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

Special Education (MEd)

​​​​​​​​According to the National Education Association, the number of children enrolled in special education programs has risen by 30% in the past decade. As advances in screening have led to more disabilities in children being identified, a critical need for qualified special education teachers at both a local and national level has emerged. Nationally, 98% of school districts report a need for qualified special educators.

The Pre-Service Special Education (PSE) concentration is designed for candidates seeking an initial Illinois licensure. It has two tracks, a 6-quarter general program and a one-year residency program. The residency track is offered in collaboration with the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL). 

The Special Education for Teachers (SET) concentration is designed for candidates who already hold a current and valid Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) but are looking to branch out into special education.

The Special and Elementary Education (SEE) concentration is designed for candidates seeking an initial Illinois licensure with endorsements in special education and elementary education. ​

Concentrations

Pre-service Special Education (PSE)

The Pre-Service Special Education master’s degree program, which can be completed in 18-months, prepares educators to fulfill this need and teach students with exceptionalities in Pre-K through age 21 in a variety of urban and suburban educational settings. Designed to include school-based supervised practicum experiences throughout the program, students also receive invaluable experience by completing coursework within the College of Education’s Education and Counseling Center, which serves struggling learners from the community.

Licen​su​​​re

Pre-service Special Education (PSE) candidates are eligible for Illi​nois licensure with an LBS1 endorsement (pre-K-21) upon completion of the Master's program, and any additional Illinois State Board of Education requirements (e.g., licensure tests, edTPA, etc.).​

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

Pre-service Special Education (PSE) Concentration Requirements

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Special Education for Teachers (SET)

Courses in the SET concentration are designed for practicing educators and are not open to students seeking an initial Illinois teaching license.​

Licen​​sure

Special Education for Teachers (SET) candidates pursuing a Master's are eligible for an LBS1 endorsement (pre-K-21) upon completion of the program and any additional Illinois State Board of Education requirements (e.g., licensure tests). Endorsement-only options (without a Master's degree) for either pre-K-21 or for the grade band of the initial PEL are also available. ​

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

Special Education for Teachers (SET) Concentration Requirements​​

Special Education & Elementary Education (SEE)

The Special and Elementary Education (SEE) concentration is designed for individuals who initially decided to pursue other professions and are now interested in teaching exceptional children and youth. This concentration offers a unique opportunity for college graduates with a degree in a field other than education to change their career path. The coursework, which can be completed in 21 months, combines special education with elementary education and prepares students to work as general education classroom teachers or special educators. Students will complete 200 hours of field experience in public schools and an intensive 16-week student teaching placement in which students cooperate with an established special educator and general education teacher. 

Licensure

In order for Special & Elementary Education (SEE) candidates to obtain licensure with elementary and special education endorsements, they must complete all coursework in general and professional education, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, complete approved field experiences, and pass the Illinois State Licensure Tests. These include examinations in academic proficiency, special education, elementary education, general curriculum for special educators, and the edTPA. 

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