Jun 12, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
2022-2023 Graduate Studies Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Special Education, MSEd

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Assistant Professor HernandezGraduate Program Director, 516-463-5968

For students with New York state certification in childhood education or literacy, to become teachers of students with disabilities (childhood-adolescence): 31-34 s.h. The program is designed to develop ethical scholar-practitioners capable of working with diverse populations of learners in a variety of school contexts. This program consists of a sequence of core courses and experiences for teaching students across the full range of disabilities and special health care needs leading to New York state initial/professional certification as a special education teacher at the prescribed developmental childhood level. Students can matriculate and complete additional requirements in order to receive the New York State Annotation to Teach Students with Severe or Multiple Disabilities.

Admission Requirements

Applications for admission to this Master of Science in Education program in the Department of Specialized Programs in Education  are made to the Office of Graduate Admission. Admissions decisions are based on a comprehensive review of multiple criteria.  The department understands that any single criterion may not reliably predict a student’s potential for success in the program. Students may consider applying even if they fail to meet one of the criteria listed below but feel that other aspects of their experience might compensate. All individual cases will be reviewed by an Admissions Counselor before being referred to the graduate program for further review.

  1. Initial or professional New York state teacher certification in childhood education.
  2. A completed application form to the master’s program.
  3. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, or it’s equivalent (e.g., a 3.0 in a completed graduate program). We encourage you to submit all transcripts from your undergraduate work and any graduate work for consideration. 
  4. Three letters of recommendation addressing the applicant’s potential to succeed in the teaching of students with disabilities.
  5. A written personal statement of professional intent.
  6. Interview with a faculty member in special education.


Program Requirements - Total Semester Hours: 31 to 34

Matriculated students must complete a minimum of 25 to 28 s.h. of the master of science in education program in residence at Hofstra. No more than nine s.h. may be transferred into the program. Students may use student teaching to meet the 25 to 28 s.h. residency.

Students may complete a maximum of 12 s.h. of graduate course work leading to the master of science in education degree prior to matriculation in the program.

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 to remain in the program. Courses in which students receive grades below C- confer no credit toward the graduate degree but are included in determining grade point average.

Knowledge Core - Semester Hours: 12

Reflective Practice - Semester Hours: 3-6


*Fulfills requirements for the annotation for Teaching Students With Severe or Multiple Disabilities.

Field Experience Prior to Student Teaching

Field experiences are integrated extensively into course curricula. A minimum of 100 clock hours of observation is required prior to student teaching. At least one placement (SPED 201) will be spent in a site recognized by the New York State Education Department as high-needs. Placements are arranged by the Office of Field Placement.

Participation/observation field experiences which correspond to the developmental level of the certificate holder are required in each of the following courses:

Student Teaching

Students will qualify for admission to Student Teaching, SPED 237, when they have satisfied the following requirements:

  1. Successful completion of 27 semester hours of core course work
  2. A grade point average of 3.0 or higher in overall graduate course work.

Admission by permission of the graduate program director and application to the Office of Field Placement and the Department of Specialized Programs in Education , due on May 1 for the succeeding spring semester and February 15 for the succeeding fall semester. Application forms are available in Hagedorn Hall, Room 230.

Students registered for SPED 237 will complete two student teaching experiences at the developmental levels of their certificate.

Students registered for SPED 237A will complete a student teaching experience at two developmental levels of their certificate.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Completion of a minimum of 31 semester hours in prescribed courses with no fewer than 25 s.h. in-residence.
  2. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in overall graduate course work and all special education core courses.
  3. Passing grade on the comprehensive examination.
  4. Completion of all required Educational Law Seminars.
  5. All course work taken in satisfaction of the degree requirements must have been completed within a five-year period.

Teacher Certification Requirements

Upon successful completion of degree requirements, students will be eligible to apply for the University’s recommendation for New York state certification. Contact the School of Education Dean’s Office, for information regarding any required Educational Law seminars* and other certification requirements. 

*Please note, as of December 31, 2013, the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education now require a new six-hour seminar for Training in Harassment, Bullying and Discrimination Prevention and Intervention, required under the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA): http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/news/newsitem05162013.html.

To be eligible for the certification, students are required to have passing scores on the appropriate New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE). Please contact the School of Education Dean’s Office for specific certification requirements.

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