Master of Special Education


Program information

Program Manual

Program Contact Info

Dr. Shanon Taylor
College of Education
Office: (775) 682-7864

Graduate School catalog info

The Master of Education in Special Education focuses on the preparation of teachers to work with students with disabilities in PK-12 schools. Teachers may also be prepared to work in early childhood educational settings with infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.

Emphasis areas include:

  • mild to moderate disabilities (K-12),
  • moderate to profound intellectual disabilities (K-age 22),
  • advanced studies in learning and behavior disorders,
  • autism and related disorders (K-12),
  • advanced studies in behavioral interventions, and
  • early intervention/early childhood special education.

Programs of study leading to initial licensure or advanced preparation are both available.

Applications are accepted year-round. We recommend applications by April 15 for the fall semester and by October 15 for the spring semester.

Students will develop an in-depth understanding of special education policy and law, student characteristics, instructional methods, assessment, behavior management, and working collaboratively with families. They will be familiar with the professional literature related foundations and research in special education related to their area of emphasis. Teacher leadership is stressed with graduates able to interpret and evaluate research findings and apply them to special education and early intervention settings.

Admission Requirements

  • Completion of the program application
  • Passing scores Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators in Reading, Writing, and Math or CBEST.  If you provide evidence of a Nevada Teaching License without a provision for the basic skills test or have a master's degree in another area, you are exempt from this requirement.
  • Statement of professional goals
  • 1-2 page resume
  • Two professional letters of recommendation
  • Qualified in the professional judgment of the program faculty

The specific curriculum requirements are adapted to the professional needs of the student. Students should not enroll in any graduate-level course without first securing the approval of the program that such a course is acceptable.

Program Requirements

The MEd Degree in Special Education requires students to develop a program of study in conjunction with their advisor and committee that includes a minimum of 34 graduate credits, at least 15 of which must be at the 700-level.

Completion Requirements for the Master's Degree include:

a. Filing a program of study, approved by the Graduate School
b. Maintaining a 3.0 GPA in all graduate work
c. Successful completion of a culminating comprehensive examination, portfolio, project or a thesis

Program Hours

A minimum of 34 credits are required. All degree candidates are required to complete one or more research courses. In addition, students are required to take 1 to 3 credits of comprehensive examination, which may or may not be above the 34 credits of approved courses, for completion of a culminating comprehensive examination, portfolio, or project.  Some emphasis areas offer, and students choose to complete, a six-credit thesis as part of the program, resulting in a program of at least 39 credits.  A maximum of six graduate credits of S/U grades may be applied toward a master's degree.

Related Degrees and Programs

Contact College of Education

Phone (775) 784-4298 (Undergraduate Advisement)
(775) 784-4345 (Main)
Fax (775) 784-6298
Location William J. Raggio