Special Education, MSEd

The Master’s of Science in Education (MSEd) in Special Education is designed for individuals who already hold an initial certificate in Childhood or Adolescent education. The program prepares teachers to enhance their knowledge of disabilities to be more effective in their classroom and also to be specialists in their schools. The program is a 30 credit-hour program that leads to a certificate in Teaching Students with Disabilities.

Special Education masters candidates may choose to pursue the program on a full- or part-time basis. Nine credits is considered full-time study at the graduate level, and candidates may not register for more than three courses in the fall and spring semesters. In addition, candidates are limited to registering for no more than one course in each of the two summer sessions. Candidates enrolled in full time study should plan 18–24 months to complete the program; candidates enrolled part time should plan two–three years to complete the Master of Science in Education in Special Education.


Certified childhood or adolescent teachers who want to become specialists in teaching students with disabilities.

What you learn

Become prepared to work with students who have disabilities. Deepen your knowledge about the characteristics of typical and atypical learners. Learn how to effectively use inclusive practices and differentiated instruction for students with diverse learning needs.

How you learn

The 30-credit master’s program is organized into three interrelated strands that integrate theory, technique, and practice in instruction and assessment. The program culminates in a one-semester, full-time practicum in a classroom setting and a related, teacher-as-researcher course that includes an action research project.

Career outcomes

After completing the program, candidates are eligible for an initial or professional certificate in teaching students with disabilities.

Prerequisites/Admission Requirements

Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution and must submit an official transcript. Minimum GPA of 3.0 (Upon the recommendation of the Dean, graduate faculty admissions committee, or the director of Student Support Services, candidates whose GPA is less than 3.0 may be admitted on a conditional basis, provided that it is determined that the candidate has the necessary knowledge and skills to complete the program successfully.)

Candidates must hold a Provisional or Initial New York State teaching certificate or comparable certificate from another state. The age level of the certificate held at program entry will determine the level of the certification in teaching students with disabilities for which the student will be eligible. Specifically, individuals with certification in teaching students at the childhood level will be eligible for entry into the program leading to certification in teaching students with disabilities in childhood; and those with certification in teaching adolescents may enter the program leading to certification in teaching students with disabilities in adolescent education.

Candidates must also have transcripts demonstrating arts and sciences, content area major, and pedagogical core consistent with our program requirements. For candidates seeking adolescent certification, in addition to meeting the general requirements for the content core, which includes a major, concentration, or the equivalent in one or more of the liberal arts and sciences, additional requirements include six semester hours in each of the following subjects: math, science, English language arts, and social studies to provide an academic foundation to prepare the candidate to teach to the State’s learning standards and to teach in supportive roles such as consultant teachers, resource room service providers, and integrated co-teachers. Two of the courses must be at the 200 or above level.