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Master's and Advanced Certificate Programs in Special Education

The Department of Special Education offers multiple options for graduate study to meet the varying professional needs and goals of teachers interested in enhancing their competency to educate individuals with disabilities.

Master of Science Degree

The Master of Science program is designed to meet the advanced study needs of current teachers with special education certification. The program focuses on developing leadership, action research, and other advanced competencies.

Master of Science in Education Degree

The Master of Science in Education program is designed to develop foundation competencies in special education, while supporting the induction of general education teachers into the field of special education. The program addresses the needs of individuals with teacher certification in fields other than special education. The program is appropriate for both individuals who wish to better serve students with disabilities as general education teachers and those who wish to move into the role of special education teacher.

Advanced Certificates

The Department of Special Education offers several advanced certificate programs aligned with the Illinois State Board of Education LBS II options. We currently offer programs for Behavior Intervention and Curriculum Adaption, which can be taken as electives within the Master of Science program. We also offer programs for Multiple Disabilities and Transition Specialist, which can be taken as electives within the Master of Science program or as stand-alone certificate programs. We also offer a program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing/Listening and Spoken Language Professionals, which is offered on a cohort basis.


Tuition Waivers for Graduate Students

Applications for tuition waivers are due by 4 p.m. on August 20 (fall semester), January 20 (spring semester), and May 20 (summer semester). Please submit your completed and signed application by the due date to Diane Gamage at

The Department has established the following criteria for awarding tuition waivers:  

  • Must have successfully completed at least six (6) semester hours of coursework in the Department of Special Education M.S. programs or a doctoral student enrolled in SED 594 and/or  the first 15 dissertation hours and making progress on the dissertation.
  • Enrolled in courses approved toward the degree program
  • Financial need
  • Less than 100 percent tuition reimbursement from any other source
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher

Please note that no applicant is guaranteed a waiver. Applicants should pay their bills for courses as if no waivers are expected. If the waiver is granted after you pay your account balance, the University will issue a refund check. 


 Tuition Waiver Application

2016-06-20T13:18:00.816-05:00 2016