Aug 15, 2022  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog

Special Education, M.Ed.


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Return to: 4160 Department of Learning Sciences  

The M.Ed. major in Special Education provides students with the depth of knowledge and breadth of skill in educating students with disabilities required of a “master teacher” across a variety of educational environments (e.g. classrooms, clinics, hospitals, facilities). The M.Ed. program is an advanced program that emphasizes research-based strategies, effective pedagogy, and data-based decision making. Students are provided advanced instruction on how to select appropriate curricula, employ effective methods of instruction, make assessment based decisions, and utilize effective educational and student management procedures. Additionally, students are prepared to work collaboratively with other educational professionals and families, and exhibit the highest standards of professionalism while maximizing pupil learning and development. Because the M.Ed. is an advanced degree, students entering this program must already hold a bachelor’s degree in a related area from an accredited college/university program.

This major is appropriate for diverse individuals interested in working with students with disabilities.

  • Students with existing teaching certifications. This M.Ed. will lead to a Level 5 advanced degree and certification upgrade.
  • Students without backgrounds in education. This M.Ed. may also be appropriate for those who have a background in a related field (e.g. psychology, social work, criminology, speech and language, general education, etc.), do not want to be a classroom teacher, but are interested in obtaining advanced pedagogy, methods, and strategies to work with individuals with disabilities in noneducational settings such as clinics, hospitals, and facilities. Of note, the M.Ed. Special Education program does not result in a teaching certificate for school/classroom licensure.

Students who wish to gain initial certification in special education will need to complete our M.A.T. Special Education program.

Program Admission

Admissions criteria help to ensure that candidates are prepared for the rigorous curriculum requirements of the graduate program. Candidates must meet all admission requirements of the College of Education and Human Development as stipulated by Graduate Services.

Candidates with an existing teacher certification who wish this degree to count for a certification upgrade must meet the following criteria prior to program admission.

  • undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university;
  • undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher;
  • official scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) from the past five years;
  • evidence of a T4 certificate in Special Education;
  • candidates must also submit two academic or professional letters of recommendation, a resume, and a goal statement; and
  • candidates may be required to participate in an interview.

Candidates without backgrounds in education must meet the following criteria prior to program admission:

  • undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university;
  • undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher;
  • official scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) from the past five years;
  • candidates must also submit two academic or professional letters of recommendation, a resume, and a goal statement; and
  • candidates may be required to participate in an interview.

Program Academic Regulations

Students in the M. Ed. in Special Education fulfill the college’s Comprehensive Examination requirement by completing one of four capstone scholarly activities, as approved by their major advisor: (1) a master’s research thesis, (2) a master’s action research project, or (3) a master’s project:

  • The master’s research thesis is a basic research project conducted by the student under the supervision of the chair of his or her advisory committee. At the prospectus defense students are required to propose to their committee their detailed plans for data collection, including the timeline, the method, the people involved in data collection, and the potential use of previously collected data related to the thesis. Only after passing the prospectus defense and receiving approval from the GSU Institutional Review Board may students begin to pursue research participants.
  • The master’s action research project is an applied project conducted by the student under the supervision of the chair of his or her advisory committee. At the prospectus defense students are required to propose to their committee their detailed plans for data collection, including the timeline, the method, the people involved in data collection, and the potential use of previously collected data related to the project. Only after passing the prospectus defense and receiving approval from the GSU Institutional Review Board may students begin to pursue research participants.
  • The master’s project consists of a comprehensive written review of literature on a selected topic. A written prospectus describing in detail the proposed project must be submitted to and approved by all three members of the students’ advisory committee before the work is begun.

In addition to these regulations:

  • The Department of Learning Sciences requires that students earn a grade of “B” or higher in each course in the teaching field/major. If students earn a grade below “B” in a course, they must repeat that course. Students will be allowed to repeat a course in this manner one time. Students who fail to earn a grade of “B” or higher after taking the course a second time will be scholastically excluded from this major. Students may earn a “B-” in courses outside of the special education program.
  • Evaluation of a student’s performance is continuous and involves consideration of the student’s performance in all academic settings. Inappropriate or unprofessional conduct by a student may result in the student being withdrawn from a course or the program. If removal from a course is necessary, the student will receive the grade of “F” and may be judged ineligible to re-enroll in the course.

Degree Requirements


Professional Studies (9 Hours)


Select One Course (3 Hours)


Teaching Field/Major and Electives (27 Hours)


Program Total: Minimum of 36 Semester Hours


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