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Early Childhood Special Education (Birth-Grade 2), M.S.

Program Requirements

The Early Childhood Special Education master’s program requires a minimum of 36 graduate credits, up to 54 for students with no previous education training or certification. The full 54-credit program is typically completed in an intensive 16-month period (May through August of the following year) of full time study. Part-time study is an option until student teaching, but in some semesters, students must be available for some short, weekly day-time school placements.

Students take courses in child and family studies, special education, literacy, and teaching methods. Many courses are taught off-site at early childhood and inclusive education centers, to give students first-hand experience even before your field placements begin. Coursework areas may include:

  • Curriculum in Early Childhood Education
  • Teaching Math, Science, and Social Studies in Early Childhood Education
  • Positive Approaches to Challenging Behavior
  • Parent Professional Relationships
  • Developmental Therapy for Children with Disabilities
  • Child and Family in Cross-Cultural Perspective

Students with no previous teacher certification may be required to take a series of liberal arts distribution courses to fulfill prerequisite requirements for certification. Many of these are usually fulfilled by previous undergraduate and graduate study, or can be completed after you start your master’s program (but before graduation). These requirements are determined by reviewing your transcripts during the admissions process; contact the department for more information.

As a culminating degree experience, students complete and present a professional portfolio of their work throughout the master’s program, key principles of their teaching philosophy, and their beliefs on inclusive special education, curriculum development, adaptations, and planning.

More information on academic requirements available in the Syracuse University Course Catalog.