Program Description

The Bachelor of Science in Special Education is an on-campus only degree program that prepares candidates to teach students Kindergarten to 12th grade with both high and  low incidence disabilities. The degree will provide opportunities for undergraduate students to work within elementary, middle, and high schools in both urban and rural settings. In addition, undergraduate students will be exposed to individuals from diverse backgrounds including, ethnic, socioeconomic, cultural, and disability.

The program at the University of Kentucky (UK) will focus on preparing candidates to teach children and youth from 5 years of age through 21 years of age. This may include students with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, emotional/behavioral disabilities, moderate to severe intellectual disability, severe autism, or significant physical and sensory disabilities that impair functioning across domains.

The Special Education Program is approved and accredited by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board as well as accreditation by the  National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

The Registrar’s Office lists all of the program requirements and coursework for the Bachelor of Science in Special Education.

Admission Requirements

The Special Education Program aims to enroll students who have a passion for teaching, are of high integrity, and conduct themselves in a manner that is befitting of a future teacher.  Admission to our program is competitive and students selected for the program are those who excel in academics, character, recommendations from others, and their ability to communicate effectively in an interview conducted by the faculty.

  1. Apply for admission after completing 45 credit hours
  2. Submit completed application packet to the Office of Academic Services and Teacher Certification, 166 Taylor Education Building
  3. Have a minimum overall GPA of 2.75
  4. Complete a Standards Sets Self-assessment (See Governing Standards Document)
  5. Establish a portfolio account on UK OTIS open electronic portfolio system
  6. Create an admission portfolio in OTIS which contains artifacts from previous courses, a teaching philosophy, and personal biography. these artifacts should be uploaded into your ENTRY portfolio.
  7. Demonstrate no Character and Fitness problems through reading and signing the Character and Fitness Review Form
  8. Read and Agree to the provisions of the Professional Code of Ethics of the Education Professional Standards Board
  9. Demonstrate basic skills through submission of passing scores on the PRAXIS Core Academic Skills for Teachers Test
  10. Schedule and Complete an admission interview with the Program Faculty
  11. Provide evidence of 21st Century Skills (Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration) during the interview process
  12. Successful completion of EDS 375 and EDS 513
  13. Have experience working with individuals with disabillities (can occur withing the program through practicum course EDS 301).

Retention Requirements

  1. Students must maintain a 2.75 GPA on all program coursework.
  2. Students must maintain a professional portfolio throughout the program that will be reviewed at entry, midpoint, and exit.
  3. Students must demonstrate professional behaviors throughout program in accordance with the Kentucky School Personnel Code of Ethics as developed by the Education Professional Standards Board) and to the College of Education’s Functional Skills and Dispositions.

How to Apply

Interested prospective students are encouraged to apply to UK and select Special Education as their major. You will apply to the Teacher Education Program (TEP) after you have completed 45 hours of coursework, including EDS 375 and EDS 513. To apply to TEP, you must complete a TEP application that can be obtained on Academic and Student Services website.

State Authorization & Licensure

If you plan to complete a University of Kentucky online program while living outside of Kentucky, you should check the Out-of-State Students page to determine if the University of Kentucky is authorized to provide this program in your state of residence. If you plan to use the degree to seek licensure, you should also determine if the degree meets the educational requirements for licensure in your state.

Tuition and Fees

For information regarding current program cost please refer to the UK Tuition and Fees page.

Refund Policies

You can find tuition refund policies, deadlines, amounts, and other important information on the UK Student Account Services website.