Graduate Bulletin

Graduate Teacher Certification Program, Ed.M.

Concentration: Special Education


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: April 1

Spring: October 1


Applications are processed as they are received throughout the year.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom:  Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members and others who can provide insight into the applicant's academic competence.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

The Pennsylvania Department of Education expects that all individuals seeking teacher certification at the master's level, regardless of the discipline, have taken at least 6 credits of college-level mathematics and 6 credits of college-level English composition and literature in their undergraduate program.  Prospective students should contact an advisor to discuss course/program prerequisites for the Special Education concentration.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree is required, although it need not be in a specific content area.

Statement of Goals:

In the Statement of Goals, applicants should indicate their goals and objectives for obtaining a master's degree and certification in Special Education. The statement should be approximately 500-1,000 words in length and should include the following elements:  your specific interest in Temple’s program; your future career goals; any job-related experiences that are relevant to the program; and your academic and research achievements and interests.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE/MAT is required.  It is expected that the scores will generally be at or above the 50th percentile.

Applicants must also pass the PRAXIS I examination required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In addition, a criminal background check, a TB test, and a child abuse clearance are required.


A resume is required.

Transfer Credit:

Courses from accredited institutions may be transferred into the Ed.M. program as long as they are current (no more than five years old) and relevant. The faculty advisor determines relevancy of any course that a student wants transferred. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 6.

Coursework Waivers:

Each student is assigned a faculty advisor at the time of admission. The advisor reviews the student's credentials and determines which, if any, of the required courses can be waived. In general, this waiver covers the beginning-level courses in the program. Waiving a specific requirement, however, does not reduce the total number of credits needed to graduate.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 36

Required Courses:

Core Courses (12 s.h.)

ED 5203 (403): Effective Teaching: Theory and Practice

ED 5287 (413): Practicum in Teaching   

ED 5254 (554): Characteristics of Computer Based Instruction

SPECIAL ED 5666 (666): Inclusive Education

Specialized Pedagogy Courses (21 s.h.)

ED 5204 (404) : Literacy K-6


ED 5259 (583): Teaching Reading and Language Arts to Students with Special Needs

MATH ED 5462 (462): Teaching Math to Children N-6

SP ED 5501 (510): Learning Environments

SP ED 5511 (511): Managing Learning Environments

SP ED 5512 (512): Methods and Curriculum

SP ED 5521 (521): Issues in Social, Emotional, and Physical Development

SP ED 5522 (522): Cognition, Language, and Literacy

Supervised Teaching and Seminar (6 s.h.)

ED 5275* (412): Seminar in Supervised Teaching

ED 5888* (406): Supervised Teaching

*  Must be taken simultaneously; only offered during the Fall and Spring semesters.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

Student teaching and its related seminar are the culminating events for this program. In addition, SP ED 522 should be taken as a capstone course as the last 9 hours of the program are completed.

Program Contact Information:

Department Information:

College of Education

434 Ritter Hall
1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Department Contacts:


Gwen Miller


Program Coordinator:

Dr. Saul Axelrod


Lead Professor for Speical Education:

Dr. Ken Thurman



Dr. Thomas J. Walker


About the Program

The Ed.M. program is uniquely designed so that teacher certification in Special Education or in various other content areas can be earned simultaneously with the master’s degree.  It is open to those who hold a baccalaureate degree outside education but who do not have a public school teaching credential.  Individuals seeking a Pennsylvania Intern and/or Instructional I certificate should apply.  Applicants already holding an Instructional I or II certificate who are interested in a master’s degree should apply to the CITE Department’s M.S.Ed. degree program.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 4 years

Campus Location:

Main, Harrisburg

Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are able to complete this degree program on either a full-time or part-time (8 credit hours or less per semester) basis.  Evening classes on Main campus start at 5:00 p.m.

Department Information:

College of Education

434 Ritter Hall
1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Interdisciplinary Study:

Not applicable.


The program is a state-approved teacher certification program.  It meets the general requirements and state standards for academic certification as specified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Study Abroad:



Not applicable.


The program is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and is approved as a teacher certification program by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Areas of Specialization:

The Special Education concentration prepares candidates to create inclusive classrooms and to meet the needs of a diverse group of students with a range of mild, moderate, or severe disabilities.  The scope of the Special Education certificate is grades K-12.  However, for special education teachers at the elementary level to teach an academic subject in grades K-6, they must also be certified in elementary or early childhood education.  Similarly, for special education teachers at the middle and secondary levels to teach an academic subject in grades 7-12, they must also be certified in the relevant secondary content area or have passed the appropriate Praxis content test.

Other areas of specialization include Career and Technical Education (Business, Computer, and Information Technology; Industrial Education; and Marketing Education); Elementary Education; Secondary Education (Biology, Chemistry, Earth/Space Science, English, General Science, Mathematics, Physics, and Social Studies); and World Languages (French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, and Spanish).

Job Placement:

Graduates typically pursue teaching positions in elementary, middle, or secondary school settings in grades K-12.


Intern Certificate:

Candidates may be eligible for a Pennsylvania Intern Certificate after completing supervised teaching and its prerequisites; passing both the PRAXIS I and II examinations; receiving a successful rating on the Pennsylvania Department of Education – PDE 430 form; and passing criminal background and child abuse clearance checks. The Intern Certificate allows the student to teach in public schools for up to three years. The Intern Certificate is issued only once and expires automatically in three years; no extensions are granted.

Instructional I Certificate:

Upon successful completion of the degree requirements and passing all PRAXIS examinations, candidates may apply for a Pennsylvania Instructional I Teaching Certificate.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Students must matriculate within the first 9 credits of the program.

Financing Opportunities

Although some limited funding opportunities are available, assistantships are generally offered to doctoral-level students. Students who wish to apply for an assistantship should contact the Graduate Programs Office in the College of Education.

Updated October 2007