Quad Cities Campus

Master of Science in Education in Special Education at WIU (Online Program)


SPED Grad Program

Admissions Contact:
School of Graduate Studies, Grad-Office@wiu.edu


Advising Contact:
Dr. Christine Anderson,
(319) 651-1684

Download Brochure (pdf)


The Special Education Master’s Degree program provides opportunities for

    • teachers with general education certification seeking special education endorsement
    • teachers with special education certification seeking to advance their skills and knowledge

This program, aligned to Illinois and Iowa certification requirements, prepares graduates to impact their students' learning, their classrooms, and their schools.

Graduates assume positions as classroom, consultant, or inclusion teachers of children and adolescents with varying disabilities in schools, clinics, and residential facilities.

Admission Requirements

  • Admission to the School of Graduate Studies
  • A valid U.S. teaching certificate
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75 or 3.0 in the last two years
  • A letter of intent – a formal, typed letter of intent that presents your reasons for seeking a Master’s Degree in Special Education and your expectations for how this degree will contribute to your professional career, mailed to the School of Graduate Studies, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455-1390 or emailed to Grad-Office@wiu.edu
  • Acceptance by the Department Graduate Committee


The Special Education Master’s Degree Program Quick Facts

  • Classes offered online to accommodate teacher schedules
  • Designed to meet individual educational needs and goals
  • Addresses Illinois and Iowa special education endorsement requirements
  • Requires 37 credits
  • Can be completed in 2 years (6-7 credits a semester, including summer)
  • Is focused on evidence-based education and data-driven instruction
  • Provides advising and instruction by professors who will get to know and support you
  • Fosters a community of learners among teachers

2019-2021 Course Projection

SPED Open House

Faculty Expertise

Special Education faculty hold advanced degrees from notable universities across the United States. They are all experienced special education classroom teachers as well. They engage in a wide variety of scholarly activities that enhance their teaching: collaboration with local education agencies; research; professional presentations; publishing in special education and general education journals, along with authorship of books and book chapters; and grant writing/project management. Several have won teaching, technology, and/or research awards

Financial Assistance

A limited number of graduate assistantships that include a tuition waiver and a monthly stipend are available for qualified full-time students. Graduate assistants work approximately twenty hours per week. Applications are available from the School of Graduate Studies. You may call (309) 298-1806 or visit wiu.edu/grad to obtain the necessary form.

In addition, financial assistance opportunities are available for minority graduate students. Application materials and detailed program descriptions are available from the School of Graduate Studies.

Western Illinois University is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity employer with a strong commitment to diversity. In that spirit, we are particularly interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of people, including, but not limited to, minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities. WIU has a non-discrimination policy that includes sex, race, color, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, religion, age, marital status, national origin, disability, and veteran status.

SPED Open House

Featured Alums

“I graduated from Western Illinois University in 2006 with my undergraduate degree in special education. When it came time to return to school for my graduate degree in special education, there was never a thought in my mind to go anywhere other than Western Illinois University again. It feels like home here. Not only is the coursework challenging and interesting but I believe the instructors are amazing. The instructors at Western bring their vast expertise levels into the classroom and provide programming to us that is relevant and current with teaching practices. I believe that I am receiving an exceptional education by exceptional instructors at Western Illinois University.”

– Kimberly Evans, Graduate Student in Special Education

“Choosing the WIU-QC Special Education Graduate Program is a logical choice for any teacher wishing to expand their knowledge base and marketability in what is becoming an overwhelmingly competitive career field. My professors are knowledgeable, highly experienced, and approachable, and I feel as though all of my professors are personally invested in my professional success.”

– Kelly Jacoby, 2013

"My immediate response to that question is, "Why would you choose something else?" Small class sizes, comfortable class environments that allow you to be yourself, knowledgeable professors who are current with academic trends and information, professors who care, are there to help and guide you toward your academic goals. I would choose WIU all over again (even a third time!)"

– Amber Wetzel, 2013

SPED Graduate Program at WIU-Quad Cities

Contact Information

For admissions process and general program information, contact:

Western Illinois University–Quad Cities
3300 River Drive
Moline, IL 61265
(309) 762-1495

For specific program questions, contact:

Dr. Christine Anderson
Department of Special Education
Western Illinois University–Quad Cities
Quad Cities Complex 1125
3300 River Drive
Moline, IL 61265
(319) 651-1684