Carlow’s Master of Education in Special Education will give you a more thorough understanding of how students with special needs learn and what you can do to make sure each child reaches his or her potential. You’ll be an advocate for students and their families and assist parents finding their way around educational and health care systems.

Special Education Certification for Pre-K-12 is available as a stand-alone initial teaching certification or as an add-on to an existing teaching certificate. The program prepares you to meet the needs of children with a wide variety of mental, physical, social, emotional and behavioral disabilities in diverse settings. 

Teacher Helping Pupils Studying At Desks In Classroom
Credits required: 

30-51 credits

Cost per credit:


Time to degree:

As few as 18 months


In-Person Student Teaching 

Special Education degree courses focus on positive behavior support, disciplinary and digital literacy, and early intervention. The program culminates in student teaching. Study abroad options are available in Ireland and Nicaragua.  

Students who have an existing teaching certification can complete this program with 30 credits. Students who also need initial teaching certification can complete this program with 51 credits.

Quick facts

  • Gain integrated practicum experiences 
  • Develop strong background in structured literacy and dyslexia 
  • Certification covers all areas of mild, moderate, and severe disabilities 
  • Learn and grow from full-time faculty in the department with vast experiences in special education 
At school – beautiful teacher helps her student to learn

Certificate options

Add-on certificate

If you already have a teaching license, you can earn this MEd under our add-on certificate option. When applying, indicate your interest in the add-on certificate option.

Graduate Certificate in Special Education (PreK-12)

This program is available as a graduate certificate which leads to an endorsement from PDE for already licensed teachers.


Fast track your way into this master’s program by taking graduate courses as a Carlow undergraduate student. Course credits count toward both degrees. Apply for the accelerated option after your sophomore year.

Career opportunities for MEd in Special Education

Employment of special education teachers is projected to grow 3% from 2019 to 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Demand for special education services and teachers should rise as disabilities are being identified earlier and as children with disabilities are enrolled into special education programs.

Testimonials #1
Meet our Alumni


Director of Special Education, Provident Charter School

"When deciding to attend graduate school, Carlow University was a natural choice, not only because of its familiarity, but also because of the various degree options."


Head Teacher, Child’s World Daycare

"I especially loved The Campus Laboratory School. It was a chance to experience the design of different classrooms, closely observe many teaching styles, and practice using different instructional strategies in a supportive environment."


Chemistry Teacher, Avonworth School District

"I want to take this moment and thank Dr. Keely Baronak and the whole Carlow team for the education and experiences I've gained from the MEd Secondary Education program. I'm excited to represent Carlow in my new home."

Testimonials #1

You can apply for free online, and must submit the following materials:

  • Official transcripts from all degree-granting institutions you have attended
  • Personal essay that describes your academic objectives
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation that address your leadership potential and ability to succeed in graduate-level work


Start terms:

Fall, Spring & Summer

An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher is preferred; however, provisional admission is also possible if you do not meet all of the admission criteria but exhibit a strong possibility of academic success. No prerequisites or teacher licensure required for this degree and certification

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If you are interested in this graduate program, our Admissions team is available to help you with the next steps, including scheduling an on-campus visit or attending an upcoming event.

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