This degree prepares individuals to work with students with disabilities in collaborative school environments. The course of study consists of 30-36 credits over six terms (one year that includes two summers). The program accommodates both working teachers and individuals seeking initial teacher certification in special education.

The initial certification option includes 6-credit hours of student teaching including related Florida Educator Accomplished Practices support. The State approved program provides competencies for initial certification in K-12 special education with reading and ESOL endorsement. 

Application Requirements

Admission to all graduate-degree concentrations in the School of Education and Human Development is based on the recommendation of the faculty. Admissions decisions are based on faculty review of the following general requirements that apply to all Graduate Programs in the School as well as specific documents listed under each concentration.

Applicants must:

  • complete an online application and submit the required application fee;
  • International applicants whose native language is not English or applicants whose degrees are from a non-U.S. University must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS); 
  • provide official transcripts showing completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and an acceptable undergraduate grade point average. A minimum of 3.0 undergraduate GPA is required. Official transcripts from every institution attended by an applicant, whether or not the applicant completed a degree program at the institution, are required;
  • provide three letters of recommendation that address the issues and meet the criteria established by the program being applied to;
  • provide a personal statement that addresses the mission and purpose of the program being applied to;
  • resume;
  • take part in an admissions interview (required by some programs); and
  • exhibit personal and professional experiences and characteristics that are relevant to the profession and/or field and/or degree program for which the application is being submitted.

Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.)

International Applications

All international applications must provide additional information and meet additional requirements as required by the UM Graduate School and the Office of International Student and Scholar Services. For an appropriate link to these requirements, please visit the Graduate School website.

Admission Decision

Once an applicant has been admitted to graduate study, that individual should meet with the faculty advisor who was appointed to serve in that capacity and whose name appears in the admissions letter. This advisor will help the student enroll in courses that are appropriate to the program; to develop and to refine a Course Sequence Plan that must be on file in the Office of Graduate Studies by the end of the first semester of enrollment.

Honor Code/Handbook of Policies and Procedures

The School of Education and Human Development follows the Graduate School’s Honor Code. All students are required to review the Graduate Student Honor Code and the School of Education and Human Development’s Handbook of Policies and Procedures for Graduate Students and submit the signed Acknowledgement of Receipt located on page 3 by the end of their first semester of enrollment.

Curriculum Requirements

Core Course List
TAL 606Issues and Strategies for ESOL3
or TAL 683 Introduction to Theories and Practice of TESOL
TAL 608Language Development for Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Students3
or TAL 686 Principles of First and Second Language Acquisition
TAL 614Assessment in Inclusive and Special Education Classrooms3
TAL 629Educating Exceptional Students3
TAL 634Language and Reading Instruction3
or TAL 647 Language and Early Reading Instruction
TAL 635Inclusive Models of Teaching3
TAL 636Universal Design for Learning and Assistive Technology Strategies for Transition3
TAL 654STEM Methods for Diverse Learners3
TAL 668Human Development, Learning and Schooling3
TAL 677Applied Research in Education3
Total Credit Hours30
Students seeking initial teacher certification in Special Education
TAL 621Student Teaching in the Elementary School5
or TAL 622 Student Teaching in the Secondary School.
TAL 623Seminar on Teaching1
Total Credit Hours36

Sample Plan of Study

This is a sample Plan of Study. Your actual course sequence may vary depending on your previous academic experience as well as current course offerings. Students should meet with their academic advisor each semester to determine the appropriate course selection.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
TAL 606 Issues and Strategies for ESOL 3
TAL 614 Assessment in Inclusive and Special Education Classrooms 3
TAL 629 Educating Exceptional Students 3
 Credit Hours9
TAL 608 Language Development for Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Students 3
TAL 634 Language and Reading Instruction 3
TAL 635 Inclusive Models of Teaching 3
 Credit Hours9
TAL 668 Human Development, Learning and Schooling 3
 Credit Hours3
Year Two
TAL 636 Universal Design for Learning and Assistive Technology Strategies for Transition 3
TAL 654 STEM Methods for Diverse Learners 3
TAL 677 Applied Research in Education 3
 Credit Hours9
 Total Credit Hours30


Over the last decade, special education has been a critical shortage area in teaching at the national, state, and district levels. The US Department of Education reported on the designated teacher shortage areas by State for 2021-2022 and noted that special education is a critical shortage area in the state of Florida, the site of this program (See Further, the Miami-Dade County Public School district has issued a recruitment call for certified special educators to meet the critical shortage area demand. Almost 50% of the current MDCPS open teaching positions require a special education teaching certification. The goal of this program is to address the critical shortage by producing certified special education teachers who possess the requisite knowledge and skills to pursue careers in special education. 


The specific learning objectives for this program are to increase: 

  • Knowledge of foundations of special education including knowledge of the IEP and the transition process;
  • Knowledge of assessment and evaluation including reading, language/communication, and behavioral assessments and supports; and
  • Knowledge of effective instructional practices in special education.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of foundations of special education.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of assessment and evaluation for special education.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of instructional practices in special education.