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For Current TCNJ Students: Transfer into the Five-Year Secondary Special Education Program


The Program Coordinator evaluates applications from students who wish to transfer into the Secondary Special Education program from another education program such as a Four-Year Secondary Education Program or the Five-Year Elementary Special Education Program. (See below if you are interested in transferring into an education major from a non-education program.

Internal transfer applications are reviewed in October and February. Incoming freshmen may not apply to transfer into the Secondary Special Education program during their first semester at TCNJ. Interested Freshmen must wait to apply until the Spring semester of their first year. Interested Sophomore and Junior candidates may apply in Fall or Spring semester.

Applicants make an appointment to see Dr. Peel, coordinator of the Secondary Special Education program for an interview. During this interview, the five-year program is explained, and questions are answered. The applicant is then asked to complete an application (obtained online or in the Department of Special Education, Language, and Literacy) and submit it by the indicated deadline. Applications are evaluated based on current GPA and response to the essay question contained in the application; the latter is also used as a writing sample.

The following criteria will be used to determine admission for limited spaces: 

    • 2.5 GPA (2.75 to remain in program, 3.0 to student teach, 3.3 to overload)
    • B- in SPE 103 (Social and Legal Foundations of Special Ed), EFN 299 (Schools, Communities and Culture), or SED 224 (Adolescent Learning Development)
    • Complete application including 400-500 word essay

Applicants are notified if they were selected for admission prior to the start of registration for the upcoming semester. Accepted internal transfer students will meet with Dr. Peel (who will serve as their initial advisor) during the registration period.

Some additional clarifying information is noted below:

  1. Not all students applying for admission can be accepted due to limited space in our program, academic challenges (most students accepted have at least a 3.0), poor writing skills based upon the essay questions, and potential disposition problems that may result in an unsuccessful academic experience.
  2. Students who are not currently in an education program or who want to change their content major will need to complete a separate application to transfer into the content education major. For example, if you are currently an Accounting major and want to transfer into the Five-Year Secondary Math Special Education program, you will need to apply to both Math Education and Secondary Special Education Programs. You should begin this process by making an appointment to speak with the following coordinator:
      • Math Education: Dr. Cathy Liebars
      • English Education: Dr. Emily Meixner
      • History Education: Dr. Michael Marino
      • Biology Education: Dr. Matthew Wund
  3. Students may take SPE 103 (Social and Legal Foundations of Special Ed), EFN 299 (Schools, Communities and Culture), or SED 224 (Adolescent Learning Development) while their application is being considered.  A minimum grade of B- must be attained in each of these courses before being permitted to take upper-level special education courses.  In addition, no upper-level education courses can be taken without admission to the program as a Secondary Special Education Major.
  1. Students must have satisfactorily completed (or been waived from) FSP, WRI 102, and SPE 103 before they can be formally admitted to the Secondary Special Education program. Students may be provisionally accepted to the Secondary Special Education program until this coursework is completed.   

The deadline for Fall internal transfer applications is 10/5. The deadline for Spring internal transfer applications is 2/15. Please email Anne Peel ( for more information or with any questions.