Master's in Adolescent Special Education

NYSUT’s Education & Learning Trust (NYSUT ELT) and Empire State University have partnered to make it easier for teachers to pursue an additional NYS certification in Students with Disabilities through its expanded online program.

Online M.Ed. in Adolescent Special Education Degree

Applicants to the online M.Ed. program in Adolescent Special Education are required to possess at minimum an initial teaching certificate in New York State and must be currently teaching. The 33–42 credits for the program are dependent on the applicant’s background and prior coursework. Additional requirements include 50 hours of classroom field observations in inclusion, resource, and self-contained classrooms; a four-week clinical residency; a capstone action research project; and successful completion of the two Content Specialty Tests in Students with Disabilities and the Multi-Subject: Secondary Teachers (Grade 7–Grade 12) and the three-hour Autism workshop.

Completion of this degree program and passing scores on the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations lead to NYS Students with Disabilities 7-12 Generalist Initial and Professional certification.

For more information on the application processes click here.

NYSUT Core Courses

Field Experience Hours Requirement for M.Ed.*

SPED 6005 Introduction to the History of Special Education Law


EDUC 6015 Exceptionalities: Individualized Learning


SPED 6045 Behavior Management and Intervention


SPED 6060 Psychoeducational Assessment Practices and IEP Development and Implementation


*For certified candidates seeking Initial SPED certification

After completing NYSUT core course(s) with a grade of B or above, students formally apply to Empire State University for matriculation in order to complete the remaining program requirements.

Partnership benefits include:

  • Waiver of orientation fee in a degree or certificate program at time of submission of online admissions application ($50 for degree program; $25 for certificate program)
  • A one-time, $100 Presidential Scholarship applied to the student’s first term of enrollment in a degree or certificate program.

Note: Students must be enrolled past day 28 of the term to remain eligible for the scholarship. This scholarship is not available for Military and Veteran Educational Partnerships.

Please contact to receive this benefit.

  • Empire State Universities M.Ed. in Adolescent Special Education program is available fully online, but requires access to New York State schools.
  • The program’s philosophy and subsequent courses are based on an inclusive model that prepares teacher candidates for collaboration and co-teaching in the inclusion classroom.

Be mindful: New York State regulation (effective Fall of 2016) requires that all graduate schools of education require a 3.0 GPA (undergraduate) in their admissions criteria, and use a standardized test as part of the admission process. If you are planning to matriculate into a Graduate Education Program, you will have to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or another test as indicated by the college you apply to.

As of May 2018, current certified teachers or educational leaders who already hold a graduate degree are exempt from taking the standardized test. To become exempt it may be necessary to apply for a waiver through the admissions. Waivers may also be available for the 3.0 GPA requirement. Ask your admissions officer for more information about these policies.