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This master's degree is designed to prepare both educators for the classroom and individuals working in a special education context outside of the classroom with the specialized skills and content knowledge needed to support the needs of individuals with disabilities. Students may focus their program on a specific area in the field by completing a licensure or non-licensure certificate program in conjunction with the MEd and using certificate coursework to fulfill the elective credits for the MEd degree program.

Banner Code: E1-MED-EDSE

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 30

MEd Coursework (without concentration)

EDSE 501Introduction to Special Education3
Select one from the following:3
Language Development and Reading
Foundations of Language and Literacy for Diverse Learners
Applied Behavior Analysis: Verbal Behavior
Supporting Communication and Literacy for Individuals with Autism
EDSE 517Computer Applications for Special Populations3
EDSE 590Special Education Research3
Select one from the following:3
Autism Across the Lifespan: Collaboration with Critical Partners
Consultation and Collaboration
Collaborative Teamwork to Support Students with Significant Disabilities
Ethical and Professional Conduct for Behavior Analysis
Total Credits30

MEd with concentration in Early Childhood Special Education (Non-licensure) (SPEC)

This concentration is for professionals who already hold an early childhood special education teacher license or are interested in working in an early childhood special education context outside the classroom. Students who wish to seek early childhood education licensure are advised to consider completing the Early Childhood Special Education Licensure graduate certificate program in conjunction with the MEd. Students may use their certificate coursework to fulfill the elective credits for the MEd degree program.


ECED 503Inclusive Curriculum for Young Learners: Planning Instruction and Guidance3
ECED 505Introduction to Early Childhood Special Education3
ECED 506Medical and Developmental Aspects of Disabilities of Diverse Young Learners3
ECED 522Developing Language, Literacy, and Communication of Diverse Infants and Toddlers3
Choose one of the following:3
Frameworks for Early Childhood Education
Applied and Teacher Research in Early Childhood Education
Policy Perspectives in Early Childhood Education
Total Credits30

Bachelor's Degree (any)/Special Education, Accelerated MEd


Highly-qualified undergraduates may be admitted to the bachelor's/accelerated master's option and obtain a BA or BS in any degree area and an MEd in Special Education (with or without the concentration in early childhood special education [non-licensure]) in an accelerated time-frame after completion of 144 credits. See AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degree for policies related to this program.

Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master's degree. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Application Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions Policies. For information specific to this accelerated master's program, see Application Requirements and Deadlines on the College of Education and Human Development web site. 

Accelerated Option Requirements: No Concentration


Students complete the following courses in their senior year:

Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
EDSE 5013EDSE 503 or 5573
EDSE approved elective3EDSE approved elective3
 6 6
Total Credits 12

Accelerated Option Requirements: Early Childhood Special Education [Non-Licensure] Concentration


Complete up to 12 credits of ECED courses during senior year12
Total Credits12


While undergraduate students, accelerated master's students are able to apply two of the courses listed above to both the Bachelor's and Master's degrees. These courses are considered advanced standing for the MEd. A minimum grade of B must be earned to be eligible to count as advanced standing. The other two courses are taken as reserve graduate credit and do not apply to the undergraduate degree. Early in their final undergraduate semester, students must submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form to the CEHD Admissions Office and specify which of the four courses are to be designated as advanced standing and reserve graduate credit.