International Admission to Master's Degree at KU

This Master’s degree in Special Education with an emphasis in High-Incidence Disabilities is available both at the main KU Campus in Lawrence, Kansas and at the KU Edwards Campus in the greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area. 

Application Deadlines

Apply before May 1 to begin in the Fall Semester

Please note that KU does not accept paper applications for admission.  The online application is designed to give you the ability to submit all supporting documents in one form.

Regular admission requires a bachelor’s degree and a grade-point average (GPA) of at least a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) from a regionally accredited institution, like KU, or a foreign university with substantially equivalent bachelor’s degree requirements. Applicants with a GPA of 2.75-3.0 are eligible for provisional admission. It is important for applicants to realize that the application indicators are not the sole determinants of admission to the Master's degree in Special Education with an emphasis in High-Incidence Disabilities. Meeting the GPA minimum standards for regular or provisional admission does not ensure a recommendation for admission.  Other factors considered by the committee include:

  • Strength of the letter of application;
  • Strength of the letters of recommendation;
  • Quality of previous experience and background in special education or a closely related discipline;
  • Availability of an appropriate advisor in the applicant's identified area of emphasis; and
  • The fit between the applicant's professional and graduate program goals and the purpose and mission of the KU

International Application Requirements

1) Letter of Introduction

Letter of Introduction Format: 12 pt font, single-spaced, 1-2 pages in length

Letter of Introduction Includes: Name, contact information, date, "Candidate for the Master's Degree in Special Education"  

Your letter of introduction assists the admissions committee in understanding how your experiences and academic history contribute to your interest and ability to be successful in KU’s program.  A strong letter communicates why you are choosing special education and what you intend to do as a result of successful study in the program.  Your career goals should have direct relevance to your admission into the program you choose.  This is also an opportunity to tell the faculty what important experiences, values and aspirations you bring to graduate study.  

The first paragraph of your personal statement, should summarize your background, academic interests, and future career goals and serve as a brief summary of what led to pursue this online program.   The second paragraph interprets your background for the graduate admissions committee. This paragraph establishes your academic history (including degrees, certification and licenses) and your specific experiences working with children/youth with exceptionalities that prepare you for graduate study in special education. Be sure to explicitly state any and all prior and current experiences you have had working in PK-12 classroom settings and with students with disabilities. Description of current and professional experiences related to youth with disabilities in inclusive settings

The third paragraph establishes the applicant’s career goals a description of the licenses, certifications, and/or degrees which the applicant is seeking to obtain through graduate work. After outlining your interests, background, and professional goals, make the case that the best way for you to bridge your undergraduate years and success as a professional teacher is to study special education. Identify how the expertise of specific faculty members and the required coursework for your desired program will advance your own practice. This paragraph should accomplish two ends: you place this graduate program in the continuum of your own professional development and you demonstrate that you have applied to it as the result of an informed, reflective selection process of your own. Career goals should specifically relate to providing high quality instruction in inclusive settings to youth with high incidence disabilities. 

In the fourth paragraph, summarize how your personal attributes, areas of interests, and relevant experiences prepare you for success in the online graduate program. This is also the place to discuss your prior experience with online learning and the degree to which you feel you will be successful completing a fully online graduate program. A statement indicating that the applicant understands that some of the coursework and assignments require access to students with high incidence disabilities

An explicit acknowledgement that you have access to a classroom setting that includes students with disabilities in which to complete the practica courses if you are applying to the Masters-Teaching track or Endorsement track options. 

If your cumulative GPA from your undergraduate degree or previous graduate work or degree falls below a 3.0, please outline the factors that led to this and the adjustments you will make for success in this graduate program.

2) Professional Resume

Professional resume describing past employment experiences, licensure received, educational preparation, publications and presentations, professional association memberships, and other professional activities.

3) Transcripts

All applicants are required to upload transcripts. An official copy of all transcripts from all schools attended must be provided the KU Graduate Studies:
Graduate Admissions
University of Kansas
1450 Jayhawk Blvd
Strong Hall 313
Lawrence, KS 66045

4) Letters of Reference

You will submit the names and email addresses when you apply online. The system will automatically email them requesting them to submit a letter of reference for you.

5) Official Proof of English Proficiency

International students must meet one of the following English proficiency exam score requirements UNLESS they have completed a baccalaureate degree or higher from an accredited English-medium U.S. college or a college or university in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, an English-speaking province of Canada, or an English-speaking Caribbean country, with instruction conducted in English:

  • TOEFL (paper): 57 or above on each section and 5.0 on the Test of Written English
  • TOEFL (iBT): 23 or above on the reading, listening, and writing sections
  • IELTS (Academic): 6.5 minimum overall score and at least 6.0 in listening, reading, and writing
  • PTE: 58 or above with no part score below 53 in listening, reading, and writing

To forward exam scores electronically, the University code is 6871 and the Department code is 85. Please see the English proficiency chart for more information.

6) Official Statement of Financial Documentation

This document will be required to process your I-20. To expedite the process, you should upload this documentation when applying online.

7) Professional Disposition Assessment

Individuals pursuing an endorsement or licensure must sign and submit the Professional Disposition Assessment for Advanced Degree Candidates Acknowledgment Document.

Take that next step in your career as a special education professional. Apply international today!


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Learn more about the Practicing Educator Sponsorship Program offered to PK-12 public (or private) school district educators interested in a graduate program in education at KU.

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