Application for Admission

IESE Block Applications are now closed.

Please check back in January 2024 for information on the next block application window. Contact [email protected] for help with the Tk20 system.

IESE Eligible Block Application Semesters

IESE Students are eligible to apply in either Fall or Spring Semester.  If accepted, the student will start the blocks the following semester.

Block admission applications are due the sixth Friday of each semester, at 4:00 pm, to begin the major program the following semester.

Major Admission

All students intending to enter the IESE major start out at UMD as a Pre-IESE student.  A Pre-IESE status simply means that the student is completing the necessary courses (liberal education, lower division, and some upper division) and making progress towards completing the admission to the IESE major “blocks” requirements.  Most students apply to the IESE Blocks during their sophomore spring or junior fall semester.  At this time students must meet the major requirements in order to be eligible. Once students meet the admission requirements, students then formally apply for admission into the major (i.e., to the “IESE Blocks”).  The blocks are a total of 5 semesters or 2.5 years.  Once admitted to the blocks students will be required to complete 3 rigorous semesters of a common core including courses in elementary and special education with an emphasis in assessment, management, content area subjects, and teaching strategies.  The final two semesters are student teaching in an elementary classroom setting and a special education setting.

Elementary and special education licensure requirements are established by the state of Minnesota and guided by national standards. Those requirements are changed periodically. For this reason, all IESE majors should maintain contact with their advisor as they advance through the program.

Selection of Candidates 

Acceptance into the Integrated Elementary Special Education Major is selective.  Each candidate must be a declared IESE major.  Students must meet all the admission requirements to be considered for admission into the Integrated Elementary Special Education major.  The number of students admitted to each cohort is limited in order to maintain a high-quality program.  Applicants are selected according to their rank in the application process.

ALL essential components listed below must be completed correctly and submitted on time in order for the application to be accepted.

Faculty Advisor Review

Prior to submitting your application, you must meet with your faculty advisor to review your application.  During this meeting your advisor will review your application in Tk20 and complete their review form to confirm that you are eligible to apply to the blocks. 

You are required to either attend the "Applying to the Blocks" meeting or contact the IESE Program Coordinator, Dr. Michael Young ([email protected]), if you cannot attend for course-related reasons.  Meeting information will be emailed to pre-majors.

Selection Criteria

Please read entire webpage for full explanation of the criteria.

  1. Cumulative GPA (2.7), including transfer credit
  2. Pre-Integrated Elementary Special Education Major GPA (2.7)
  3. At least 30 hours of experience working with K-8 students documented
  4. Three reference forms
  5. Professional statement
  6. Dispositions (professional communication, enthusiasm for learning, responsibility for learning) evident in pre-block coursework.

Candidates are ranked according to achievement within the six categories above. The 30 top candidates are limited to the major each semester.

Application Components to be uploaded into TK20

Block Application Student Instructions

In order to better prepare for your application completion we strongly recommend that you collect these documents as soon as possible.  All documents must be in electronic format  (.pdf, .doc/.docx, .jpg, .png).  The Multimedia Hub in the KPlz 173 can assist with scanning physical documents into a digital format.   When the application period opens, you will then be able to upload these files into your application.

APAS Report or Post Post Bac Contract

  • APAS Report
    • Instructions on how to download the “printer friendly report version”.pdf.  Instructions also guide you through using Adobe Reader’s highlight tool.  Use the highlight tool to indicate the following requirements on your APAS:
      • Cumulative GPA & Major GPA (must be a minimum 2.7, including transfer credit)
      • Cumulative Credits (completed and in progress):  Must be a minimum of 60 credits
      • Lower Division Courses (grades must be C- or better)
        • UST 1000 – Learning in Community
        • ART 2810 – Art for Elementary Education
        • CSD 2230 – Introduction to Human Communication Disorders
        • ECH 2025 – Educating the Human Brain
        • EDUC 1101 – Education in Modern Society
        • IESE 1010 – Introduction to Elementary Education
        • IESE 2001 or EDUC 1100 – Diversity and Education Implications
        • MATH 1140 – Math for Elementary Education I
        • MATH 1142 – Math for Elementary Education II
      • Upper Division Courses (grades must be C- or better)
        • EDUC 2000 – Technology for Teaching and Learning
        • IESE 3331 – Children’s Literature in the Elementary School
        • HPER 3300 or AHS 3300 – Health & PE in the Elementary School
        • MU 3600 – Music in the Elementary Classroom
        • SPED 4433 – Foundations in Special Education
        • WRIT 3140 – Advanced Writing: Human Services
  • Post Bac Contract

Tentative Planner

  • Download the tentative planner and add the terms in which you plan to be in each block and any outstanding coursework remaining during the blocks.  Once completed, make sure to save the tentative planner.

