Master of Science in Special Education

Master of Science in Special Education


Applicants seeking admission to a master's degree program must satisfy the general admission requirements for the School of Graduate Studies and the Special Education Program. The following criteria are required:

  • A one-page, handwritten letter of intent stating professional background, experience and rationale for wanting to be admitted to the department
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A resume
  • A copy of a valid PA teacher certificate, if applicable
  • An official transcript(s)
  • An interview with the chair or program advisor
  • An undergraduate cumulative QPA of 2.8. If average is below 2.8, the student may be admitted provisionally. No Cs may be earned during a probationary period.

The College of Education requires up-to-date documentation on file in the Department of Exceptionality Programs Office of all clearances (i.e., criminal record, child abuse and FBI), TB results and liability insurance coverage prior to enrollment in a course(s).


Students must complete the criteria listed in the College of Education, Policy 3.1 for Advanced Programs prior to the completion of 24 graduate credits. Required GPA, field/diversity experiences, TB screening, child abuse, federal criminal history and criminal record clearances, and liability information is described within the policy. Some requirements must be completed before course work can be initiated (e.g., all clearances, TB results and liability insurance coverage).


Students seeking the M.S. in Special Education must complete requirements as listed below as well as a diversity experience.

M.S. in Special Education Program Worksheet

Requirements — Special Education (M.S.)

  • Choice A: Thesis option — 30 hours course work plus six credits for thesis OR
  • Choice B: Department paper option — 36 hours of course work plus department pape

Prerequisite course requirement (3 credits): SPECED 101 or SPECED 516, or equivalent

Core requirements (15 credits)

    SPECED.502 Principles of Special Education Law
    SPECED.565 Special Education Research Methods I
    SPECED.567 Special Education Research Methods II
    SPECED.575 Seminar in Current Issues in Special Education
    SPECED.591 Practicum in Special Education

Note: PROFSTUD 500 Graduate Professional Seminar is required at the beginning of any COE Graduate Program of Study (0 credits; no fee).

Specialization Area requirements (12-18 credits)

Students enrolled in the M.S. in Special Education program will be required to specialize in a graduate program content area. Depending on their selected specialization students will be required to take 12 to 18 graduate credits in that area.

The approved specialization areas are:

    Special Education (12-15 credits)
    Special Education Supervisory Certification (18 credits + 6 cr. within core requirements = 21 cr. total)
    Behavior Intervention and Support (12 credits)
    Counseling (12 credits)
    Curriculum and Instruction (12 credits)
    Early Intervention (12 credits)
    English Second Language Certificate (12 credits)
    Instructional Technology (12 credits)
    Literacy and Reading (12 credits)

(See Program of Study Worksheet for specific courses within Special Education and other areas of specialization.)


PROFSTUD.599 Master's Research Paper (for graduate students electing Choice A only)

Please contact Alma George, secretary, Department of Exceptionality Programs at 570-389-4074 for more information.