Master’s in Special Education Online Degree
MS in Special Education
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.
The MS in Special Education program is not currently accepting students interested in Special Education certification for the Spring 2020 term. If you are interested in the program but do not require certification, you are still encouraged to apply. The next start date for those interested in certification is Fall 2020. The application deadline for this start term is August 24, 2020.
- Special Education PreK-8
Focuses on prekindergarten to middle school levels and is for those interested in Special Education PreK-8 certification
- Special Education 7-12
Focuses on secondary education and is for those interested in Special Education 7-12 certification
Included in the curriculum for the MS 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.
Those who do not have teaching certification have the following options:
- Earn a Instructional I certificate through our Post-Bachelor’s Teaching Certification Program before applying to the MS in Special Education program.
- Apply instead to the MS Teaching, Learning and Curriculum: Teacher Certification Track program, which includes Special Education electives.
- Take the MS in 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.
- Applied Behavior Analysis
Applied Behavior Analysis is a well-developed, scientifically-based discipline that investigates and describes how the environment and the individual interact, and how that interaction impacts behavior. It has been used effectively to teach new skills and behavioral repertoires to all populations, but is perhaps best known for assessing and treating those with an autism spectrum disorder.
- 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.
- Collaborative Special Education Law and Process
Special Education is a dynamic field, continually impacted by legislation, regulation and litigation. This concentration is designed for those 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.
- Multisensory Reading Instruction — Wilson Reading System® (WRS) Level I Certification
It is estimated that up to 20% of school age children experience difficulty with some aspect of literacy. This course sequence gives teachers the necessary skills to provide direct instruction in a multisensory phonetic-based program to students with decoding deficits. With successful completion of the coursework, you'll be eligible for WRS Level 1 Certification. The WRS is recognized nationwide and is a highly desirable certification to have in Special Education.
- Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness
This concentration will prepare you to help address non-academic barriers to learning. You will learn the best techniques for building collaborative partnerships with families, students, and the larger educational community, and developing evidence-based, age-appropriate strategies to support PreK-12 students.
- Special Education Leadership
The concentration prepares you to be a supervisor of special education programs. Graduates are equipped with the advanced skills, knowledge, and competencies to head initiatives that meet the needs of students at risk for and with disabilities in a variety of environments. With successful completion of the coursework, you'll be eligible for the Supervisor of Special Education Certification.
Applicants applying for a Spring 2020 start to the MS in Special Education program with a concentration in Multisensory Reading Instruction Level I are eligible to be selected for one of two individual $5,000 scholarships.
- New students in the MS in Special Education with the Multisensory Reading Instruction Level I concentration
- Must start classes in the Spring 2020 term
- $5,000 scholarship will be applied toward tuition when selected students take EDLS 622 Basic Word Study I
Our Graduates Make a Difference
Recent graduate Ashley Swestyn worked to help parents learn their rights in regards to their children’s special needs education. Read her story.
This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits.
The Master of Science in Special Education requires 45.0 credits consisting of 27.0 credits in core special education certification courses, 12.0 credits in concentration courses, and 6.0 credits in research. For a certification in special education, you must have completed 9 prerequisite credits in special education accommodations to apply for certification in Pennsylvania.
A field component is required in most courses.
