Special Education - MS, MEd, EdS

Emma Eccles Jones College of Education & Human Services

About This Degree

The special education master's degrees provide an advanced level of preparation for professionals who work with children, youth, and adults with disabilities.

USU's graduate program in special education is in the top 20 of nationally ranked special education programs, according to U.S. News & World Report. The program is designed to develop and improve teaching skills in the classroom as well as to develop the skills of those who work with individuals with disabilities in community-based settings. Participants include school personnel and others involved in education-related activities across a variety of community, work, and clinical settings.

With the MEd, students can also receive an Administrative/Supervisory Concentration, and with the MS, students can opt to complete coursework that leads to national certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

  • MEd with Administrative/Supervisory Concentration:This is designed for individuals pursuing administrative or supervisory positions in the public school system. The program combines the special education focuses on refining school practices in instruction and management, legal requirements, and cultural and linguistic diversity with the knowledge and competencies of the Administrative/Supervisory Concentration program.
  • MS with National Board Certified Behavior Analysis: This is a three-year MS sequence that prepares individuals as behavior specialists. Participants complete the coursework necessary to sit for the National Board Certified Behavior Analysis (BCBA) exam (individuals already possessing a master's degree can apply to take only BCBA-preparation courses). Students gain valuable clinical and research experience that strengthens their professional skills and prepares them for further graduate study.

The EdS is designed for advanced graduate students seeking instruction beyond a master’s degree. Programs are individually planned to address specific student needs.

Program Requirements


MS: Beaver, Blanding, Brigham City, Castle Dale, Delta, Ephraim, Heber City, Kanab, Kaysville, Logan (Main Campus), Moab, Montezuma Creek, Monticello, Monument Valley, Nephi, Orem, Panguitch, Park City, Price (USU Eastern), Roosevelt (Uintah Basin), Salt Lake, St George, Tooele, Tremonton, Vernal (Uintah Basin), Wendover

MEd: Beaver, Blanding, Brigham City, Castle Dale, Delta, Ephraim, Heber City, Kanab, Kaysville, Logan (Main Campus), Moab, Montezuma Creek, Monticello, Monument Valley, Nephi, Orem, Panguitch, Park City, Price (USU Eastern), Roosevelt (Uintah Basin), Salt Lake, St George, Tooele, Tremonton, Vernal (Uintah Basin), Wendover

EdS: Logan (Main Campus)

Career And Outcomes

Career Opportunities

In the special education programs, teachers are trained to teach special education or general education students. They can choose to become:

  • Classroom teachers
  • Supervisors
  • Mentors

Students in the MS program are also given the groundwork to pursue a doctoral degree, which gives them the opportunity to become professors or administrators in either higher education or at a state level.

With the Administrative/Supervisory License, students can serve in educational administrative positions as principals or superintendents.

With the National Board Certified Behavior Analysis qualification, students can become a certified behavior analyst and work in schools, clinics, or private practices.

Job Outlook


Megan Murdock

Program coordinator
Email: megan.murdock@usu.edu
Office: EDUC 313
Phone: 435-797-3245


Admission Requirements

Students who apply to this program must have a bachelor's degree in special education or a related field (e.g., psychology, education, speech and language pathology,...).

Application Requirements:

  • Complete the online application
  • Pay the $55 application fee
  • Score at or above the 40th percentile on in the GRE
  • Provide official transcripts of all college/university credits
  • Provide three contacts for letters of recommendation
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher during most recent 60 semester hours
  • Teaching experience is strongly encouraged
  • Provide letter of intent

In addition to the above requirements, the following is required for the MEd with Administrative/Supervisory Licensure program:

  • Level two license in Utah required
  • Two years of certified experience required
  • A separate application submitted directly to the Teacher Education and Leadership department.

Students pursuing the National Board Certified Behavior Analysis coursework are strongly encouraged to have teaching experience.

International students have additional admissions requirements.


The department has the following application deadlines:

M.Ed/M.S. in Special Education

  • March 15th for fall semester
  • October 15th for spring semester

BCBA Concentration

  • March 15th for fall semester

Transition Concentration

  • March 15th of odd numbered years for fall semester

Plan Options

Students completing the standard MS program or the MS with BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) requires students to complete the following plan option:

  • In the Plan A option, students complete graduate-level coursework and must write a thesis.

Students receiving the MEd or the MEd with Administrative/Supervisory License must complete this plan option:

  • The Plan B option requires the production of a paper or creative work of art and is expected to reflect equivalent scholarship standards as a thesis.

Financial Aid

Scholarships and assistantships are available on a competitive basis. Recipients are chosen based on academic performance, financial need, work-related experience, and participation in community service.

A variety of funding opportunities are available on the graduate school website.

Take The Next Step

You May Also Be Interested In

Disability Disciplines

Gain experience conducting and reporting research, writing grants, and teaching as you earn a degree from a program ranked in the top 20 nationally.

Rehabilitation and Disability Studies

Earn a post-graduate advanced certificate as you prepare for a national certification exam that USU students pass at a 99% rate on the first attempt.

Rehabilitation Counseling

Graduate from the highest-ranked program at USU with job possibilities in mental health, addiction, and disability care facilities. Students with any undergraduate major can apply.

Transition Education and Services

Receive specialized training focused on transition which is the progression of youth and students with disabilities from secondary education to post-secondary employment, education, and living.