UMass Boston

Special Education MEd

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Learn how to teach students with moderate disabilities in both special education and inclusive settings.

UMass Boston’s Special Education master’s program prepares individuals to teach students with moderate disabilities in both special education and inclusive settings. The MEd in special education is focused on social justice in urban schools, emphasizing students with disabilities and the knowledge, dispositions, and practices necessary to combat disproportional representation. Several MEd courses can be taken online for a hybrid learning experience, and two of our related special education certificate programs are entirely online.

The Special Education MEd is available in four different tracks:

  • Moderate Disabilities, Pre-K-8
  • Moderate Disabilities, Grades 5-12
  • Transition Leadership
  • Non-Licensure

The program is a hybrid model with about 50% of the classes online:

  • Includes a mix of fully online classes; hybrid classes that are roughly half online and half face-to-face; and a few classes that meet mostly face-to-face.
  • Great balance that provides flexibility, and connections with both faculty and classmates.
  • Face-to-face classes all meet one time per week at the UMass Boston campus at either 4PM or 7PM, so you can attend classes and work full time.

We focus on social justice issues and the urban classroom environment. All of our instructors have extensive teaching experience that they bring into the classroom. Most courses are taught by full time faculty.

Ready to talk? Email christopher.denning@umb.edu to schedule a call with the program director.

Why Apply for UMass Boston’s Special Education MEd Program?

This program offers opportunities for students to learn to about special education and inclusive pedagogy and content across the curriculum areas. Through working with dedicated faculty to develop teaching skills, action research skills, and knowledge of child and youth development, our graduates are prepared to work in urban, diverse, and inclusive settings and serve students and their families as soon as they graduate.

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How to Apply

Moderate Disabilities Tracks

In addition to the criteria below, applicants must meet general graduate admission requirements.

  • A statement of purpose explaining the applicant’s reasons for pursuing graduate study in the field of moderate disabilities. This statement should have two parts:
    • an initial section of up to 300 words describing your reasons for wishing to pursue graduate studies
    • a second section of approximately 1,200 words describing your specific interests, the kind of work you intend to perform, and your goals within the program to which you are applying
  • A distinguished undergraduate transcript, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0.
  • A score report of the Communications and Literacy Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL). Out-of-state applicants may submit scores from either the Miller Analogies Test or the Graduate Record Examination. Please note: While MTEL scores are required, the MAT and/or GRE is waived if the applicant already holds a graduate degree in a related field in the United States.
  • Three letters of recommendation submitted by individuals who are knowledgeable about teaching students with disabilities, who have worked closely with the applicant, and who have direct knowledge of the applicant’s teaching skills and academic performance.
  • A writing sample indicating the applicant’s ability to write in a clear, concise, and professional manner. This sample may be in the form of a recent term paper or research paper. The writing sample should NOT be an Individualized Education Program (IEP), an evaluation report, and a lesson/unit plan. The College of Education and Human Development has as its basic goal that the students who graduate are thoughtful and responsive educators, committed to change for social justice. NOTE: This writing sample is in addition to the statement of intent requirement for the Special Education Program.

Transition Leadership Track

In addition to the criteria below, applicants must meet general graduate admission requirements.

  1. Letter of Intent: This letter must clearly explain the applicant’s reasons for pursing a graduate study in the field of Transition Leadership.
  2. Grade Point Average: A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is required for admission to the program.
  3. Letters of Recommendation: Two letters of recommendation must be submitted by persons who are knowledgeable about supporting students with disabilities, who have worked closely with the applicant, and who have direct knowledge of the applicant’s transition skills and academic performance.
  4. Copy of appropriate licensure: Must be license to teach students with moderate disabilities, students with severe disabilities, students with visual impairments, or students who are deaf or hard of hearing; School Guidance Counselor or School Social Worker/School Adjustment Counselor; are licensed as a Rehabilitation Counselor (as described in 262 CMR 4.00 Requirements for Licensure as a Rehabilitation Counselor); or have certification as a Rehabilitation Counselor as determined by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification
  5. Academic writing sample: A writing sample indicating the applicant’s ability to write in a clear, concise, and professional manner is needed. This sample may be in the form of a recent term paper. A priority for the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development is that the students who graduate are thoughtful and responsive educators, and committed to change for social justice. Please ensure that your writing sample demonstrates how you and your work match such a description. Your writing sample should also exemplify the experiences or values in your life that match this philosophy.

Deadlines & Cost

Deadlines: July 1 for fall, November 1 for spring

Application Fee: The nonrefundable application fee is $75. UMass Boston alumni and current students that plan to complete degree requirements prior to graduate enrollment can submit the application without paying the application fee.

