Special Education, M.Sc. | Online (optional) | Southwest Minnesota State University | Marshall, United States
24 months
442 USD/credit 6630 USD/year
442 USD/credit 6630 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Special Education Program at Southwest Minnesota State University offers a master's degree in Special Education with a choice of licensure areas in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Developmental Disabilities (DD), Emotional Behavioral Disorders (EBD), or Learning Disabilities (LD).


All Special Education candidates take the Special Education Core (22 credits) and the Specialty Courses in at least one area (10-15 cr.) which leads to Special Education licensure in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Developmental Disabilities (DD- available only for ABS licensed teachers), Emotional Behavioral Disabilities (EBD), or Learning Disabilities (LD). 

Candidates are welcome to pursue more than one licensure area. Students add the Portfolio (2 cr.) and Research Component Courses (8 cr.) to complete the 34 credits required for the M.S. in Special Education.

The Mission

The mission of teacher education program at Southwest Minnesota State University is to create inclusive communities of practice where each learner is an active participant in the investigation of learning, teaching and leadership processes. Teachers and learners will engage in educational theory, research, inquiry, critical reflection, and application in pursuit of excellence in a culturally responsive education.

The program is offered in two formats:

  • On-campus: Courses offered as a balance of weekend, D2L, evening courses, and summer sessions.
  • Off-campus: Learning Community (LC): The learning communities are conveniently located at off-campus sites in locations close to where educators live and work. Each learning community studies together for two academic years, meeting an equivalent of twenty times, or ten weekend meetings per year.

The Program

This program supports the departmental concept of “Communities of Practice Investigating Learning and Teaching.” The standards and best practices of the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC) and its various divisions are embedded in the competencies of this program of study. 

Participants will build knowledge in subject matter, instructional practices, and the learning/teaching process. Participants will integrate current research into effective practices and develop the leadership capacities necessary to implement effective educational practices in local settings. When participants complete the program, they continue to take responsibility to expand their own learning and leadership capacity.

Candidates demonstrate competencies through a portfolio process.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Assessment & Educational Planning & Lab
  • Curriculum Design & Implementation in Special Education
  • Positive Behavior Support in Special Education
  • Collaboration in Educational Settings
  • Procedural Safeguards in Special Education
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders: Issues & Needs

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 24 months
  • Part-time
    • 84 months

Start dates & application deadlines


30 SCH


On Campus, Online

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Students must have earned a bachelor’s degree and hold a valid teacher’s license prior to admission to the graduate program.
  • Students may transfer a maximum of six (6) semester credits of previous graduate work, including up to four (4) in specialty areas, from other accredited universities to SMSU.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required to complete the graduate program.
  • Online Application
  • $30 (Non-Refundable) Application Fee
  • Official transcript from an accredited college or university stating a Bachelor's degree (B.S. or B.A.) has been completed. If you attended a Minnesota State College or University, SMSU should be able to view your transcript without you having to request one to be sent.
  • **International Students, please submit an evaluation of your transcripts so we can receive a calculation of your GPA. We currently accept evaluations from SpanTran, WES, and ECE.

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    6630 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 442 USD per credit during 24 months.
  • National

    6630 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 442 USD per credit during 24 months.

Living costs for Marshall

900 - 1400 USD /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Special Education
Southwest Minnesota State University
Special Education
Southwest Minnesota State University


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