Master of Science in Special Education

Master of Science (M.S.)

Admission Requirements for the M.S. and M.Ed.

  1. A bachelor’s degree.
  2. For students seeking North Dakota teacher certification, T&L 315 Education of Exceptional Students, or its equivalent taken as either a prerequisite or corequisite with the master’s coursework.
  3. For students seeking North Dakota teacher endorsement, an elementary reading methods course and an elementary math methods course taken as either prerequisites or corequisites with the master’s coursework.
  4. A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 for the junior and senior years of undergraduate work (based on A = 4.00).
  5. 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 person 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 three questions:
    1. describe several personal and professional goals you would like to achieve in the next five years including why these goals are important to you;
    2. describe the characteristics, attitudes, values, and/or skills that you think will make you a good candidate for your chosen professional role; and
    3. describe what you have done professionally or personally that you are proud of.

Descriptions of the Specialization Areas

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA):  The ABA specialization area includes coursework and an intensive practicum that focuses on concepts and principles, assessment and behavior change systems, methods and applications, ethics, and research methods. This specialization is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (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 Disturbance (ED): The ED specialization area focuses on children and adolescents with both emotional and behavior disorders and addresses several aspects of ED 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.

Gifted/Talented Education (GT): The GT specialization area focuses on children and youth with outstanding talent who perform or show the potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment. The specialization area addresses characteristics, assessment, methods/strategies, and application in a field setting.

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.

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 Science 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. Note that the Master of Science degree provides both an on-campus and online format.

  1. A minimum of 32 credits including credits required for the major/specialization.
  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. Two credits of SPED 995 Scholarly Project or four credits of T&L 998 Thesis.
  5. Five credits of scholarly tools/assessment courses. E.g.:
  6. SPED 511Identification and Assessment of Young Children with Special Needs3
    SPED 544Research Methods in Behavior Analysis3
    SPED 545Assessment and Behavior Change Systems4
    SPED 551Advanced Assessment in Special Education3
    SPED 557Progress Monitoring3
    SPED 558Response to Intervention2
    SPED 578Behavior Management3
    SPED 567ASD Assessment2
    SPED 590Special Topics in Special Education1-4
    EFR 509Introduction to Educational Research3
    EFR 515Statistics I3
    T&L 569Action Research3
  7. 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.S. degree*:

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) 

Required Courses
SPED 540Concepts and Principles in Behavior Analysis3
SPED 541Methods and Applications in Behavior Analysis3
SPED 542Ethical and Professional Conduct for Behavior Analysts3
SPED 543Applied Behavior Analysis Across Settings and Populations2
SPED 544Research Methods in Behavior Analysis3
SPED 545Assessment and Behavior Change Systems4
SPED 580 ABA Intensive Practicum Level I
SPED 580 ABA Intensive Practicum Level II
SPED 580 ABA Intensive Practicum Level III
This specialization is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Required Courses
SPED 560Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder2
SPED 561Methods for Autism Spectrum Disorder2
SPED 567ASD Assessment2
SPED 583Internship: Autism Spectrum Disorder1-6
Elective Courses
Select nine of the following:18
Concepts and Principles 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
Behavior Management
Additional credits from the other specialization areas
Total Credits25-30

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)

Required Courses
SPED 510Introduction to Early Childhood Special Education2
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 Education2-8
Elective Courses
Select six of the following:15
IEP Development
Intervention Strategies with Infants and Toddlers
Advanced Assistive Technology
Language Development & Cognition in Children
Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community
Progress Monitoring
Behavior Management
Response to Intervention
Special Topics in Special Education (Infant/Toddler Mental Health)
Special Education Law
Additional credits from the other specialization areas
Total Credits25-31
*

If seeking special education endorsement in ECSE in North Dakota, confer with your advisor regarding these requirements. If seeking teacher certification in a state other than North Dakota, refer to that state’s requirements.

Emotional Disturbance (ED)

Required Courses
SPED 506Introduction to Emotional Behavioral Disorders2
SPED 551Advanced Assessment in Special Education3
SPED 555Advanced Methods: Emotional Behavioral Disorders3
SPED 586Internship: Emotional Behavioral Disorders2-6
Elective Courses
Select six of the following:15
IEP Development
Transition to Adult Life
Advanced Assistive Technology
Inclusive Methods
Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community
Progress Monitoring
Response to Intervention
Behavior Management
Special Education Law
Additional credits from the other specialization areas
Total Credits25-29
*

If seeking special education endorsement in ED in North Dakota, confer with your advisor regarding these requirements. If seeking teacher certification in a state other than North Dakota, refer to that state’s requirements.

