Include and Inspire

Longwood's Education graduate program with a concentration in Special Education General Curriculum transforms students into skilled and licensed special education teachers prepared to support special education students in a general education classroom.

Whether you’re already a licensed teacher, changing your career or starting your career, you will have all the tools, experience and knowledge to design and implement education programs that include and inspire students with special needs in the general education classroom in grades K-12.

What really sets Longwood’s program apart is its residency program that allows you to be a teacher by day and a graduate student along the way. You will be in a classroom teaching special education students from day one. Faculty review your teaching and your student interactions and offer supportive personalized feedback. Students graduate our program not only with knowledge but also with the ability to apply this knowledge in the classroom.

Through close guidance from faculty and optimal 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.

Interested in a Special Education Add-on Endorsement? Learn more.

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 tracks 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.  Our students go on to a variety of professions including:

  • Teachers in elementary, middle and high schools
  • Department chairs
  • School headmasters
  • Advocates for special education initiatives
  • Transition counselors
  • Special education coordinators
  • Professors*
  • Teach for America corps members
  • Special education teachers in general education classrooms

    *may require an additional degree

What You'll Study


Depending on where you are in your career, we offer several tracks that lead to Special Education in Virginia.

5th Year Track

Are you an undergraduate interested in becoming a special education teacher? Start your Fifth Year track while you are an undergraduate student at Longwood!

Enter as a freshman, and in five years, you will earn your liberal studies degree, teacher licensure, and a graduate degree in special education.

See the Fifth Year Track course flow (pdf).

Licensed Teacher Track

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

In the Licensed Teacher track as a full-time student, you’ll take 39 graduate credits, spread out over two sessions in the summer, one session in the fall, and one session in the spring.

At the end of the program, you’ll have your Master of Science in Education degree, with a concentration in Special Education, and will be eligible for the Virginia Department of Education Postgraduate Professional Teaching License with an endorsement to teach Special Education.

See the Licensed Teacher Track course flow (pdf).

Initial licensure Track

Enter with your bachelor's in any field and earn your master’s and teacher licensure in as little as 39 credits. Two prerequisites may be required.

See the Initial Licensure Track course flow  (pdf).

Admissions Requirements

  • Official bachelor’s degree transcripts from an accredited college or university and all transcripts for subsequent coursework
  • Minimum 2.75 overall undergraduate GPA on a 4.0 scale (options available if you do not meet this minimum)
  • Essay, 500 words or more, addressing reasons for seeking graduate education in Special Education
  • Resume
  • Two letters of recommendation (Initial Licensure and Licensed Teacher Tracks only)
  • Passing VCLA Reading & Writing scores, and passing Praxis Teaching Reading - 5205 scores (Initial Licensure Track only)
  • Valid VA teaching license or equivalent from another state (Licensed Teacher Track only)

Costs and Financial Aid

Longwood offers an outstanding and affordable education.

The K-12 Initial Licensure and Licensed Teacher tracks are both 39 credits, making the cost breakdown:

$16,614 - Estimated in-state cost
$426 per credit hour

$42,003 - Estimated out-of-state cost
$1077 per credit hour

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

$15,336 - Estimated in-state cost
$426 per credit hour

$38,772 - Estimated out-of-state cost
$1,077 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

Cost of Attendance


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,

Program Flyer

View, download, and print the Master of Science in Education with a Concentration in Special Education (pdf) flyer.

Are you a provisionally licensed teacher? Complete all of your requirements for your postgraduate professional license in Special Education and earn your master's. 

View, download, and print the Initial Licensure track for teachers with a Provisional License (pdf) flyer. 

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