Master of Special Education

High-Impact Master's Education

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.

Program Emphasis

Two types of master’s degrees in special education are offered, the Master of Education (M.Ed.) with out a thesis and Master of Education (M.Ed.) with a thesis. These programs have differing emphases and so it is recommended that students meet with a faculty advisor in selecting the most appropriate program.

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.

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.

Applications are Accepted Year-Round

We recommend applications by April 15 for the fall semester and by October 15 for the spring semester.

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 Contact Faculty Member: Dr. Shanon Taylor

Program Requirements

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.

Special Education Program Faculty

Special Education
Tammy Abernathy
Tammy Abernathy, Ph.D.
Professor of Special Education
(775) 682-7862
WRB 3076
Special Education
Ann Bingham
Ann Bingham, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Special Education
(775) 682-7863
WRB 3086
Special Education
MaryAnn Demchak
MaryAnn Demchak, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Programs, Professor of Special Education
(775) 682-7852
WRB 3109
Special Education
Lindsay Diamond
Lindsay Diamond, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Special Education
(775) 682-7927
WRB 3085
Special Education
Lindsay Dorio
Lindsay Dorio, M.A.
Administrative Assistant III, Literacy, Language and Culture
(775) 682-7857
WRB 3067
Special Education
Robert Ives
Robert Ives, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Special Education
(775) 682-7867
WRB 3080
Special Education
Stephen Rock
Stephen Rock, Ph.D.
Professor of Special Education, NCED Director
(775) 784-6385
WRB 4102
Special Education
Shanon Taylor
Shanon Taylor, Ed.D.
Associate Professor of Special Education
(775) 682-7864
WRB 3081