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B.S. in Special Education - On campus at University Park

The B.S. in Special Education provides program graduates the knowledge and supervised practice in their application to children and youth with disabilities. Thirteen major tasks or competency clusters have been identified as being essential in any program designed to train teachers. The Competency Clusters are, in part, based on the philosophy and implementation of the data-based Teaching Model adopted for use by Special Education at Penn State. Upon successful completion of the major outlined below, students become eligible for the Pennsylvania Instructional I Certificate in Teaching the Mentally and/or Physically Handicapped.

Course Work by Semesters

The most current Undergraduate Degree Programs Bulletin contains a complete and official description of all courses and program requirements of the undergraduate program. The checksheet contains more information about General Education components, requirements for the major, and entrance criteria.

The following sections provide a generally accurate description of the current program but may not contain all provisions. Moreover, students may opt for the requirements in force at the time of their admission or subsequently revised requirements. If you have a question about a specific requirement, consult your adviser.

First through Fourth Semesters (66 credits)

During their first four semesters, students should complete as many of the University's General Education requirements as possible. Courses (other than Special Education courses) prescribed by the program must also be completed (see the checksheet) It is important for you to schedule your courses in the correct sequence and follow the prerequisites that are listed in the Baccalaureate Degree Programs Bulletin.

Prescribed Courses:

The following courses are prescribed in the Special Education B.S. program. Some of these courses also meet general education requirements established by the University and, therefore, satisfy two requirements or "count twice."

  • MATH 200GQ (meets GenEd quantification requirement and is a prerequisite to SPLED 409) (3)
  • EDPSY 101GQ (meets GenEd quantification requirement and is a prerequisite to SPLED 454) (3)
  • PSY 100 (meets GenEd Social and Behavioral Science requirement and is a required for admission to the Special Education major) (3)
  • PSY 212 (meets GenEd Social and Behavioral Science requirement and is required for admission to the Special Education major) (3)
  • EDPSY 14GS (required for admission to the College of Education) (3)
  • EDTHP 115 (required for admission to the College of Education) (3)
  • EDPSY 10 (required for admission to the Special Education major) (3)


Fifth through Eighth Semesters (62 credits)


Fifth Semester (15 credits)

  1. SPLED 425 (4)
  2. SPLED 395W (3) (clearances required)
  3. SPLED 401 (4)
  4. SPLED 408 (3)
  5. EDPSY 421 (3)


Sixth Semester (17 credits)

  1. SPLED 411 (3)
  2. SPLED 412 (4)
  3. SPLED 495E (3) (clearances required)
  4. SPLED 454 (4)
  5. SPLED 404 (3)


Seventh Semester (15 credits)

  1. SPLED 409A, B, C (9)
  2. SPLED 495G (4) (clearances required)
  3. SPLED 418


Eighth Semester (15 credits)

  1. SPLED 495F (15) (clearances required)



An elective related to the Major must be selected in consultation with your adviser. This elective may be a freshman seminar, a course in military science, come from a list of recommended courses, or be unique to the individual student.

While there is never a guarantee that all courses will be offered every semester, following this sequence and maintaining a "C" or better in all required courses increases the probability of completing the program in a timely fashion.

Regardless of the number of credits needed have to complete the B.S. degree, each of the three SPLED 495 courses must be taken in different semesters; SPLED 412 and 409 also must be taken in different semesters.

A total of 121 credits are needed to complete the SPLED program and be recommended for Pennsylvania certification in Mentally and/or Physically Handicapped.

See also:

  1. Undergraduate Admissions for general information on how to obtain a B.S. degree at Penn State.

  2. The Office of Preservice Teaching Experiences for the application process for student teaching.

  3. For general information on the First-Year Seminar, see the College's FYS page.