Why UM-Flint

What Sets UM-Flint's Special Education (MA) Program Apart?

  • Choose to specialize in Learning Disabilities (SM endorsement) or Cognitive Impairments (SA endorsement), and master skills in assessment, program planning, and behavioral and instructional methods.
  • Practicum experiences in both elementary and secondary settings.
  • The program is aligned with Michigan Special Education Teacher Standards and is nationally recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).
  • Master's degree or endorsement-only options:
    • Full Master of Arts in Education – 36 credits
    • First endorsement in Special Education (without MA) – 33 credits
    • Second Special Education Endorsement – minimum 20 additional credits
      Note: The endorsement program in Special Education can be pursued as part of the master's program in Special Education or independently.  However, to qualify for federal financial aid (including loans), one must be enrolled in the master's program.
  • Full-time teachers can successfully complete their required placements within the scope of the program.
  • Convenient class times for working professionals.
  • You will learn from faculty who are at the forefront of trends in education. Learning directly from these experts, you will be at a distinct advantage.
  • UM-Flint Education faculty make themselves available to students outside the normal class schedule, with flexible office hours and online availability.
  • The program prepares you to add a K-12 Learning Disabilities (SM) or Cognitive Impairment (SA) endorsement to your Michigan teaching certificate
  • Core coursework will equip you with:
    • a comprehensive understanding of Special Education in schools
    • an examination of issues in teaching and learning as they apply to diverse learning needs
    • insight into individuals with special needs from a developmental life-span perspective
    • collaborative skills for school, family, and community


Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Minimum overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • A Michigan teaching certificate


To be considered for admission, submit the following to the Office of Graduate Programs, 251 Thompson Library:

  • Application for Graduate Admission
  • $55 application fee (non-refundable)
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Three letters of recommendation, preferably with at least one from an academic reference and one from an individual familiar with your teaching or professional work
  • Statement of Purpose describing your goals for entering the graduate program and how these goals connect to your views on teaching and learning
  • Résumé
  • A copy of your teaching certificate
  • International students must submit additional documentation. Visit the International Students page for details.

Application Deadlines

The program has rolling admissions and reviews completed applications each month. Application deadlines are as follows:     

  • Fall (early deadline*) – May 1
  • Fall (final deadline) – August 1
  • Winter – November 15
  • Spring – March 15
  • Summer – May 15

*You must apply by the early deadline to be eligible for scholarships, grants, and research assistantships.


Special Education (Master of Arts)

The Master of Arts in Special Education program is designed to produce highly qualified K-12 special education teachers with endorsement in Learning Disabilities or Cognitive Impairments. These teachers will demonstrate competencies in research-based and specialized knowledge and skills, and use best practices in the field.

The program requires 36 credits of planned coursework, including two six-week internships. All students complete six special education core courses, the Learning Disabilities or the Cognitive Impairment option, each of which includes three additional courses and two six-week internships, and a research seminar.

The program is aligned with State of Michigan requirements, Council for Exceptional Children/National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Educators (CEC/NCATE) standards, and The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).


  1. Core education courses (18 credits).
    EDN 500 - Individuals with Special Needs. 
    EDN 501 - Special Education in American Schools. 
    EDN 502 - Family, School and Community Collaboration for Students with Special Needs. 
    EDN 540 - Behavioral and Instructional Methods in Special Education. 
    EDN 541 - Assessment, Identification, and Program Planning for Students with Special Needs. 
    EDN 544 - Assistive Technology for Students with Special Needs.  
  2. One of the following endorsement options (15 credits).
    Learning Disabilities endorsement.
    EDN 600 - Comprehensive Overview of Learning Disabilities. 
    EDN 640 - Methods-Learning Disabilities. 
    EDN 660 - Learning Disabilities Elementary Practicum. 
    EDN 662 - Learning Disabilities Secondary Practicum. 
    EDR 645 - Literacy Instruction for Students Identified with Special Needs.  
    Cognitive Impairment endorsement.
    EDN 601 - Comprehensive Overview of Cognitive Impairments. 
    EDN 641 - Methods-Cognitive Impairments. 
    EDN 661 - Cognitive Impairments Elementary Practicum. 
    EDN 663 - Cognitive Impairments Secondary Practicum. 
    EDR 645 - Literacy Instruction for Students Identified with Special Needs.  
  3. Research Seminar (3 credits).
    EDE 670 .
  4. Electives (for transfer students requiring additional credits).
    ECE 520 - Early Childhood Special Education. 
    EDN 602 - Issues and Trends in Special Education. 
    Other courses approved by advisor.
  5. Grades of B- (4.0) or better in all required courses and an overall GPA of B (5.0) or better required for student teaching eligibility.

*One placement in elementary (6 weeks/3 credits) and one in middle/secondary setting (6 weeks/3 credits). Each placement, if possible, should be in a different type of setting (i.e. inclusive, self-contained, resource room) serving students in the area of endorsement. It is possible to complete both placements in one semester if student is not currently teaching full time, or placements may be completed in two different semesters. If candidates currently teaching full time, one placement, if approved, may be completed in own classroom providing they have students with the disability. The second placement would need to be completed in different setting during summer term.


Special Education Certificate Endorsement

Successful completion of the Master of Arts in Special Education program, minus the research seminar, fulfills the 33-credit State of Michigan requirement for a single endorsement in Learning Disabilities (coded SM in Michigan) or Cognitive Impairment (coded SA) for graduates with teaching certificates from the State of Michigan.

Individuals who already possess one endorsement earned at the undergraduate level may complete a second endorsement with as few as 18 additional credits. However, if a Master’s degree is desired along with the second endorsement, 36 credits at the graduate level are required. Some of these may be electives approved by the Education Department advisor. Transfer credits from other Special Education programs also may be considered on an individual basis. See the Education Department for further information. 


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