Special Education - Elementary Education (IDS: Teacher Preparation) (BS)

Teacher Prep in Special Education This program awards a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Teacher Preparation: Special Education.

In order to meet the Commonwealth of Virginia's need for well-trained and well-qualified special education teachers, you will be eligible for Virginia Licensure when you receive your Bachelor’s degree in the IDS-TP Special Education emphasis from the College of Arts and Letters. You will also be Highly Qualified in elementary education.

This program is intended for students in Virginia and Washington state.


Talk with an advisor to determine how your credits will transfer. A curriculum sheet can serve as a guide for planning your course of study. Download a curriculum sheet from the IDS web site (referred to as the SPEL program). 

Early field experiences, including observation, practica, and/or student teaching, are required during normal school hours. Map out your education with this program's Long Range Schedule (PDF). 

For additional course information, please see the department's website.

Learning Environment

Courses in this program are offered in this technology:

Online synchronous: Access course material online from any location and participate in live, regularly scheduled online class meetings.

Practicum / Internship: A practicum or internship is a required part of this program.

Admission Information

This is a degree completion programThis program is intended for students in Virginia and Washington state.

For this program, you will need to be accepted into ODU as a degree-seeking student. A minimum GPA of 2.8 is required for admission, continuance, and graduation. Additionally, a grade of "C" or better must be earned in all courses required for the program.

Effective January 1, 2014 all students seeking admission to approved teacher education programs must take the Praxis Core. Passing scores on Praxis I achieved by December 31, 2013 continue to be valid and accepted for admission to approved teacher education programs.

Teacher candidates registering for a course that requires a field experience as part of the approved professional education program must obtain a clearance prior to starting the field experience. This process may take up to eight weeks. Follow the instructions for completing this process at ODU Field Experience Clearance Procedures.

Please note that General Education courses that are departmental requirements are not met by the Associate's degree. Explore the VCCS Transfer Guide or Monarch TRANSFERmation to see how courses you've completed may transfer to ODU. To have an advisor review your transcripts, contact your nearest ODU extended classroom site or call 1.800.968.2638.

For more detailed admission information, please see the department's website.


Partnerships  Save time, save money, and earn guaranteed acceptance into ODU. Earn your associate's degree at a community college and complete a bachelor’s degree online at Old Dominion.

You also may be able to get your associate’s degree online from John Tyler Community College or Northern Virginia Community College. Thanks to our partnerships, your entire undergraduate program could be completed online! Click to learn more.

Teaching Careers

  • Teaching: Primary, Elementary, Secondary 
  • With addtional training, experience, and/or education: School Administration: Principalship, Superintendency,  Media/Library/Information Services, Curriculum Supervision, Subject Area Supervision

Note for students in Washington State from the Student Achievement Council:

"Eligibility for initial education certification in Washington is based on completion of a state approved educator preparation program. This program is approved in Virginia and is authorized for field placements in Washington by the Professional Educators Standards Board. Even though you may be residing in Washington while in this program, your application for educator certification in Washington will be processed as an out-of-state application. Go to http://pathway.pesb.wa.gov/outofstate for more information. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for teacher advancement."

Calculating Cost

Undergraduate Distance Learning Tuition Classification Cost per credit hour
Virginia residents (with Virginia domicile) $316
Students living outside of Virginia $345
* In Virginia but without Virginia domicile $874

Rates are effective Fall 2015 and subject to change. Please visit ODU's main Admission & Financial Aid web site for complete tuition details.

For questions about domicile or “in-state” status as it applies to tuition rates, please click here.