Master of Arts in Urban Special Education, Initial Licensure

The Master of Arts in Urban Special Education program is designed for students seeking to be certified in Cross Categorical Special Education at the middle and high school level and desire to teach in diverse settings and urban environments. Our program serves students recruited by Teach for America who work towards licensure while they serve as teachers of record within Milwaukee area schools.  We also accept students who are not affiliated with Teach for America, who might be interested in teaching in urban schools and want to earn a teaching license in the area of cross categorical special education at the middle or high school level.  Students who are not affiliated with Teach for America, can either obtain their own employment within a special education classroom while attending our program, or, if necessary, we can place them in urban special education environments as they work to meet the requirements of the program. 

Unique to our program is the assignment of a mentor to each teacher candidate throughout the duration of the program.  The mentor supports each teacher candidate within their classroom on a weekly basis and helps them navigate their role as a special education teacher as well as apply the content they are learning in their university courses. Students in this program will earn their licensure in two years.  They have the option to take 6 credits and earn their Master’s degree as well as their licensure or they can choose licensure only.

Courses Are Available

Face to Face
Main Campus

Program Details

●  Credits: 24
​●  Cost per Credit: $680 (2017-18)

Additional Information

The Master of Arts in Urban Special Education is designed for students who want to obtain a Cross Categorical Special Education (#801) license. Licensure may be earned at either the Middle Childhood to Early Adolescence (1-8th grade) or Early Adolescence to Adolescent level (6-12th grade).  This is a post-baccalaureate program for individuals who desire to work with learners in special education programs in high need schools.  It has an urban focus that aims to prepare teachers to teach in culturally and linguistically diverse settings.

Application Process and Requirements

Academic and Professional Requirements

  • Prior Education
    • A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
    • A grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale (conditional acceptance may be granted)
  • Professional Credentials and Competency
    • Passing scores in all three sections of the Praxis Core (A passing score within the past 10 years on the ACT, SAT or GRE can be accepted in place of the Praxis Core. Please see the program handbook for detailed information regarding passing scores) No exceptions are made to this requirement. Students may retake test sections as many times as necessary to achieve a passing score
    • Passing score on either the Praxis II: Elementary Content (for EC-MC: PK-6th grade license level)  OR the Praxis II: Middle School Content Knowledge Test  (for MC-EA: 1-8 license level)
    • Access to classroom environment for at least 4 hours per day (either through current employment working under emergency licensure, as a paraprofessional or volunteer hours) and full-day access for one semester of student teaching

Admissions Application and Transcripts

  • Complete the Admissions Application
    Submit the admissions application which is free to complete online. Applications for this program are reviewed on a rolling basis, however, for priority admission consideration please submit all materials by:
    • July 15 for the fall semester
  • Request Transcripts
    • Have official transcripts from each college or university you attended delivered directly to the Office of Admissions. Cardinal Stritch University alumni and current students should inquire with the admission counselor about locating transcripts already on file.
    • Transcripts from institutions outside of the United States require a course-by-course evaluation with GPA. Request the official report from ECE or WES to be sent directly to the Office of Admissions. Allow time for the evaluation to be completed since it could take up to 4-6 weeks to be created.
  • Information for International Students
    If your prior education was not conducted in English, you must demonstrate proficiency with acceptable scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or an ESL program. Review the language and academic requirements to know if you are prepared for studying at Stritch. We can also help you obtain an F-1 student visa.

Official Test Scores

Candidates must submit scores from one of the following tests. Applicants can use scores from the ACT, SAT or GRE in place of the Core.
  • Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core)
    Request that an official copy of your Core scores be sent to our Office of Graduate Admissions. As of September 1, 2014, the Wisconsin Administrative Code PI 34 requires that all candidates in an initial licensure program pass the Core in reading, writing and math. The passing score for each test is: Reading 156, Writing 162, Math 150. Applicants who earned passing scores on a Praxis I/PPST subtest prior to September 1, 2014, may submit those scores in place of the Core. Applicants may be admitted with a combination of passing scores on the Praxis/PPST and Core tests. Contact the Graduate Admissions office for more information. These tests are administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS) and are offered by appointment at Prometric Testing Centers. Official scores are available two to three weeks after taking the tests. Registration for the Core is required online at
  • ACT Test
    Composite Score of 23 with minimum score of 20 on English, Math, and Reading. Scores must have been received within 10 years of the acceptance date into this education program.
  • SAT Test
    Composite Score of 1070 with minimum score of 450 on Math and Verbal. Scores must have been received within 10 years of the acceptance date into this education program.
  • GRE Revised General Test
    Composite Score of 298 with minimum score of 150 on Verbal and 145 on Math. Only scores after 8/11/2011 will be accepted.

Two Attitude and Disposition Questionnaires

Attitude and disposition questionnaires should be completed by two individuals who know you in a professional or academic relationship (i.e., supervisors, colleagues, advisors).

Personal Essay

Your personal essay should be typed, double-spaced and two pages in length. Please tell us why you want to pursue teaching, the path you have taken to get here, and the dedication you will have to the program.

Send Application Materials to Admissions

Submit the application online and mail additional materials to:

Cardinal Stritch University
Graduate Admissions
6801 N. Yates Road, #516
Milwaukee, WI  53217-3985

Transfer Credits You Already Earned

A maximum of nine graduate credits may be transferred from another accredited degree-granting institution. Download our guide that explains credit acquisition.

Contact Your Counselor

Begin the admission process with Kristina or contact her to follow-up on your current application.

Kristina Meekins

(414) 410-4061 or (800) 347-8822

Funding Your Education

Stritch is competitively priced to make graduate education affordable. Counselors in our Financial Aid Office know that each student is unique and they are dedicated to helping identify ways to help students fund their education. Learn more about our tuition and the financial aid process.


Alumni Network

Students, families, and employers know Stritch as a university that helps students find their mission, develop new skills, gain relevant career experience, and expand their professional networks. With a network of more than 34,000 graduates, our alumni are successful in their roles at nonprofits, schools, small companies, health care organizations, corporations, and entrepreneurial ventures.

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