Master of Education in Special Education

The MEd in Special Education has two options:

  • Special education concentration
  • Special education administration concentration — admission suspended

The MEd in Special Education with a special education concentration is designed for individuals who desire advanced professional preparation in special education. The program encompasses theory, research and practice relating to individuals who experience disabilities.

Admission Requirements

  • Satisfy the Admission Requirements for Graduate Degrees and the College of Education MEd Admission Requirements.
  • Submit a resume documenting educational experience with at least one year of appropriate professional experience.
  • Submit a 300-500 word goal statement on career goals and how they relate to the MEd program.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation or rating forms from professional references.
  • Participate in an interview if requested by the department.

Background Check Requirements

See COE Field Placements.

Field Placements

Some courses in the special education program require field placements and/or internship placements. The College of Education does not guarantee placements as they are contingent on school district and agency partners. The university offers placements across the state of Alaska. Out-of-state placements will require additional approvals and are not guaranteed.

Graduation Requirements

Program Requirements

The College of Education provides coursework through a variety of methodologies and delivery formats, including distance education. Candidates must have the technological knowledge, skills and access to engage in distance learning.

Special Education Concentration
EDRS A660Fundamentals of Research in Education3
EDSE A622Theories and Strategies3
EDSE A633Autism: Communication and Social Disorders3
Research courses by advisement3
Electives by advisement24
Total Credits36

Students must also satisfactorily complete a comprehensive examination documenting attainment of Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) standards.

EDRS A660 and research credits by advisement may be waived for candidates entering the program with a master’s degree. Candidates admitted or seeking admission to the MEd in Special Education must receive approval from their advisor prior to taking coursework from another institution intended to satisfy requirements for the master’s degree.

Complete a total of 36 credits for the degree.

Alaska Certification Note

Students who already hold a teaching certificate may receive an institutional recommendation for a special education endorsement at the developmental level listed on the existing certificate. (See the Graduate Certificate in Special Education. The certificate courses may be used to fulfill elective requirements for the MEd.) The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (EED) requires 3 credits of multicultural education/cross-cultural communication and 3 credits of Alaska studies for the professional certificate. For more information see the EED website.

Speech-Language Affiliated Program

UAA is affiliated with two graduate schools outside Alaska to provide a master’s degree in speech-language pathology. The graduate schools offer academic coursework by distance education while UAA sponsors internships and leveling courses. Contact the project director at for further information.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Student outcomes for the program are based on the professional standards of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) located at

Students who complete this program will be able to:

  • Utilize a variety of assessments to identify specific areas of student strengths and weaknesses and use the results to guide instruction.
  • Individualize instruction to meet the specific needs of students with disabilities in inclusive settings.
  • Support and promote inclusiveness and equity for students with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Apply the legal and ethical principles associated with special education.
  • Promote a positive social environment for all students, particularly those with significant emotional and/or behavioral disorders.
  • Develop and maintain an atmosphere of collaboration with teachers, parents, administrators, and paraprofessionals.
  • Critically analyze and apply principles of research.
  • Demonstrate literacy regarding theoretical perspectives associated with human development and learning.