Special Education (M.S.Ed.)

Master of Science in Education Programs:

Special Education: Early Childhood Program Code: MSED-ED
Major Code: EXC

Special Education: Childhood Program Code: MSED-ED
Major Code: XCE

Special Education: Students with Disabilities (SWD) Generalist 7-12 Program Code: MSED-ED
Major Code: EXS

Graduate Certificate Program
Teaching Bilingual Exceptional Individuals Program Code: GRCT-ED
Major Code: BXE

Exceptional Education Department
Ketchum Hall 204
(716) 878-3038
General Information (voice mail): (716) 878-3038

Accredited: Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) (formerly NCATE)

Enrollment in all teacher education programs follows the guidelines for "Admission to Teacher Education Programs" found in this catalog.  Applicants who do not yet meet all admissions criteria should consult with the department.

The special education programs lead to a master of science in education degree and eligibility for New York State certification in special education. The teaching bilingual exceptional individuals program leads to eligibility for a New York State Bilingual Education Extension. The early childhood and childhood special education graduate programs are designed for students with undergraduate majors in education or special education.

The Exceptional Education Department offers three specialty master of science in education degree programs in special education: early childhood, childhood, and generalist 7-12. Students who are not provisionally/initially certified in special education must complete 15-18 credit hours of preliminary coursework in addition to the program area requirements. Students in the generalist 7-12 program or one of the 17 generalist 7-12 and 7-12 subject area extension programs may require additional New York State content core and/or specific subject area coursework. Required preliminary courses are listed under each program area below. All three programs require the completion of a research component: EXE 684 and EXE 690, which must be taken in sequential order at the end of the program. The Exceptional Education Department also offers a Bilingual Special Education Certificate Program. Successful completion of this program leads to recommendation for New York State certification extension in bilingual special education. Students are able to complete this certificate program concurrently with one of the special education masters of science in education programs offered by the department.


Because of the variety of options available in the department, it is imperative that majors and premajors seek advisement as early as possible. Students should contact their assigned academic advisers. The student designs programs of study with his or her adviser according to the student’s goals and background.


Practicum assignments link theoretical coursework with the applied demands of a wide variety of internship settings. Practicum sites are available to meet the needs and interests of nearly all students and are selected by the program coordinator.


Students in the department who are certified in early childhood education, childhood education, or adolescent education must fulfill course and degree requirements for New York State certification in special education and/or teaching bilingual exceptional education.

Premajor Status

Students may not apply for premajor status. They apply to the graduate program, and the department decides if they are accepted to the program as majors or premajors. Premajors may enroll, by advisement, in two EXE courses at the 500 level (e.g., EXE 500, EXE 501) only. Premajors may not register for courses identified as "majors only" during the preregistration period. Student teaching and other fieldwork experiences are closed to premajors. There is no waiting list for admission to the Exceptional Education Department. Premajors apply for admission as majors by submitting a change of major form to the Graduate Studies Office during or after the completion of two EXE courses. Premajors are not guaranteed admission to the program.