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M.S. Special Education

The Master of Science: Special Education program is for currently licensed teachers seeking anchor, initial or additional special education licensure. The Master of Science: Special Education requires a minimum of 34 graduate credits. Up to 9 graduate transfer credits are allowed. Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) requirements must be met if seeking licensure.

All Special Education candidates take the Special Education Core (22 credits) and the Specialty Courses in at least one area (10-15 cr.) which leads to Special Education licensure in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Developmental Disabilities (DD- available only for ABS licensed teachers), Emotional Behavioral Disabilities (EBD), or Learning Disabilities (LD). Candidates are welcome to pursue more than one licensure area.  Students add the Portfolio (2 cr.) and Research Component Courses (8 cr.) to complete the 34 credits required for the M.S. in Special Education.

Track 1: Licensed Special Education Teacher (Other than ABS) who are seeking additional special education licensures outside of the Master’s program can choose from the three areas; ASD, EBD, or LD. Upon completion of the courses and meeting PELSB requirements, candidates can apply for a license with the State of Minnesota.

Track 2: Licensed ABS Teacher seeking an Anchor licensure program can choose from the four areas: ASD, DD, EBD, or LD. Upon completion of the courses and meeting PELSB requirements, candidates can apply for a license with the State of Minnesota.

Track 3: Licensed Teacher other than Special Education. If you are a licensed teacher other than Special Education, you will be required to complete the Special Education Core and the requirements in at least one area: ASD, EBD, or LD. You will also meet with an advisor to complete a transcript review to ensure fulfillment of the State of Minnesota teaching requirements.

Track 4: Career Change. If you are not a currently licensed teacher but seek a special education teaching degree or Master’s degree in Special Education, you will be assigned an advisor to review your transcript and get you started on your path to becoming a special education teacher.


Communities of practice investigating teaching and learning.


The mission of teacher education program at SMSU is to create communities of practice where each learner is an active participant in the investigation of learning, teaching and leadership processes. Teachers and learners will engage in educational theory, research, inquiry, critical reflection, and application.


The following regulations will govern students accepted into the SMSU Master of Science: Education Program.

  1. Students may transfer a maximum of nine (9) semester credits of previous graduate work, including up to four (4) in specialty areas, from other accredited universities into the SMSU Education Department Master of Science: Education Program. Graduate students interested in transfer credit should complete the Student Petition form located on the SMSU website at or request a form from the Education Department.
  2. A minimum GPA of 3.0 will be maintained throughout the graduate program. No grades below a “C” are acceptable in graduate courses.
  3. Students have seven (7) years from the date of their first course registration to complete all requirements for the Master’s Degree
  4. Students must have earned a bachelor’s degree and hold a valid teacher’s license prior to admission.
  5. Students are afforded due process rights as determined by the Due Process Policy and Procedures.

For more information on the curriculum please check out the course descriptions located in the  academic catalog. If you are looking for a quick advising guide click here.  

For the current course schedule click here.

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

Last Modified: 5/4/21 11:51 AM | Website Feedback