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Special Education, M.Ed.

The special education program is approved by the Michigan Department of Education to prepare teachers to work effectively with students who receive special education services. This program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The faculty members are leaders in their fields, combining the philosophy of education and your needs as a practitioner.

Visit the program website for more information.

Program Overview

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) in special education opens up a number of career opportunities for professional educators. This program receives national recognition from the Council for Exceptional Children. Classes are offered in the evening, on weekends, during the spring/summer semester, and online, making scheduling easier for teachers.

The outlook for special education teachers in Michigan and beyond is very positive. Special education teaching positions are considered a critical shortage area by the U.S. Department of Education. Throughout this program, students have the option to earn only a special education endorsement.

Why Study Special Education at Grand Valley?

  • Intentional. All courses, practica, and internships are specific to the emphasis area of your choosing.
  • Service. The College of Education Student Information and Services Center provides centralized services for advising, program planning, field placement, and certification.
  • Career-oriented. Leadership and professional engagement are available through the Graduate Student Association and The Graduate School.
  • Supportive. Faculty with extensive experience encourage success among students as educators in their academic endeavors at Grand Valley and later in their careers.
  • Flexible. Evening, weekend, online/hybrid, and summer classes make it easy for teachers to schedule.

Helpful Links

For More Information

College of Education
401 W. Fulton St., Building C
(616) 331-6650

Amy Schelling, Ed.D., Program Coordinator
(616) 331-6243

Graduate Admissions Office

Application Deadline

Deadline for fall semester is May 15; winter deadline is September 15; spring/summer deadline is February 15. Early application is strongly encouraged, those received after the deadline will also be considered if space is available. The $30 nonrefundable application fee is waived if the applicant has previously applied to Grand Valley State University. Please visit

Location & Format

Classes for the program are a combination of online and in-seat on the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

Format: Hybrid


The special education program is 36-credit hours of coursework and is designed to be completed in two academic years for full-time students or a minimum of three academic years for part-time students. Students can choose from one of the following three emphasis areas: Cognitive Impairment, Emotional Impairment, or Learning Disabilities. All students will study a variety of subjects including:

  • Evidence-based instructional practices
  • Positive behavior intervention supports
  • Multi-tiered system of supports/response to intervention
  • Transition practices