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 502Braille Reading and Writing2
SPED 503Orientation and Mobility/Visual Impairment2
SPED 504Communication Media and Methods/Visual Impairment3
SPED 505Low Vision Assessment and Remediation2
SPED 506Introduction to Emotional Behavioral Disorders2
SPED 507Introduction to Intellectual Disabilities2
SPED 508Introduction to Learning Disabilities2
SPED 509IEP Development2
SPED 510Introduction to Early Childhood Special Education2
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 Toddlers2
SPED 521Transition to Adult Life3
SPED 528Advanced Assistive Technology1
SPED 540Concepts and Principles in Behavior Analysis3
SPED 551Advanced Assessment in Special Education3
SPED 552Inclusive Methods3
T&L 553Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community3
SPED 554Advanced Methods: Learning Disabilities3
SPED 555Advanced Methods: Emotional Behavioral Disorders3
SPED 556Advanced Methods: Intellectual Disabilties3
SPED 557Progress Monitoring3
SPED 558Response to Intervention2
SPED 560Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder2
SPED 561Methods for Autism Spectrum Disorder2
SPED 562Autism Spectrum Disorder: Supports Across the Lifespan2
SPED 563Autism Spectrum Disorder: Medical Issues and Trends2
SPED 564Structured Teaching2
SPED 565Methods for Students with Asperger Syndrome2
SPED 566Autism Spectrum Disorder: Intensive Early Intervention2
SPED 567ASD Assessment2
SPED 578Behavior Management3
EDL 529Special Education Law3
SPED 590Special Topics in Special Education ( Infant and Toddler Mental Health)2

Gifted/Talented (GT)

Required Courses
SPED 522Introduction to Gifted/Talented Education3
SPED 523Assessment in Gifted/Talented Education3
SPED 524Teaching Methods in Gifted/Talented Education3
SPED 584Internship: Gifted/Talented2-6
Elective Courses
Select five of the following:15
Advanced Assessment in Special Education
Inclusive Methods
Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community
Progress Monitoring
Behavior Management
SPED 558Response to Intervention2
Special Education Law
Additional credits from the other specialization areas or other T&L courses approved by the advisor
*

If seeking special education endorsement in GT in North Dakota, confer with your advisor regarding these requirements. If seeking teacher certification in a state other than North Dakota, refer to that state’s requirements.

Intellectual Disabilities (ID)

Required Courses
SPED 507Introduction to Intellectual Disabilities2
SPED 551Advanced Assessment in Special Education3
SPED 556Advanced Methods: Intellectual Disabilties3
SPED 587Internship: Intellectual Disabilities1-6
Elective Courses
Select six of the following:15
IEP Development
Transition to Adult Life
Advanced Assistive Technology
Inclusive Methods
Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community
Progress Monitoring
Response to Intervention
Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder
Behavior Management
Special Education Law
Additional credits from the other specialization areas
Total Credits24-29
*

If seeking special education endorsement in ID in North Dakota, confer with your advisor regarding these requirements. If seeking teacher certification in a state other than North Dakota, refer to that state’s requirements.

Learning Disabilities (LD)

Required Courses
SPED 508Introduction to Learning Disabilities2
SPED 551Advanced Assessment in Special Education3
SPED 554Advanced Methods: Learning Disabilities3
SPED 588Internship: Learning Disabilities2-6
Elective Courses
Select five of the following:15
IEP Development
Transition to Adult Life
Advanced Assistive Technology
Inclusive Methods
Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community
Progress Monitoring
Response to Intervention
Behavior Management
Special Education Law
Additional credits from the other specialization areas
Total Credits25-29
*

If seeking special education endorsement in LD in North Dakota, confer with your advisor regarding these requirements. If seeking teacher certification in a state other than North Dakota, refer to that state’s requirements.

Strategist (SES)

Required Courses
SPED 506Introduction to Emotional Behavioral Disorders2
SPED 507Introduction to Intellectual Disabilities2
SPED 508Introduction to Learning Disabilities2
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 Disorders2-6
SPED 587Internship: Intellectual Disabilities2-6
SPED 588Internship: Learning Disabilities2-6
Elective Courses
Select one of the following:1
IEP Development
Transition to Adult Life
Advanced Assistive Technology
Inclusive Methods
Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community
Progress Monitoring
Response to Intervention
Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder
Behavior Management
Special Education Law
Additional credits from the other specialization areas
Total Credits25-37
*

If seeking special education endorsement in SES in North Dakota, confer with your advisor regarding these requirements. If seeking teacher certification in a state other than North Dakota, refer to that state’s requirements.

Visual Impairment (VI)

Required Courses
SPED 500Introduction to Visual Impairment3
SPED 502Braille Reading and Writing2
SPED 505Low Vision Assessment and Remediation2
SPED 585Internship: Visual Impairment2-6
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
Transition to Adult Life
Advanced Assistive Technology
Inclusive Methods
Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community
Progress Monitoring
Response to Intervention
Behavior Management
Special Topics in Special Education (Braille Code)
Special Education Law
Additional credits from the other specialization areas
Total Credits24-28
*

If seeking special education endorsement in VI in North Dakota, confer with your advisor regarding these requirements. If seeking teacher certification in a state other than North Dakota, refer to that state’s requirements.

Office of the Registrar

Tel: 701.777.2711
1.800.CALL.UND
Fax: 701.777.2696

Twamley Hall Room 201
264 Centennial Drive Stop 8382
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8382