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Special Education

Effective 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Education requires educators teaching students with special needs in
David Lee works with a studentPennsylvania to hold two certification areas (e.g. Special Education plus another certificate).

The primary area of academic need for students with disabilities is in the area of reading, so PDE has included certification as a Reading Specialist (along with completion of a Special Education certificate) to qualify educators to teach Special Education in Pre-Kindergarten through high school and across exceptionalities.

The Degree Program

Pennsylvania is one of a few states currently requiring dual certification, so there are a number of options for students interested in pursuing a Special Education Degree at Penn State.

  • Some current Special Education majors elect to stop at the B.S. because they intend to teach outside of Pennsylvania.
  • Some current students complete the B.S. and then elect to pursue a second certification area in elementary or secondary education as a separate degree program.
  • Some current students choose to complete an integrated undergraduate-graduate program (IUG) as a means to obtain the dual certification. The program currently offers a B.S. in Special Education and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction (LL ED) with dual certification in Special Education and Reading.


Special Education [semester plan]