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College of Education

College of Education
006 Bluemont Hall
1114 Mid-Campus Drive North
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506

785-532-7304 fax

Program Contact

Dr. Warren White

Master of Science in Special Education

The M.S. in Special Education prepares special education teachers at the graduate level in a cross categorical program with two areas of specialization: High Incidence special education and Low Incidence special education.

Students pursuing a master’s degree in special education are required to complete requirements for full endorsement in at least one area of specialization. However, when feasible, it is advisable to plan programs leading to endorsement in more than one specialization area. A minimum of 30 hours of academic credit comprising an appropriate program of study must be approved early in the student’s program by the student’s graduate committee and the Graduate School. The minimum requirements presented below are helpful guidelines but students must consult their assigned advisors to plan an appropriate program of study.

See Kansas Endorsements in Special Education

Requirements for the Program Areas in Special Education

  • High Incidence Disabilities Special Education Endorsement
    (Elementary or Secondary)

    • Prerequisites
      • Eligible for a teaching license in elementary or secondary education, and one of the following courses:
        • EDSP 323 – Exceptional Student in the Secondary School ^
        • EDSP 324 – Exceptional Child in the Regular Classroom *
    • Required Courses
      • EDSP 710 – Education in Exceptional Individuals * ^
      • EDCEP 715 – Principles of Assessment
      • EDSP 723 – Characteristics of Cognitive Disorders *
      • EDSP 728 – Characteristics of Emotional & Behavioral Disorders *
      • EDSP 742 – Interventions: Emotional & Behavioral Disorders * ^
      • EDSP 743 – Interventions: Academic Disabilities * ^
      • EDSP 745 – The Consulting Process in Special Education ^
      • EDSP 777 – Behavior Management
      • EDSP 778 – Technology for Special Education
      • EDSP 785 – Practicum I * ^
      • EDSP 800 – Practicum II
      • EDSP 830 – Assessment in Special Education
        (Prerequisite: EDCEP 715)
      • EDSP 848 – Transitions in Special Education
    • Additional Courses for Secondary Endorsement
      • EDSP 844 – Special Education in Secondary Schools
        • (Required for ALL secondary level endorsements and elementary level adding secondary certification.)
        • (Offered in spring semesters of odd numbered years)

Code for Symbols:

* QuickStart Program requirement (for elementary education majors)
^ Step Ahead Program requirements (for secondary education majors)

  • Low Incidence Special Education Endorsement
    (Elementary or Secondary)

    • Complete all courses Required for High Incidence Endorsement and:
      • EDSP 841 – Interventions: Low Incidence Special Education
      • EDSP 849 – Interventions: Autism Spectrum Disorders
      • EDSP 885 – Practicum in Education of Individuals with Low Incidence Special Education Needs
  • Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders Graduate Certificate

    • Complete all Requirements for Low Incidence Endorsement and:
      • EDSP 889 – Advanced Practicum: Autism Spectrum Disorders
    • If students want this graduate certificate recorded on their K-State transcript upon completion of the program requirements, they must first submit electronically a Graduate School application for the graduate certificate for Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. This application for the certificate is in addition to the Graduate School application for admission into the master's degree program.
    • To obtain the graduate certificate, student must complete the specific required certificate courses and also must have a master's degree in special education.
  • Additional Requirements for Master's Degree in Special Education

    • Students interested in a master's degree may apply graduate-level courses taken for special education endorsements to the Master's in Special Education.
    • Students seeking the master's degree must complete at least 30 hours of graduate-level coursework and successfully defend their teaching portfolio.
    • Committee members will recommend additional course work based on individual student need. This course work will include but not be limited to: EDSP 886 – Seminar: Special Education or EDCEP 816 – Research Methods in Education.

Practicum Procedures at Kansas State University

  • You must be admitted to the Master’s Program in Special Education prior to the semester you request your first practicum.
  • You must contact the professor in charge of practicum during the semester prior to the semester you are requesting the practicum.
  • It is expected that your first practicum will not take place in your own classroom. However, in the case of a person working on a “waiver,” this requirement may be waived if all of the following conditions are met.
    • The person requesting the practicum is currently employed full-time as a special education teacher under a waiver from KSDE.
    • The person requesting such a practicum must have completed EDSP 710, EDSP 742, and EDSP 743 and received a grade of B or better in each.
    • The person granted permission to complete the first practicum in their own class must also agree to:
      • Secure an onsite “cooperating” teacher who is fully endorsed in High Incidence special education.
      • Produce artifacts for the portfolio as assigned by the supervising professor.
      • Schedule at least on onsite visit by the supervising professor during the practicum.
  • You must complete EDSP 830 before enrolling in a second practicum. (EDCEP 715 is a prerequisite for EDSP 830)
  • You will be required to maintain a comprehensive portfolio that provides evidence of your competence in meeting the requirements of both practica.

