Bachelor of Science in Education - Special Education


Teaching special education is a truly rewarding career that is in high demand. Our top-ranked special education program prepares you to be the knowledgeable, compassionate classroom advocate that students with disabilities need.

The Curry School's new four-year undergraduate degree is a more affordable option to becoming a special education teacher. Our clinically based program prepares you to teach students with mild to moderate disabilities in grades K-12, combining intensive classroom study with significant time spent applying your knowledge in real classrooms. For UVA graduates who wish to further specialize their training, the Curry School also offers early admission to our one-year master's degree programs.


Getting Started


African American Teaching Fellows

African American Teaching Fellows (AATF) works to recruit, support, and retain African American teachers to serve the public schools of Charlottesville City and Albemarle County. Fellows become part of a network of African-American educators in the region, participate in a teacher-leader summer institute, receive mentorship and support from local teachers and administrators, and receive $5,000 toward the cost of tuition. Fellows commit to teaching in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area for several years after graduation.

Curry School Launches New Undergraduate Majors

In a major restructuring of its Teacher Education program for the first time since the 1980s, the Curry School is launching three new undergraduate teaching majors.

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Program Details


  • Admissions Requirements for UVA Students

    Step 1: Attend an Information Session

    The Curry School hosts information sessions for prospective students throughout the year. A list of upcoming sessions can be found here.

    Step 2: Review your Transcript

    Teacher Education applicants must be on track to complete the Teacher Education general studies requirements, which are a bit more specific than the general studies requirements from the College or Curry. Although you do not need to have all requirements done in advance, it is recommended you are nearly finished with:

    • 6 credits of English/composition
    • 6 credits of mathematics (one course must be a 2000-level statistics course)
    • 6 credits of natural science (courses must be from two different departments; options include astronomy, biology, chemistry, environmental science, and physics)
    • 6 credits of humanities
    • 3 credits of United States history
    • 3 credits of child development (PSYC 2700: Child Development, EDLF 3150: Introduction to Child Growth and Development, or EDIS 3040: Foundations of Early Childhood Development and Education)
    • 3 additional credits of social science
    • 3 credits of cultural literacy; options include:
      • EDLF 3240: Education in Multicultural Societies
      • EDLF 3460: Race and Identity in Youth Development
      • EDLF 4610: Civil Rights Movement and Education
      • Any course designated by the College as fulfilling the nonwestern perspective requirement: https://college.as.virginia.edu/area
      • A study abroad program completed while enrolled at UVA

    AP credit can be applied toward these requirements if the credit appears on your UVA transcript.

    Step 3: Apply by February 1 of your first or second year

    Complete the internal transfer application. You must declare a major (early childhood education, elementary education, or special education) when applying.

  • Admissions Requirements for Transfer Students

    Step 1: Review the Admissions Requirements

    Review the Curry School of Education transfer requirements.

    Step 2: Apply through the Common Application

    Apply to UVA through the Common Application. Be sure to adhere to application deadlines. The Teacher Education program only admits students for fall entry. You must indicate the Curry School of Education and Human Development as your school choice. You must also declare a major (early childhood education, elementary education, or special education) when applying.


    Students at PVCC may wish to pursue the Education-UVA track: https://www.pvcc.edu/programs/education-uva-track. This track is designed for pre-teacher education students interested in transfer to the Curry School to pursue a baccalaureate degree program in early childhood, elementary, or special education and enter the teaching field.

  • Application Due Date

    Current UVA undergraduate students must apply by February 1 at 11:59pm.

    External transfer students must adhere to the deadlines list on the Office of Undergraduate Admissions transfer website.

  • Course Overview

    A semester-by-semester course sequence and course mnemonics will be posted when available.

    Major Core

    • EDLF 3150: Introduction to Child Growth and Development*
    • EDIS 3020: Exceptional Learner*
    • EDIS XXXX: Understanding Educational Contexts
    • EDIS XXXX: Reading Methods I
    • EDIS XXXX: Introduction to Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
    • EDIS XXXX: Classroom and Behavior Management

    *Students are encouraged to take these courses first or second year.

    Elementary Major Coursework

    • EDIS XXXX: Reading and Writing for Special Education
    • EDIS XXXX: Mathematics for Special Education
    • EDIS XXXX: Special Education Methods
    • EDIS XXXX: IEP and Transition Planning

    Clinical Experiences:

    • Early clinical experiences: 3rd year fall and spring
      • Candidates complete early clinical experiences including individualized reading intervention and small group instruction in local schools.
    • Part-time internship + internship seminar: 4th year fall
      • Candidates complete a half-time internship in a local school. Under the guidance of a mentor teacher and a university coach, candidates teach and co-teach lessons for individual students, small groups, and whole groups. 
    • Full-time internship + internship seminar: 4th year spring
      • Candidates complete their full-time internship in a local school. They transition into full responsibility for planning, instructional delivery, and assessment under the guidance of a mentor teacher and a university coach.

    Throughout the program, candidates fulfill state-mandated licensure exams and trainings. Upon successful completion of the spring teaching internship, candidates are eligible for a collegiate professional license in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

  • Licensure Requirements

    Additional Requirements: (send copies of certificates and score reports to TeacherEd@virginia.edu

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php.