Jun 18, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Education (SED) MS


Contact: Dr. Henry B. Reiff

School-Based Program with Certification

The graduate program in special education offers candidates the opportunity to join the ranks of professionals who are committed to ensuring that all children and adolescents, including those with identified disabilities, receive a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. The program emphasizes a strength-based perspective and is founded on the standards on the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). Candidates develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of accomplished special educators.

McDaniel College offers a minimum 36-credit hour Master of Science degree in Special Education.  The Program is open to candidates who are not seeking certification as well as those who are seeking certification.  Candidates seeking Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) teaching ceritification at the elementary (1-8) levels and secondary (6-12) levels are usually accredited teachers. Candidates complete a capstone portfolio for the program; master’s only students may elect to complete a thesis in lieu of the portfolio. Candidates interested in certification should meet with the Program Coordinator to review certification and field-based requirements.

In limited cases, the program will work with candidates who are not accredited on obtaining initial certification.  

The Special Education program is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education/Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and approved by the MSDE. Pennsylvania State Department of Education guidelines are addressed during the advisement process for students seeking employment and/or licensure in Pennsylvania.

Admissions Requirements

Candidates required to submit:

  • application for graduate study with non-refundable fee
  • official transcripts conferring bachelors degree (minimum 3.0* GPA) from an accredited institutionthree reference forms
  • Praxis I test scores that meet MSDE minimum score requirements

*Students not meeting this criterion may be reviewed on an individual basis for admission to this program.

To begin the program, candidates must meet with program coordinator to develop an initial 9-credit preliminary plan or study.

The program also offers initial special education certification to candidates who are not accredited teachers but have some experience in special education.


Candidates complete coursework in Foundation Knowledge and Special Education, as well as meeting state certification and fieldwork requirements as appropriate.

Certification Courses (minimum of 3 credit hours)

Coursework is chosen in consultation with the Program Coordinator who reviews previous coursework required for MSDE intial certification.  Relevant courses include:

Fieldwork and Capstone Courses (minimum of 9 credit hours)

All content coursework must be completed before students may enter fieldwork and capstone experiences.  In addition, students must submit passing Praxis II scores before entering fieldwork.

Total Credit Hours: 36