2019-2020 Catalog

Master of Science in Special Education

Admission Requirements for the M.S.

The Master of Science (M.S.) is for those who already have a degree in education.  The M.S. will have a research to practice focus.
  1. A bachelor’s degree.
  2. For students seeking a North Dakota teacher endorsement, T&L 251 Understanding Individuals with Different Abilities, or its equivalent taken as either a prerequisite or corequisite with the master’s coursework.
  3. For students seeking a 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 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, ABA, ECSE, ASD, SES, G&T, 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

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 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 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.

  1. A minimum of 32 credits is required for the degree. Additional credits may be needed for professional 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. Two credits of SPED 995 Scholarly Project or four credits of T&L 998 Thesis.
  5. Nine credits of Special Education Core Coursework (excluding students in the ABA specialization).
  6. SPED 525Legal/Ethical Aspects in Special Education 3
    SPED 578Behavior Management3
    Select 1 of the Following:
    SPED 500Introduction to Visual Impairment3
    SPED 510Introduction to Early Childhood Special Education3
    SPED 552Inclusive Methods3
  7. Five to six credits of scholarly tools/assessment courses.
  8. 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 558Multi-Tier System of Supports2
    SPED 567Assessment in Autism Spectrum Disorder3
    SPED 590Special Topics in Special Education1-4
    T&L 569Action Research3
  9. 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 Supervision Across Settings and Populations2
SPED 544Research Methods in Behavior Analysis3
SPED 545Assessment and Behavior Change Systems4
SPED 546 Philosophical Underpinnings in Applied Behavior Analysis
SPED 580 ABA Intensive Practicum Level I5
SPED 580 ABA Intensive Practicum Level II5
SPED 580 ABA Intensive Practicum Level III5
SPED 580 ABA Intensive Practicum Level IV
This specialization is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

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
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
IEP Development
Intervention Strategies with Infants and Toddlers
Collaborative Authentic Assessment in Early Intervention
Advanced Assistive Technology
Progress Monitoring
Multi-Tier System of Supports
Autism Spectrum Disorder: Intensive Early Intervention
Special Topics in Special Education (Infant/Toddler Mental Health)
Language Development & Cognition in Children
Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community
Additional credits from the other specialization areas
Total Credits25-28

Emotional Behavioral Disorders (EBD)

Required Courses
SPED 506Introduction to Emotional Behavioral Disorders3
SPED 551Advanced Assessment in Special Education3
SPED 555Advanced Methods: Emotional Behavioral Disorders3
IEP Development
SPED 586Internship: Emotional Behavioral Disorders1-6
Elective Courses
Select six of the following:15
Transition to Adult Life
Advanced Assistive Technology
Progress Monitoring
Multi-Tier System of Supports
Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community
Additional credits from the other specialization areas
Total Credits25-30

General Special Education

Note that there are no additional required courses. A minimum of 15 credits can be selected from the following courses:

SPED 501Diseases and Function of the Eye2
SPED 503Orientation and Mobility/Visual Impairment2
SPED 505Low Vision Assessment and Remediation3
SPED 506Introduction to Emotional Behavioral Disorders3
SPED 507Introduction to Intellectual Disabilities3
SPED 508Introduction to Learning Disabilities3
SPED 509IEP Development2
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 Intervention 3
SPED 521Transition to Adult Life3
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 558Multi-Tier System of Supports2
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 Education ( Infant and Toddler Mental Health)3
T&L 553Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community3

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/Talented1-6
Elective Courses
Select five of the following:15
Advanced Assessment in Special Education
Progress Monitoring
Multi-Tier System of Supports
Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community
Additional credits from the other specialization areas or other T&L courses approved by the advisor

Intellectual Disabilities (ID)

Required Courses
SPED 507Introduction to Intellectual Disabilities3
SPED 551Advanced Assessment in Special Education3
SPED 556Advanced Methods: Intellectual Disabilties3
IEP Development
SPED 587Internship: Intellectual Disabilities1-6
Elective Courses
Select six of the following:15
Transition to Adult Life
Advanced Assistive Technology
Progress Monitoring
Multi-Tier System of Supports
Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder
Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community
Additional credits from the other specialization areas
Total Credits25-30

Learning Disabilities (LD)

Required Courses
SPED 508Introduction to Learning Disabilities3
SPED 551Advanced Assessment in Special Education3
SPED 554Advanced Methods: Learning Disabilities3
IEP Development
SPED 588Internship: Learning Disabilities1-6
Elective Courses
Select five of the following:15
Transition to Adult Life
Advanced Assistive Technology
Progress Monitoring
Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community
Additional credits from the other specialization areas
Total Credits25-30

Special Education Strategist (SES)

Required Courses
SPED 506Introduction to Emotional Behavioral Disorders3
SPED 507Introduction to Intellectual Disabilities3
SPED 508Introduction to Learning Disabilities3
SPED 551Advanced Assessment in Special Education3
SPED 554Advanced Methods: Learning Disabilities3
SPED 555Advanced Methods: Emotional Behavioral Disorders3
SPED 556Advanced Methods: Intellectual Disabilties3
IEP Development
SPED 586Internship: Emotional Behavioral Disorders1-6
SPED 587Internship: Intellectual Disabilities1-6
SPED 588Internship: Learning Disabilities1-6
Elective Courses
Select one of the following:1
Transition to Adult Life
Advanced Assistive Technology
Progress Monitoring
Multi-Tier System of Supports
Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder
Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community
Additional credits from the other specialization areas
Total Credits25-40

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
Transition to Adult Life
Advanced Assistive Technology
Braille Code 1
Braille Code 2
Visual Impairment/Early Intervention
Inclusive Methods
Progress Monitoring
Multi-Tier System of Supports
Collaborative Relationships: Home, School and Community
Additional credits from the other specialization areas
Total Credits24-29

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