Special Education MEd


Learn more about the Master of Education in Special Education.

About the Program

The Special Education (SPED) program in the College of Education and Human Development equips teachers with deep understanding of the sociocultural context of education; high-impact instructional practices; and empirically supported, preventative approaches to provide equitable education to children with disabilities. The program features uphold and further both the College’s and the University's mission in the following ways:

  • Promoting evidence-based practice and effective implementation in the classroom;

  • Recognizing and ameliorating the impact of sociocultural factors on the education of children with disabilities;

  • Advocating inclusive practices both within schools and within society as a whole; and

  • Emphasizing preventative approaches to support improved teaching and learning.

The Special Education MEd program allows Temple Teacher Residency (TTR) students the ability to complete student teaching across two semesters in a year-long residency. Non-TTR students may complete student teaching in one semester.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 5 years

Campus Location: Main and Online

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: Students complete the degree program through classes offered after 5:30 p.m. The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

Accreditation: The program is approved as a teacher certification program by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and is accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).

Areas of Specialization: The scope of the Special Education certificate is grades PreK-8.

Job Prospects: The market for highly qualified special education teachers remains unabated. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an increased need for special education teachers. The shortage of special education teachers has been identified regionally (i.e., Pennsylvania and New Jersey) and is particularly prevalent in urban centers in the immediate environs of Temple University.

Licensure/Certification: Upon successful completion of the degree requirements and passing all required licensure examinations, candidates may apply for Pennsylvania Special Education PreK-12 certification.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Students may take up to, but not more than, 9 credits of graduate study in the program before being admitted to the program. The credits transfer into the program, if the student is admitted. Students completing non-matriculated courses before being admitted to the program are NOT guaranteed admission.

Financing Opportunities: Financial support opportunities may include scholarships, tuition remission and other financial aid such as grants, loans and federal work study.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: March 1
Spring: November 1
Summer II: March 1

Applicants should submit all required admissions documents by the application deadline to receive priority consideration for admission and financial support.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 2

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained to provide insight regarding the applicant's academic competence and should ideally attest to the candidate's academic ability and readiness to work with students at the middle- and secondary-grade levels. References from college/university faculty are recommended.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration: Significant coursework (i.e., the equivalent of a minor or better) and/or professional experience related to the intended certification area are preferred.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A bachelor's degree is required. A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is expected.

International applicants should also submit an official document that validates completion and conferral of a degree, diploma and/or certificate. While not required, international applicants are encouraged to submit transcript(s) to the World Education Services (WES) for evaluation.

Statement of Goals: In 500 to 1,000 words, outline your interest in seeking a master’s degree with a specific focus on the career to which you aspire, your interests, and your academic and job-related experiences that are relevant to the program.

Standardized Test Scores:
Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 79
  • IELTS Academic: 6.5
  • PTE Academic: 53

Resume: Current resume required.

Transfer Credit: Courses may be transferred from an accredited institution provided they were completed less than five years ago and are relevant to the program. The academic advisor makes the decision about the relevancy of the courses that the student desires to transfer. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 6.

Clearances: All admitted students must submit copies of the required Pennsylvania criminal background check, FBI criminal history, Child Abuse check, and TB test to the College of Education and Human Development's Office of Field Placement prior to enrolling in their first term. These clearances are required by law prior to entering pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade classrooms to complete field experience requirements, starting with the first term and continuing throughout the program.

Pennsylvania clearances are not required for application completion. All new students who possess required Pennsylvania clearances more than one year old must submit updated clearances to the Office of Field Placement. Please note that obtaining these clearances may take up to six weeks. For instructions, please visit the Office of Field Placement's website at https://education.temple.edu/ofp/clearances.

Other Requirements:

  1. Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts from all accredited institutions attended and/or from which credit was earned must be submitted.
  2. Upon admission to the Special Education MEd program, students must submit proof from an accredited body of Instructional I Certification, if already earned.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 37

Required Courses:

Core Courses
EDUC 5402Child and Adol Develop 13
SPED 5105Assessment in Special Education3
SPED 5106Literacy Instruction for Students with Disabilities3
SPED 5107Understanding and Using Special Education Research3
SPED 5109Classroom Management and Positive Behavior Support 13
SPED 5201Students with Moderate to Severe Disabilities: Effective Teaching Strategies3
SPED 5211Effective Instruction for Students with Disabilities 13
SPED 5402Effective Transition Practices for Students with Disabilities3
SPED 5666Introduction to Special Education 13
TESL 5631Foundations of Language Teaching: Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners 13
Culminating Courses
Select either Residency or Non-Residency Student Teaching and Seminar:7
Residency Student Teaching and Seminar
Residency Practicum Capstone
Residency Student Teaching Capstone
Supervised Teaching 2
Non-Residency Student Teaching Seminar
Research Methods and Induction Capstone
Supervised Teaching 2
Total Credit Hours37

Approved Courses for Students Who Have Satisfied Competencies for Instructional I Certification1

ABA 5302Effective Teaching Strategies and Academic Interventions3
ABA 5303Ethical and Legal Issues3
ABA 5304Concepts and Principles of Behavior Analysis3
ABA 5305Single Subject Research Design3
ABA 5306Organizational Behavior Management - OBM3
ABA 5676Applied Behavior Analysis3
ABA 8787Seminar on Verbal Behavior3
EDUC 5212Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology in Education3
EDUC 5255Tech in Classrooms: TPCK3
ILT 5287ILT: Practicum in Instructional Technology3
ILT 5499ILT: Instructional Technology and Learning3
ILT 5639Instructional Design and Development3
SPED 5302Effective Teaching Strategies and Academic Interventions3
SPED 9287Practicum in Special Education3
TESL 5613Multilingual Students' Literacy Development3
TESL 5616Designing Assessment and Curriculum for Multilingual Students3
TESL 5621Contexts for Teaching and Learning Language3

Culminating Events: Student teaching and satisfactory completion of all coursework is required to earn the Special Education MEd.


Program Web Address:


Department Information:

Dept. of Teaching and Learning

College of Education and Human Development

1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6091



Submission Address for Application Materials:


Department Contacts:


Office of Enrollment Management