MS in Special Education

Foster equal learning opportunities for each child's unique abilities.

As the "Child Find" component of IDEA provide interventions for children with special needs as early as birth, there is a growing demand for highly trained educators who embrace each child's unique gifts and provide engaging, differentiated learning opportunities in an environment that makes all children feel valued and able to successfully access the curriculum.

The MS in Special Education leading to cross-endorsement, CT 165 Comprehensive Special Education K-12, is designed for certified teachers that want to expand their expertise to meet the diverse learning needs of their students. Candidates in this program will gain a deeper understanding of children with special needs, the supports they require and the laws that protect them. Coursework will provide a strong fundamental knowledge of IDEA, special education law and ethics. Additionally, the program delves into assessment, planning, instruction, and evaluation for children with special needs.

Those without teaching certification are still eligible to pursue their MS in Special Education. For individuals working in social work, occupational or physical therapy, nursing, psychology, speech, or a related field this pathway offers a unique opportunity to deepen your understanding of the impacts of various disabilities on a child's social, emotional and educational life.

Fall Application Deadline: August 19
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Programs of Study & Curriculum

The core requirements of the master of science in special education program provide students with a thorough understanding of IDEA, the laws, learning theories, and instructional strategies to address and support individual students with disabilities. Students then move on to a capstone experience based on their chosen path. Curriculum information for both paths is available below.

MS in Special Education with a CT Cross Endorsement

Teachers who are currently certified in the state of Connecticut seeking the Comprehensive Special Education K-12 certification endorsement (CT #165) as part of their MS in Special Education will complete a total of 36 credit hours. This includes 30 credits of foundational coursework and a 6-credit capstone consisting of two 3-credit practica in two different areas of special education. Please note this cross-endorsement is primarily for teachers seeking an endorsement in Connecticut, but reciprocity agreements may allow for you to pursue this option in your own state. We are happy to assist in this process, but encourage you to review your state's requirements before applying.

View Cross Endorsement Curriculum

MS in Special Education Only

Professionals seeking the MS in special education only will complete a total of 30 credit hours. Students in the master of science program will complete 27 credit hours of foundational coursework and round out their program with a 3-credit capstone thesis that allows you to conduct a research proposal based on a specific area of interest within special education.

View MS Curriculum

Upon completion of the Master of Science in Special Education, graduates will understand and be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a working knowledge of federal and state laws and guidelines that govern eligibility, protections and services for students with special needs.
  2. Administer, score and interpret a wide range of criterion-referenced, norm-referenced and curriculum-based measurements.
  3. Utilize Scientific Research-Based Interventions (SRBI) to identify the presence of specific learning disabilities in school-age children.
  4. Collaborate with other professionals in related services to provide the supports necessary for students with special needs to access the curriculum in inclusive settings with their non-disabled peers wherever possible.
  5. Assume leadership positions in Planning and Placement Team (PPT) meetings by advocating for the social, emotional and academic needs of students in order to design an appropriate Individual Education Program (or IEP) for each identified student.
  6. Identify and apply interventions and strategies to meet the unique educational needs of exceptional learners and their families, including but not limited to preparing young adults to self-advocate and develop the life skills necessary for independent living as they transition into adulthood and their respective careers.

Today's educators have access to an increasingly connected global community and an abundance of digital resources. In addition to connecting our candidates to those resources, Quinnipiac University's School of Education has a collaborative community of its own, both online and off. That community includes our outstanding faculty members – experienced educators, top practitioners and scholars–who guide and support students through our programs every step of the way.

This environment prepares candidates for fulfilling careers in education and human development by cultivating:

  • An ability to engage in sound practice that is informed by educational theory
  • A commitment to equity and social justice
  • A deeply reflective and mindful approach to their work

By fostering personal as well as intellectual transformation, we aim to prepare innovators committed to positive social change, who will have a meaningful impact on the lives and futures of learners.

Rankings & Accreditations

US News and World Report Top Online Education Program
AN NCATE Accredited Institution

Admission Requirements


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