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Further Your Studies in Special Education

You’ve already earned a degree, but now you want to further your studies so you can expand your work in special education services. IUP’s master's degree in Special Education program will provide you with the knowledge and understanding you need to make a difference in this high-demand field.

We offer a unique three-track program that lets you choose from a master’s degree, a master’s degree with a certification, or only a certification.

If you’re a working professional, you can still earn your MEd in Special Education at IUP. We’ve designed this program to make learning more convenient for you with online and evening courses.

Earn Your Degree at IUP

  • You have the choice between a thesis or non-thesis option.
  • You’ll hone your expertise in core classes that focus on vocational preparation, assessment, research, advanced instruction, professional collaboration, and family perspectives.
  • Your practicum and internships will provide invaluable hands-on experiences that build on what you learn in the classroom.

Imagine Your Future

Special education teachers are sought after by public and private school systems alike. In fact, demand is expected to climb by 4 percent over the next few years. So your plan to pursue your MEd in special education comes at a good time. Professionals like you are needed to provide the instruction, curriculum, and assessment of pre-K to grade 12 students with learning, emotional, behavioral, and physical disabilities.

Whether you want to become a special education educator or an administrator, IUP's MEd in Special Education program will help you reach your goals, providing you with the knowledge and understanding of working in special education services.

Similar Occupations

  • Board certified behavior analysts
  • Career and technical education teachers
  • Hearing support teachers
  • Other content area teachers
  • Speech and language pathologists
  • Vision support teachers

Median Salary


per year in 2021

Need for special education teachers


Increase from 2021–31

Classes and Requirements

Classes and Requirements

The MEd in Special Education program is designed to give you the skills to become an effective, confident special education teacher or administrator. 

Among the skills you’ll gain in your classes: 

  • Adapting special equipment for individuals. 
  • Assessing students’ strengths and limitations for instructional planning.
  • Demonstrating adaptability, flexibility, and initiative in meeting their changing needs. 
  • Implementing curricula to meet the individual needs of students with disabilities.
  • Planning for and effectively using paraprofessionals.
  • Practicing diagnostic prescriptive instructional procedures.
  • Using positive behavior management techniques. 

You may be required to take additional classes depending on your present certification (e.g., if you have secondary education certification you must show competence in teaching language arts, reading, and math to students with disabilities).

These are the requirements to earn your MEd in Special Education:

  • Apply for graduation and/or certification.
  • Be evaluated for graduation by the graduate coordinator.
  • Complete all coursework.
  • Pay the Pennsylvania Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) application and IUP Certification Fee.
  • Sit for the Praxis exam(s) — successfully complete both modules before the internship (certification).
  • Take the competency exam (master’s).

Refer to the Graduate Catalog for detailed information on admissions, courses, and course descriptions.

Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

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Special Education Certification Only

Do you have initial teaching certification in a content area such as early childhood education, English education, or art education, but are interested in working with special needs students? IUP’s Special Education Certificate was designed for you.

This 24-credit certificate program is offered by the special education program in IUP’s Department of Communication Disorders, Special Education, and Disability Services. It leads to Pennsylvania certification in special education in pre-K to grade 12.


  • Complete two practicum experiences.
  • Sit for the Praxis exam(s).
  • Take additional coursework that may be required for Pennsylvania certification if you don’t have prerequisite methods courses. Individual programs will be designed based on a review of transcripts.
  • Take courses related to characteristics of students with disabilities, effective instructional practices, and assessment.

Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

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Working with young children with special needs is rewarding—we all can learn new ideas and perspectives from each other. Why not share what you learn?

As a student in the MEd in Special Education program, you’re encouraged to participate in the Scholars Forum. Or you can work with a faculty member to share current literature or research in an area of focus. Faculty members welcome collaboration with graduate students who have a shared passion to assist special-needs individuals through advocacy or self-advocacy. 

Graduate assistantships and scholarships

Interested in a graduate assistantship or scholarship? Each semester, opportunities are made available to students in the MEd or MEd plus certification programs. 

Admission Requirements

Here’s everything you must provide to be considered for admission to the MEd in Special Education program.

  • A minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Nonrefundable $50 application fee
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, including those institutions from which a degree was not earned
  • Online application form (or request a hard copy by emailing graduate-admissions@iup.edu)
  • Signed and dated statement of career and academic goals that includes:
    • Your professional goals and research area of interest
    • A summary of your achievements within the field of practice
    • A summary of your research abilities
    • Minimum of 300 words
  • Two letters of recommendation

Ready to apply for admission? Please send all information to the following address: Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Admissions Office, Sutton Hall, Suite 120, 1011 South Drive, Indiana, PA 15705.