About STEL Degree Options Programs Faculty and Staff Resources


Admissions Requirements

  • Complete an application to the College of Graduate and Professional Studies
  • Have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75
  • Submit passing scores on the Virginia Communications and Literacy Assessment (VCLA)
  • Submit official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate coursework
  • Submit references from 3 individuals who can address your history of successful teaching experiences with students with or without special needs and your potential for academic and professional success in the field of special education
  • Submit a copy of your current teaching license, if appropriate
  • Submit an essay (typed, double-spaced, 3 pages) that addresses 1) the special education concentration you are considering and what past experiences and interests influenced your decision to apply for this program and 2) your short and long term goals and career aspirations as they relate to this program
  • Licensure seekers must also submit passing scores on the Virginia Reading Assessment (VRA) and Praxis I as a requirement for admission to the Teacher Education Program Admissions to the M.S. in special education is on a rolling basis, therefore you can apply to begin in either fall, spring or summer sessions.

Degree Requirements

The program consists of 12 semester hours of courses covering a common knowledge base for all of the M.S. degree concentrations in special education and 18 semester hours involving the specific High Incidence Disabilities area requirements. To obtain licensure in this area, an additional 6 to 12 semester hours of internship experiences are required. A written final comprehensive exam is required during the last semester of study.

Program Requirements

Core Courses

EDEF 606. Educational Research
EDSP 622. Collaboration in Schools and Communities for Special Populations
EDSP 651. Current Trends in Programs and Services for Exceptional Individuals
EDSP 670. Positive Behavior Supports and Classroom Management

Required Concentration Area Courses

EDSP 672. Introduction to High Incidence Disabilities
EDSP 566. Teaching Students with Individualized Adapted Curriculum
EDSP 676. Teaching Exceptional Learners in the General Curriculum
EDSP 669. Diagnostic Educational Procedures for Exceptional Individuals
EDSP/EDRD 695. Alternative Approaches to Reading

Required for Licensure

EDSP 791. Teaching Internship in High Incidence Disabilities (Elementary)
EDSP 792. Teaching Internship in High Incidence Disabilities (Secondary)

Supporting Courses

EDSP 545. Adaptive Strategies in Arithmetic
EDSP/EDRD 641. Language Development and Remediation EDRD 688. Advanced Study in Reading Skills
EDET 620. Educational Technology: Applications, Applied Research and Integration


Dr. Brenda Tyler
(540) 831-5868