Program Cost Information: Bursar's website

Curriculum: Successive Licensure in Moderate Disabilities PreK-8 and 5-12 Tracks

Required Courses (24 Credits)

  • EDC G 650 - Rethinking Equity and Teaching for English Language Learners 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 607 - Behavioral and Classroom Management 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 621 - Introduction to Disabilities for Educational Professionals 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 624 - Standardized Assessments for Students with Moderate Disabilities, PreK-12 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 629 - Consultation and Interpersonal Skills 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 630 - Building Collaborative Partnerships with Families of Students with Disabilities 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 633 - Legal and Political Issues in Special Education 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 684 - Computers in Special Education 3 Credit(s)

Track Courses (6 Credits)

Complete two courses from one of the tracks below.

PreK to 8 Track:

  • SPE G 625 - Reading and Writing Assessment and Instruction for Students with Moderate Disabilities, Pre K-8 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 626 - Math, Science, and Social Science Assessment and Instruction for Students with Moderate Disabilities 3 Credit(s)

5 to 12 Track:

  • SPE G 631 - Clinical Teaching: Secondary 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 632 - Alternative Strategies 3 Credit(s)

Practicum Course (6 Credits)

  • SPE G 698 - Moderate Practicum 3-6 Credit(s)

Capstone Course (3 Credits)

  • SPE G 692 - Capstone Research Seminar in Special Education: Professional Licensure 3 Credit(s)

Curriculum: Non-Licensure in Moderate Disabilities PreK-8 or 5-12 Track

Required Courses (24 Credits)

  • EDC G 650 - Rethinking Equity and Teaching for English Language Learners 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 607 - Behavioral and Classroom Management 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 621 - Introduction to Disabilities for Educational Professionals 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 624 - Standardized Assessments for Students with Moderate Disabilities, PreK-12 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 629 - Consultation and Interpersonal Skills 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 630 - Building Collaborative Partnerships with Families of Students with Disabilities 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 633 - Legal and Political Issues in Special Education 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 684 - Computers in Special Education 3 Credit(s)

Track Courses (6 Credits)

Complete two courses from one of the tracks below.

PreK to 8 Track:

  • SPE G 625 - Reading and Writing Assessment and Instruction for Students with Moderate Disabilities, Pre K-8 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 626 - Math, Science, and Social Science Assessment and Instruction for Students with Moderate Disabilities 3 Credit(s)

5 to 12 Track:

  • SPE G 631 - Clinical Teaching: Secondary 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 632 - Alternative Strategies 3 Credit(s)

Electives (6 Credits)
Complete two additional courses approved by your advisor.

Capstone Course (3 Credits)

  • SPE G 692 - Capstone Research Seminar in Special Education: Professional Licensure 3 Credit(s)

Curriculum: Transition Leadership Track

Transition Leadership Courses (15 Credits)

  • SPE G 654 - Youth Development and Self Determination 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 655 - Career Development and Competitive Employment 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 656 - Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 657 - Transition Topics 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 658 - Transition Leadership 3 Credit(s)

Special Education or Critical Thinking Courses (6 Credits)

  • SPE G 629 - Consultation and Interpersonal Skills 3 Credit(s)
    OR CRCRTH course
  • SPE G 684 - Computers in Special Education 3 Credit(s)

Education Course (3 Credits)

  • EDC G 606 - Sociocultural Foundations of Education 3 Credit(s)

Rehabilitation Counseling Courses (6 Credits)

  • REHAB 603 - Foundations of Rehabilitation 3 Credit(s)
  • REHAB 612 - Vocational Rehabilitation and Placement 3 Credit(s)

Capstone Course (3 Credits)

  • SPE G 693 - Practicum: Transition Leadership I 3 Credit(s)

Graduation Criteria

Successive Licensure in Moderate Disabilities PreK-8 or 5-12 Track

Complete 39 credits from twelve courses including eight required courses, two track courses, one practicum course, and one capstone course.

Track: Students must choose a track in PreK to 8 or 5 to 12.
Capstone: Completion of a written paper and oral presentation as part of SPE G 692.
Field experience: Complete 75 hours of monitored pre-practicum field-based experience, and a minimum semester-long supervised practicum (including hours in an inclusive setting).

Statute of limitations: Five years.

Non-Licensure in Moderate Disabilities PreK-8 or 5-12 Track

Complete 39 credits from 13 courses including eight required courses, two track courses, two electives, and one capstone course.

Track: Students must select a track in PreK to 8 or 5 to 12.
Capstone: Completion of a written paper and oral presentation as part of SPE G 692.

Statute of limitations: Five years.

Transition Leadership Track

Complete 33 credits from eleven courses including five transition leadership courses, two special education or critical thinking courses, one education course, two rehabilitation counseling courses and one capstone course.

Capstone: Completion of a practicum as part of SPE G 693.

Statute of limitations: Five years.

Contact

Graduate Program Director:

Kristin Murphy
(617) 287-4516
kristin.murphy [at] umb.edu

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