- Students will understand the nature and needs of individuals with disabilities by developing competencies in the assessment, academic, and behavioral support for students with special needs, collaborative teaching/consultation skills, and knowledge about New Jersey special education law.
- Students will participate in professional and scholarly communities (e.g., Council for Exceptional Children [CEC]) through communication and collaboration (research, publications/presentations, service).
- Students will understand the importance of the role of social justice in educational settings and promote educational equity by creating an environment where diverse backgrounds and perspectives (educational, cultural, personal, social, economic) are an integral part of the learning experience.
- Students will recognize and consider the social-cultural factors in special education identification, placement, and service provisions.
- Students will enhance their ability to accommodate the diversity of student needs by developing a deep understanding of special education services and community resources available for individuals with special needs.
- Students will learn to collaborate with families, other educators, related service providers, individuals with special needs, and personnel from community agencies in culturally responsive ways to address the needs of individuals with disabilities across a range of learning experiences.
- Students will conduct original research on students with special needs and use that research, as well as interpret and evaluate findings from other research studies, to inform their professional practice in special education and address problems of practice that may require change in policy and programs.
- Students will select, adapt, and use a repertoire of evidence-based instructional strategies to advance the learning of individuals with special needs.
- Students will understand the variations in learning and development in cognitive and affective areas between and among individuals with gifts and talents and apply this understanding to provide meaningful and challenging learning experiences for individuals with special needs.
- Students will use foundational knowledge of the field, professional ethical principles, and programming standards to inform special education practice.
- Students will evaluate, identify, and use models and approaches that will be effective in the successful design and implementation of assessment.
- Students will use multiple methods of assessment and data sources in making educational decisions about identification of individuals with special needs and the monitoring of student learning progress.
- Students will use valid and reliable assessment practices to minimize bias.
- Students will capitalize on opportunities for continuous professional learning and development, including reflective self-inquiry, to make significant contributions to field of special education.
- Ed.M. in Special Education with Teacher of Students with Disabilities Certification only
- Ed.M. in Special Education with Teacher of Students with Disabilities Certification and Gifted Education GSE Certificate
- Ed.M. in Special Education with Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultant Certification
- Ed.M. in Special Education with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Sequence
- Download the program guide (includes course list and application requirements)
- Contact Matt Winkler, Assistant Dean for Advisement in the Office of Student and Academic Services
Led by expert faculty and informed by research-driven curriculum, the Ed.M. in Special Education program at the GSE provides advanced graduate preparation for both certified special and general education teachers who wish to learn to address the instructional needs of students with mild and moderate cognitive disabilities. Completion of the 18-credit special education core is required of all students as part of the program. These core courses develop competencies in the assessment and remediation of students with learning disabilities, learn collaborative teaching and consultation skills, and integrate principles of New Jersey special education law. Through additional required coursework, students in the Special Education General Studies program will gain a foundational understanding of psychometric theory, statistical methods, and the psychology of learning. Elective courses also offer the opportunity for deeper inquiry into various topics depending on the students own academic interests, and must be approved by an advisor to be considered toward completion of the program.
This is a non-certification program and does not include coursework resulting in a NJ school personnel license or other certification. Students with a bachelor’s degree who are interested in initial teacher certification in special education should contact the Office of Student and Academic Services.
Program Goals as of 2022-2023
(Last updated: 7/19/2022)
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
The following programmatic offerings are also available for students seeking an Ed.M. in Special Education:
For more information about the Ed.M. in Special Education General Studies program:
Feb 1 / Oct 15 / May 15 *Late applications will be considered.
Fall / Spring / Summer
What You’ll Learn
Students enrolled in the Ed.M. in Special Education program will learn the foundational principles of special education, how to identify and assess student learning disabilities, and to execute a plan to address and meet the instructional needs of students with mild and moderate cognitive disabilities. Required coursework from the departments of Educational Statistics, Measurement, and Evaluation and Learning, Cognition, and Development will also equip graduates of the program with knowledge and skills in psychometric theory, statistical methods, the biological bases of behavior, and the psychology of learning.
This program typically takes 2 years to complete and includes:
- 36 Graduate Course Credits
- 12 Credits – Special Education Core Courses
- 6 Credits – Special Education Elective Courses
- 6 Credits – Educational, Statistics, Measurement & Evaluation Courses
- 6 Credits – Learning, Cognition, Development Courses
- 6 Credits – Elective Course
- Elective Courses must be approved by an advisor
- 36 Graduate Course Credits
Accepted students have 5 years to complete the program.
Careers and Outcomes
Students exiting the Ed.M. in Special Education program who have teacher certification often go on to pursue roles as special education teachers, special education consultants, or curriculum development specialists. Other opportunities may include roles as early intervention specialists, student tutors, or advocates, advisors, or consultants in the private, nonprofit, and government sectors.
- Personal Statement
- 3 Letters of Recommendation
- Official Undergraduate Transcripts
How to Apply
- Collect the materials required for admission
- Submit your application online at http://gradstudy.rutgers.edu/
- Submit supporting materials online
- Any supporting materials that cannot be submitted electronically should be mailed to Graduate Admissions’ New Brunswick office. Their mailing address can be found here: https://gradstudy.rutgers.edu/about/contact-us
Tuition & Financial Assistance
For tuition and fees information please visit the tuition landing page.
While students are encouraged to apply for federal student aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), there are a number of other merit- and need-based support options, including loans and college work-study programs within and external to Rutgers. For more information, please visit the Office of Financial Aid website.
Scholarships, Fellowships & Assistantships:
Generous GSE alumni, friends, and community members have established and continue to donate to more than one dozen fellowships and scholarships to help deserving students reach their goals. These awards are granted on the basis of academic achievement and or financial need. While these awards are competitive, interested students are encouraged to apply for consideration and submit the required materials. Students must also submit a FAFSA application to be eligible.
To review all current awards and learn more about the donors that established them, please click here.