DePaul University College of Education > Academics > Graduate > Master's Programs > Special Education (MA/MEd)

Literacy & Specialized Instruction (MA/MEd)

Special Education for Teachers

Special educators are exceptional teachers and co-teachers, working with students in a variety of settings from inclusion classrooms to more self-contained environments. They have a deep understanding of students with disabilities and a repertoire of effective instructional strategies that can help students with disabilities achieve their maximum potential. They mentor other teachers, manage teams, coach paraprofessionals and work closely with parents.

The two-year Special Education for Teachers concentration in the Literacy and Specialized Instruction master's degree program is designed for currently licensed teachers. It prepares candidates to foster students' academic, social and emotional learning and enables them to be leaders in addressing current mandates such as Response to Intervention (RTI). It is designed for those who want to be excellent teachers, strong collaborators and advocates for students with disabilities.

Graduates may work as special education teachers in urban and suburban, public and private schools. Private practice and private learning centers provide other career options. A critical shortage of special education teachers makes job opportunities plentiful.

Interested in enrolling in this program? Learn more about its admission requirements and find out how to apply.

Degree Program

Master of Arts (MA) 
Master of Education (MEd)


The Special Education for Teachers program leads to a Special (K-12) Learning & Behavior Specialist 1 (LBS1) teaching license from the  Illinois State Board of Education.

Program Format

To accommodate working professionals, the Special Education for Teachers program offers courses that meet on weeknights at DePaul's Lincoln Park Campus, online or a hybrid online/on-campus format. In addition, the program's schedule is flexible, allowing students to attend full-time or part-time as their professional and personal schedules allow.

Program Requirements

The Special Education for Teachers program includes 52 quarter hours of coursework in Literacy and Specialized Instruction and Social and Cultural Foundations in Education. Candidates must complete two summer field-based practicums.

In addition to these requirements, students who opt to earn the MA must complete one additional 4 quarter hour course that requires a thesis and oral defense (56 quarter hours in total).

Want to learn more? For detailed information about program requirements, see the official DePaul University Graduate Catalog.