The Early Adolescence-Adolescence (EAA) Special Education program leads to a Bachelor of Science in Exceptional Education. Upon completion of the program and other license requirements, students will be eligible to apply for a Cross-Categorical Special Education Teaching License from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for ages 10-21 (grades 6 through 12). If you already hold a Bachelor’s Degree, you can earn EAA Special Education Teacher Certification as a Post-Baccalaureate student.

Our faculty are recognized leaders in the field of Special Education with expertise in urban teaching, inclusive education, language and literacy and transition. Our program will prepare you to become a powerful, effective educator in a high-demand area.


General Education Requirements (GERs)

UW-Milwaukee has General Education Requirements that must be met in order to earn a bachelor’s degree. Some of the requirements of your program may fulfill the campus GERs. Please review the requirements and consult with your academic advisor.  

Admission to Program

Program Core

Highly recommended-choose one:3
Strategies for Academic Writing (GER-OWCB)
Technical Writing (GER-OWCB)
Introduction to English Studies (GER-OWCB)
Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture: (GER-OWCB)
Foundations of Autism Spectrum Disorders (GER-OWCB)
Highly recommended-choose one:3
Mathematical Literacy for College Students II (GER-QLA)
Contemporary Applications of Mathematics (GER-QLA)
Introduction to College Algebra (GER-QLA)
Algebraic Literacy II (GER-QLA)
Mathematical Explorations for Elementary Teachers I (GER-QLA)
Highly recommended:
MATH 176Mathematical Explorations for Elementary Teachers II (OWC-QLB)3
COMSDIS 210Survey of Communication Disorders (GER-SS)3
Literature elective (GER-HU)3
Biological Sciences elective (GER-NS or NS+)3-4
Choose one: 13
American Indian Peoples of Wisconsin (GER-CD, SS)
Introduction to American Indian Literature: (GER-CD, HU)
Western Great Lakes American Indian Community Life of the Past (GER-CD, SS)
North American Indian History Since 1887 (GER-CD, SS)
Choose one:
American History: 1607 to 1877 (GER-SS)
American History: 1877 to the Present (GER-SS)
Introduction to American Government and Politics (GER-SS)
State Politics (GER-SS)
CURRINS 300Introduction to Teaching: Colloquium and Fieldwork3
EXCEDUC 300The Exceptional Individual3
or EXCEDUC 600 Survey of Exceptional Education
or EXCEDUC 605 Child, Learner, Disabilities
ED POL 375Cultural Foundations of Education3
or ED POL 530 Urban Education: Foundations
Total Credits30-31

Non-Western History or Contemporary Culture and Minority Group Relations (Act 31) statutory requirements can both be met by taking one class.

Professional Requirements

Students may enter the professional courses only after formal admission to the School of Education. The professional program consists of four semesters, including fieldwork/student teaching. Students must have a minimum grade of C or better in all professional coursework.

Year 1 - Fall
CURRINS 545Reading in the Content Areas: Middle, Junior, and Senior High School3
ED PSY 330Introduction to Learning and Development3
EXCEDUC 595Technology Applications for Diverse Learners3
EXCEDUC 635Individualized Planning & Instructional Methods3
CURRINS 643Balanced Literacy Instruction in the Elementary School3
Field Requirement1.5 days per week or 135 hours
Year 1 - Spring
CURRINS 332Teaching of Mathematics 33
EXCEDUC 636Curriculum Accommodations3
EXCEDUC 662Collaborative Strategies3
EXCEDUC 680Literacy I3
EXCEDUC 586Teaching Experience I1
EXCEDUC 486Linking Seminar: Developing Reflective Practice2
Field Requirement2 days per week or 190 hours
Reading Test 2
Year 2 - Fall
EXCEDUC 532Assessment and Monitoring3
EXCEDUC 671Behavior Support & Intervention for Mid/High Students with Disabilities3
EXCEDUC 679Critical Issues in Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities3
EXCEDUC 587Teaching Experience II3
Field RequirementHalf-days (M-F)
Year 2 - Spring
EXCEDUC 488Linking Seminar: Professional Development1
CURRINS 543Developing Biliteracy3
EXCEDUC 588Teaching Experience III9
Field RequirementTwenty weeks full-time (M-F)
Total Credits55

It is strongly recommended that students take the reading test required for initial certification at the end of the first year of the professional sequence.

