College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions

MEd in Special Education

The online Master of Education in Special Education prepares you to become a highly competent teaching professional -- deeply knowledgeable in a range of disciplines related to the needs of children with disabilities, highly skilled in instruction, and proficient in sensitively collaborating with families and other educational specialists in learning systems.

Our program offers three tracks to best serve the needs of our students:

  • Master of Education in Special Education—Advanced Program: This track is designed for teachers who have an Initial or Provisional Certificate in Special Education and would like to qualify to apply to the state of Connecticut for the next level of certification. The track is also ideal for non-certified teachers and non-teachers who want to gain expertise in the field of special education, such as behavior specialists, instructional coordinators, home schoolers, and parents of children who are at-risk or identified with special needs.
  • Master of Education in Special Education—Cross Endorsement Program: This track is designed for licensed teachers who hold a valid Connecticut teaching certificate in another area (such as elementary education or secondary education, among others). Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to apply to the state of Connecticut to add an additional endorsement in special education to their teaching certificate.
  • Master of Education in Special Education—Initial Certificate Program: This track is designed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree and would like to enter the special education teaching profession. This could include substitute teachers, para educators, school psychologists, and individuals who want to become teachers. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to apply to the state of Connecticut for the Initial Teaching Certificate in Special Education.

Course objectives and desired outcomes are achieved through learning experiences that promote collegial discourse, collaborative problem solving, and reflective practice, including performance-based applications that require participants to apply specific content and competencies in professional practices.

Degree Requirements

Our online Master of Education in Special Education—Advanced Program consists of a minimum of 30 credit hours completed in a two-year sequence.

The online Master of Education in Special Education—Cross Endorsement Program and Initial Certificate Program consist of 36 credit hours completed in just over two years, with two student teaching experiences. Students in all tracks may choose to finish faster by taking more than one class at a time.  

Each of the course offerings is designed to maximize individual engagement through relevant, interactive, and collaborative instruction.

Students who do not have an educational background or who have not taken an introductory special education course will take EDH 510: Theoretical Foundations of Children and Adults with Special Needs concurrently with their first course in the program.

The program of study is a cohesive framework of courses well-grounded in important theoretical studies; a progressive sequence of field-based/experiential learning opportunities to allow for the application of such theoretical models in the school environment; and an integrated research requirement that serves the program’s culminating experiences.

View the Graduate Bulletin for additional details about the program.

Advanced Program Required Credits (30 minimum)

Current Issues in Special Education
Classroom Environment and Management
Collaboration and Consultation Procedures
Life Skills and Transition Strategies
The Assessment Process
Academic and Curricular Strategies: Reading and Writing
Academic and Curricular Strategies: STEM Education
Designing and Implementing Research to Practice I
Integrating Technology for Learning Achievement
Designing and Implementing Research to Practice II

Note: Students who do not have an educational background or who have not taken an introductory special education course will take EDH 510: Theoretical Foundations of Children and Adults with Special Needs concurrently with their first course in the program.

Cross-Endorsement Program & Initial Certificate Program Required Credits (36 minimum)

Current Issues in Special Education: Theoretical Practice and Procedures
Classroom Environment and Management
Collaboration and Consultation Procedures
Life Skills and Transition Strategies
The Assessment Process
Academic and Curricular Strategies: Reading and Writing
Academic and Curricular Strategies: STEM Education
Designing and Implementing Research to Practice I
Integrating Technology for Learning Achievement
Program Planning and the Law

Practicum Experience: Students are required to complete two student teaching experiences (6 credits). Students who are on DSAP (Durational Shortage Permit) are advised on an individual basis regarding student teaching requirements.

Note: Students who do not have an educational background or who have not taken an introductory special education course will take EDH 510: Theoretical Foundations of Children and Adults with Special Needs concurrently with their first course in the program.

