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Master of Education in Special Education

There are five M.Ed. programs in special education: early childhood, exceptional learning needs, initial certification, severe intellectual disabilities, and urban multicultural special education. The initial certification program results in licensure as a special education teacher of students with mild to moderate disabilities at either the elementary through middle level or the middle through secondary level.

The early childhood program prepares special education teachers for children with disabilities from birth through kindergarten and for their families. The exceptional learning needs program provides advanced study for special educators with specialization in one of four strands: special education administration, urban multicultural curriculum and instruction, secondary special education, or specialized study in an area of professional interest (i.e., behavioral support). The severe intellectual disabilities program provides preparation and special education licensure for teachers of students with severe disabilities. The urban multicultural program provides advanced preparation for special educators who teach English language learners with disabilities.

M.Ed. Programs in Special Education

Admission Requirements

Admission to FSEHD Masters level programs is determined by the quality of the total application. Applicants must submit the following to the Office of Graduate Programs as a measure of their potential for success in graduate level studies.

  • A completed application and $50.00 nonrefundable fee.
  • One copy of all official transcripts of each undergraduate and graduate record.
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of B (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) in all undergraduate course work. Applicants with undergraduate GPAs less than 3.00 may be admitted to degree candidacy upon submission of other evidence of academic potential.
  • Teaching certificate (for all school related programs except school psychology).
  • For all candidates who apply for a Masters program resulting in an initial teaching certification in special education must submit official standardized test scores (Graduate Record Examination).
    All candidates who apply for a Masters program that does not result in initial teaching certification in special education must submit official standardized test scores (either the Graduate Record Examination or the Miller Analogies Test).
  • Three candidate reference forms WITH 3 accompanying letters of recommendation.
  • Professional goals essay - application essay describing candidate’s commitment to special education, cultural awareness, collaboration, and lifelong learning.
  • Performance-based evaluation.
  • Completion of SPED 300: Introduction to the Characteristics and Education of Children and Youth with Disabilities or its equivalent as determined by an advisor.
  • M.Ed. in Severe Intellectual Disabilities requires RI certification in early childhood, elementary or secondary education or concurrent enrollment in these programs.
  • M.Ed. Early Childhood Birth to Kindergarten requires eligibility for RI certification in early childhood education.
  • M.Ed. Special Education Certification requires RI certification in elementary or secondary education or concurrent enrollment.
  • M.Ed. Exceptional Learning Needs (strands: autism, administration, specialized study in special education, specialized study) requires RI certification in special education.
  • M.Ed. in Urban/Multicultural special education requires RI certification in special education or concurrent enrollment in a special education certification program.
  • An interview.​​​​

Page last updated: December 11, 2019