M.S. in Special Education

 Special Education: Ken Pool candid with student illustration


The graduate program in special education offers students the opportunity to join the ranks of professionals who are committed to ensuring that all children and adolescents, including those with disabilities, receive a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. Students enrolled in the program quickly come to embrace the position that the purpose of education is the same for students with and without disabilities: to provide experiences that facilitate the acquisition of school success and satisfaction. This is accomplished by focusing less on disabilities and more on students’ strengths and abilities and by matching individualized instruction to those strengths and abilities. 

M.S. in Special Education Course Catalog »


Key features of the M.S. Degree in Special Education program include:

  • Programs tailored to a range of student needs, from those seeking a master's degree to those seeking certification.
  • Meets Maryland State Department of Education requirements for certification.
  • Encompasses both state-of-the-art research and best classroom practices.


Please note: 
This program is geared toward advanced certification for certified teachers and personnel holding provisional certification with teaching responsibilities for special needs students working in approved schools. This program has been evaluated and approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), the National Council for Teacher Education (NCATE), and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).

For those seeking initial teaching certification, please see our M.S. in Teaching Special Education track.
Pennsylvania teachers currently certified in Elementary or Secondary education wishing to add Special Education to their credentials must complete an approved program in consultation with an advisor.

Dr. Henry Reiff, SED Program Coordinator
Merritt Hall

Why McDaniel

  • Highly applicable content—apply what you’ve learned in our classroom in your district
  • Flexible scheduling to fit your busy life
  • Small class sizes ensure personal attention from faculty
  • Partnerships with local school systems and faculty who are school leaders in those systems make the program relevant and responsive to local concerns
  • Candidates are supported through ongoing and easily accessible advising
  • Highly competitive tuition

Career Opportunities

The Special Education program offers prepares graduates for careers such as:

  • Teaching in the field of Special Education
  • Leadership and teaching with social services organizations
  • Employment with child services organizations


View the positions that some of our Special Education alums hold  [[link to success stories/outcomes TK]]

Admissions Requirements

  • Completed application for graduate study
  • Submit the non-refundable application fee
  • Official transcripts verifying completion of an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0
  • Three official professional or academic letters of recommendation. The link will be emailed to each recommender through the application.
  • Submit Praxis I test scores that meet MSDE minimum score requirements;
  • Develop a program plan in consultation with the Program Coordinator.

Degree Requirements

  • Creation of a program plan with the program advisor upon acceptance into the program:
  • 36 semester hours minimum, although students seeking certification with their master's degrees usually must complete additional credits to satisfy state certification requirements:
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA:
  • Satisfactory completion of a portfolio (master's only and master's + certification) or thesis (master's only track students).

Important Dates

Summer 2019 Application Deadline is April 30th

Fall 2019 Application Deadline is July 31st

Spring 2020 Application Deadline is December 15th

Applications are accepted and processed throughout the year but the College recommends that students submit their applications and official supporting materials well in advance of the start of the semester in which they plan to enroll. This allows for the application to be processed and reviewed, for account creation, and for registration into classes. The following dates reflect when registration opens for each term.

Summer Semester – April 1
Fall Semester – July 1
Spring Semester – December 1


**Please note, off-site education cohorts have until September 6th for entrance into the fall 2019 term to submit applications and supporting documents for consideration.

Students are assigned an advisor who will guide them as to which courses they will be taking each semester. Anyone admitted after the opening of registration may be placed on a wait list for certain desired courses.

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Summer Term 2019 course listing now available »

• Programs tailored to a range of student needs, from those seeking a master’s degree to those seeking advanced certification

• Meets Maryland State Department of Education requirements for certification; also recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education