Special Education Master's Programs

Photo of a teacher writing on the blackboardOur Special Education Master's Allows You To:

  • Gain your first teaching certificate (7–12 program only) or an additional teaching certificate(s).
  • Study full-time or part-time.
  • Study at convenient hours.
  • Learn from experienced faculty.

With national attention focused on reforming education for all students, SUNY Plattsburgh prepares you to help students with disabilities meet high standards. Courses are offered in the afternoon and evening so you may work as a substitute or full-time teacher during the regular school day. Some of our classes are offered in a web-based format through distance learning so that they can fit into your busy schedule.

Master of Education (M.S.Ed.) in Special Education

The main purpose of the special education program is to prepare master teachers capable of meeting the educational needs of students with mild to moderate disabilities in all types of educational environments in both public and private school settings. The prerequisites, credits, and practical experiences required vary depending on your prior education. You must hold an initial teaching certification in order to apply.

Four Graduate Programs to Choose From

The M.S.Ed. in Special Education degree programs require between 36 and 48 credit hours, depending on the program chosen. The prerequisites, courses, credits, and practica experiences required vary depending on the student's prior education.

  • Birth to Grade 2 (36 credits):
    • Prerequisites:
      • B.S. or B.A. in Elementary/Childhood, Secondary/Adolescence, or Special Education/Teacher Hearing & Speech.
      • NYS provisional or initial certification in elementary/childhood, secondary/adolescence, or special education/teacher hearing & speech.
  • Birth to Grade 6 (48 credits):
    • Prerequisites:
      • B.S. or B.A. in Elementary/Childhood, Secondary/Adolescence, or Special Education/Teacher Hearing & Speech.
      • NYS provisional or initial certification in elementary/childhood, secondary/adolescence, or special education/teacher hearing & speech.
  • Grades 1 to 6 (39 credits):
    • Prerequisites:
      • B.S. or B.A. in Elementary Childhood Education.
      • NYS provisional or initial certification in elementary/childhood education.
  • Grades 7 to 12 Generalist (42 credits):

Capstone Portfolio

Our challenge is to give you the opportunity to give meaning to isolated facts and put them into a personal perspective. We strive to make a connective link across the disciplines, placing specialties in a larger context, and highlighting your scholastic efforts in a revealing and meaningful way. You will be required to complete a capstone project to bring this all together. Learn more about the capstone project and portfolio.

Admission Requirements

  • Appropriate preparation at the baccalaureate level;
  • Completed Graduate Study Application with required supporting materials;
  • Evidence of a 2.75 undergraduate GPA on a 4.0 scale;
  • Evidence of superior achievement in courses most closely allied with the student's teaching and/or certification area(s);
  • Three teacher education recommendation forms that address your ability to take part in a graduate program in education (At least 2 of the letters should be from college faculty.);
  • Statement of purpose indicating why you want to enter this program;
  • For the B-2, 1-6, or B-6 programs, you will need to submit a copy of your NYS teaching certificate at the elementary and/or secondary level OR a written explanation of how all NYSED requirements (including exams) for such a certificate will be completed prior to matriculation.You cannot be admitted into the program until you have passed all NYSTCE exams; and
  • Availability of program openings.

Application Deadlines and Materials

The application deadline for matriculation in the spring semester is October 15. The application deadline for fall or summer matriculation is February 15.

Program Requirements

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

If you would like to learn more about our programs in special education at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

Heidi Schnackenberg, Ph.D.

Program Area Coordinator, Master of Science in Education Programs
Office: Sibley Hall 309
Phone: (518) 564-5143
Fax: (518) 564-2149
Email: heidi.schnackenberg@plattsburgh.edu