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Special Education

Whether you are currently working in education or new to the field, the special education program prepares you to work with learners who receive special education services for specific learning disabilities, children on the autism spectrum, and/or those with emotional or behavioral disorders. Students who live and work in Minnesota may choose to complete additional requirements to be eligible to apply for a Minnesota special education licensure in the areas of: specific learning disability (LD), emotional or behavioral disorders (EBD) and/or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We also offer the opportunity for those not seeking licensure to complete only the master’s degree. Students in this program must have access to K-12 classrooms to complete course activities.

Options are available for both licensed educators and those seeking an initial teaching license. Licensure preparation is available for Emotional/Behavioral Disorders (EBD), Learning Disabilities (LD), and/or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Are you already a licensed teacher looking to add an EBD, ASD, or LD license?
Educators who already hold a general education teaching licensure can add preparation for LD, ASD, and/or EBD licensure. Those who are not looking to obtain a master’s degree can stop out with a Graduate Certificate in Learning Disabilities or Graduate Certificate in Emotional/Behavioral Disorders.

Are you looking to obtain your first teaching license?
Those who are not currently licensed can prepare for LD and/or EBD licensure by taking 18 credits of foundations coursework in addition to the special education curriculum. After obtaining an initial license in EBD and/or LD, learners may also add an ASD license.

After obtaining your licensure(s) you can also finish your master’s degree!
By completing six additional credits learners can earn an M.A. in Special Education.

Schedule & Format

This program offers two formats to meet the various learning and schedule needs of adult learners. Courses are offered in a blended learning format utilizing both face-to-face and online instruction. Alternatively, learners can choose to complete the program within a supportive online learning community, via the Online M.A. in Special Education program (those seeking initial licensure must take face-to-face foundational coursework in addition to the online sequence).

Autism Spectrum Disorder Courses

For those who already hold a teaching license in special education, this program offers preparatory courses for Autism Spectrum Disorder licensure licensure in a completely online format.

Financial Aid

For more information about financial aid, vist our loan information page.


Michelle Dougherty | | (612) 728-5122

Gainful Employment Information

Effective July 1, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education requires institutions with non-degree programs defined as “Gainful Employment programs” to disclose certain information about these programs.

Graduate Certificate in Special Education (Learning Disabilities) Gainful Employment Report
Graduate Certificate in Special Education (Emotional Behavioral Disorders) Gainful Employment Report


Saint Mary's now offers an Online M.A. in Special Education program.
Request more information