The Master of Arts in Special Education Program is designed to prepare certified teachers to teach students with special needs in a variety of settings. This program provides opportunities for students to understand the nature and causes of disabilities, become familiar with agencies and resources for persons with disabilities, and learn best practices and materials for teaching students with disabilities. This knowledge base, combined with a variety of shared experiences, provides opportunities for teachers to develop their expertise and become confident in their ability to work with students with special needs and become leaders in meeting the challenges of diverse classrooms.

For individuals who already hold New Jersey Teacher of the Handicapped or Teacher of Students with Disabilities certification, a 33-credit sequence is available to provide opportunities for them to further develop their knowledge base and become experts in the field of special education.

For individuals who are currently prepared to teach in general education settings, a 39-credit course sequence is designed to strengthen their preparation to meet the needs of all children, particularly those with disabilities. Students who currently hold a regular New Jersey instructional certificate in another field and successfully complete the program will be eligible for a New Jersey Teacher of Students with Disabilities Endorsement.

Course Requirements

Students entering with an undergraduate degree in education and teacher certification will be required to take the following courses in each area listed. Special education courses in Group II (Core Courses) must be completed in order based on the prerequisites. Based upon a review of previous coursework by their advisor, students entering with an undergraduate degree in special education and certification, as a teacher of students with disabilities or teacher of the handicapped may be able to waive up to 9 credits.

Group I-Introductory Courses (6 semester hours)

SPED-512 Psychology of Exceptionality
SPED-514 Positive Behavior Support

Group II-Core Courses  (21 semester hours) 


Inclusive Educational Practice (Prerequisites: SPED-512 and SPED-514)


Transition to Adult Life (Prerequisites: SPED-512 and SPED-514)


Assessment for Instruction in Special Education (Prerequisites: SPED-512 and SPED-514)


Instructional Practices for Children with Severe Disabilities (Prerequisites: SPED-512 and SPED-514, SPED-523, SPED-525, SPED-531)

SPED-539 Capstone Course: Instructional Practices for Children with Mild Disabilities (Prerequisites: SPED-512 and SPED-514, SPED-523, SPED-525, SPED-531, SPED-535)

Seminar in Collaboration, Consultation, and the Inclusive Classroom (Prerequisite: SPED-539)



Literacy and Students with Special Needs (Prerequisite: SPED-531, SPED-539)
Curriculum, Instruction, and Supervision of the Reading/Language Arts Process

Group III-Educational Research and Foundations  (6 semester hours) 


Introduction to Research


Sociological and Cultural Foundations of Education

Group IV-Electives  (3 semester hours)


Psychology of Cognitive Processes of Learning


Curriculum Development and Design
CNPY-514 Psychopathology
ECED-507 Emergent Literacy P-3
ECED-522 Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Education

Assistive and Augmentative Technology


Supervised Internship in Early Childhood Eucation (Prerequisites: SPED-512 and SPED-514, SPED-523, SPED-525, SPED-531, SPED-535, SPED-539)

Group V-Capstone Course (3 semester hours)


Professional Seminar in Special Education (Prerequisites: completion of all program courses

In addition to coursework, this program requires successful completion of a required sequence of field experiences. Candidates must also successfully pass a comprehensive examination covering knowledge and skills related to the field of special education.