Skip to Content (Press Enter)

NAU’s Accredited Master’s Degree In Special Education

Start or advance your education career in as little as two years with NAU’s accredited master’s degree in Special Education. You’ll learn the best approaches to educating students with learning disabilities, emotional or behavioral disorders, mild-to-moderate intellectual disabilities, and orthopedic and health impairments. Choose to pursue this NCATE-accredited master’s degree in one of three degree options: 1) MED-Early Childhood Special Education with certification, 2) MED-Special Education: Cross-Categorical (Certification), or 3) MED-Special Education: Cross-Categorical (no certification). 

Be A Special Education Leader & Mentor

NAU’s NCATE-accredited master’s degree in Special Education leads to rewarding career opportunities as a director of special education, special education teacher, special education case manager, consultant, and others.

With job growth expected to increase by 17% by 2020, you can plan to start or continue your career in these Arizona settings:

  • K-12 Education
  • Preschool and Early Education
  • Private and Public Businesses

Catalog Information

Learn more about the program options by viewing the catalog information below. Catalog information is displayed for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Special Education

Emphasis Select from 3 Emphasis:

Campus Locations

Show locations that offer this degree:
Click a pin on the map at the left or search/select:
globe This program is available Online
Degree Information
30 units
Maximum Transfer Units
Additional Admission Requirements - Additional Application
Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 30
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Optional
Emphasis, Minor, Certificate

Emphasis, minor, and/or certificate are required.

Progression Plan Link View Program of Study

Purpose Statement

The purpose of the MEd in Special Education non-certified is to prepare educators to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities in human serving agencies. Candidates gain knowledge and skills to develop and expand knowledge on specific areas of special education. This program does not lead to teacher certification.


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 

    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • IVP Fingerprint clearance card
    • Teaching certificate (if the applicant has one)
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 30 units:

    Core Requirements (12 units)

    • ESE 548 or equivalent (3 units)
    • ESE 698 (3 units)
    • ESE Elective, or students with no coursework in Educational Foundations must take one course in Educational Foundations in place of the special education elective. (3 units)
    Graduate Certificate or Emphasis Areas (Select One):
  • Please Note:
    • If students choose to earn a certificate, 3 units of electives must be taken in addition to listed plan requirements.
    • This program of study is appropriate for students who are not seeking certification in special education.
    • Students cannot apply for teaching certification under this program of studies.
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.
Department Information
Learn more about this program and the Department of Educational Specialties.