Ed.M. in Special Education with Certification for Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultant

    Program Overview

    This 36-credit program offered by the GSE prepares practicing teachers to serve as Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultants (LDT-Cs) in public school systems. LDT-Cs work as assessment specialists and members of the pupil personnel services team. The program, led by expert faculty and backed by research-driven curriculum, includes instruction in the assessment of academic achievement of students referred for learning disabilities evaluation. Core courses will develop student competencies in the assessment and remediation of students with learning disabilities, teach collaborative teaching and consultation skills, and integrate principles of New Jersey special education law. Educators who enroll in the program will also be prepared to interpret patterns found in testing, devise informal measures to identify cognitive, emotional, and behavioral strengths and needs, and design interventions to promote success in school and address specific needs.

    Applicants to this program are required to have a New Jersey Standard Instructional Certificate (or out-of-state equivalent) and three years of full-time classroom experience prior to enrollment. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will receive endorsement for the LDT-C Educational Services Certification. 

    Program Goals as of 2022-2023
    (Last updated: 7/19/2022)


    • 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.  

    Communication/Community Building 

    • Students will participate in professional and scholarly communities (e.g., Council for Exceptional Children [CEC]) through communication and collaboration (research, publications/presentations, service). 

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) 

    • 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.

    Research/Professional Practice 

    • 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. 

    Professional Development/Self-Reflection 

    • Students will capitalize on opportunities for continuous professional learning and development, including reflective self-inquiry, to make significant contributions to field of special education. 

    The following programmatic offerings are also available for students seeking an Ed.M. in Special Education:

    For more information about this program:

    Program Details

    Application Deadline

    Feb 1 / Oct 15 / May 15 *Late applications will be considered.

    Entry Term(s)

    Fall / Spring / Summer

    Program Level


    Program Type

    Degree + Certification





  • What You’ll Learn

    Students exiting the Ed.M. in Special Education with LDT-C Certification program are eqipped with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required to facilitate the assessment of academic achievement of students referred for learning disabilities evaluation. Through completion of coursework in areas including special education, educational statistics, and learning, cognition, and development, students develop the ability to interpret patterns found in testing, devise informal measures to identify cognitive, emotional, and behavioral strengths and needs, and determine instructional strategies to promote success in school and address specific needs.

    For more information about the courses in this program, please visit the course catalog and online schedule of classes.

  • Program Requirements

    This program typically takes 2 years to complete and includes:

      • 36 Graduate Course Credits
        • 15 Credits – Special Education Core Courses
        • 3 Credits – Special Education Core Elective Course
        • 6 Credits – Education, Statistics, Measurement, & Evaluation Courses
        • 6 Credits – Learning, Cognition, & Development Courses
        • 6 Credits – Outside Elective Courses 
      • Portfolio
        • Students will archive artifacts from various GSE courses via an online instructional and evaluation system as directed by faculty

    Accepted students have 5 years to complete the program.

  • Careers and Outcomes

    Graduates of this program are prepared for employment as a Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultant in public, private, and charter schools. Within this role, they may come to act as educational specialists, coaches, consultants, and or diagnosticians, and work to develop appropriate learning environments to meet the needs of each student they serve.

  • Admissions Requirements
    • Personal Statement 
    • 3 Letters of Recommendation
      • One recommendation must be from the applicant’s current or previous supervisor or HR department, on school district letterhead, certifying the completion of three years of successful, full-time employment under a New Jersey Standard Instructional Certificate
      • The recommendation letter requirement is waived for any applicant who has successfully completed at least 15 credits, with a B+ average, in the non-degree LDT-C endorsement program
    • Official Undergraduate Transcripts
    • Official Graduate Transcripts (if applicable)
    • Photocopy of New Jersey Standard Instructional Certificate (or Out-of-State Equivalent)
    • 3 Years of Full-Time Classroom Teaching Experience
  • How to Apply
    1. Collect the materials required for admission
    2. Submit your application online at http://gradstudy.rutgers.edu/
    3. Submit supporting materials online
    4. 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.

    Financial Aid:

    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.

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