Become a Special Education Teacher
Whether you are currently working in education or new to the field, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's special education program prepares you to work with learners who receive special education services for specific learning disabilities, children on the autism spectrum, and/or those with emotional or behavioral disorders. Options are available for licensed educators looking to add a SPED license, those seeking their very first teaching license, and those wishing to obtain a master's degree without preparing for licensure. Our master's in special education can be customized to meet your needs and the needs of your students. The length of time it takes to complete your degree depends on the program option you choose.
FOR STUDENTS WISHING TO STUDY SPECIAL ED WITHOUT OBTAINING LICENSURE
This degree option is intended for individuals seeking a full understanding of special education issues and approaches but do not include the coursework to obtain a license in special education. This 36-credit program can be completed fully online and takes 2 years to complete.
FOR STUDENTS WITH A TEACHING LICENSE WISHING TO TEACH SPECIAL ED OR ADD ADDITIONAL LICENSE
If you already hold a general-subject tier 4 classroom teaching license or licensure as an Academic and Behavioral Strategist (ABS) you can add an additional subject license of Special Education in LD, EBD, and/or ASD.Courses may be taken either entirely online or at the Twin Cities Campus via blended delivery.
FOR STUDENTS WITHOUT A TIER 4 TEACHING LICENSE OR NEW TO TEACHING WISHING TO TEACH SPECIAL ED
If you do not hold any type of teaching license, or hold a tier 1-3 license without teacher training, you may pursue your special education license by completing approximately one year of foundational courses at the Twin Cities Campus at the start of your program, core and license concentration courses, plus in the field experiences of a student teaching course toward the end of your program. The special education core courses and licensure preparation courses are completed either online or at the Twin Cities Campus. Foundational courses allow you to feel comfortable with curriculum design, assessment, classroom management, educational policy, and theories of education before concentrating in your specialty of Learning Disabilities (LD), Emotional Behavioral Disorder (EBD), and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Field Experience and Student Teaching
It is also critical for you to be able to put theory into practice. Your time in the program includes field experience and/or student teaching, which ensure that you have practiced your skills under the guidance of both a mentor classroom teacher and university mentor.
This program prepares you for licensure as a teacher in Minnesota. A majority of graduates pursue special education teaching in public or private K-12 schools.
Routes to Completion
The credit amounts vary depending on what pathway you choose to complete.
Option One: 36 credits
M.A. in Special Education- master's degree only (no licensure preparation)
Option Two: 42 credits
M.A. in Special Education- master's degree plus additional licensure preparation (for licensed tier 4 educators looking to add Special Education in EBD, LD or ASD)
Option Three: 65 credits
M.A. in Special Education- master's degree plus initial licensure preparation (for those seeking their first tier 4 teaching license)
Courses are offered in a blended format at our Twin Cities Campus. Classes are offered during the evenings and some weekends for working adults. During each 8-week course, students will come to campus on average five of eight class sessions with the rest of the course online.
Those seeking only the master's degree (and are not pursuing licensure) may complete the program fully online.
Those seeking an additional license (licensed educators looking to add EBD, LD, or ASD) may complete coursework fully online. You will also need to complete field experience in K-12 schools within Minnesota.
If you are pursuing your first teaching license you will complete one year of courses on the Twin Cities Campus and may choose to complete your special education courses either online or take blended courses at the Twin Cities Campus. Toward the end of your program, you will complete a Student Teaching course at the Twin Cities Campus and student teach in K-12 schools within Minnesota.
The Master of Arts in Special Education degree program provides the skills, theories, and tools to develop an inclusive learning environment for learners at all ability levels. Individuals who would like to become licensed to teach in the special education areas of learning disabilities (LD), emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD), and/or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) take coursework pertaining to special education. Those seeking their first teaching license will also take education foundations coursework pertaining to classroom management, curriculum design and assessment.
For more information and course descriptions, check out our course catalog.
Applicants must submit:
Completed application form
Non-refundable application fee
Official transcripts posting the applicant’s completed bachelor degree
Other relevant official transcripts documenting potential transfer credits
International transcripts must be evaluated by a university-accepted evaluator
A reflective essay which includes a brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience, a description of the areas the applicant considers to be their strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities, and any personal information the applicant wishes to share
Two recommendations that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and/or academic ability
A current résumé listing educational background and work experience
Applicants with international transcripts may require an English language proficiency exam.
- Apply By
- Start Date
- Fall Semester
- Spring Semester
- Summer Semester
- Fall Semester
|Tuition:||$485 Per Credit|
|Student Teaching fee:||$500|
The Saint Mary's Difference
The heart of Saint Mary's is its people — faculty, staff, and your fellow students — who become your companions and allies on your educational journey. Here, in an intense give-and-take setting, each of us discovers just how much we can learn. You'll find, in every one of our classrooms, a person-centered education focused on your growth, your potential — because we believe that everyone deserves the chance to make an impact, to change the world around them.