Master of Education in Special Education

Upon offer of admission, the following will be required: Successful passage of FBI criminal background check

Admission Requirements for the M.Ed.

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) is designed for those who do not have a previous degree in education.  This degree will have a pedagogy focus to build a foundation for the art and science of teaching. 
  1. A bachelor’s degree.
  2. A cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.75 for all undergraduate work (based on A = 4.00).
  3. Satisfy the School of Graduate Studies’ English Language Proficiency requirements as published in the graduate catalog.

Admissions Process

  1. Complete the School of Graduate Studies online application.
  2. Submit the application fee of $35.
  3. Recommend three people who will complete the recommendation form:
    1. one from an employment supervisor or administrator;
    2. one from a professional colleague or university professor; and
    3. one from a professional of your choosing.
  4. Send official transcripts from each institution attended to the School of Graduate Studies.
  5. Complete the personal statement and attach it in the “essay” section of the application. The personal statement should address four questions:
    1. Explain how your experiences/interests reflect your capacity for the specialization area you are apply for specifically (i.e., LD, EBD, ID, VI, ECSE, ASD, SES, General).
    2. Identify a behavioral or learning need with an individual whom you know professionally or personally, then describe how you approached managing it.
    3. Graduate school may be challenging due to competing demands for your time.  Please address how you will navigate these challenges by utilizing your strengths.
    4. In this master’s program, you will receive constructive feedback to develop and/or enhance your skills.  Explain how you have perceived and managed this type of feedback in your past experiences.

Descriptions of the Specialization Areas

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): The ASD specialization area focuses on children, adolescents, and adults with ASD and addresses several aspects of ASD including characteristics, assessment, methods/strategies, interagency collaboration/support, and application in a field setting.

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE): The ECSE specialization area focuses on children from birth to age nine and addresses various disabilities, primarily developmental in nature, and addresses several aspects of ECSE including characteristics, assessment, methods/strategies, all forms of development, (e.g., language, physical), and application in a field setting.

Emotional Behavioral Disorders (EBD): The EBD specialization area focuses on children and adolescents with both emotional and behavior disorders and addresses several aspects of EBD including characteristics, assessment, behavior and academic methods/strategies, and application in a field setting.

General Special Education: The general specialization area is a “design your own program” option. Students can choose courses from all of the courses offered by the special education program.

Intellectual Disabilities (ID): The ID specialization area focuses on children and adolescents with DCD (the federal law refers to this population as those with mental retardation) and addresses several aspects of ID including characteristics, assessment, methods/strategies, and application in a field setting.

Learning Disabilities (LD): The LD specialization area focuses on children and adolescents with learning problems that are not due to developmental, emotional, or cognitive disabilities and addresses several aspects of LD including characteristics, assessment, methods/strategies, and application in a field setting.

Alternate Access License In Special Education in ND:  This license is issues for one year in a documented shortage area.  It is for those who do not have a teaching degree but do have a bachelor’s degree in a content area where the vacancy exists in the school.

Special Education Strategist (SES): The SES specialization area is a cross-categorical area that encompasses all of the courses in the specialization areas of ID, ED, and LD. Since it addresses three disability areas, it is the largest specialization area in number of credits required.

Visual Impairment (VI): The VI specialization area focuses on children and adolescents who are visually impaired or blind and addresses several aspects of VI including characteristics, assessment, braille code, methods/strategies, orientation/mobility, and application in a field setting.

Degree Requirements

Students seeking the Master of Education degree at the University of North Dakota must satisfy all general requirements set forth by the School of Graduate Studies as well as particular requirements set forth by the Special Education Program. 

  1. A minimum of 32 credits is required for the degree. Additional credits may be needed for teacher licensure.
  2. At least one-half of the credits must be at or above the 500 level.
  3. A maximum of one-fourth of the credit hours may be transferred from another institution.
  4. Preparation of a written independent study or scholarly project approved by the faculty advisor:  Two credits of SPED 995 Scholarly Project or four credits of T&L 998 Thesis.
  5. Passing of a written final comprehensive examination.
  6. Nine credits of Special Education Core Coursework (excluding students in the ABA specialization).
    1. SPED 525Legal/Ethical Aspects in Special Education3
      SPED 578Behavior Management3
      Select 1 of the Following:
      SPED 500Introduction to Visual Impairment3
      SPED 510Introduction to Early Childhood Special Education3
      SPED 552Inclusive Methods3
    2. Six credits of pedagogical coursework. 
      T&L 542Models of Teaching3
      SPED 525Legal/Ethical Aspects in Special Education3
      SPED 552Inclusive Methods3
      SPED 504Communication Media and Methods/Visual Impairment3
      T&L 530Foundations of Reading Instruction3-4
      T&L 522Mathematics in the Elementary School3
      T&L 533Secondary English Language Arts & Literacy Instruction3

In addition to #4 and #5 above, choose one or more specialization areas and complete the required courses and elective courses for a minimum total of 32 credits for the M.Ed. degree*:

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Required Courses
SPED 560Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder3
SPED 561Methods for Autism Spectrum Disorder3
SPED 567Assessment in Autism Spectrum Disorder3
SPED 583Internship: Autism Spectrum Disorder1-6
Elective Courses
Select nine of the following:18
Concepts and Principles in Behavior Analysis
Research Methods in Behavior Analysis
Autism Spectrum Disorder: Supports Across the Lifespan
Autism Spectrum Disorder: Medical Issues and Trends
Structured Teaching
Methods for Students with Asperger Syndrome
Autism Spectrum Disorder: Intensive Early Intervention
Additional credits from the other specialization areas
Total Credits28-33

