The Master of Education in Special Education curriculum includes the coursework in two areas: special education courses and core master of education courses, total of 11 courses (33 credits) with field experiences. Up to 6 graduate credits from another university may be transferred upon approval. Course credits may be used as Act 48 credits.

The coursework is online. Tuition rate is $516 per graduate credit, aligned with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) institutions. Take advantage of a rolling admissions process and apply now!


Special Education Courses (18 credits)

MED 505, Introduction to Special Education (3 credits, 5 field hours)

This course reviews all areas of student exceptionalities and how special education services are acquired, developed and provided in today’s schools.  Students will learn how family and community collaboration together with research-based educational practices, assist individuals with exceptionalities be successful in home, school and community settings.  Embedded in this course are observation and interaction activities with individuals in community settings who have disabilities.

MED 515, Differentiated Instruction in the Inclusive Classroom (3 credits, 5 field hours, pre-requisite MED 505)

This course focuses on content, methods, and materials specifically oriented to assisting students with diverse needs to achieve academically and socially in today’s inclusive schools.  Competencies in analyzing instructional events and collaboration as needed by school personnel are observed for five hours in inclusive settings which address the needs of students with disabilities in our schools.

MED 535, Collaboration and Legal Issues for Special Education (3 credits, pre-requisite MED 515)

This course will focus on understanding the legal statutes and regulations regarding students with disabilities and the resulting impact on the delivery of services and educational programs. Skills in development and delivery of the Individualized Education Plan, from age 3-21, including effective communication and collaboration, will be addressed. Discussion of professional dispositions and ethical behaviors of effective special educators will be reviewed. 

 MED 542, Assessment and Instruction of Students with Developmental Disabilities (3 credits, 10 field hours)

This course deals with what autism and other developmental disabilities are, and best practices teachers use with students who have these conditions.  Functional curriculum and assessment in domains of basic communication, self-help, social skills, life skills, fine and gross motor for such students will be addressed.  Assistive technology for these populations will be explored.

MED 605, Enhancing Literacy for the Special Needs Students (3 credits, 20 field hours)

The course, designed for prospective special education classroom teachers, develops skills for the development, teaching, and enhancing of literacy skills: language, reading, and writing. Students review current and developing research and classroom practices that encourage the acquisition and improvement of those skills through learning strategies that are explored within 20 hours of required field activity experiences.

MED XXX, Elective

Please follow the advisor's recommendation.

Requirements for Field Experiences

At the beginning of each academic year, students are required to satisfy the requirements for educator field experiences. Please read about the requirements and submission process here.


M.Ed. Courses (15 credits)

COR 520, Ethics and Moral Leadership (3 credits)

Learn about the importance of ethics and moral leadership in educating children. 

MED 518, Quantitative Research Methods (3 credits)

Learn about and practice the skills of quantitative research, including the emphasis on educational data interpretation.

MED 520, Educators as Researchers (3 credits)

This course has a pre-requisite, MED 518. Learn about educational research with emphasis on action research. 

MED 610, School Law & Social Advocacy (3 credits)

Learn about laws, court cases, and regulations relevant to public education. 

MED 680, Research Seminar (3 credits; M.Ed. capstone)

This capstone course has a prerequisite, MED 520. Conduct a research project that is relevant to your teaching context and/or interest. 

Read about the program and view the M.Ed. core course descriptions in the Graduate Catalog. Read more about the admission requirements and application process.

Program Completion Requirements

  • Complete the 33-credit coursework including field experiences 
  • Earn GPA 3.0 or higher
Julie Kehr, Special Education Teacher
Why Choose Alvernia?
"Alvernia introduced me to the world of special education, and I knew this would be my career track. Currently, I am employed as a Special Education Program Coordinator. In this position, I can continue serving students with special needs in the greater Reading area, specifically those with autism and multiple disabilities.”

— JULIE KEHR, Elementary/Special Education ‘09, Principal Certification ‘22