Special Education Initial and Additional Licensure

Picture of teacher instructing children

Online-Hybrid special education licenses (ABS, ASD)

There’s never been a better time to earn your special education license and become an advocate for innovative teaching. Schools nationwide are eager to hire special education teachers to help their students thrive and receive the specialized instruction they need.

You'll find your sense of purpose as an educational professional in this high-demand field, whether you're entering a new career in teaching, just beginning your studies, or are a practicing teacher expanding your capabilities. As a licensed special education teacher, you will:

  • Gain the ability to work with diverse special needs students and advocate for them in any school setting
  • Add a high-demand skill set to your resume and fill much-needed special education job positions

Special education license programs overview

Are courses online or on campus? Fall term starts:
The initial or additional ABS or ASD licensure programs can be completed fully online if you begin the program fall term.

Spring and summer term starts:
If you begin the program in the spring or summer term, the program is hybrid and includes online and on-campus courses. Online courses meet synchronously on weeknights from 5:30-9 p.m. On-campus courses are held on weeknights from 5:30-9 p.m. You can expect to take 2-4 classes on campus. Field experiences and practica take place in person during the school day, often in your current classroom.
When can I start? You can start your initial licensure/MAT or additional licensure in special education fall, spring, or summer term.
How much will it cost? Hamline scholarships and discounts are available to some students. Outside funding and other financial aid are also available. Most graduate students use low-interest loans as a valuable way to pay for tuition and other living expenses.

For more information on the cost of tuition per credit, see the School of Education and Leadership tuition page.
What licenses areas are offered? You can pursue the licenses for academic behavioral strategist or autism spectrum disorder.


Special education: Academic Behavioral Strategist license

Earn a license and learn to skillfully manage today’s diverse classrooms, including those with students diagnosed with mild to moderate learning or other disabilities. Students who already hold a teaching license can complete the program in two semesters.

Explore initial licensure courses 
Explore additional licensure courses

Special education: Autism Spectrum Disorder license

Learn how to teach, communicate with, and advocate for students with autism spectrum disorder, and earn a license that’ll make you a sought-after teacher in districts statewide.

Explore initial licensure courses
Explore additional licensure courses

Categorical license option

Do you already hold a valid Minnesota special education teaching license and want to specialize in either ABS or ASD? We have a pathway for you.

Explore categorical license courses

Flexibility and community with our hybrid format

Hamline’s hybrid programs are designed to accommodate working adults, including:

  • Practicing teachers wanting to specialize with an additional license
  • Paraprofessionals ready to move into a teaching position
  • Initial licensure students seeking a high-value license

We offer foundational education courses for the initial license online or in person. Courses specific to the special education license are available online, and you can customize your in-person clinical experiences to meet your needs.