Special Education Master & Certification (M.Ed.) Programs

The courses prepare teachers to assume the increasingly complex and sophisticated responsibilities of a teacher of students with and without disabilities. To ensure preparation for diverse classroom settings and needs, faculty embed self-reflection, advocacy, critical consciousness, and cultural competence throughout the program of study. Teacher candidates will be prepared to teach students with support students at-risk, students in need of intervention, and students with mild to severe disabilities, across disability categories. Distinctive programmatic features include:

  • Focus on Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorders, Learning Disabilities, Behaviors Disorders, Physical Disabilities, Intellectual Disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Developmental Delays, and Physical and Other Health Impairments.
  • Focus on collaboration with related service providers and general educators
  • Rigorous and relevant coursework to develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for successful teaching careers in special education 
  • Focus on evidence based instructional practices and decision making
  • Year Long Internship (Field Experience) in inclusive, diverse classrooms

Applications are due April 15. Click here for admission information

Please select ALL Areas of Interests to ensure your application will be directed to the appropriate program for review.

Special Education Master's Degree Programs Handbook

Master's students are assigned a faculty advisor when admitted. They must attend an advising session each semester to ensure registration is continuous and they are registered for the required courses in their certification sequence. Students must progress timely through their program sequence and field placements. Additionally they must receive satisfactory evaluations from field placement supervisors on the College of Education Foundational Competencies each semester they are enrolled in or they will not be eligible to continue in the special education certification program.

M.Ed. Elementary/Middle Special Education Teacher Preparation Program - Grades 1-8

The 1 Year Full Time Option (39-42 credit hours):  Elementary/Middle Special Education Teacher Preparation Program - Grades 1-8

The Elementary/Middle Special Education Teacher Preparation Master’s Certification Program is designed to prepare professionals to work with students with disabilities in Grades 1 through 8 and to collaborate with their families and other educational personnel. This includes children with learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, behavior disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, and physical and other health impairments. Teacher candidates in the program develop skills to:

  • Assess the academic and social strengths and limitations of elementary and middle school aged students with disabilities
  • Plan individualized educational lessons/instruction and support services that promote inclusive experiences and independent performance
  • Individualize, implement, and evaluate evidenced based instructional methods
  • Organize learning environments designed to meet individual needs
  • Foster participation in the general education curriculum
  • Use universal design for learning, accommodations, modifications, and assistive technology to support educational outcomes
  • Collaborate with general educators, support professionals (e.g., speech, occupational, physical therapists), students, and their families
  • Advocate for services and educational opportunities for elementary and middle school students with disabilities

The 1 Year Full Time Option (39-42 credit hours): Elementary/Middle Special Education Teacher Preparation Program - Grades 1-8

Cohort must be fully enrolled for the one-year option to be offered.

Elementary/Middle Special Education Teacher Preparation Master’s Certification Program 1 Year Program Sequence

2 Year Full Time Option (45-48 credit hours):  Elementary/Middle Special Education (Grades 1-8) AND Severe Disabilities Teacher Preparation Program

The MEd  2 Year option in Elementary/Middle Special Education and Severe Disabilities Certification is completed in two, full-time academic years. At the satisfactory completion of the program, students are recommended for Maryland certification in Elementary/Middle (Grades 1-8) and in Severe Disabilities (Birth -21). This program includes field experiences and blocked coursework during the first year of the program and a yearlong internship and blocked coursework in the second year.

Elementary/Middle Special Education Teacher Preparation Master’s Certification Program 2 Year Program Sequence

Severe Disabilities Special Education Teacher Preparation 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