Professional Statement

The Professional Statement is a sample of writing. The required length is two, and not more than three pages, double-spaced, in a 12pt. font such as Times New Roman. It should adhere to MLA or APA formatting, but no cover page is necessary. The use of quotations or other sources should adhere to MLA or APA formatting and citation. Errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and proofreading will be viewed negatively. Use of the Writing Center or other skillful editing support is encouraged, but all work should be your own and adhere to UMD standards for academic writing and academic honesty.

The Professional Statement is an essay written by you that is reviewed to assess your values, dispositions, and commitments as a future teacher, including your ability to communicate effectively in writing. Because good schools and good teachers are essential to a democratic society, we want to see critical thinking, specifics, and an original approach to describing your experiences and beliefs surrounding teaching, learning, and citizenship in society. Your essay will be evaluated in two ways:

  1. As an example of professional communication from the applicant; communication that incorporates critical thinking and writing in response to the prompts. 
  2. As evidence of applicant familiarity with course content required for the major, important ideas about the field of education, teaching and learning, and an ability to integrate such understandings with personal experience(s).

You are encouraged to employ genuine examples from your life, relevant education anecdotes or stories, and even quotations as appropriate.  Avoid clichés or generic statements, such as “I’ve always wanted to be a teacher” and “Learning is the most important thing in schools.”  Where sources are used, avoid ‘Wikipedia’ or generic dictionary quotations.

To assist you in composing your Professional Statement, consider the prompts listed below (not necessarily in the order given). Do not address the prompts as a checklist; take the time to thoughtfully compose your statement in whatever manner best articulates who you are and why you aspire to become a teacher.

The first and second topics MUST be addressed specifically; others are encouraged as you make choices about how best to communicate your experiences and understandings.

  1. Describe your experiences with children/youth and how those experiences have influenced your desire to be a teacher, including evidence of working with other people in collaboration.  For example, you might describe experience, qualities, and/or abilities you possess that you consider to be assets to becoming a teacher.
  2. Diversity: Discuss how experiences and relationships involving diversity have influenced who you understand yourself to be.  Describe your understanding of diversity as it relates to issues of social justice in education, such as what it means to teach all learners.  For example, you might describe experiences you have had in cultures other than your own, relationships with people from cultures other than your own, relationships with people who are differently abled, or experiences with social status, gender, or identity.
  3. Describe your excitement or growth in a subject area or topic for learning; e.g., books, writing, science, the environment, math, the arts, etc., as such enthusiasm relates to your future career educating children.

  4. Describe an experience where you demonstrated initiative in learning a new skill, gaining a new understanding, or taking a risky or unpopular stand.

Your Professional Statement will be evaluated by IESE faculty using this checklist of required items and rubric.

3 Recommendations Forms & 30 hours of experience with K-Grade 6 elementary aged children (K-Grade 6) or students with disabilities (K-Grade 12).

  • Applicants must submit a record of minimum of 30 hours of experience working with elementary aged children (K-Grade 6) or students with disabilities (K-Grade 12).
  • Applicants are required to submit 3 recommendation forms from references who can attest to the applicant's ability to work with children. 
    • Recommendation Form
    • Reference must include: 
      • At least one person who has supervised work with children and at least one reference related to working with children in a diverse setting (diversity settings include: cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic, special needs, etc).
      • At least one within the last two years.
      • At least one classroom setting

References from non-educational settings (college faculty, babysitting, nanny positions, and/or references from relatives) will receive lower points in the assessment process. 

Block Admission Notification

Block admission decisions will be sent to students' UMD emails.