Jul 20, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Education, M.Ed.

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General Information



The M.Ed. in special education offers a rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum that prepares currently certified and/or experienced teachers to be special educators and teacher leaders for school-aged students with special needs. Through a combination of rigorous coursework and supported school-based field experiences, the program trains students to use evidence-based practices, monitor response to intervention, individualize intervention based on assessed needs, understand special education law and policy, provide positive-behavior support, and collaborate with colleagues.

Admission Requirements

Before enrolling in the M.Ed. program, all students must provide the following:

  1. An official sealed transcript of academic work that reflects a baccalaureate degree with a minimum 3.000 overall GPA. Transcripts from countries outside the U.S. must be accompanied by an official evaluation of the transcript by an SMU-recognized evaluation agency. No copies will be accepted. Applicants not meeting the 3.000 GPA requirement must request an exemption in writing and provide proof of other qualifications, such as long-term experience or expertise in a related specialized field, as a justification for admission.
  2. For applicants from countries where the predominant language is not English, or prior coursework was not delivered in English, official scores (earned within the previous five years) on the TOEFL English language proficiency test administered by the Educational Testing Service or the IELTS English competency test. The minimum TOEFL score for admission is 550 on a pencil-and-paper test or 92 on the Internet-based test. The IELTS minimum score is 6.5. A TOEFL or IELTS waiver may be granted on the basis of:1) the student applicant has lived and worked full time in the US or another country where English is the official language for at least 3 of the past 5 years; or 2) the applicant holds an undergraduate and/or prior graduate degree from a college or university where English is the official language of instruction
  3. As evidence of financial support, international students must provide a Certification of Finance Form/Letter of Financial Backing. (This applies to students who are not awarded a scholarship.) This should represent that sufficient money will be available to the applicant to cover all expenses while at the University. This letter may be signed by a parent or sponsor but must be certified by a bank. The document must be notarized and on file before the process for visas and passport can proceed.
  4. A completed application and a $40 nonrefundable application fee payable to SMU: Department of Teaching and Learning.
  5. Letters of recommendation and written essays may be required for admission to particular programs of study. Visit the Teaching and Learning website at www.smu.edu/teacher for specific admission requirements.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete 36 graduate-level credit hours. Courses are taught after traditional school hours and in the summer to offer maximum flexibility. The primary instructional format is conventional face-to-face instructor/student contact, augmented with online delivery of relevant material. The required courses cover foundations of special education, diverse learners, assessment for special educators, and academic and behavioral interventions, and they include three supervised field experiences conducted in students’ school settings. The capstone course, applied research in special education, involves an action research study.

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