Master of Science in Special Education

This program is an advanced degree with a strong research focus. This degree may be applied toward the Instructional II certification. 

Many M.S. graduates continue to pursue doctoral degrees.  Students without special education backgrounds can make up deficiency courses if they desire teaching certification. The M.S. includes 6 credits of thesis-related course work in lieu of the practicum required in the M.Ed. program, a written comprehensive exam, and a thesis.

Admission requirements

You may begin in September, January, May, or June at the start of each session.  During the academic year – September through April – we offer classes in a 14-week format, 1 evening a week or a half-day on Saturdays.  Seven-week sessions are offered in the summer.

Application Requirements for Degree and Nondegree Admission 

For admission to the Graduate School, applicants must hold either a bachelor's degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution or a postsecondary degree that is equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree earned from an officially recognized degree-granting international institution.

For degree admission consideration, applicants must:

  • Have a minimum junior/senior grade-point average of 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0);
  • Submit all necessary forms, documentation, and fees;
  • Take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as part of the application process.
  • For more information on how to apply, click here.

Degree requirements

Students will take 30 credits of course work (18 credits must be taken at the 500 level to graduate).

  • 12 credits of core courses:
    • SPLED 573 (3)  Introduction to Research in Special Education
    • EDPSY 400 (3)  Introduction to Statistics in Educational Research (or equivalent)
    • SPLED 600 (6)  Thesis Research
  • 12 credits of special education electives (select 12 credits at the 400 or 500 level from the list below):
    • SPLED 404 (3)  Working with Families and Professionals
    • SPLED 411 (3)  Intervention for Students with Severe Disabilities
    • SPLED 412 (4)  Instruction for Students with Mild Disabilities
    • SPLED 409A (3)  Fundamental Literacy Skills for Students with Special Needs
    • SPLED 409B (3)  Writing and Content Literacy for Students with Special Needs
    • SPLED 409C (3)  Mathematics Instruction for Students with Special Needs
    • SPLED 402 (3)  Human Rights: Historical and Current Issues in Special Education
    • SPLED 501 (3)  Administration & Supervision of Education Programs for
                                Exceptional Children
    • SPLED 510 (3)  Problems in the Education of the Mentally Retarded
    • SPLED 530 (3)  Problems in the Education of the Learning Disabled
    • SPLED 570 (3)  Problems in the Education of the Emotionally Disturbed
    • SPLED 575 (3)  Grant Proposal Development in Special Education
    • SPLED 597 (3)  Special Topic course
    • SPLED 596 (3)  Individual Studies
  • 6 credits of diversification course work in a single discipline outside of special education

Note:  Students will need to see the special education academic adviser to design a plan of study before registering in the program.