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Special Education (BSE)

USF teacher writing on the board.

Why study special education?

Be a teacher for all children! USF’s Special Education program will give you the skills, knowledge, and classroom experience needed to serve today’s diverse classrooms. Through expert instruction and extensive field experience (300 hours plus student teaching), you will learn how to reach and inspire students of all abilities and learning styles — from Pre-K through grade 12.

I was hired into a teaching position before I graduated. I was halfway through my student placement when I was offered the job. I credit the university and my professors — they prepared me better than I could have imagined!

Jordyn Rigler ’17
Special Education Teacher
Northside High School

USF’s Special Education curriculum will prepare you for all aspects of the classroom. By utilizing the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), you will develop lessons that meet the needs of all, thereby inspiring students to reach their highest levels of learning.

As you near graduation, you’ll be prepared to take the Special Education licensure exam for the state of Indiana.

Take the first step:
Request Information

In the Field

As a Special Education major, you’ll get in the field your first semester — and will complete more than 300 hours prior to the semester-long student teaching placement! You will:

  • Practice and experience working with students from diverse backgrounds in public, private, charter, & religious schools; in urban, suburban, and rural settings
  • Apply the knowledge and skills learned in your coursework
  • Learn from many cooperating teachers and mentors
  • Build your confidence as you build your professional knowledge & skills

Student Teaching Semester: You will be paired with a professional teacher for a full semester of experience and support.

The Result: 99% of USF teachers are consistently rated as being “effective” or “highly effective” by their school principals.

Career Outlook & Success


of USF Education graduates are hired as teachers in the first semester after graduation.


expected job growth by 2026


Median pay per U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Professional Opportunities & Connections

Because teachers are lifelong learners, our program connects students to a variety of professional development opportunities, two of which are hosted by USF.

  • Best Practices Showcase highlights teachers who demonstrate outstanding professional practice. Learn from the Best!
  • Northeast Literacy Council promotes the improvement of literacy instruction through professional development and awards.

Strong Student Community

Education majors participate in Educators in Action (EIA) and Alpha Theta Epsilon, student organizations that promote professionalism and comradery. The organizations engage and deepen students’ relationships with the profession and community.


The Antoinette V. Murray Cougar Classroom gives Education majors everything they need to prepare lessons and student teach. The lab is equipped with the latest technology, educational resources, and materials.


The Department of Education is accredited by the Indiana Department of Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), which was previously known as the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Ready to start?

Apply Now

Your first step to becoming a USF Cougar is applying for admission. our online application makes the process as convenient as possible.

Apply Now

Vist USF

Whether you know what you want to see, who you want to meet or are just exploring your options, we will personalize your campus visit to fit your needs.

Visit USF

Academic Plan

An academic plan is a general blueprint showing how one might complete the degree, semester by semester. Get an idea on what each semester could look like.

View Elementary Education Plan

View Mild Intervention Plan