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Special Education Minor

The Special Education Minor provides undergraduate students with coursework on instructional practices to support the achievement of students with special education needs.

You can apply for the minor using LionPath:

LionPATH > Student Center > Update Academics

Requirements for the Minor

A total of 24 credits in identified classes are required for the minor. Please contact for additional information.

Required Courses (18 credits)

  • EDPSY 014 (3) (Semester 1-4)
  • EDPSY 010 GS (3), HD FS 229 GS (3), or HD FS 239 GS(3) (Semester 1-4)
  • SPLED 400 (4) (Semester 5-8)
  • SPLED 403A (3) or SPLED 403B (3) (Semester 5-8)
  • SPLED 419 (2 or 3) (Summer after junior or senior year)
      • Students interested in the 4+1 Program should take SPLED 419 as an Education Selection for their program and should choose the 3-credit option. Only the 2-credit option is required for the Special Education minor.
  • SPLED 461 OR SPLED 525 (3) (Summer after junior or senior year)
      • Students interested in the 4+1 Program should take SPLED 525 instead of SPLED 461 in the summer after their junior or senior year.  SPLED 525 can be counted towards the requirements for the SPLED minor.

Elective Courses (6 credits)

Select 6 credits from CSD 146 US/IL (3), CSD 218 (3), CSD 269 GS/US/IL (3), CSD 300 US/IL (3), RHS 100 GS/US/IL( 3), RHS 402 (3), or RPTM 277 US (3) (Semester 5-8)

Requesting Admission

The Special Education Minor is open to all interested students.


1) What does the SPLED minor "mean"?

Completion of the SPLED minor is evidence to an employer that you have taken additional coursework to help prepare you to work with students with disabilities. Like all teacher certification candidates, students starting as juniors in fall of 2011 will address (in SPLED 400 and 403a/b) the key competencies identified by PDE for all teacher candidates.

As a SPLED minor, your transcript also will show additional preparation in the areas of:

* the use of assistive technology to aid in reading, writing, and communication activities;
* teaching valued skills to students with autism;
* supporting speech and language development for students with disabilities and other areas related to working with children with disabilities (depending on your course selections).

2) I have completed the minor, how can I pursue special education certification?

Completion of the SPLED minor does not result in special education certification, although the coursework you take to complete the minor may reduce the number of classes that you need to obtain special education certification.

Special education certification in Pennsylvania is designed to ensure that children with disabilities receive expert instruction that will assist them in achieving valued outcomes in school and in their adult life. As such, high quality special education certification programs provide extensive and rigorous special education coursework (typically a minimum of 40 credits) that prepares teacher candidates to work in today's classrooms. High quality certification programs also include multiple supervised practicum experiences in which the candidate has an opportunity to prepare and deliver instruction for students with a variety of disabilities, including students with learning disabilities, behavior disorders, and severe cognitive challenges. We believe that these extensive teacher preparation experiences create highly skilled professionals who are ready to work collaboratively to support positive outcomes for students with disabilities.

Typically at least some of the classes taken in the minor might be used to reduce the number of classes required for special education certification. The decision as to how classes taken towards completion of the SPLED minor would impact the courses needed for special education certification is up to the program granting special education certification.

At Penn State - University Park, many of the courses used to complete the SPLED minor can be used to address competencies required for special education certification. For students who complete the minor as part of an UG program in another area of certification (e.g., elementary education, secondary education), special education certification at Penn State - University Park can be pursued as part of a graduate degree program - an M Ed in Special Education. If you are interested in more information on this topic, please and ask for information on the 4+1 M Ed program.

At Penn State - University Park, both the undergraduate and graduate SPLED degree programs provide extensive coursework in working with students with a wide range of disabilities, and multiple supervised practicum experiences working with students with disabilities. We believe that both extensive coursework and multiple supervised practicum experiences are essential to the preparation of qualified special education professionals who will be truly ready to address the learning needs of students with disabilities.

If you are enrolled in the SPLED minor and you are interested in the relationship of the SPLED Minor to the SPLED M Ed (including certification), please , and include information on the coursework you have completed as part of the SPLED minor, and your expected semester of graduation from your current undergraduate program. For students who have completed the SPLED minor, and who are accepted into the SPLED M Ed program, the M Ed program is typically approximately one year in length. Please note that there is an application process for the SPLED M Ed program, and that the process is competitive (i.e., each application is individually reviewed before a decision on admission is made).

Additional information on the Special Education Minor, including updated information on available classes and the 4+1 M ED Program, is available at