B.S. in Special Education

The B.S. in Special Education provides program graduates the knowledge and supervised practice in their application to children and youth with disabilities. Thirteen major tasks or competency clusters have been identified as being essential in any program designed to train teachers. The competency clusters are, in part, based on the philosophy and implementation of the data-based Teaching Model adopted for use by Special Education at Penn State. Upon successful completion of the major outlined below, students become eligible for the Pennsylvania Instructional I Certificate in Teaching the Mentally and/or Physically Handicapped.


Clearances and Insurance Requirements

Requirements for all practica in spled

Entry into the Special Education B.S. Program

Eligibility for entry into the Special Education program is based on set criteria.

  • Cumulative grade-point average of 3.00 is required (all PA teacher preparation programs require a 3.0 at entry and exit of program.)

  • Applicants must complete a number of prerequisite courses and other requirements. The following courses must be passed with a grade of "C" or better: EDPSY 014, EDTHP 115, PSY 002, PSY 213, EDPSY 010.

  • The applicant must present documentation of at least 80 hours of volunteer or paid work experience in two settings with individuals with exceptionalities; at least 40 of the 80 hours must be with individuals from underrepresented groups.

Students may be admitted to the program by declaring Special Education as a major, transferring from a previously declared major, or transferring from another institution of higher education.

Students cannot be formally admitted to Special Education before their fifth semester.

Students are assigned to one selection pool. For example, Freshmen admitted in the summer or fall of 2014 are automatically assigned to the spring 2016 selection pool. Students who wish to transfer into Special Education for another major or university will be assigned to a selection pool based on the total number of credits they have earned and their completion of College of Education prerequisite courses.

Admission is based on review of records for completion of courses, GPA, and entrance to major requirements. See Undergraduate Admissions for general information on how to obtain a B.S. degree at Penn State.

Course Work By Semester

During their first four semesters, students should complete as many of the University's General Education requirements as possible. Courses (other than Special Education courses) prescribed by the program must also be completed (see the checksheet) It is important for you to schedule your courses in the correct sequence and follow the prerequisites that are listed in the Baccalaureate Degree Programs Bulletin.

Fifth Semester (15 credits)

  1. SPLED 425 (4)

  2. SPLED 395W (3)

  3. SPLED 401 (4)

  4. SPLED 408 (3)

  5. EDPSY 421 (3)

Sixth Semester (17 credits)

  1. SPLED 411 (3)

  2. SPLED 412 (4)

  3. SPLED 495E (3)

  4. SPLED 454 (4)

  5. SPLED 404 (3)

Seventh Semester (15 credits)

  1. SPLED 409A, B, C (9)

  2. SPLED 495G (4)

  3. SPLED 418

Eighth Semester (15 credits)

SPLED 495F (15)

The following courses are prescribed in the Special Education B.S. program. Some of these courses also meet general education requirements established by the University and, therefore, satisfy two requirements or "count twice."

  • MATH 200GQ (meets GenEd quantification requirement and is a prerequisite to SPLED 409) (3)

  • EDPSY 101GQ (meets GenEd quantification requirement and is a prerequisite to SPLED 454) (3)

  • PSY 100 (meets GenEd Social and Behavioral Science requirement and is a required for admission to the Special Education major) (3)

  • PSY 212 (meets GenEd Social and Behavioral Science requirement and is required for admission to the Special Education major) (3)

  • EDPSY 14GS (required for admission to the College of Education) (3)

  • EDTHP 115 (required for admission to the College of Education) (3)

  • EDPSY 10 (required for admission to the Special Education major) (3)