Eastern Michigan University
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Special Education (Learning Disabilities)

The Department of Special Education offers a Master of Arts Degree that encompasses the range and depth required to accommodate contemporary programs and service delivery systems. The program is designed to allow maximum flexibility in meeting the needs of individual students while maintaining the basic academic integrity implicit in a graduate program.

Eastern Michigan University’s advanced professional education programs develop leaders who demonstrate reflective thought and scholarship within the context of a culturally diverse society. In addition, the master’s-level programs in the Department of Special Education produce professionals with the comprehensive knowledge, skills and attitudes to deliver a continuum of habilitative/rehabilitative services to persons with special needs, and to their families, within a diverse society.

Program Requirements:

The graduate student seeking a Master of Arts degree through the Department of Special Education must:

  1. Complete a minimum of 33 to 37 hours of approved graduate credit with a minimum 3.0 GPA;
  2. Complete an approved master’s degree program that has been planned with a special education graduate advisor;
  3. Complete the degree requirements within six years of enrolling for the first course applicable to the degree program;
  4. Receive a recommendation from the area faculty committee for continuance in the program. This is done upon completion of 12 to 15 hours of courses, and before the internship/practicum. The committee will consider GPA, faculty recommendations, demonstrated competence in academic and professional work, and rate of progress in the program.
  5. Meet all other requirements of the Graduate School.

Exit Requirements:

Exit criteria involve achievement of the objectives for graduate study in special education listed previously, as demonstrated by:

  1. Successful completion of all course work on program (minimum GPA of 3.0);
  2. Successful completion of required practica/internship; and
  3. Successful completion of thesis, if pursuing the thesis option, or other culminating experience, which may include but not be limited to comprehensive oral or written examination, portfolio or other product, performance or exhibit.

Department Information:

Special Education - College of Education

Janet Fisher, Ed.D.
Department Head

128 Porter Bldg
(734) 487-3300

Department Website

Advisor Information:

Derrick Fries, Ph.D.
Graduate Coordinator

128 Porter Building
(734) 487-3300

Master of Arts in Special Education

Special Education Graduate Core Courses: 11 Hours

  • SPGN 525 - Classroom Management and the Development of Social Competence in Students with Special Needs 2 hrs
  • SPGN 621 - Law and Public Policy for Individuals with Disabilities 3 hrs
  • SPGN 632 - Models and Skills for Special and General Education Collaboration 2 hrs
  • SPLI 678 - Assessment and Advanced Diagnostic Prescriptive Programming for Students with Learning Disabilities 4 hrs

Methods Courses: 6 hours

  • SPGN 630 - Integrated Curriculum in Special Education: Math and Motor Skills Development 3 hrs
  • SPLI 672 - Integrated Curriculum in Special Education: Linguistics and Language Arts 3 hrs

Research: 8-9 hours

Select from either Option I or Option II:

Option I: Independent Study:

  • EDPS 667 - Principles of Educational Research 3 hrs
  • SPGN 699 - Independent Study 3 hrs
  • One course from the following:

  • SPEI 694 - Seminar: Students with Emotional Impairment 3 hrs
  • SPGN 694 - Seminar: Interdisciplinary Special Education 3 hrs

Option II: Thesis option

  • SPGN 692 - Master’s Thesis 3 hrs
  • One course from the following:

  • EDPS 621 - Statistical Applications in Educational Research 2 hrs
  • EDPS 667 - Principles of Educational Research 3 hrs
  • PSY 600 - Psychological Statistics I 3 hrs
  • One course from the following:

  • SPEI 694 - Seminar: Students with Emotional Impairment 3 hrs
  • SPGN 694 - Seminar: Interdisciplinary Special Education 3 hrs

Program Total: 33-37 hours

Students choosing to complete an independent study as part of the master of arts program must complete EDPS 667 - Principles of Educational Research , SPGN 699 - Independent Study  and SPEI /SPGN 694 - Seminar: Interdisciplinary Special Education . Students may elect to write a thesis as part of the master of arts program. If pursuing the thesis option, students must complete SPGN /SPEI 694 - Seminar: Students with Emotional Impairment  and SPGN 692 - Master’s Thesis . Additionally, students must complete cognates EDPS 667 - Principles of Educational Research , PSY 600 - Psychological Statistics I , or EDPS 621 - Statistical Applications in Educational Research .

Programs within the Department of Special Education include Emotional Impairment, Cognitive Impairment, Physical Impairment and other Health Impairment, Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment and General Special Education (this last program does not result in any special education endorsement from the State of Michigan). If endorsement in any area of special education is being sought, the appropriate endorsement sequence must be completed.