Master of Education (MEd) in Special Education

LSU offers an Advanced Master of Education (MEd) degree in special education. The degree program is designed to expand the knowledge of certified special education teachers beyond initial teacher preparation by integrating knowledge and skills in the following specialty areas: (a) assessment and evaluation; and (b) instructional and behavioral support. Guided by the strong conviction that effective instruction for students with disabilities must be child centered, data driven, and outcome oriented, the MEd in special education meets national and state standards and expectations set forth by organizations including the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), and the Louisiana Blue Ribbon Commission for advanced programs.

Program Structure

The MEd in special education is a 36-semester-hour program beyond the baccalaureate degree. It features a 12-hour core that includes 6 hours of course work in research and analysis and 6 hours in foundational special education content (e.g., legal issues, applied learning theory). For the remaining coursework, candidates select from the aforementioned two areas of specialization. The instructional and behavioral support specialization is aimed at providing advanced training in the design, delivery, and supervision of instructional and behavioral supports in schools. Included in the specialization is a 12-hour sequence of courses that focus on mastery of applied behavior analytic principles for use in educational settings. The assessment and evaluation specialization is aimed at providing advanced training in the assessment and evaluation of individual students and school programming. Candidates who successfully complete this sequence of courses are eligible for state certification for the position of educational diagnostician.

Upon entrance into the degree program, candidates pursuing the MEd in special education are advised to begin by completing the four core courses (e.g., EDCI 7705, 7021; ELRC 4006; 4249; see below for course titles and suggested sequence). Once the core courses are completed, candidates then meet with one or more special education faculty members to complete the following activities: (a) discuss the knowledge and skills learned while completing the core; and (b) choose a specialization and course path for completing the degree. Once a plan is in place, candidates are encouraged to check in with special education faculty at the completion of 24 semester hours to ensure adequate progress is being made toward the degree. Near the end of the program – in the last semester of course work – candidates are required to successfully complete a comprehensive exam process that includes a take-home written component and an on-campus oral element. The written exam will involve completion of three questions that focus on the following three areas: (a) legal issues; (b) research methodology; and (c) the chosen specialization of the candidate. The oral exam will involve the candidate developing and delivering a presentation on a project completed during a capstone specialization course (i.e., EDCI 7010 in the assessment and evaluation specialization; EDCI 7727 in the instructional and behavioral specialization). Successful completion of the course work and comprehensive examination is necessary in order to obtain the MEd in special education.

Master of Education in Special Education Program

  • ELRC 4006, Applied Statistics in Education, 3 credit hours
  • ELRC 4249, Understanding and Applying Research in Education, 3 credit hours
  • EDCI 7021, Legal and Ethical Issues in Special Education, 3 credit hours
  • EDCI 7705, Applied Learning Theory for Exceptional Learners, 3 credit hours

12 TOTAL CREDIT HOURS

  • EDCI 6701, Foundations of Applied Behavior Analysis in Education, 3 credit hours
  • EDCI 6702, Measurement of Behavior: Analysis and Evaluation of Behavior Change in Education, 3 credit hours
  • EDCI 6703, Promoting Positive Behavior Change in Education, 3 credit hours
  • EDCI 6704, Applied Behavior Analysis Practicum in Special Education, 3 credit hours
  • EDCI 7017, Explicit Instructional Models for Students with Disabilities, 3 credit hours
  • EDCI 7018, Strategic Instructional Models for Students with Disabilities, 3 credit hours
  • EDCI 7727, Behavior Analysis in Special Education, 3 credit hours
  • Approved elective - must be at the 7000 level, 3 credit hours

24 TOTAL SPECIALIZATION CREDIT HOURS

36 TOTAL MASTERS CREDIT HOURS (including core courses)

  • EDCI 4710, Consultation, Collaboration, and Co-Teaching, 3 credit hours (*ED requirement 4c)
  • EDCI 6702, Measurement of Behavior: Analysis and Evaluation of Behavior Change in Education, 3 credit hours (*ED requirement 4e)
  • EDCI 6703, Promoting Positive Behavior Change in Education, 3 credit hours (*ED requirement 4b)
  • EDCI 7009, Advanced Evaluation and Assessment for Students At-Risk, 3 credit hours (*ED requirement 4f)
  • EDCI 7010, Advanced Practicum in Evaluation and Assessment, 3 credit hours (*ED requirement 4g)
  • EDCI 7017 or 7018, Explicit Instructional Models for Students with Disabilities or Strategic Instructional Models for Students with Disabilities, 3 credit hours (*ED requirement 4d)
  • EDCI 7682, Teaching Reading in the Elementary School, 3 credit hours (*ED requirement 3a)
  • EDCI 7683, Guiding Classroom Instruction and Practicum in Reading, 3 credit hours (*ED requirement 3a)

24 TOTAL SPECIALIZATION CREDIT HOURS

36 TOTAL MASTERS CREDIT HOURS (including core courses)

* Louisiana Bulletin 746 requirements for Educational Diagnostician, taken from Subsection 663 (see rubric below).

Note:  Requirement 4a, applied learning theory, is accounted for with core course EDCI 7705, Applied learning theory for exceptional learners

LSU Rubric for Educational Diagnostician Certification in the State of Louisiana

Bulletin 746 Reference Certification Requirement LSU Course No LSU Course Title

SS 663 3a

Reading credit: elementary/middle grades

6 semester hours in diagnosis and remediation of reading problems, 3 of which may be undergraduate coursework

EDCI 7682

EDCI 7683

Assessment Techniques and Practicum in Reading

Guiding Classroom Instruction and Practicum in Reading (prerequisite EDCI 7682)

SS 663 3b

Reading credit: secondary/all-level majors

9 hours of reading coursework, with 6 in diagnosis and remediation of reading problems and 3 in foundations of reading, 3 of which may be undergraduate coursework

EDCI 7682

EDCI 7683


EDCI 7105

Assessment Techniques and Practicum in Reading

Guiding Classroom Instruction and Practicum in Reading (prerequisite EDCI 7682)

Teaching Reading in the Elementary School 

SS 663 4a Applied learning theory EDCI 7705 Applied Learning Theory for Exceptional Learners
SS 663 4b

Behavioral intervention strategies

3 hours of coursework required

EDCI 4705


EDCI 7727

EDCI 6703

Learning and Behavior Principles Applied to Students with Exceptionalities

Behavior Analysis in Special Education

Promoting Positive Behavior Change in Education

SS 663 4c

Consulting teacher strategies

EDCI 4710

Consultation, Collaboration, and Co-teaching

SS 663 4d

Precision assessment and diagnostic/prescriptive strategies

3 hours of coursework required

EDCI 7018

EDCI 7017

Strategic Instructional Models for Students with Disabilities

Explicit Instructional Models for Students with Disabilities

SS 663 4e

Test theory

3 hours of coursework required

ELRC 7010

EDCI 6702

Principles of Testing and Measurement

Measurement of Behavior: Analysis and Evaluation of Behavior Change in Education

SS 663 4f

 Educational diagnosis

 EDCI 7009

Advanced Evaluation and Assessment for Students At Risk

SS 663 4g

Supervised internship (including 100 clock hours of field work)

EDCI 7010  Advanced Practicum in Evaluation and Assessment (prerequisite EDCI 7009)