The Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders offers two program options that lead to the master of science in education (M.S.Ed.) degree in special education. Candidates may choose from these options:
- M.S.Ed. with emphasis in Professional Development in Special Education - for graduate students who have a teaching license in special or general education and are seeking advanced professional development in special education. It consists of 24 hours of core courses and 9 hours of electives to be determined by the candidate and his/her advisor. This option does not lead to initial or advanced licensure in special education.
- M.S.Ed. – 2nd License in Special Education – for candidates who hold a current teaching license in an area other than special education who are seeking LBS I licensure. Potential candidates must apply for an evaluation for a subsequent license through School of Education, Health and Human Behavior Student Services in addition to completing the standard application for admission to the Graduate School. The program consists of 36 hours of core courses.
The Master of Science in Education, with an emphasis in Special Education, provides practicing teachers with an opportunity to expand their ability to serve students with special learning needs. Graduate program options allow teachers from other disciplines to obtain initial licensure in special education and special education teachers to increase their expertise and obtain advanced licensure.
Special educators provide a critical service to students with disabilities, their families, and the school system. It is a dynamic field that offers a variety of challenging and rewarding opportunities.
There is a growing need for special educators nationwide, and that growth is anticipated to continue in the years to come. Special Education teachers are currently considered a teacher shortage area in Illinois.
All Graduate Applications are completed electronically; consult the Graduate School website. General requirements for admission to graduate study at the master’s level in special education are the same as those of the Graduate School. Applicants must hold a current initial teaching license in special, elementary, or secondary education to be admitted. Candidates seeking a second teaching license must also complete an application through School of Education, Health and Human Behavior Student Services, Founders Hall, Room 1110. Once accepted into the Graduate School, each candidate is assigned a faculty advisor, and is required to meet with that assigned advisor as soon as possible after notification of admission to discuss the candidate’s official program of study.