2012 - 2013 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Special Education, Ed.M.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: April 1

Spring: October 1

Applications received by the stated deadlines are guaranteed a decision for the upcoming term. Applications received after the deadline are reviewed on a space-available basis.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 2

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. Additionally, applicants must hold a valid Pennsylvania teaching certification for Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle Grades, Art, Music, or Physical Education.

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:

Applicants must also pass the PRAXIS 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.

Additional Requirements:

A copy of a valid certification in teaching for Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle Grades, Art, Music, or Physical Education must be presented

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: 24-27*

Required Courses:

Core Courses for ALL CONCENTRATIONS (18 s.h.):

SPED 5106:  Literacy Instruction for Individuals with Disabilities

SPED 5107:  Understanding and Using Special Education Research

SPED 5108:  Assistive Technology and Universal Design

SPED 5109:  Classroom Management and Positive Behavior Support   

SPED 5187:  Graduate Assessment Practicum in Special Education

SPED 5211:  Effective Instructional Strategies for Children with Disabilities


SPED 5301:  Building Communication in Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Severe Disabilities
SPED 5302:  Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Effective Teaching Strategies
SPED 5587:  Practicum in Special Education

Specialized Pedagogy Courses for MILD DISABILITIES CONCENTRATION (6-9 s.h.*):

SPED 5401:  Students with Mild Disabilities: Effective Teaching Strategies
SPED 5402:  Effective Transition Practices for Students with Mild Disabilities
SPED 5587:  Practicum in Special Education

Specialized Pedagogy Courses for SEVERE DISABILITIES CONCENTRATION (6-9 s.h.*):

SPED 5201:  Students with Mild to Severe Disabilities: Effective Teaching Strategies
SPED 5301:  Building Communication in Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Severe Disabilities
SPED 5587:  Practicum in Special Education

* Students who do not have one year of verified teaching experience with students with disabilities are required to take SPED 5587: Practicum in Special Education (3 s.h.).

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.


Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

College of Education

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


Department Contacts:


Gwen Miller



Lead Professor for Special Education:

Dr. Ken Thurman




Dr. Michael W. Smith



About the Program

The Ed.M. program in Special Education offers those who already hold an Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle Grades, Art, Music, or Physical Education teacher certification the opportunity to pursue a Master's in Special Education with Special Education Teacher Certification (PreK-8). Students who have completed a bachelor's degree in Early Education Education from Temple University may also complete coursework as part of the Ed.M. degree leading to Board Certified Behavior Analyst Certification, Instructional Learning Technology Certification, or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Certification.

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 5:30 p.m.

Department Information:

College of Education

341 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:



The graduate programs in Temple’s College of Education are consistently ranked in the top 25% of U.S. colleges and universities by U.S. News & World Report.


The program is accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) 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 PreK-8. 

Other areas of specialization include Career and Technical Education (Business, Computer, and Information Technology; Industrial Education; and Marketing Education); Early Childhood Education; Middle Grades 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:

The market for highly qualified special education teachers remains unabated. The latest report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the need for special education teachers will increase by 17% between 2008 and 2018. This shortage of special education teachers has been identified regionally (i.e., Pennsylvania and New Jersey) and is particularly prevalent in urban centers in the immediate environs of Temple University. The Governor’s Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (2006) reported that in Pennsylvania, 52% of districts report challenges recruiting special education teachers.


PreK-8 Special Education Certificate:

Upon successful completion of the degree requirements and passing all PRAXIS examinations, candidates may apply for a Pennsylvania Instructional I Special Education PreK-8 Certificate.

Special Note: After August 2013, the comprehensive kindergarten through 12th grade special education certification will no longer be issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), and will be replaced by separate pre-kindergarten through 8th grade and 7th through 12th grade certifications. Temple's preparation program serves teachers seeking the PreK-8 certification. For more information on certification options, visit PDE at www.education.state.pa.us.

Non-Matriculated 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 make application through the College of Education's Graduate Programs Office.

Updated 10.16.12