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Students Graduating at Commencement Ceremony

M.S. Special Education

About the Program

The Master of Science in Special Education Program at Southwest Minnesota State University offers programming for initial teaching license, as well as options for Tier 3 or 4 teachers seeking to add Special Education. Candidates will complete an action research project to enhance their learning and develop their research skills.

This degree is a minimum of 34 graduate credits. Up to 9 transfer credits are allowed. Total credits may be increased if seeking licensure in conjunction with the master's degree in Special Education. A master's degree alone does not guarantee licensing. The Master of Science; Special Education program has emphasis areas in:

All Special Education candidates take a Special Education Core (18-19 cr.) or the Alternative Core (18 cr.) and the Specialty Courses in at least one area (10-15 cr.) which leads to Special Education licensure. Candidates are welcome to pursue more than one licensure area. Research Component Courses (8 cr.) are required to complete the 34 credits required for the M.S. in Special Education. Candidates can select certificate or licensure options. A transcript review will be completed for licensure candidates to ensure completion of all licensing requirements for the state of Minnesota.

Cost & Financial Aid

  • Don't have an initial teaching license?
    • We have initial licenses available in ABS and ECSE.
  • Have a current teaching license but it's not in Special Education?
    • We have licenses available in ABS, ASD, EBD, ECSE, and LD/SLD.
  • Already licensed in SPED?
    • We have additional licenses available in ABS, ASD, DD/DCD, EBD, and LD/SLD.

"If it wasn't for SMSU's online programs, I never would have gone back to school. The traditional college model would not have worked for my family, especially when we went through deployment."

Program Requirements:

SPED students are required to have a 3.0 GPA for admission into the program. If your GPA is under the requirement, you may still qualify for provisional admission through demonstrating your skills and abilities within your application. Provisional admission does require students to attain a 3.0 GPA in their first semester.

View the course requirements within our academic catalog.

View Academic Catalog

Delivery Options for the Program:


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Last Modified: 2/6/24 8:27 AM | Website Feedback