Master's in Special Education Curriculum

Request More Information

To learn more about an online program at Saint Joseph’s University, complete this information request form and a Program Manager will contact you to answer your questions.

Yes, I do want to communicate with Saint Joseph's University via SMS. I am providing my consent by leaving the opt-in checked. Message and data rates may apply. Privacy and Terms.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

The curriculum of the Master of Science in Education – Special Education is designed for general educators who wish to meet the demands of students with special needs in a variety of school environments. You will have the ability to apply the skills you have developed immediately in your career.

Credit hours and requirements vary according to whether you choose a certification track or concentration and, if so, which one you choose.

  • Master’s only: 36 credit hours
  • Master’s with Applied Behavior Analysis Concentration: 36 credit hours (12 core credit hours, 21 concentration credit hours, and 3 credit hours selected from Special Education electives)
    • For students who enrolled in this program during or after Fall 2018, the Association for Behavior Analysis International has approved courses ABA 601 through ABA 607 as meeting the 5th Edition Task List’s coursework requirement for taking the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Examination. Applicants will have to meet additional field experience requirements independent of the online program to qualify.
  • Master’s with Special Education certification: 36 credit hours (24 core credit hours, 3 inclusive classroom credit hours, and 9 Special Education Certification elective credit hours)
    • Note that this certification track requires students to have an Active Standard Teaching Certification, as well as meet certain undergraduate and teacher certification requirements; see the Special Education Certification overview for more details.
  • Master’s with Wilson Reading System® certification: 37 credit hours (24 core credit hours, 10 Wilson credit hours, 3 credit hours selected from Special Education Certification electives)
  • Master’s with Autism Spectrum Disorder Endorsement: 39 credit hours (24 core credit hours, 12 ASD credit hours, 3 credit hours selected from Special Education Certification electives)
  • Master’s with Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness of PK-12 Students Endorsement

Students may also choose to receive multiple certifications with their master’s degree. Speak with a Program Manager regarding the courses required for dual certification.

Go to:

Core Courses (Required for All)

Special Education Core Courses (Required for Master’s Only Track and ABA Concentration)

Student Inclusive Classroom Core Course - Based on your Current Certification

Special Education Certification Track Electives

Applied Behavior Analysis Concentration

Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement Track Courses

Wilson Reading System® Track Courses

Social-Emotional and Behavioral Wellness Learning Courses

(Students who have already taken SPE 606 and SPE 608 may use them toward this program — meaning you just need to take two courses, SPE 611 and SPE 614, to complete the endorsement for Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness of PK-12 Students.)

NOTE: Courses are in alpha-numeric order, not necessarily the order in which they are taken, and are subject to change. Please speak with an Program Manager for a course map.

Student Teaching

SPE 638 and SPE 639 include a student teaching component. The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires a Special Education student teaching experience for those individuals who currently hold a general education teaching certificate and are seeking Special Education certification. Students will spend a minimum of 140 hours in a supervised teaching situation. In order to be prepared for this experience, students need to be aware of the following before registering for the course:

  • You are expected to complete a student teaching application.
  • You will locate potential student teaching sites in your local area and submit a request for your student teaching placement(s) to the Office of Student Teaching.
  • You will seek permission from the school administration to allow the 4-week student teaching experience.
  • The SJU Student Teaching Liaison will approve a school administrator to serve as your student teacher supervisor.
  • If you are currently teaching, you may be permitted to student teach at your own school with permission of the SJU course instructor and the school administration.
  • The experience requires 140 hours (equal to four 35-hour weeks) of hands-on teaching with students who have IEPs. At least 10 percent of the class should be students with IEPs.
  • It is suggested that the 140 hours occur during the second half of the course, but possible arrangements can be made to complete the hours at different times during the semester. Time in the classroom may be spread out over more than 4 weeks, but must equal 140 hours.
  • Small group instruction is permitted as long as the same small group is provided consistent attention by the student teacher for the duration of the experience. Alternate placements will be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
  • The class may be in a public (urban or suburban), private, charter, segregated special education, or parochial school.
  • Student-teaching supervisors visit the classrooms and collaborate with the cooperating or mentor teacher(s) in supervising and evaluating the student or intern teacher. Two formal observations of the student teacher will be conducted.

Student Teaching and Field Experience
The PA Department of Education requires all teacher candidates to complete field experience competencies in certification programs. The Special Education Department at Saint Joseph’s University has designated activities in each course in the required curriculum to meet the state standards.

To learn more about the online master’s in special education curriculum from Saint Joseph’s University and what it can do for your career, call (215) 473-2695 to speak with a Program Manager right away or request more information below.

You may also be interested in

Special Education Career Outlook
Learn More About

MS in Special Education Career

learn more
Master's in Special Education Curriculum
Learn More About

MS in Special Education Curriculum

learn more
Techniques for Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Featured Article

Techniques for Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder