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Master of Science in Special Education

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Application & Materials Deadline

Friday, September 04, 2015 Apply Now

Preparing Teaching Professionals to Educate and Develop Today’s Diverse Students

The accredited Master of Science in Special Education program equips teaching professionals with the fundamental skills, knowledge and competencies needed to meet the needs of students with disabilities in multiple settings. The program is a flexible and convenient part-time graduate program that gives current teachers a comprehensive understanding of developing the potential of students with disabilities.


  • Autism Spectrum Disorders: 
    The number of children diagnosed with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome has increased drastically over the past decade.  Consequently, there is an increasingly high-demand for professionals trained in educating children diagnosed with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. The Autism concentration is designed for those who seek additional expertise in this critical field. The concentration’s curriculum provides knowledge and skills for working with these students. Effective teaching methods, interventions, and support will also be emphasized.
  • Technologies for Special Education: 
    Best practices in the education of students with disabilities require educational professionals to be proficient with a wide range of technologies.  This concentration is designed for those seeking additional expertise in the area of educational technologies and assistive technology that can be used to create accessible learning opportunities and increased outcomes for students with disabilities.
  • Collaborative Special Education Law and Process: 
    Special Education is a dynamic field, continually impacted by legislation, regulation and litigation. This concentration is designed for individuals interested in enhancing their proficiency in the procedural and substantive rules that guide the development and implementation of an appropriate education for students with disabilities. Leadership skills in areas such as collaboration, special education advocacy, IEP meeting facilitation, collaborative problem solving and dispute resolution will be emphasized.
  • Customization: 
    Students who already posses a special education certification or students not interested in obtaining a special education certification, but want to enhance their skills in specific special education topic areas, may choose to take two of the concentrations (24 credits) and 18 credits of their choosing from the special education certification core in addition to completing the research courses.

The accredited Special Education program consists of 49.5 credits divided between 31.5 credits in Core Special Education Certification courses, 12 credits in concentration courses, and 6 credits in research.

In addition to the coursework, students will build a professional e-portfolio which displays their mastery of the knowledge, skills and competencies in the area of special education.

The Master of Science in Special Education is intended for those interested in gaining greater skills and expertise in the area of Special Education. Included in the curriculum for the M.S. in Special Education is the coursework necessary to pursue the PA Instructional I Special Education PreK-8 or 7-12 certification. Candidates seeking PA Special Education certification, PreK-8 or 7-12, must have an active PA Instructional I or Instructional II teaching certificate in a corresponding area. Students who do not have their teaching certification have the following options:

  • Earn a Instructional I certificate through a Post-Bachelor’s Teaching Certification Program, such as the one offered through Drexel, to apply to the MS in Special Education program.
  • Rather than enroll in the MS in Special Education program, take the MS Teaching, Learning and Curriculum: Teacher Certification Track program with Special Education electives.
  • Take the Special Education program as a non-certification student.  Students who choose this option will not be able to teach in public schools in Pennsylvania. However, many teachers in states outside of Pennsylvania choose this option after contacting their state’s Department of Education to determine special education certification requirements in their state. 


Drexel also offers a Supervisor of Special Education Certificate program.


Graduate Education Non-Matriculated Option
Do you need continuing education requirements, Act 48 credits, or just looking for professional development and only want to take a couple of classes? Learn more about our non-matriculated option. 


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