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Master's (M.Ed.) Special Education

Earn your Special Education Master's degree Today!

Quick Facts

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QUICK FACTS

Meet our faculty!

  • Application requirements: Two letters of recommendation (at least one recommendation must come from a faculty member at an accredited academic institution), transcripts, 3.0 GPA (undergrad) and essay
  • Deadline(s): July 15 for fall start, December 15 for spring start and April 15 for summer start
  • Course Requirements: 10 courses (30 credits)
  • Typical Course Load: Fall (2 courses), Spring (2 courses), Summer (2 courses) which allows candidates to complete the program in two years (two falls, two springs and one summer). 
  • Time to Completion: 2 years
  • Practical Experience Component: Field work is an important part of the program. Those students who are already teachers have the opportunity to complete the field work at their current positions. 
  • Alumni Current Positions: Graduates work as teachers in both public and private K-12 classrooms. 

Overview

The evolution toward inclusive classrooms has meant that teachers in all grades and subjects are increasingly called on to work with children with a broad range of abilities. Giving master’s candidates the tools to help each child learn and grow is the mission of Lehigh’s M.Ed. in Special Education. 

The master’s is designed for those who hold a bachelor’s degree in Special Education and want to expand their skills but also for those who have a bachelor’s degree in general education and seek to gain effective methods for working with people with disabilities. Many of the master’s candidates are already certified in Special Education or elementary or secondary education.

Those seeking to earn a master’s degree in the field with certifications have these options: 

  • Master’s in Special Education & Dual PA State Certification in 7-12 Special and General Education
  • Master’s in Special Education & Dual PA State Certification in PreK-8 Special Ed and PreK-4 General Ed
  • Master’s in Special Education & PA State PreK-8 or 7-12 Special Education Certification

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

The master’s degree without certification requires the completion of 30 credits or about 10 courses. Classes are arranged in the late afternoons or evenings to make the program convenient for those who work full-time. Most master’s candidates attend Lehigh part-time, taking about two courses per semester, including summers so they can complete the program in two years.  They 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. 

Field work is an important part of the program. Those students who are already teachers have the opportunity to complete the field work at their current positions. 

Opportunities

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. 

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. 

Teachers in the field are in demand and that trend is expected to continue. The number of positions nationally is predicted to rise by 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, adding 33,300 new jobs, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Curriculum

COURSE NUMBER COURSE NAME CREDITS
Core Course Work (15 credits)    
SPED 404  Diversity, Families, and School Collaborations in K-12 3
SPED 429  Professional Seminar 3
SPED 432 Positive Behavior Support 3
SPED 452  Assessment in Special Education 3
SPED 465   Advanced Inclusionary Practices in K-12  3
Area of Study (3 credits, must choose one of the following; courses not chosen here may be taken as electives, below)    
SPED 416 Autism Spectrum Disorders and Evidence-Based Practices 3
SPED 418   Alternative Curricular Approaches 3
SPED 419   Academic Interventions: PreK-8 3
SPED 421  Academic Interventions: Secondary Level 3
Electives (12 credits; the one course chosen above under Area of Study may not also be counted toward fulfilling Electives credits)      
SPED 330   Special Topics in Special Education 1-3
SPED 338  Emotional and Behavioral Disorders of Children  3
SPED 402  Applied Behavior Analysis  3
SPED 409 K-12 Classroom Environment and Management 3
SPED 410 Behavior Analysts: Ethics and Professional Conduct 3
SPED 411 Early Childhood Education 3
SPED 416 Autism Spectrum Disorders and Evidence-Based Practices 3
SPED 418 Alternative Curricular Approaches 3
SPED 419   Academic Interventions: PreK-8 3
SPED 421  Academic Interventions: Secondary Level  3
SPED 423  Transition to Post-school Life 3
SPED 430  Advanced Seminar in Special Education 3
SPED 440   Early Academic Intervention 3
EDUC 461 Single-Subject Research Design 3
EDL 432 Special Education Law 3
EDL 479 School Law and Ethics 3
SCHP 412 Consultation Procedures 3
SCHP 426 Advanced School and Family Interventions 3
Other electives as approved by adviser    

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® has verified the following course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify (http://bacb.com/bcba-requirements/).

SPED 402 Applied Behavior Analysis 3
SPED 409 K-12 Classroom Environment and Management 3
SPED 410 Behavior Analysts: Ethics and Professional Conduct 3
SPED 416 Autism Spectrum Disorders and Evidence-Based Practices 3
SPED 432 Positive Behavior Support 3
EDUC 461 Single-Subject Research Design 3
     

Course descriptions can be found in the course catalog.

Application Requirements & Deadlines