Master's Degree Program Portfolio

In lieu of a written Masters exam, each Masters student in special education will complete a portfolio consisting of 21 professional tasks. The portfolio is a substantive product, which also serves as a benchmark in the program. It contains products that a student has developed by fulfilling the requirements of the program. The products that make up the portfolio represent a sample of planning, classroom environment, instruction, and professional responsibilities that are required of personnel in special education. Portfolio tasks were developed as a means to integrate course and professional requirements into relevant and valid outcomes or products.

The portfolio is both an index of program progress and an indicator of a student’s readiness to work as a professional special educator. Students should work with their advisor from the early stage of their program to begin the collection of products for their portfolio. During the final semester of their program, students will present their portfolio to a committee of special education faculty.

See the Master's Degree Program Checklist

Admission Requirements

Admission to graduate study is granted by the Dean of the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the faculty in the graduate program. Applicants seeking admission to this master’s degree program must submit the information noted below. Before starting the online application, gather all information and documents for all of the admission requirements so that they can be uploaded into the application system. All materials must be received before review will begin.

  • A completed online Graduate School Application
    • Go to the Kansas State University Graduate School application for admission page. Follow the prompts for completing the application process.
    • Application Deadlines:
      • U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents – Applications are accepted throughout the year.
      • International Students – The online application, application fee, test scores, transcripts, financial documents, and all required application materials need to be submitted by the following dates:
        • January 1 for fall (August) enrollment
        • August 1 for spring (January) enrollment
        • December 1 for summer (June) enrollment
  • Graduate School Application Fee
    • Domestic Students – A $65 application fee is required for all domestic students; the application will not be processed without this fee. The fee can be paid by credit card when completing the online application.
    • International Students – A $75 application fee is required; the application will not be processed without this fee. The fee can be paid by credit card when completing the online application.
  • Official Transcripts
    • You must upload into the online application system a scanned copy (PDF preferred) of the official transcript(s) from each college or university where you received your bachelor's degree(s) and completed any post baccalaureate course work or degrees. Transcripts become part of your records at Kansas State University and cannot be returned. Please be aware that printouts from university student portals are not considered a copy of your official transcript. If you are admitted, you will be required to submit an official transcript for GPA and degree conferral verification from the institution(s) where you received your degree(s) and completed any post-baccalaureate credits. Students whose transcripts are not in English must furnish a translation by an appropriate authority. Failure to list any colleges or universities attended may result in dismissal from the university.
  • Statement of Goals and Professional Experience
    • You must upload into the online application system a 1-2 page statement that includes the following information:
      • Career and professional goals and aspirations, and how being accepted to the program will benefit your goals and aspirations;
      • A description of your work experience within education or a related field (e.g., past and present employment);
      • Future professional plans (e.g., Upon completion of the degree, do you plan to stay in your current position? If not, what type of position would you like to seek?); and
      • If you have a request for a certain advisor, indicate that preference in the statement.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    • Three letters of recommendation are needed from college or university educators and/or colleagues or supervisors who are qualified to address your professional skills and your potential for success in the graduate program. Enter the names and email addresses of the recommenders into the appropriate area in the online application.
  • English Language Proficiency
    • To demonstrate competence in the English language, an official report of scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System - academic exam (IELTS) or Pearson Test of English (PTE) must be sent to Kansas State University for all applicants whose primary language is not English. Enter your scores in the online application and upload the report of your scores.
    • Learn more about English proficiency requirements at: http://www.k-state.edu/grad/admissions/application-process/international/

International applicants must meet the same academic standards for admission as those required of domestic students. When applying for admission, international applicants must provide an Affidavit of Financial Support and documentation of English language proficiency. Detailed information about these issues is provided at the Graduate School Application Process for International Students website.

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Master of Science (M.S.)

Course Delivery:

Manhattan Campus
Some courses available Online

Tuition Information:

See the Cashiers and Student Accounts website for tuition and fee schedules.


Special Education, Counseling and Student Affairs

Additional Information

Program Booklet (PDF)
Assessment Alignment Matrix (PDF)
Assessment Results Summary (PDF)
Student Retention Policy (PDF)

Related Programs

Special Education Doctor of Education Degree

Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders Graduate Certificate

High Incidence Special Education Endorsement

Low Incidence Special Education Endorsement