You must have the following courses in order to apply for a certification in special education. All students entering this master's program from an approved PA certification program after 2011 should have had these core courses in their initial certification program. If you do not have these courses, you must complete them with a minimum grade of "B" in addition to the core certification offerings:
EDEX 542: Fundamentals of Special Education (3 credits)
EDEX 544: The Inclusive Learner (3 credits)
EDEX 546: Literacy and Content Skill Development PreK-8
or EDEX 566: Literacy and Content Skill Development 7-12 (3 credits)
|EDEX 543||Emotional and Behavioral Support of Individuals with Disabilities||3.0|
|EDEX 549||Teaching Individuals with High Incident Disabilities||3.0|
|EDEX 550||Teaching Individuals with Low Incident Disabilities||3.0|
|EDEX 552||Integrating Technology for Learning & Achievement||3.0|
|EDEX 555||Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder||3.0|
|Primary Concentration Courses||9.0|
Elementary Special Education (Grades PreK-8)
|Special Education Law and Processes PreK-8|
|Teaching STEAM in an Inclusive Pre-K to 8 Environment|
|Special Education Practicum PreK-8|
Secondary Special Education (Grades 7-12)
|Special Education Law and Processes 7-12|
|Teaching Secondary Mathematics in an Inclusive Environment|
|Special Education Practicum 7-12|
|EDU 780||Capstone Research||3.0|
|Select from the Practitioner, Thesis or Lesson Study Capstone tracks:|
|EDUP 780||Practitioner Capstone Course I||3.0|
|or EDUT 780||Thesis Capstone Course I|
|or EDUL 780||Lesson Study Capstone Course I|
|EDUP 781||Practitioner Capstone Course II||3.0-4.5|
|or EDUT 781||Thesis Capstone Course II|
|or EDUL 781||Lesson Study Capstone Course II|
|Secondary Concentration Courses||12.0-31.5|
|Complete courses from one of the concentrations listed below.|
Secondary Concentration Options
|Applied Behavior Analysis||31.5|
|Fundamental Elements of Behavior Change|
|Measurement and Experimental Design|
|Behavioral Assessment and Functional Analysis|
|Consultation, Systems Change, and Supervision|
|Ethical Considerations and Professional Conduct|
|Applications of Fundamental Elements of Behavior Analysis|
|Autism Spectrum Disorders||12.0|
|Characteristics & Methods: Autism|
|Characteristics & Methods: High Functioning Autism|
|Communication & Language Interventions: Autism Spectrum Disorders|
|Behavior & Sensory Support: Autism Spectrum Disorders|
|Collaborative Special Education Law & Process||12.0|
|Family, School, and Community Engagement in Special Education|
|Special Education Advocacy|
|Special Education Dispute Resolution and Skills Training|
|School Law & Policy in Special Education|
| Multisensory Reading Instruction Level I **
|Applied Methods in Multisensory Reading Instruction|
|Early Literacy Skills|
|Basic Word Study I|
|Basic Word Study II|
|Multisensory Practicum I|
|Multisensory Practicum II|
|Multisensory Practicum III|
|Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness||12.0|
|Social Emotional Wellness and Preventative Practices|
|Understanding Social Emotional Disorders|
|Evidence-Based School Interventions and Trauma Informed Education/Care|
|Collaboration and Community Based Practices to Promote Social Emotional Wellness|
|Special Education Leadership||16.0|
|School Law & Policy in Special Education|
|Instructional & Curriculum Leadership in Special Education|
|Development, Supervision, & Support: Special Education Leadership|
|Organization & Administration of Special Education|
|Supervisor of Special Education Internship: Special Education Leadership|
|Supervisor of Special Education Internship: Instructional Leadership|
|Supervisor of Special Education Internship: Collaboration & Personnel|
|Supervisor of Special Education Internship: Finance & Management|
**The multisensory reading instruction courses fulfill certain requirements (but not all) for the Wilson Language Level I certification.
View Course Descriptions
- A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
- Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (graduate GPA will be considered along with the undergraduate GPA)
- If you do not meet this requirement, you’re still encouraged to apply and your file will be reviewed on an individual basis by the Program Director
With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.
- A completed application
- Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
- Two professional letters of recommendation
- Personal essay addressing the following:
- Why you’re interested in this field
- Why you’re interested in attending the program at Drexel University
- Your career goals and how Drexel’s program will help you achieve them
- How this program relates to your previous education and/or work experience
- Additional requirements for International Students
The tuition rate for the academic year 2019-2020 is $978 per credit. (A 25% tuition savings off Drexel's regular tuition rate of $1303 per credit)
- This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
- Special tuition rates available for Drexel University Alumni, Military members, and members of our Partner Organizations
- These rates apply only to new online students and students being readmitted.
- These rates apply only to fully online courses. Hybrid or on-campus courses may have different rates.
- Tuition rates are subject to increase with the start of each academic year in the fall term.
- All students must contact applyDUonline@drexel.edu within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
- Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you'll be given the one with the largest savings.
- When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.
The following faculty members are available to speak to you about the program by phone or email. For a full listing of faculty, please visit Drexel's School of Education.
2019-2020 Academic Year
September 23, 2019
December 7, 2019
December 9, 2019
December 14, 2019
January 6, 2020
March 16, 2020
March 17, 2020
March 21, 2020
April 6, 2020
June 8, 2020
June 9, 2020
June 13, 2020
June 22, 2020
August 30, 2020
September 2, 2020
September 5, 2020
2020-2021 Academic Year
September 21, 2020
December 5, 2020
December 7, 2020
December 12, 2020
January 4, 2021
March 13, 2021
March 15, 2021
March 20, 2021
March 29, 2021
June 5, 2021
June 7, 2021
June 12, 2021
June 21, 2021
August 28, 2021
August 30, 2021
September 4, 2021