dedication to this mission with continuous accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Our graduates boast a 99% pass rate for Praxis II Special Education General Content (required for licensure).

Career Path

Special education teachers promote growth for all students, advocate for children with special needs and provide support to their student's families.

Depending on where you are in your career, we offer several pathways that lead to teaching Special Education in Virginia.  All options are offered on a full-time or part-time basis and can be completed in a calendar year or spread over multiple years.  Check the options below to see which one is right for you.

  • Teachers in elementary, middle and high schools
  • Department chairs
  • School headmasters
  • Advocates for special education initiatives
  • Transition counselors
  • Residential Facilities
  • Professors
  • Teach for America

What You'll Study


We offer several pathways that lead to teaching Special Education in Virginia.

Liberal Studies Fifth Year

Are you an undergraduate interested in becoming a special education teacher? Start your General Curriculum K-12 pathway while an undergraduate.

Spec Educ General Curriculum Five Year (pdf)

Plus One Year Masters + Endorsement

Do you have an undergraduate degree in Elementary, Middle School, or Secondary Education and a valid Virginia State Teaching License (or another state equivalency)?

You'll take 39 graduate credit hours, spread out over two sessions in the summer, one session in the fall and one session in the spring. 

At the end of your Plus One Year, you'll have your Master of Science in Education, Special Education and will be eligible for the Virginia Department of Education Postgraduate Professional Teaching License with an endorsement to teach  Special Education General Curriculum K-12.

Spec Educ General Curriculum Plus One (pdf)

K-12 Initial Licensure

Designed for individuals with a baccalaureate degree who wish to meet eligibility requirements for the Virginia Postgraduate Professional Teaching License with an endorsement to teach Special Education General Curriculum K-12. 

You'll take 39 graduate credit hours spread out over two sessions in the summer, one session in the fall and one session in the spring. Prerequisites for the program include courses at the undergraduate or graduate level in Survey of Exceptional Students and in Human Growth & Development. 

Spec Educ General Curriculum Initial Licensure (pdf)

Costs and Financial Aid

Longwood offers an outstanding and affordable education.

The K-12 Initial Licensure and Plus One pathways are both 39 credits, making the cost breakdown:

$15,483 - Estimated in-state cost
$397 per credit hour

$40,248 - Estimated out-of-state cost
$1,032 per credit hour

The Liberal Studies Fifth Year pathway is 36 credits, making the cost breakdown:

$14,292 - Estimated in-state cost
$397 per credit hour

$37,152 - Estimated out-of-state cost
$1,032 per credit hour

A Graduate Monthly Payment Plan is available.

Visit Longwood's Graduate student tuition estimates and hours webpage.

Visit Longwood's Financial Aid webpage.

For questions about cost or any part of the application process, contact Longwood Graduate Studies at


Fall: Deadline June 1
Spring: Deadline November 1
Summer: Deadline March 1

These are suggested application submission dates. We will continue to accept applications until the program is full.
Want to check if the program is full? Email us,

Longwood alumni honored as top teachers

Chanel Vaughan Leslie ’97 Alabama PTA Council Elementary Teacher of the Year

Chanel Vaughan Leslie made her way on hands and knees under a loft in her Huntsville, Alabama, classroom to reach an autistic child.

"He wouldn’t come out; no one could reason with him," she said. "No one could do anything. I remember crawling under the loft and talking to him. Fifteen minutes later he and I crawled out, and he wrapped his arms around my neck, told me he loved me and went to sit down."

Moments like these are career-defining and underscore the passion great teachers have for connecting with their students. For Leslie ’97, 15 minutes under a loft with a child showed her she was where she was meant to be.

Read the full story