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)

Required Courses
SPED 510Introduction to Early Childhood Special Education3
SPED 511Identification and Assessment of Young Children with Special Needs3
SPED 512Methods and Materials for Preschool Children with Special Needs3
SPED 589Internship: Early Childhood Special Education1-4
Elective Courses
Select six of the following:15
Intervention Strategies with Infants and Toddlers
Collaborative Authentic Assessment in Early Intervention
Advanced Assistive Technology
Progress Monitoring
Autism Spectrum Disorder: Intensive Early Intervention
Special Topics in Special Education ( Infant/Toddler Mental Health)
SPED 521IEP and the Transition Process3
Language Development & Cognition in Children
Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community
Additional credits from the other specialization areas
Total Credits28-31

Emotional Behavioral Disorders (EBD)

REQUIRED COURSES
SPED 521IEP and the Transition Process3
SPED 550Foundations of Special Education with Emphasis in ASD, EBD, ID, and LD3
SPED 555Advanced Methods: Emotional Behavioral Disorders3
SPED 551Advanced Assessment in Special Education3
SPED 586Internship: Emotional Behavioral Disorders1-6
Elective Courses
Select five of the following:15
Advanced Assistive Technology
Progress Monitoring
Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community
Additional credits from the other specialization areas
Total Credits28-33

General Special Education

Note that there are no additional required courses. A minimum of 25 credits can be selected from the following courses:

SPED 500Introduction to Visual Impairment3
SPED 501Diseases and Function of the Eye2
SPED 503Orientation and Mobility/Visual Impairment2
SPED 505Low Vision Assessment and Remediation3
SPED 510Introduction to Early Childhood Special Education3
SPED 511Identification and Assessment of Young Children with Special Needs3
SPED 512Methods and Materials for Preschool Children with Special Needs3
SPED 514Intervention Strategies with Infants and Toddlers3
SPED 516Collaborative Authentic Assessment in Early Intervention3
SPED 521IEP and the Transition Process3
SPED 528Advanced Assistive Technology1
SPED 532Visual Impairment/Early Intervention3
SPED 540Concepts and Principles in Behavior Analysis3
SPED 551Advanced Assessment in Special Education3
SPED 554Advanced Methods: Learning Disabilities3
SPED 555Advanced Methods: Emotional Behavioral Disorders3
SPED 556Advanced Methods: Intellectual Disabilties3
SPED 557Progress Monitoring3
SPED 560Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder3
SPED 561Methods for Autism Spectrum Disorder3
SPED 562Autism Spectrum Disorder: Supports Across the Lifespan3
SPED 563Autism Spectrum Disorder: Medical Issues and Trends3
SPED 564Structured Teaching3
SPED 565Methods for Students with Asperger Syndrome3
SPED 566Autism Spectrum Disorder: Intensive Early Intervention3
SPED 567Assessment in Autism Spectrum Disorder3
SPED 580Practicum: Special Education1-6
SPED 590Special Topics in Special Education1-4
T&L 553Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community3
SPED 581Internship: General Special Education1-6
SPED 550Foundations of Special Education with Emphasis in ASD, EBD, ID, and LD3

Intellectual (ID)

Required Courses
SPED 521IEP and the Transition Process3
SPED 507Introduction to Intellectual Disabilities3
SPED 551Advanced Assessment in Special Education3
SPED 556Advanced Methods: Intellectual Disabilties3
SPED 587Internship: Intellectual Disabilities1-6
Elective Courses
Select six of the following:15
Advanced Assistive Technology
Progress Monitoring
Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder
Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community
Additional credits from the other specialization areas
Total Credits28-33

Learning Disabilities (LD)

Required Courses
SPED 521IEP and the Transition Process3
SPED 508Introduction to Learning Disabilities3
SPED 551Advanced Assessment in Special Education3
SPED 554Advanced Methods: Learning Disabilities3
SPED 588Internship: Learning Disabilities1-6
Elective Courses
Select six of the following:15
Advanced Assistive Technology
Progress Monitoring
Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community
Additional credits from the other specialization areas
Total Credits28-33

Special Education Strategist (SES)

Required Courses
SPED 521IEP and the Transition Process3
SPED 550Foundations of Special Education with Emphasis in ASD, EBD, ID, and LD3
SPED 551Advanced Assessment in Special Education3
SPED 554Advanced Methods: Learning Disabilities3
SPED 555Advanced Methods: Emotional Behavioral Disorders3
SPED 556Advanced Methods: Intellectual Disabilties3
SPED 586Internship: Emotional Behavioral Disorders1-6
SPED 587Internship: Intellectual Disabilities1-6
SPED 588Internship: Learning Disabilities1-6
Elective Courses
Select one of the following:1
Advanced Assistive Technology
Progress Monitoring
Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder
Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community
Additional credits from the other specialization areas
Total Credits22-37

Visual Impairment (VI)

Required Courses
SPED 500Introduction to Visual Impairment3
SPED 502Braille Reading and Writing2
SPED 505Low Vision Assessment and Remediation3
SPED 585Internship: Visual Impairment1-6
Elective Courses
Select six of the following:15
Diseases and Function of the Eye
Orientation and Mobility/Visual Impairment
Communication Media and Methods/Visual Impairment
IEP Development
IEP and the Transition Process
Advanced Assistive Technology
Braille Code 1
Braille Code 2
Visual Impairment/Early Intervention
Progress Monitoring
Response to Intervention
Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community
Additional credits from the other specialization areas
Total Credits24-29