Special Education (MSED)

Binghamton University’s advanced (in-service) programs in special education lead to a Master of Science in Education (MSEd) and eligibility for New York state teaching certification at three respective grade levels: Birth-Grade 2, Grades 1-6  and Grades 7-12.

The programs in Special Education provide knowledge and skills to fulfill various special educator roles in today's schools and communities. Sufficient flexibility exists for graduates of early childhood, childhood, adolescence or special education undergraduate programs to deepen their skills in the field, link special education programs and services to the broader context of general education, and extend their knowledge and skills to work more effectively with students with disabilities.

Program requirements

The Special Education advanced teacher preparation programs (MSEd) require a minimum of 30-33 credits. In addition to intensive coursework, students complete fieldwork and internship requirements. Four program options are available, corresponding with the age/grade level of the applicant's initial certificate:

Early Childhood Special Education

  1. Requires initial certification in Early Childhood Education (B-2)
  2. Leads to eligibility for initial/professional NYS certification in Teaching Students with Disabilities (B-2)

Early Childhood and Childhood Special Education

  1. Requires initial certification in Early Childhood and Childhood Education (B-2, 1-6)
  2. Leads to eligibility for initial/professional NYS certification in Teaching Students with Disabilities (B-2, Grades 1-6)

Childhood Special Education

  1. Requires initial certification in Childhood Education (Grades 1-6)
  2. Leads to eligibility for initial/professional NYS certification in Teaching Students with Disabilities (Grades 1-6)

Adolescence Special Education

  1. Requires initial certification in a secondary content area (Grades 7-12)
  2. Eligibility for initial/professional NYS certification in Teaching Students with Disabilities (Grades 7-12)

If the student does not hold one or more of the initial certificates required for the MSEd Special Education programs, the student may be eligible for the:

  1. Educational Studies program,
  2.  Adolescence Master of Arts in Teaching Programs or the
  3. Childhood, Early Childhood and Special Education (Birth - grade 6) program.

For Adolescence Special Education students only: Applicants must also meet the New York state requirement of having six credits in each area of English, mathematics, natural sciences and social sciences. This program leads to “Students with Disabilities – Generalist” certification.

For Early Childhood and Childhood MSEd Special Education students only: Our MSEd Special Education students are matriculated into programs for which they are eligible. By adding an additional license it may be possible to switch into a different education program to better reflect the base licenses. In the case of the MSEd Childhood Special Education program, students who are matriculated into the grades 1-6 program may request to be switched in the B-grade 6 program once the additional B-grade 2 license is acquired. Likewise, a matriculated B-2 student may request a switch to the B-6 program once the additional childhood grades 1-6 license is obtained.

Culminating paper/project requirements

Students completing the MSEd in Special Education program complete an action research project (Capstone Intervention Project) in their special education internship placement.

Plans of study

The plan of study for the Special Education MSEd programs provides students and advisors with a form to guide students through the requirements.

Required courses

For all SPED programs:

In addition to the required courses taken by students across SPED programs, the following courses are required for particular age/grade ranges. See the plans of study for further information.

For early childhood (B-Grade 2) and early childhood and childhood (B-Grade 6) only:
For childhood (Grades 1-6) and early childhood and childhood (B-Grade 6) only:
For adolescence (Grades 7-12) only:

Students enrolled in teacher preparation programs must earn at least a B- in all courses to progress to subsequent semesters.


Request more information on our Special Education Degree (MSEd)

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