Severe Disabilities Certification Program

The Severe Disabilities Program (30 credit hours) prepares individuals to work with students having severe disabilities from birth through grade 12. This program is for those interested in becoming certified in severe disabilities in the state of Maryland. Major competency areas addressed in the program include:

  • Functional academic, community, and behavioral assessment
  • Inclusion in general education classrooms
  • Methods for accessing the general curriculum and alignment with Maryland Common Core Curriculum
  • Universal design of learning/assistive technology
  • Social and self-determination skills
  • Advocacy & support to families of individuals with disabilities
  • Collaboration among families and professionals

This option is ONLY for teachers with a special education certificate. Coursework and field experiences are offered to obtain Maryland State Department of Education certification in severe disabilities. This option requires individualized advising by a faculty member in Special Education-Severe Disabilities to determine the program of study. A copy of a valid MSDE Generic Special Education Certificate must be uploaded to the graduate application. This program can be done either as a full or part time student.

Severe Disabilities Certification Program Sequence

Admission Requirements

Complete the online Graduate School Application.

  1. A grade point average of 3.0 or better (based on a 4.0 system) from an accredited undergraduate institution;
  2. A grade point average of 3.5 or better in any previous graduate work from an accredited institution;
  3. All students applying to MEd degree or AGS program must take and pass the Basic Skills examination and meet the State of Maryland passing criteria. Information about the praxis can be found at http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/about/Pages/DEE/Certification/testing_info/praxis1.aspx
  4. Those applying to MA degree program must have a score on the Graduate Record Exam or MAT at or above the 40th percentile rank;
  5. Three (3) letters of recommendation from individuals with direct knowledge of the applicant's academic capabilities, work experience, and professional characteristics;
  6. A statement of career goals including:
    • relevant background information, professional experiences, certification status;
    • if not certified, whether you wish to be certified in special education;
    • intended area of study if seeking the Master’s Specialty Program (e.g., Learning Disabilities, Behavior Disorders, Early Childhood, Severe Disabilities; Transition); and
    • other information the candidate feels is pertinent to the decision of the admissions committee; and
  7. Evidence of writing skills via the statement of career goals and educational interests
  8. Students applying for teacher certification will be contacted for an in-person or phone interview
  9. For international applicants, minimum TOEFL scores of 100 are required.

For more information visit the graduate admission requirements webpage. Select an area of interest from the various offerings in the College of Education to determine the admission requirements and deadlines.  If you are unsure of your area of interest you may request information by submitting an Inquiry Form.  

MEd/Certification Deadlines:
*Fall Domestic: March 5

Admission Procedures

  1. Review the EDSP admission requirements for MA, MEd, and AGS graduate students in the Special Education Master's Degree Programs Handbook.
  2. Contact faculty members associated with concentration area if you have specific questions or wish to discuss an area in more detail
  3. Complete Enrollment Rx graduate online application (Please select ALL Areas of Interests to ensure your application will be directed to the appropriate program for review). In your goal statement, specify your research interests and professional goals. You may request a specific faculty advisor if appropriate.
  4. All application materials must be received before the Special Education Program's Graduate Admission Committee Reviews the applicant's materials. This includes your Basic Test scores for MEd degree or GRE/MAT scores for MA degree.
  5. The Graduate Admission Committee recommends admit or reject. The final decision is made by the graduate school. Provisional acceptance may be recommended for a limited number of applicants.

Please refer to the Guide to Applying for instructions on how to apply for graduate admission. If you have questions or concerns, we ask you to first review our list of Frequently Asked Questions.  For questions about the application process, or to check on the completion of your application please contact:

Judy Foster, Coordinator of Graduate Admissions
Office of Student Services, College of Education
(301) 405-2359                  

After you apply for graduate admission you may check your application status by logging into the online graduate application using your user name and password.  Graduate faculty in the Academic Department you applied to will review your completed application for graduate admission.  Questions regarding application reviews and decision recommendations should be directed to Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education (CHSE).  Please contact:

Carol Scott, Coordinator of Graduate Studies
Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education
(301) 405-8384

Please contact Dr. Francey Kohl flkohl@umd.edu, or (301) 405-6490.

Visit the College of Education Scholarship opportunities webpage. 

Visit the Graduate School Fellowship and Graduate Assistantship web page for additional funding opportunities 

For information about other student financial aid, review the Office of the Student Financial Aid website.

Dr. Francey Kohl, Program Director (flkohl@umd.edu)

Carol Scott, Coordinator (cscott18@umd.edu)