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Specialist Degree in Special Education

Are you interested in becoming an administrator of special education programs?

The Eastern Michigan University Department of Special Education offers a program to prepare educators for the Michigan Department of Education's supervisor and director approvals in special education, as well as building level administrator certification.

Program Highlights

  • Take online courses from a top 20 ranked online program in educational leadership.*
  • Learn from award winning faculty members who will help you design a program that meets your needs.
  • Use your courses to earn a Specialist of Arts degree.
  • Complete a program that earned national recognition from the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).

* 2015 Best Online Master's in Educational Administration:


Approval and certification require no more than 34 credit hours. The specialist degree can be completed with a few more courses beyond the 34 credit hours. Students may choose to complete the specialist degree without approval or certification, which would require only 32 credit hours.

NOTE: all courses are offered online unless denoted with an asterisk (*)

Required Courses for Supervisor Approval & Building Level Certification (29 hours)
  • SPGN 615: Families, Disability, and Schools: Collaborating for Success (3)
  • SPGN 619: Administration and Supervision of Special Education (3)
  • SPGN 621: Law and Public Policy for Individuals with Disabilities (3)
  • EDLD 515: Instructional Leadership (3)
  • EDLD 517: Leadership for School Improvement (3)
  • EDLD 612: Economics of Public Education (3)
  • EDLD 617: Admin Human Resources in Education (3)
  • EDLD 620: The Principalship (3)
  • EDLD 630: Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues of Administration (3)
  • EDLD 687: Internship: Building Level Leader (2)*

*Course not offered online

Additional Required Courses for Director Approval (5 hours)
  • SPGN 719: Advanced Seminar: Special Education Administration (3)
  • SPGN 787: Specialist Internship in Special Education (2)*

*Course not offered online

Required Courses for Degree (5 hours)
  • EDPS 667: Principles of Educational Research (3)
  • SPGN 632: Models and Skills for Special and General Education Collaboration (2)*

*Course not offered online

One course from the following:

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

*Course not offered online

Culminating Experience (6 hours)

Required by all specialist’s degree candidates:

  • Thesis/Independent Study (4)
  • SPGN 787: Specialist Internship in Special Education (2)