A program of study for individuals who already hold a professional teaching license or those wishing to work with individuals with exceptionalities in areas other than teaching. Candidates will be prepared for advanced positions in exceptional education, such as department chair, program specialist, RTI specialist, behavior specialist, or instructional coach. Candidates may choose to pursue a certificate in autism or an endorsement in Gifted Education.
The M.Ed. is, at minimum, a 30 credit hour program with 13-16 core credit hours. College of Education and Exceptional Education courses comprise the core courses. The remaining credits are split between a selected concentration and electives that meet specific individual needs and career objectives.
The M.Ed. includes field experiences integrated into courses, which may occur as a formal placement by the university or as a result of supervised employment. All candidates complete a final portfolio OR an action research project, which serves as their comprehensive assessment.
This program is not designed to meet Virginia requirements for initial teacher licensure or endorsement. However, depending on the concentration selected, the M.Ed. can lead to an endorsement in gifted education provided the individual already holds a valid Virginia teaching license or a certificate in autism. The final portfolio option has been designed to support candidates who wish to apply for National Board Certification for teaching; however, application for National Board Certification is not a requirement of the program.
The gifted education concentration is designed to prepare educators who skillfully contribute to the common good of society through competence in teaching and educational leadership in gifted education. The program enables candidates to complete the approved Virginia Add-on K-12 Gifted Education Endorsement. For candidates selecting the gifted education concentration, 100% of the program coursework is online.
The autism concentration is designed to enable candidates to increase their knowledge and understanding of individuals with a disability on the autism spectrum, including those with Asperger Syndrome, and to engage in the practice of assessing, planning and implementing programming for this population. The content of this program is suitable for those working with this population anytime along the entire lifespan. Upon completion of the coursework, candidates earn a certificate in autism. For candidates selecting the autism concentration, 90% of the program coursework is online.
The Instructional Interventionist Concentration is designed to prepare educators to enhance their delivery of evidence-based instructional methods, as well as provide peer and/or supervisory support to colleagues. Coursework will focus on identifying, implementing, and monitoring the effectiveness of well-researched interventions for students who struggle with any academic skill. Coursework will also include specific models and interventions for co-taught classrooms, curriculum selection, and specialized assessment methods, including curriculum-based measurement, mastery measurement, diagnostic measurement, progress monitoring, general outcome measurement.
These tables display all individual courses required for each concentration available. A minimum of 30 graduate credits is required to earn the M.Ed. degree. Candidates must complete a Program of Study Form with their advisor prior to beginning coursework. Transfer Credit Forms must be completed at this time.
COE Core Courses1 and Credit Hours
EDUC 630 - Inquiry in Education - 3
EDUC 641 - Learning Theories & Practice - 3
EDUC 642 - Curriculum Theory & Issues - 3
1 COE core courses are offered in online and face-to-face formats.
EXED Core Courses1 and Credit Hours
EXED 605 - Trends & Issues in EXED2
Choose One of the Following
EXED 608 - Exceptional Education Portfolio - 2-4
EXED 609 - Research in Exceptional Education - 1-4
1 EXED core courses are offered in face-to-face format, except for the section of EXED 608 reserved for students in the Gifted Concentration.
2 Students in the Gifted Concentration will take EXED 665 in lieu of EXED 605.
Concentrations — Students select ONE of the following concentrations and must complete all courses in the concentration.
Instructional Specialist Concentration
EXED 616 - Evidence Based Interventions & Curriculum Review - 3
EXED 617 - Data-Based Decision Making - 3
EXED 618 - Strategies for Inclusive Classrooms - 3
Electives (by advisement only)** - TBD
** The number of elective credits is determined based on the student’s selected concentration and professional interests. Acceptable courses are determined by the individual needs of the candidate with the approval of his/her advisor.
For more information regarding the M.Ed.
application process please visit
The Graduate School's website.