Concordia University – Wisconsin

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1536_frontConcordia University – Wisconsin, often abbreviated CUW, is a private Lutheran institution of higher learning residing in Mequon, Wisconsin. It is affiliated with The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. It is dedicated to assisting students enhance their mind, body, and spirit to provide Christ-centered service in both the church and the world. Its core values include: Christ-centered, truth and integrity, excellence, and service. The university’s mission is intertwined in all programs, courses, residence hall, and chapel service. CUW is also committed to preparing students to expertly apply their vocational knowledge in written and spoken word of Christ in all of their endeavors. Concordia University-Wisconsin was founded in 1881 as Concordia College. Located in the basement of Trinity Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 13 Lutheran students began their instruction. The permanent campus opened a year later in 1882. In 1886, the college received a charter from the state to offer high school and two years of liberal arts higher education. From about 80 years, the college operated in this manner. In the 1960s and 1970s, ministry was incorporated into the educational programs and business and secretarial courses were also added. In 1978, the college was authorized to become a four-year accredited institution. In 1982, the college purchased the former campus of the School Sisters of Notre Dame and established its current location in Mequon, Wisconsin. In 1989, Concordia College became Concordia University Wisconsin and it was the first university in the Missouri Synod college system. In 2014, Concordia University Online established the first online master’s in education degree in the country. Today the university is home to nearly 8,300 students, and it offers 35 certificates and licenses, nine associate degree programs, 70 bachelor’s degree programs, 39 master’s degree programs, four doctorate and professional programs. Its areas of study include arts and science, education, business administration, nursing, pharmacy, health professions, and education. The U.S. News and World Report ranks Concordia University – Wisconsin number 56 in its 2017 Regional Universities Midwest. Concordia University – Wisconsin’s Online Master of Science in Education-Special Education was ranked number 28 in the nation and number one in the state of Wisconsin by

Accreditation Details

The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Application Requirements


  • Submit online application
  • Submit official transcripts from all secondary and postsecondary institutions
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5
  • Submit standardized test scores, ACT composite of 18 or higher or SAT equivalent of 870 or higher for combined critical reading and math.
  • Pay the non-refundable application fee of $35


  • Submit online application
  • Submit official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Complete admission requirements for specific graduate program
  • Pay non-refundable application fee
  • Submit a one-page essay describing reason for obtaining a graduate degree
  • Submit a resume of education and employment experience

Tuition and Financial Aid

Concordia University – Wisconsin participates in a variety of financial aid programs to help students pay for their higher education. The financial aid programs are based on financial need, academic merit, field of study, area of residence, and underrepresented minorities. Approximately 98 percent of undergraduate students receive some type of financial aid. The financial aid programs include scholarships and grants, federal and state programs, and private student loans.

Institutional Programs:

  • Concordia Grants
  • Concordia Academic Scholarships
  • Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Grants
  • Church Work Scholarship
  • Early FAFSA Filing Grant

Federal Programs:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Work Study – (on-campus part-time employment)
  • Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Student Loans
  • Federal Parent PLUS Loan
  • Federal Graduate PLUS Loan

State Programs:

  • Wisconsin Minority Grant
  • Wisconsin Tuition Grant
  • Wisconsin TIP Grant
  • Michigan Tuition Grant
  • Michigan TIP Grant

Online Degrees Available

Concordia University – Wisconsin prides itself on its open and supportive online learning environment. It strives to provide students with convenient and flexible course options that enable them to complete their degree at their own pace. CUW offers an online Master of Science in Education in Special Education program. The program is intended to prepare current teachers and students to achieve amazing things. It features in-depth instruction to prepare students to work with children of varying ages with special needs in many different types of learning environments. Students have the ability to select a particular focus on special education: early childhood or cross categorical. Both focuses provide students with the ability to recognize and evaluate individuals with exceptional needs and generate teaching methods that enable them to reach their maximum potential in their learning and development.

The program is very flexible, as students have the ability to complete only the Master of Science degree, special education licensure only, or the Master of Science degree and licensure. The curriculum is established to meet the standards of all Wisconsin and Council for Exceptional Children for licensure. Both the early childhood and cross categorical tracks require the completion of 16 credits of core courses, practicum and seminar experiences, and three portfolio courses. Courses in the early childhood focus include curriculum and program for early childhood special education, language acquisition and literacy 0-3; preschool/primary, evaluation techniques in early childhood special education, and characteristics and procedural safeguards in special education. Courses in the cross categorical focus include characteristics and procedural safeguards in special education, life span and development of children with disabilities, reading diagnosis and instruction in special education, curricular adaptations for learners with disabilities, and consultation, collaboration, and teaming. Students in both concentrations must also complete a course in educational research methods, a graduate capstone project, and a thesis competition seminar. Additional support courses are required for those without an adaptive education minor or those who do not hold a current special education license.

The early childhood special education licensure program allows graduates to teach children from birth through eight years old. They will have the ability to provide early intervention services, develop individualized education plans, and create individualized family service plans. The cross categorical special education licensure program allows graduates to tach children with intellectual disabilities, emotional-behavioral disabilities, and specific learning disabilities. Graduates of this focus can also gain various licensure, such as Middle Childhood to Early Adolescence ages six to 13, Early Adolescence to Adolescence ages 10 to 21, or both. Since there is a nationwide shortage of special education teachers, after graduation, graduates of Concordia University – Wisconsin often qualify for loan reduction or loan cancellation.

Related Resource: 50 Most Affordable Online Masters in Special Education Degree Programs 2015

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