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Master of Science in Special Education {20-21}

Program Coordinator:
Master's Degree: Marci Glessner, Ph.D, marci.glessner@mnstate.edu
School of Teaching and Learning
Lommen 214J, (218) 477-2727


Master of Science in Special Education

Description
The Master of Science in Special Education is designed to further professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions in the areas of Special Education and related research. The program focus is to understand advanced pedagogical and disability specific concepts, and critically review research. An expected outcome will be to apply these concepts and research to professional practice through ongoing, systematic professional development. Within the Master's Degree, a student may choose to study a specific area of disability in one of the following areas: Specific Learning Disabilities, Developmental Disabilities, Physical and Health Disabilities, or Early Childhood Special Education. The degree includes the option of completing requirements leading to special education teaching licensure in MN. Students wishing to pursue special education licensure most hold a valid MN teaching license in any area of teaching. 30-31 credits.

Admission Requirements

Information on admission requirements can be found on the Graduate Studies webpage.

Student Learning Outcomes

Candidates who complete the Master of Science Degree in Special Education will be able to:

  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the principles of teaching and core content knowledge in special education.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge about assessment, teaching, and evaluation of learners with disabilities.
  • Demonstrate the ability to assume the professional role of a Special Education teacher and demonstrate appropriate dispositions for teaching.
  • Demonstrate the ability to plan and conduct intervention related research 
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze, report on, and connect results to K-12 students, teaching practice, and the field of special education
  • Demonstrate advanced application of a variety of learning strategies to address the needs of culturally diverse students
  • Demonstrate the ability to make assistive technology decisions within a Universal Design for Learning framework 

Core Requirements ( 20 credits )

Students must have taken or complete upon admission SPED 225 Individuals with Exceptionalities or its equivalent.  Additionally, students seeking special education licensure must have taken or complete upon admission approved reading courses to meet the Minnesota reading course requirements.  Students can satisfy this requirement by completing SPED 430/SPED 530 and SPED 445/SPED 545 or by providing evidence of prior completion of course equivalents.  Students who need to meet this requirement can take these courses concurrently with other program requirements.

SPED 606 Classroom and Schoolwide Positive Behavior Supports (3)
SPED 613 Inclusive Teaching Practices (3)
SPED 620 Perspectives and Policies in Special Education (3)
SPED 664 Theory and Process of Consultation and Collaboration (3)
SPED 601 Advanced Assessment in Special Education: Birth-Age 21 (3)
SPED 604 Understanding Research, Research Methods, and Data (3)
SPED 696 Capstone Project in Special Education (2)

Program Requirements

Additional Requirements:
3.0 grade point average required for courses submitted for the degree
Written comprehensive examination
Oral defense of capstone project


Emphasis in Developmental Disabilities (DD)

Program Requirements

SPED 519 Biomedical Aspects (3)
SPED 570 Secondary Services and Transitional Planning (4)
SPED 641 Methods of Developmental Disabilities: Birth-Age 21 (4)

Restricted Electives

Choose from a combination of:

SPED 567A Special Education Practicum (3)
SPED 668D Graduate Licensure Practicum: Developmental Disabilities (DD) (3)
or any 500 or 600 level SPED or ED course for a total of at least 6 credits.

Students pursuing special education licensure must complete on or both of SPED 567A and SPED 668D depending on previous licensure.


Emphasis in Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)

Program Requirements

SPED 523 Foundations of Early Intervention/ECSE (3)
SPED 526 Fundamental Strategies for Early Intervention and ECSE (3)
SPED 641 Methods of Developmental Disabilities: Birth-Age 21 (4)

Restricted Electives

Choose from a combination of:

SPED 668I Graduate Licensure Practicum: Infant/Toddler (3)
SPED 668E Graduate Licensure Practicum: ECSE (3)
or any 500 or 600 level SPED or ED course for a total of at least 6 credits.

Students pursuing special education licensure must complete on or both of SPED 668I and SPED 668E depending on previous licensure.


Emphasis in Physical/Health Disabilities (PHD)

Program Requirements

SPED 519 Biomedical Aspects (3)
SPED 547 Physical and Health Disabilities (4)
SPED 570 Secondary Services & Transitional Planning (4) or
SPED 526 Fundamental Strategies for Early Intervention and ECSE (3)

Restricted Electives

Choose from a combination of:

SPED 567A Special Education Practicum (3)
SPED 668P Graduate Licensure Practicum: Physical/Health Disabilities (PHD) (3)
or any 500 or 600 level SPED or ED course for a total of at least 6 credits.

Students pursuing special education licensure must complete on or both of SPED 567A and SPED 668P depending on previous licensure.


Emphasis in Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)

Program Requirements

SPED 555 Characteristics of Students with Learning and Behavior Problems (4)
SPED 575 Informal Assessment/Teaching Strategies: Students with Learning Disabilities (3)
SPED 570 Secondary Services & Transitional Planning (4)

Restricted Electives

Choose from a combination of:

SPED 567A Special Education Practicum (3)
SPED 668B Graduate Licensure Practicum: Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) (3)
or any 500 or 600 level SPED or ED course for a total of at least 6 credits.

Students pursuing special education licensure must complete on or both of SPED 567A and SPED 668B depending on previous licensure.