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M.S. in Special Education


The M.S. is an academic degree and is strongly oriented toward research. M.S. programs focus on the development of academic and scholarly skills, not development of superior teaching ability. Thus, an M.S. would be appropriate, for example, for a student who wishes to pursue a doctorate in special education; an M.S. degree would be an important preparatory step for this individual. The M.S. is also appropriate for international students or other students who have sharply defined career objectives and who exhibit very strong academic credentials.

General Program Requirements

M.S. students must accumulate a specified number of credits, pass a comprehensive exam, and write and defend a master's thesis. Students pursuing this degree should check with The Graduate School for the specific deadlines pertinent to completion of the degree.

Minimum Credit Requirements

Candidates for the Master of Science degree must complete a minimum of 30 credits at the 400-level and above. (While graduate students may enroll in courses below the 400-level, these courses will not count toward their degrees.) Of the 30 credits required for the M.S. degree, 6 must be taken from one discipline outside of special education; 18 must be taken in special education; and 18 must be taken at the 500 level or above.  SPLED 573 and EDPSY 406 are required as are 6 credits of thesis research (i.e., SPLED 600). M.S. students must also submit a master's thesis and pass a comprehensive examination. Because the M.S. is an academic degree, no practicum courses are counted against the minimum number of credits for the degree. The following list summarizes the minimum credit requirements.

  • Minimum Total Credits: 30 (6 thesis credits + 24 coursework credits)

  • Required Courses: EDPSY 406 and SPLED 573

  • Thesis Credits (SPLED 600): 6

  • Coursework Credits: 24 (3 cr SPLED 573 + 3 cr EDPSY 406 + 9 other SPLED cr + 6 cr outside SPLED + 3 additional cr)

  • Special Education Credits: 18 (6 thesis credits + 12 coursework credits)

  • Non-Special Education Credits: 6 (all 6 credits must be taken within a single discipline)

  • Credits at 500- or 600-level: 18 (6 thesis credits + 12 additional credits at 500-level)

How to Apply

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