Master of Science in Special Education

Maximizing the learning potential of special needs students

View information for Accepted Students or Current Students

A career in special education provides many opportunities for caring educators to see the satisfaction experienced when children with special needs achieve and develop in the context of a supportive educational environment.  At Dominican, you will work with respected mentors and experts in the field to develop skills and approaches that make a difference in the lives of students and their families.  The special education program focuses on the unique needs of children with learning disabilities, emotional/behavioral disorders, autism, special disabilities, traumatic brain injury and other health impairments.

Students in the special education programs share a unique spirit of commitment to work with children and their families.  Many students are licensed teachers who wish to gain entitlement to Learning Behavior Specialist 1 endorsement in special education.  Others have a college degree but do not hold a valid educator license and wish to enter the field of education as a licensed special education teacher.  Some are already licensed at the undergraduate level in special education and now wish to puruse the master's degree.

In all of these programs, you will gain the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to give students with disabilities the opportunity to fully develop their intellectual and social capabilities.

  • Candidates without a current valid educator license
  • Candidates with a current valid educator license
  • Candidates with a current valid educator license in special education who are interested in pursuing a master’s degree in special education

Download the Master of Science in Special Education program brochure

Course Descriptions

Candidates without a current valid professional educator license:

Requirements

Satisfactory completion of 40 to 45 semester hours of graduate credit while maintaining a minimum grade point average of 3.0 out of 4.0.

Successful completion of clinical hours in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Master of Science in Special Education program in the School of Education.

Core Curriculum

Course # Course Title Credits
ECE/SPED 500 Child Growth and Development 3
ECE/SPED 503 Child, Family and Community Relationships 3
SPED 526 Psycho-Educational Diagnosis (Ages 3 to 21) 4
SPED 643 History, Philosophy and Legal Foundations of Special Education 3
SPED 646 Special Education Internship and Seminar in Special Education 1
SPED 649 Psychology and Characteristics of Students with Disabilities 3
SPED 654 Academic Methods for Early Childhood–Elementary Level Students with Disabilities 3
SPED 655 Academic Methods for Middle and Secondary Level Students with Disabilities 2
ECE/SPED 656 Collaboration and Adaptation in General Education Settings 2
SPED 658 Fostering Development of Pro-social Behavior 2
SPED 659 Managing Challenging Behavior 3
SPED 663 Planning and Assessment in Special Education 2
SPED 664 Curriculum and Methods for Students with Moderate to Severe Disabilities 3
SPED 702 Clinical Practice Seminar in Special Education 1
SPED 703 Clinical Practice in Special Education 4
EDU 533 Reading and Writing Instruction and Improvement 3
EDU 560 Integrating Technology Into the Curriculum 3

Candidates with a current valid professional educator license:

Requirements

Satisfactory completion of 32 to 37 semester hours of graduate credit while maintaining a minimum grade point average of 3.0 out of 4.0.

Successful completion of clinical hours in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Master of Science in Special Education program in the School of Education.

Core Curriculum

Course # Course Title Credits
ECE/SPED 503 Child, Family and Community Relationships 3
SPED 526 Psycho-Educational Diagnosis (Ages 3–21) 4
SPED 643 History, Philosophy and Legal Foundations of Special Education 3
SPED 646 Special Education Internship and Seminar in Special Education 1
SPED 649 Psychology and Characteristics of Students with Disabilities 3
SPED 654 Academic Methods for Early Childhood–Elementary Level Students with Disabilities 3
SPED 655 Academic Methods for Middle and Secondary Level Students with Disabilities 2
SPED 656 Collaboration and Adaptation in General Education Settings 2
SPED 658 Fostering Development of Pro-social Behavior 2
SPED 659 Managing Challenging Behavior 3
SPED 663 Planning and Assessment in Special Education 2
SPED 664 Curriculum and Methods for Students with Moderate to Severe Disabilities 3
EDU 533* Reading and Writing Instruction and Improvement 3
EDU 560 Integrating Technology Into the Curriculum 3

*EDU 533 Reading and Writing Instruction and Improvement is not required for those who hold elementary teaching certificates or those who have taken a reading methodology course.

Candidates with a current valid professional educator license with LBS 1 Endorsement who want to pursue a master’s degree in special education:

Core Curriculum

Course # Course Title Credits
SPED 526 Psycho-Educational Diagnosis (Ages 3 to 21) 4
EDU 560 Integrating Technology Into the Curriculum 3
SPED 606 Research 3
SPED 656 Collaboration and Adaptation in General Education Settings 2

Choice of a minimum of two of the following methods courses

Course # Course Title Credits
SPED 664 Curriculum and Methods for Students with Moderate to Severe Disabilities 3
SPED 654 Academic Methods for Early Childhood–Elementary Level Students with Disabilities 3
SPED 655 Academic Methods for Middle and Secondary Level Students with Disabilities 2
SPED 658 Fostering Development in Prosocial Behavior 2
SPED 659 Managing Challenging Behavior 3

Areas of Concentration

Individuals may choose to select a concentration of courses that address characteristics and methodology in disabilities that expand the scope of their original special education endorsement.

Possible areas of concentration include:

  • Bilingual and/or ESL Endorsement
  • Elementary or Secondary
  • General Education Classrooms