All students taking graduate classes in special education must be admitted to the special education graduate program or certificate-only program.

  • The student must hold a valid teaching certificate.
  • The student must be admitted to both the Educator Preparation Program and the ISU Graduate College as a degree-seeking student.
  • No more than 9 hours completed as a non-degree student will be accepted toward a graduate degree.

Deadline for spring enrollment is September 1; Deadline for fall or summer enrollment is March 1

Application Forms

There are two applications which must be filled out to apply for the Special Education certificate program:

Tips for Supporting Materials

Three types of information weigh most heavily in the selection process:

  • Academic performance (evaluated through undergraduate and graduate transcripts)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal narrative/statement of intent


The deadlines for reviewing graduate application packages are:

  • September 1 for admission beginning in the spring semester
  • March 1 for admission beginning in the summer session or fall semester

To be considered your application package must be complete by these dates.

  • Note: Please disregard any application acceptance dates that may be listed on the Iowa State University-wide admissions site and continue with your application as prompted through their website. The above admission dates of September 1 for spring semester admission and March 1 for summer or fall semester admission are correct.

Students who miss the application deadlines may register for graduate courses as a non-degree-seeking student. To apply for non-degree status, contact the Office of Admissions or access an online application form on the Graduate College website. You can take a maximum of nine credits as a non-degree student.

Application Package Checklist

A complete application package consists of:

  • Graduate application form and transcripts submitted to the ISU Graduate College
  • The following submitted to submitted the Educator Preparation Program
    • Statement of intent
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Special education supplemental application

It is your responsibility to ensure that the individuals you have asked to write letters of recommendation submit their letters in a timely manner. If you wish to check to see if your application is complete, contact the graduate support specialist.

Need More Information?

Graduate Support Specialist