Special Education (MEd)

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Master of Education in Special Education (SPEMED)
Unit: College of Education and Human Development (GE)
Department: Special Education
Program Webpage

Program Information

This program can be completed in a traditional classroom format or entirely online.

The MEd in Special Education with a concentration in Learning and Behavior Disorders, or Moderate and Severe Disabilities, is designed for the Kentucky certified teacher to add certification. Bachelor’s-level certified teachers may use the program to add certification in LBD or MSD, and complete the required Rank II/master’s degree. Teachers who have already earned a master’s degree may use the program to add certification and complete the Rank I.

Learning and Behavior Disorders

Through the MEd in Special Education with a concentration in Learning and Behavior Disorders program, teachers increase their knowledge and expertise in teaching students with Behavior Disorders, Learning Disabilities, Mild Mental Disabilities, and Orthopedic Impairments at all grade levels from kindergarten through high school.

Moderate and Severe Disabilities

The MEd in Special Education with a concentration in Moderate and Severe Disabilities program prepares candidates to teach students with intellectual disabilities that impede academic achievement and adaptive behavior skills (e.g., communication, social behavior, and daily living activities).

Elementary teachers work primarily with beginning or remedial skills in academic content (English language arts, math, science, and social studies) and adaptive behaviors. Middle Grades and Secondary teachers address these skills in addition to preparing students to transition to vocations or to post-secondary education. 

Degree Summary

Core Coursework *18
Area of Emphasis (Concentration)18
Minimum Total Hours36

Admission Requirements

Applicants are required to submit the following materials:

  • Application to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies
  • Official transcripts with a 2.75 minimum GPA in the Bachelor's degree and a 3.0 or higher GPA for graduate work
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official GRE scores.
  • Kentucky teaching certificate
  • Personal statement
  • Current Resume
  • Signed Professional Code of Ethics/Technology User Agreement/Statement of Understanding of Admissions Guidelines form

Candidates who earned a baccalaureate (and/or advanced) degree outside the United States and whose native language is not English must submit official TOEFL scores that meet minimum criteria, and must submit an evaluated transcript from WES (World Education Services) or ECE (Educational Credential Evaluators).

Program Requirements

MEd in Special Education with a concentration in Learning and Behavior Disorders (grades P-12)

Prerequisite for entry into the program
Teacher Certification
Introduction to Exceptional Children (or equivalent)
Inquiry (Critical Thinker)9
Applied Behavior Analysis 1
Education Research in P-12 Setting
Single Subject Research Methods and Designs
Advocacy (Professional Leader) 6
Academic and Behavior Response to Intervention
Applications of Assistive Technology
Action (Problem Solver) 3
Learning and Behavior Disorders Practicum 1
Midpoint Assessment
Area of Emphasis 18
Teaching Mathematics to Students with Disabilities
Methods for Students with Learning and Behavior Disorders 1
Assessment Procedures for Students with Learning & Behavior Disorders 1
Characteristics, Needs, and Respones to Students with EBD 1
Teaching Reading Special Education P-12 1
Autism: Introduction and Understanding
Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis
Minimum Total Hours36

Midpoint Assessment: Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher; grade no lower than B- in all coursework; Exemplary or Target performance on all Hallmark Assessment Tasks to date (EDSP 512, 516, 644, 518); scored Exemplary or Target performance on all Advanced Program rubrics.

Exit Assessment: Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher; grade no lower than B- in all coursework; scored Exemplary or Target performance on all Hallmark Assessment Tasks; scored Exemplary or Target performance on all Advanced Program rubrics; positive recommendation from the Special Education Program Committee.

Degree Candidacy: Students not enrolled during the semester in which they intend to graduate must register for degree candidacy as outlined in the Graduate Catalog.

Successful completion of appropriate PRAXIS Exams is required for Learning and Behavior Disorders teacher certification.

PRAXIS Disclaimer:

"Teacher certification requirements are subject to change. Before registering for PRAXIS test(s), please refer to the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) website at epsb.ky.gov/ or ets.org/praxis for current requirements." 


MEd in Special Education with a concentration in Moderate and Severe Disabilities (grades P-12)

Prerequisite for admission to the program:
Teacher Certification
Introduction to Exceptional Children
Inquiry (Critical Thinker) 9
Applied Behavior Analysis 1
Education Research in P-12 Setting
Single Subject Research Methods and Designs
Advocacy: (Professional Leader)6
Academic and Behavior Response to Intervention
Applications of Assistive Technology
Action (Problem Solver) 3
Moderate and Severe Disabilities Practicum 1
Mid-Point Assessment
Area of Emphasis 18
Foundational Concepts in Intellectual and Physical Disability 1
Assessment of Students with Moderate/Severe Disabilities
Moderate/Severe Disabilities Curriculum and Methods I 1
Moderate/Severe Disabilities Curriculum and Methods II 1
Autism: Introduction and Understanding
Behavior Analytic Approach to Communication 1
Minimum Total Hours36

Midpoint Assessment: Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher; grade no lower than B- in all coursework; scored Exemplary or Target performance on all Hallmark Assessment Tasks to date (EDSP 520, 609, 611, 644); scored Exemplary or Target performance on all Advanced Program rubrics.

Exit Assessment: Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher; grade no lower than B- in all coursework; scored Exemplary or Target performance on all Hallmark Assessment Tasks; scored Exemplary or Target performance on all Advanced Program rubrics; positive recommendation from the Special Education Program Committee.

Degree Candidacy: Students not enrolled during the semester in which they intend to graduate must register for degree candidacy as outlined in the Graduate Catalog.

Successful completion of the appropriate PRAXIS Exams is required for Moderate and Severe Disabilities teacher certification.

Praxis Disclaimer:

"Teacher certification requirements are subject to change.  Before registering for the test(s), please refer to the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) website at www.epsb.ky.gov or http://www.ets.org/praxis/ky for current requirements."