Master's (M.ED.) in Special Education with Special Education PreK-12 and General Education PreK-4 PA Teacher Certification

Quick Facts

Quick Facts

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  • Application requirements: Two letters of recommendation (at least one recommendation must come from a faculty member at an accredited academic institution), transcripts, minimum GPA of 3.0 (undergraduate), proof of English language proficiency, and essay
  • International Students: Please visit this page for information regarding transcript evaluation requirements.
  • Deadline(s): July 15 for fall start, December 15 for spring start and April 15 for summer start. The application and all supporting materials are due by the listed deadlines.
  • Course Requirements: 20 courses (60 credits) which includes a semester of student teaching
  • Typical Course Load: Fall (2-3 courses), Spring (2-3 courses), Summer (2-3 courses) 
  • Time to Completion: 3-4 years
  • Practical Experience Component: Field work is an important part of the program.
  • Alumni Current Positions: Graduates work as general and special education teachers in both public and private K-4 classrooms. 
  • Note: Due to Pennsylvania Department of Education criteria, international students are not eligible for the PDE certification, but they may earn their master's degree in this program. Please contact with any questions. 


This master’s program is designed for those seeking Pennsylvania certification as a Special Education PreK-12 teacher with a General Education PreK-4 dual certification eligibility.

The master’s degree with certifications requires students to take a total of 30 credits, which includes a semester of student teaching.  

Special Education teachers work with students who have a broad range of learning, mental, emotional and physical disabilities. They adapt general education lessons and teach such subjects as reading, writing and math to students with mild and moderate disabilities. They also teach basic skills, including literacy and communication techniques, to students with severe disabilities. 

Classes are arranged in the late afternoons or evenings to make the program convenient for those who work full-time. Students can begin in any semester, with admissions deadlines of July 15 for the fall semester, Dec. 15 for the spring semester and April 15 for the summer. 

Those wishing to apply should complete the online application and provide undergraduate and (if applicable) graduate transcripts.  A grade point average of at least 3.0 is mandated for undergraduate work. Prospective students should also supply two letters of recommendation (academic or professional), a personal statement and an acknowledgement of College of Education policy on clearances. 

Extensive fieldwork is integrated into the courses and master’s candidates student teach for a semester before graduating.  Lehigh operates the nationally-acclaimed Centennial School as a lab Special Education day school that works with children with emotional disturbance and students ages 6-12 with autism while preparing graduate students to become highly-qualified Special Education teachers. 


Lehigh’s faculty in Special Education are noted experts in such areas as autism, learning disabilities, academic intervention and emotional behavior disorders and Positive Behavior Support. Master’s candidates learn the best practices for designing instruction and working with students with a wide variety of disabilities.  

Once graduates of the program are certified to teach in Pennsylvania, that certification has reciprocity in most states. 
Lehigh operates the nationally-acclaimed Centennial School as a lab Special Education day school that works with children with emotional disturbance and students ages 6-12 with autism while preparing graduate students to become highly-qualified Special Education teachers.

Centennial School

Learn more about Centennial School today!

Many of our current master’s students who are pursuing their Special Education Master’s degree and/or certification work at our highly acclaimed and nationally recognized lab school: Centennial School. A primary goal of Centennial is to prepare special education teachers to work with youth with emotional and behavioral needs, students with autism spectrum disorder, and their families. Graduate students work full time as teacher associates, under supervision, while completing their Special Education Master’s degree and/or certification. Graduate students who work at Centennial School also receive an additional two hours of on-site training every week on topics specific to the education of children and youth with emotional disturbance and autism spectrum disorder. The workshops are usually presented by professional staff who work at the school and on occasion from one of Centennial's outstanding cadre of professional consultants. 

Centennial School offers our graduate students optimal opportunities to be engaged in hands-on learning and immersed in evidence-based practices including positive behavior support strategies and data-based explicit instruction. 

Click here for Centennial School employment opportunities. Benefits include a stipend, 18 graduate credit hours of tuition remission annually, plus full medical and dental benefits.


Course Number

Course Name Credits

SPED 332 

Education and Inclusion of Individuals with Special Needs in K-12 

SPED 404 

Cultural and Linguistic Diversity 

SPED 411 

Early Childhood Education 

SPED 418 

Alternative Curricular Approaches 

SPED 419 

Intensive Intervention in Reading 

SPED 421 

Intensive Intervention in Mathematics and Content Area Literacy 

SPED 423 

Supporting Transition for Individuals with Disabilities 

SPED 432 

Positive Behavior Support 

SPED 452 

Assessment in Special Education 

SPED 465 

Advanced Inclusionary Practices in K-12 

Additional Coursework for Dual Certification in PreK-4 and Special Education PreK-12 (27 credits) 

TLT 380 

Child Development and Cognition 

TLT 405 

Principles and Applications of K-12 Assessment 

TLT 407 

Instructional Design for K-12 Classrooms 

TLT 409 

K-12 Classroom Environment and Management 

TLT 412 

Social Studies in PreK through 4th Grade 

TLT 420 

Literacy in PreK through 4th Grade: Reading and Its Foundations 

TLT 422 

Literacy in PreK through 4th Grade: Writing and Its Foundations 

TLT 426 

Science in PreK through 4th Grade 

TLT 428 

Mathematics and Numeracy in PreK through 4th Grade 

Extended Field Experience for Dual Certification in PreK-4 and Special Education PreK-12 Certification (3 credits) 

SPED 442 

General Education and Special Education Student Teaching and Seminar