Education, Special (MSEd, certificate)

Program Overview

NOTE: These programs are exclusively online.

The Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Leadership (TLEL) offers several advanced certification programs that culminate in a Master of Science in Education (MSEd) degree in Special Education. Four program options are available, corresponding with the age/grade level of the applicant's initial certificate:

This program is designed to prepare teachers to operationalize “least restrictive environment” philosophies for children and youth with disabilities. Core themes include collaboration with families and other professionals and pedagogy that respects and responds to individual differences. For teachers with initial certification, this program provides knowledge and skills to fulfill various special education teacher roles in today's schools. Sufficient flexibility exists for individuals from undergraduate programs in special education to either deepen their skills in the field or link their special education foundation with the larger context of general education. Similarly, graduates of early childhood, childhood or adolescence education programs may extend their knowledge and skills with students needing special education. 

We also offer an adolescence special education advanced certificate program designed for students who possess an initial New York state teacher certification and seek initial and professional certification in Students with Disabilities (SWD) 7-12 Generalist with eligibility for the SWD content area extension.

Request more information on this program.

Degrees Offered

  • MSEd in Special Education, Early Childhood/Childhood
  • MSEd in Special Education, Adolescence
  • certificate in Special Education, Adolescence

Internships, Research Opportunities and More

In addition to graduate courses suited to the degree you choose to pursue, fieldwork and student teaching are important components to the program. The program boasts strong content speciality as well as diverse student and faculty backgrounds. Faculty advisors and office staff are eager to assist students in tailoring their course of study and field placements. Students are encouraged to take advantage of a well-established network of alumni and professional connections that will help with field visits and placement. There are urban, suburban and rural schools in close proximity where student teaching opportunities are available.

After You Graduate

The completion of this degree and other requirements leads to a New York State certification as a special education teacher. Employment opportunities for teachers have improved significantly over the last few years. Alumni of our programs in education teach at numerous schools regionally and around the country. Due to strict licensure rules, a New York State teaching license is well respected across the nation. Typically, graduates of the programs easily find employment as teachers in other states.

Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for graduate study, you must:

  • Provide a complete set of your undergraduate (and, if applicable, graduate) transcripts showing one of the following:
    • You have earned a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are within one academic year of earning a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are eligible to apply as part of a memorandum of understanding between your current institution and Binghamton University
  • Have earned, at minimum, one of the following:
    • A 3.0 GPA over your entire undergraduate career
    • A 3.0 GPA during your last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits of your undergraduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • A 3.0 GPA in a graduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • In consideration of the different grading scales used around the world, each academic department evaluates international transcripts to determine on a case-by-case basis whether they demonstrate one of the above requirements. 

Applicants must hold or meet requirements for initial New York State certification in Early Childhood Education (birth–grade 2), Childhood Education (grades 1–6) and/or Adolescence Education (grades 7–12) in one of the content areas: English, mathematics, sciences, social studies or foreign languages). Please contact Senior Staff Assistant Tami Mann at with questions.

To apply, you must submit the following materials. For general guidelines for these materials, see the Admission Requirements website. While we make every effort to update these program pages, we recommend that you visit the TLEL Admissions website for additional information.

  • Online graduate degree application with graduate degree application fee
  • Transcripts from each college or university that you have attended
  • Personal statement
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation
    • The department will accept additional letters of recommendation.
  • Teaching certification
  • Any program-specific materials
  • GRE scores are not required

International students must also submit the following materials. For more information about these materials, see the International Students section of the Admission Requirements website.

  • International Student Financial Statement (ISFS) form
  • Supporting financial documentation (such as bank statements, scholarship or sponsor letters, etc.)
  • Proof of English proficiency (such as official TOEFL/IELTS/PTE Academic/Duolingo* scores)
    • *In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Graduate School at Binghamton University has temporarily approved the use of the Duolingo English Test as proof of English proficiency through the 2023 application cycle.


Degree Fall Spring
Special Education, Early Childhood/Childhood (MSEd)Rolling (February 1 Priority)Rolling (October 15 Priority)

For more information, visit the Education, Special website.