Exceptional Education Degree, EAA Submajor Completion Requirements

  • Completion of all admission requirements, granted admission to the EAA program, and completion of EAA professional course sequence;
  • Completion of EAA program requirements that also fulfill university GER requirements, including coursework to meet the Act 31 requirement;
  • Completion of a minimum of 18 credits of approved content coursework;
  • Completion of university GER requirements;
  • At least 30 program credits must be earned in residence at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, following admission to the program;
  • Completion of a minimum of 120 degree credits; and
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.75.

Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Licensure Requirements

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75;
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 in professional coursework;
  • Completion of DPI Content Knowledge Requirement by earning a 3.0 cumulative GPA in required content coursework, by demonstrating proficiency in a content portfolio, or by passing the PRAXIS II (Middle School: Content Knowledge Test--0146/5146); and
  • Passing scores on state-mandated tests (Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test, edTPA).

Post-Baccalaureate Program

(Under revision; please see an advisor for information.)

Year 1 - Summer (9 certification credits)
EXCEDUC 586Teaching Experience I3
EXCEDUC 680Literacy I3
EXCEDUC 605Child, Learner, Disabilities3
Year 1 - Fall (9 certification credits)
EXCEDUC 587Teaching Experience II3
EXCEDUC 635Individualized Planning & Instructional Methods3
EXCEDUC 671Behavior Support & Intervention for Mid/High Students with Disabilities3
Year 1 - Spring (10 certification credits)
Portfolio/Performance Review
EXCEDUC 587Teaching Experience II3
EXCEDUC 636Curriculum Accommodations3
CURRINS 332Teaching of Mathematics 33
EXCEDUC 486Linking Seminar: Developing Reflective Practice1
Year 2 - Summer (6 certification credits/6 graduate credits)
CURRINS 545Reading in the Content Areas: Middle, Junior, and Senior High School3
ED POL 530Urban Education: Foundations3
Year 2 - Fall (6 certification credits/9 graduate credits)
EXCEDUC 771Field Work with Students Having Exceptional Education Needs (graduate students)3
or EXCEDUC 588 Teaching Experience III
EXCEDUC 532Assessment and Monitoring3
EXCEDUC 679Critical Issues in Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities3
Year 2 - Spring (8 certification credits/6 graduate credits)
Portfolio/Performance Review
Select one of the following options with Advisor Approval:3
Option 1:
Teaching Experience III
Option 2:
Field Work with Students Having Exceptional Education Needs
Select one of the following for ESL Focus:
Principles and Methods of Teaching ESL
Developing Biliteracy
Language, Content, and Comprehensible Input
Option 3:
Focus area (e.g., Advanced Methods in Learning Disabilities, Assistive Tech)
EXCEDUC 496Linking Seminar III: Middle/High - Professional Development1
EXCEDUC 662Collaborative Strategies3
Total Credits50

Advance to Major

Program Admission Requirements

  • Achieve a placement level 4 or higher on the English placement test, or complete ENGLISH 102 or an equivalent with a C or better (OWC-A);
  • Score of 30 or higher on the Math placement test or MATH 102MATH 103MATH 105MATH 108MATH 175, or equivalent with a C or better (QL-A);
  • Completion of CURRINS 300 (or equivalent), with a C or better;
  • Completion of EXCEDUC 300EXCEDUC 600, or EXCEDUC 605 (or equivalent), with a C or better;
  • Completion of ED POL 375 or ED POL 530 (or equivalent), with a C or better;
  • Completion of an approved advanced course (at least three credits) with significant written or oral communication component (OWC-B), with a C or better (recommendations: EXCEDUC 560ENGLISH 215ENGLISH 240ENGLISH 201ENGLISH 206, or equivalent);
  • Completion of an approved advanced course (at least three credits) making use of quantitative tools (QL-B), with a C or better (recommendations: MATH 176 or equivalent);
  • Completion of a minimum of 45 credits at the time of application;
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5;
  • Completion of a program application; and
  • Interview.


Content Knowledge Coursework

A 3.0 cumulative GPA in 6 of the content-focused courses below meets the DPI content knowledge proficiency requirement. 

