How to Apply

The Department of Special Education seeks a diverse student body that is academically well-prepared for graduate school, committed to the development of new knowledge, and interested in improving professional practice. The number of students accepted into our graduate program each year reflects the limits of our academic training resources. Since interest in the study and profession in special education continues to grow, competition for admission is keen. In reviewing applications for admission, our faculty considers all sources of information: previous academic preparation, Graduate Record Examination score, grade-point average, recommendations, and evidence that an applicant's background, interests, and goals are compatible with those of the area of specialization to which they are applying.

Application Deadlines

Priority Deadline

Complete your application by December 1 to be considered for financial support. This applies to both Masters and Doctoral applicants. 

Rolling Admissions Deadlines

Some program areas are still accepting applications for Fall 2020. Please contact the Graduate Program Administrator for details.

  • Basic Requirements

    There are basic requirements to be met before you can be considered for admission:

    1. A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in the U.S. or proof of equivalent training at a foreign institution if applying for the master’s program, if applying for the Doctoral, then you will need a bachelor’s plus a master’s degree from an accredited institution in the U.S. or proof of equivalent training at a foreign institution.
    2. A satisfactory grade-point average (GPA), particularly during the last two years of college and in any graduate study previously undertaken. The minimum required GPA for the Graduate School is 3.0.
    3. Official Test Scores GRE required of all applicants. International applicants must take either the TOEFL or the Academic Examination of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). More information is available below.

    4. Adequate Preparation Your records must reflect adequate subject preparation for your proposed graduate major. 

  • Application Procedures

    All prospective graduate students are required to apply to the state application system ApplyTexas. This application is used to apply to all Texas state universities and colleges. Here, students will input biographical information, previous education, and essays.

    After the ApplyTexas application is submitted, the Graduate School will review your application. You will be sent an email confirming their application submission within 1-2 days after submission. This email will also contain the applicant’s login information (UT EID) for the MyStatus page. MyStatus answers questions like:

    • Is my application complete?
    • What's missing?
    • Do I need to submit a CV? Another essay? A transcript?
    • Did you receive my test scores?
    • Did I upload this document successfully? Can I delete and re-upload this document?
    • Have you received my letters of recommendation? How can I change my recommenders?
    • Why was my transcript declined?

    Applicants complete their Application Form by uploading the following items to ApplyTexas:

    Application Fee

    The nonrefundable application fee is $65.00 for US applicants; $90.00 for International applicants. Fee waivers are available for those who are eligible.


    Transcripts are required for each senior college attended. A PDF of the official transcript can be uploaded, but an official transcript from that college will be required after acceptance to a program. Each transcript can be uploaded only once, so please make sure you have the correct and full version of each transcript before uploading. Learn more about how to submit your transcripts from the Graduate School's site.

    Official GRE Scores

    GRE scores should be submitted directly through ETS. On test day, you will be able to designate which universities you would like your scores to be sent to. If you need additional scores sent, you should do so through the ETS website.

    Letters of Recommendation

    Our department requires three letters of recommendation. Recommenders will be notified by email with instructions on how to upload their letters once you have submitted and paid for your application. Letters should come from professors who are familiar with the applicant's academic performance and potential.

    Statement of Purpose

    This essay describes the applicant's interests and commitment to the goals and curriculum of the program area they are applying to. It is recommended to address not only the applicant’s personal and academic background but also their academic and professional goals. The applicant can also address a specific area of research interest or to work with a member of the Special Education faculty. Links to our faculty profiles of can be found on our the faculty listing page.

    This statement should be no longer than 3 pages double-spaced. It should be submitted online as a part of the Application Form.

    Curriculum Vitae or Resume

    A recommended length of no more than 3 pages. The resume or CV should include:

    • post-high school education
    • relevant work or volunteer experience (indicate amount of time)
    • honors received
    • research experience
    • conference presentations
    • publications
  • International Applicants

    In addition to the requirements for graduate students, international students have some additional requirements.

    Official TOEFL/IELTS Scores (International Applicants Only)

    Students applying from other countries should submit either their Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Scores. The recommended minimum scores provided by the Graduate School are:

    • TOEFL: 79 on the Internet-based test (iBT)
    • IELTS: An overall band of 6.5 on the Academic Examination

    High Incidence Disabilities with Certification Requirement

    The required minimum scores for acceptance into the High Incidence Disabilities (HID) area with teacher certification are:

    • 22 in listening,
    • 21 in writing,
    • 22 in reading, and
    • 24 in speaking.

    These scores must be evident with the application to the HID area due to standards set by the Texas Education Agency.

    English Language Evaluation (International Applicants)

    All new international students with undergraduate degrees from non-English-speaking universities are required to undergo a brief evaluation for speaking and writing English (English Second Language evaluation). This helps us better serve the needs of our international students and the faculty who work with them.

    The International Office will conduct the English language evaluation during International Student Orientation. This evaluation is done at no cost to the student. If the student does not pass one of the two evaluations, they will be required to take an English Second Language course during their first semester at UT. If the student is required to take two English Second Language courses, they must take one course the first semester and the second course the next semester. 

  • Financial Support

    Financial support for first-year students is very limited. Applicants in need of financial support are urged to contact the Office of Student Financial Services. The Graduate School can provide additional information regarding financial assistance for graduate students.

    All admission applications completed by December 1 will be automatically considered for departmental AND university-level fellowships. A separate financial aid application for these fellowships is not required. Applicants cannot self-nominate for department fellowships; a Fellowship Committee makes these nominations.

    Learn more on our Financial Support page

  • Application Status

    MyStatus (UT EID required) will let you see what application materials are missing, as well as allow you to upload required documents. Please use this online status check to monitor your application status. 

    Note: Even though the application is submitted online, it still takes two to three days for your information to appear in our departmental system. Students will receive a confirmation email as soon as the department receives the application.

  • After Your Decision

    Applicants may be admitted, admitted with conditions, or denied admission. Learn more on the Graduate School website.