Program Benefits

for placement only

Benefits of our online Master of Education in Special Education include:

  • Convenience: Online instruction gives you the convenience of self-directed study—learning from the comfort of your home or office without specific or required class or login times.
  • Strong preparation in a broad range of disabilities: The rigorous academic program touches on learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral issues, and intellectual disabilities, preparing you to teach effectively across the learning spectrum. Diverse training offers you the opportunity to work with a broad range of students, making you versatile in the workplace.
  • Project-based learning in real-world settings: Most courses include project-based learning, in which you apply lessons learned in actual classroom settings. Guided by our experienced faculty, you will develop deeper understanding of required competencies. Experiential learning provides you with the opportunity to learn theory and apply it to actual students. Additionally, you can gain experience in your areas of interest as faculty utilize an individualized approach for project-based assignments and experience selections.
  • Research and application in the field:  Collaborating with a faculty advisor over two semesters, students in the Advanced Program will complete a capstone research project in a real-world classroom setting. Students in the Cross Endorsement and Initial Certificate program choose which areas of special education to focus on and complete 6 student teaching practicum credits, along with a portfolio.

Request more information about our online Master of Education in Special Education.

Admission Requirements

for placement only
  • Bachelor's degree (regional or national accreditation) in any field; related field preferred.
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 required (exceptions may be considered if close to GPA minimum)
  • Applicants to the Cross Endorsement program must hold a valid Connecticut teaching certificate in another area (such as elementary education or secondary education among others) to be eligible for admission.
  • While not required for admission or graduation from the program, students pursuing the Initial Certificate track will need to meet the state of Connecticut’s general education requirements prior to applying for state certification. Additionally, students in the Cross Endorsement and Initial Certificate tracks will need to pass required Connecticut licensure tests in order to qualify for state licensure. Please contact your admissions counselor for more information.

Please direct any questions to 860.788.4626 or email online@hartford.edu. Admission counselors can be reached at online@hartford.edu or at  860.788.4626.

Learn More

Graduate program events are held throughout the year. Open Houses are held in August and January. Learn more at hartford.edu/gradevents.

Take the Next Step

Now that you’re ready to earn your Master of Education in Special Education, there are a few simple steps to get started.

  • Complete our online application
  • Request official transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities to be sent to:
    Graduate Admissions, CC231
    University of Hartford
    200 Bloomfield Avenue
    West Hartford, CT 06117 USA

Submit the following:

  • Two letters of recommendation from professional or academic sources
  • Completed online University of Hartford application for graduate study
  • Application fee of $50
  • A letter of intent specifying the reasons for seeking admission. Your letter of intent should be approximately a page in length and describe why you are applying for the MEd in Special Education program. Specifically include how you believe the graduate program will help support your current and future career goals. If applicable, please include any professional experience working with individuals with exceptionalities. Additionally, please pay careful attention to grammar and presenting a cohesive, meaningful personal statement. Lastly, please be sure to include your name and contact information in the document.
  • A résumé outlining related education and professional experience
  • A copy of your current Connecticut teaching certificate (only if you are applying for the Cross Endorsement program)

Deadlines and Dates

Admission into the online master’s program in special education can occur for the fall, spring, or summer semesters. Our program offers a rolling admissions process; however, you are encouraged to apply at least one month prior to intended start date.

International Students

Check the additional requirements for international applicants.

Additional Information

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. To prepare exemplary special education professionals (teachers and related services personnel) to provide all students with quality educational experiences and be their advocate.
  2. To prepare teaching professionals to be positive agents of change within their educational environments.
  3. To develop highly qualified special education professionals to apply evidenced-based strategies and collaborative and ethical practices with students and colleagues.
  4. To prepare highly qualified special education professionals with multiple opportunities to bridge theory with practice.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Please see this page for the University's official current tuition rates and fees. Note that tuition and fees are subject to change.


Financial Aid Office
860.768.4296
finaid@hartford.edu

Program Contacts

Sheetal Sood
Director of Special Education
Associate Professor, Department of Education
860.768.4359
sood@hartford.edu

You may also contact the Department of Education at 860.768.5734 for a referral to an appropriate faculty member.

Graduate Admission Office
860.768.4371
800.945.0712
GradStudy@hartford.edu

Start your UHart journey today. Take the next step.