English - choose two of the following:
ENGLISH 102College Writing and Research3
ENGLISH 201Strategies for Academic Writing3
ENGLISH 205Business Writing3
ENGLISH 215Introduction to English Studies3
EXCEDUC 680Literacy I3
Math - choose two of the following:
MATH 102Mathematical Literacy for College Students II3
MATH 103Contemporary Applications of Mathematics3
MATH 108Algebraic Literacy II3
MATH 175Mathematical Explorations for Elementary Teachers I3
MATH 176Mathematical Explorations for Elementary Teachers II3
MTHSTAT 215Elementary Statistical Analysis3
CURRINS 332Teaching of Mathematics 32-3
Social Studies - choose one of the following:
ECON 103Principles of Microeconomics3
ECON 104Principles of Macroeconomics3
GEOG 110The World: Peoples and Regions3
HIST 151American History: 1607 to 18773
HIST 152American History: 1877 to the Present3
POL SCI 104Introduction to American Government and Politics3
POL SCI 105State Politics3
SOCIOL 101Introduction to Sociology3
PSYCH 101Introduction to Psychology3
Science - choose one of the following:
ATM SCI 100Survey of Meteorology3
ATM SCI 109Thunderstorms, Tornadoes and Hurricanes3
BIO SCI 100Survey of Zoology3
BIO SCI 102Elements of Biology3
BIO SCI 103Topics in Modern Biology:3
BIO SCI 104Plants in Today's World3
BIO SCI 206Biology of Women3
CES 210Introduction to Conservation and Environmental Science3
CHEM 106Chemistry in the World Around Us--Chemistry for the Non-Science Major3
CHEM 185Basic Chemistry for Teachers3
GEO SCI 100Introduction to the Earth3
GEO SCI 102Principles of Historical Geology3
GEO SCI 105Earth, Air, Fire and Water3
GEO SCI 106The Earth Environment3
GEO SCI 1853
PHYSICS 107Physics in Everyday Life3
PHYSICS 185Basic Physics for Teachers3

Student Teaching

Students must complete paperwork in order to be assigned a student teaching placement. To determine your deadline (February or April), visit the Office of Clinical Experiences website.

Undergraduate Advising

Our purpose is to provide collaborative, mentoring relationships which promote educational, career, and professional development. We value a student-centered, holistic, and ethical approach to advising based on strong partnerships with students, faculty and staff, and the larger campus community. We are committed to creating a respectful and supportive environment. We encourage students to be self-reliant through informed decisions and choices based upon dissemination of accurate information. We value our own continuous professional development to enhance the quality of the advising experience.

How to Prepare for an Advising Meeting

  • Review your Advisement Report in PAWS.
  • Come prepared with questions or topics for discussion.
  • Make a list of courses you think you should take.
  • Investigate opportunities to prepare for the job you want.
  • Keep a record of your academic progress.
  • Understand you are ultimately responsible for creating your educational, life, and career plans.
  • Maintain honest and open communication with your advisor.
  • Take responsibility for choices you make as a student and member of the UW-Milwaukee community.

Scheduling an Appointment

Office of Student Services
Enderis Hall, Room 209
(414) 229-4721

Graduate Advising

If you are a School of Education graduate student, you may schedule an appointment with your faculty advisor by contacting your faculty advisor directly. Faculty contact information can be found in the Directory. Your faculty advisor will be listed in your PAWS account. 

Honors in the Department of Teaching and Learning

Departmental Honors are granted to students who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or above, based on a minimum of 40 graded UWM credits earned prior to the final semester.

College of Community Engagement and Professions Dean's Honor List

GPA of 3.750 or above, earned on a full-time student's GPA on 12 or more graded credits in a given semester.

Honors College Degree and Honors College Degree with Distinction

Granted to graduating seniors who complete Honors College requirements, as listed in the Honors College section of this site.

Commencement Honors

Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or above, based on a minimum of 40 graded UWM credits earned prior to the final semester, will receive all-university commencement honors and be awarded the traditional gold cord at the December or May Honors Convocation. Please note that for honors calculation, the GPA is not rounded and is truncated at the third decimal (e.g., 3.499).

Final Honors

Earned on a minimum of 60 graded UWM credits: Cum Laude - 3.500 or above; Magna Cum Laude - 3.650 or above; Summa Cum Laude - 3.800 or above.