Ed.M. in Special Education with Teacher of Students with Disabilities Certification

    Program Overview

    The Ed.M. in Special Education with Teacher of Students with Disabilities Certification program prepares certified educators to become teachers of students with disabilities within an elementary or secondary school setting. Through coursework and field experiences, students in the program learn to address the instructional needs of students with mild and moderate disabilities. The 21-credit special education core is required of all students. These core courses develop 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. Additional required coursework will also provide a foundational understanding of psychometric theory and statistical methods. 

    A New Jersey standard instructional certificate or a Certificate of eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) in a subject area other than English as a Second Language is required for admission into this program. After the required coursework is completed and the master’s degree is awarded, the GSE will make a recommendation to the New Jersey State Department of Education on behalf of the graduate to be a teacher of students with disabilities. Students not interested in pursuing a master’s degree but interested in obtaining the Teaching Students with Disabilities endorsement should apply for admission into the 21-credit non-degree program

    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 enrolled in the Ed.M. in Special Education with Teacher of Students with Disabilities Certification 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 and statistical methods. Elective course requirements allow for exploration into the biological bases of behavior and or the psychology of learning.

    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
      • 21 Credits – Special Education Core Courses
      •   6 Credits – Special Education Core Elective Courses
      •   6 Credits – Education, Statistics, Measurement, & Evaluation Courses
      •   3 Credits – Learning, Cognition, & Development Elective Course
    • 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 teachers of students with disabilities in public, private, and charter schools. Within this role, they may act as educational specialists, coaches, consultants, curriculum developers, and or diagnosticians, and work to develop appropriate learning environments to meet the needs of each student they serve. They may also ultimately advance into leadership roles given their advanced credentials.

  • Admissions Requirements
    • Personal Statement 
    • 3 Letters of Recommendation
    • Official Undergraduate Transcripts
    • Official Graduate Transcripts (if applicable)
    • Photocopy of a New Jersey Standard Instructional Certificate or a Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) showing certification other than English as a Second Language
  • 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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