On campus M.Ed. in Special Education (the 4+1 program)

The resident M.Ed. program at the University Park campus provides 30 credits of coursework and two supervised practicum experiences (7 credits), to prepare teachers to provide effective and appropriate instruction for students with disabilities.

This combination of academic and practical experiences supports M.Ed. candidates in learning to meet the needs of all learners through the demonstrated ability to

  • use adapted instruction to support the acquisition of reading, writing, and math skills;
  • design and deliver effective instruction;
  • use appropriate techniques to assess learning;
  • create a positive environment for learning.

The 4+1 program at University Park

Eligibility. Students who have completed (or who are currently enrolled) in an undergraduate teacher certification program at Penn State have the opportunity to complete the M.Ed. in Special Education (and earn special education teacher certification in Pennsylvania) through the “4+1” program at the University Park campus.

Outcomes. The 4+1 M.Ed. program will result (in five years) in

  1. a bachelor’s degree with initial teacher certification
  2. a Masters degree in Special Education, and
  3. recommendation for PA special education teacher certification.

Application process. Individuals interested in this program should complete an initial degree and teaching certification in their four years as undergraduate students; this part of the program can be completed at the University Park campus or a PSU commonwealth campus that provides a teaching certification program (elementary education, secondary education, physical education, music education, art education). The individual should also complete the minor in Special Education as part of their undergraduate program.

The teacher candidate then applies to the SPLED M.Ed. program in the fall of his/her senior year.  If the teacher candidate is accepted into the program, s/he will complete some online summer coursework and then a fall and spring semester in residence at University Park. Upon successful completion, the teacher candidate will graduate with an M.Ed. in Special Education and be eligible for recommendation for special education teacher certification in Pennsylvania. Individuals who are completing the initial teaching certification at a Penn State campus, and who are interested in the 4+1 program, are encouraged to contact for more information on this program.

The Program. M.Ed. students must accumulate a specified number of credits, complete a sequence of practicum courses, and write a master's paper. Students will follow this course sequence during their fifth year of study:

Summer Session (after senior year and following acceptance into the 4+1 program)
SPLED 5251 - Note that there are special enrollment procedures for this course. Please visit this link for more information.
SPLED 573

Fall Semester
SPLED 495E
SPLED 411
SPLED 504
SPLED 512
SPLED 554

Spring Semester
SPLED 509A
SPLED 509B
SPLED 509C
SPLED 595B
SPLED 521

1SPLED 525 can also be taken in the summer before a student's senior year as an undergraduate and can be counted toward the SPLED minor (in place of SPLED 461).

Sources of Financial Aid