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M.S. Special Education

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The Special Education Graduate Program (Academic Catalog) at Southwest Minnesota State University offers a degree in special education with a choice of Anchor areas in Developmental Disabilities (DD), Emotional Behavioral Disorders (EBD), or Learning Disabilities (LD) and Autism Certificate. Candidates are welcome to pursue more than one anchor area.

The Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Special Education consists of a minimum of 34 credits. To complete the degree, all applicants are required to complete the special education core, a minimum of one licensure area, and the research courses. All graduate requirements must be completed within a seven-year period.

For special education anchor candidates must have achieved a teaching license from an accredited program or be eligible for teaching licensure within the state of Minnesota.

Licensure in special education without a Master’s Degree is possible if the candidate (1) holds a Bachelor’s Degree, (2) holds a valid teaching license, and (3) completes the special education core and course work and practicums in a chosen specialty/ licensure area. SMSU's Master of Science in Education has emphasis in the following areas:

 As each applicant has unique career goals and previous licenses, our program offers four tracks. Choose the track which fits your needs.

Track 1: Pursuing Academic Behavioral Strategist (ABS) Licensure only: “I currently hold a teaching license in a field of education other than Special Education, and I am seeking to add the ABS Licensure.”
Track 2: Pursuing Academic Behavioral Strategist (ABS) Advanced Licensure: “I currently hold an ABS Licensure, and I am seeking to add one or more of the 4 SPED Licensure areas to qualify as a teacher for students with moderate to severe disabilities.”
Track 3: Pursuing a Master’s Degree in Special Education including ABS Advanced Licensure: “I currently hold an ABS Licensure, and I am seeking to add one or more of the SPED Licensure areas to qualify as a teacher for students with moderate to severe disabilities. I will also include the Research Component to complete the Master of Science in Special Education.”
Track 4: Pursuing an Academic Behavioral Strategist (ABS) Licensure and a Master’s in Special Education, including Advanced Licensure: “I currently hold a teaching license in a field of education other than Special Education. I will complete the SPED core courses and ABS Licensure core courses to gain the SPED-ABS license. I will then complete the coursework for one or more of the 4 SPED Advanced Licensure areas to qualify as a teacher for students with moderate to severe disabilities. I will complete the Research Component for the Master of Science in Special Education Degree.”

For more information on the curriculum please check out the course descriptions located in the academic catalog.

To learn more about the application and financial aid process visit frequently asked questions. 

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