Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in the Field of Secondary Special Education

GW’s nationally recognized secondary special education (SSE) master’s program has a strong focus on social justice, and graduates of this program are effective advocates for enhanced learning, classroom experiences, and outcomes for all students. The program focuses on preparing teachers to work in secondary (middle and high) schools and results in teacher licensure in addition to the master's degree. The SSE model is an innovative approach to prepare special education teachers who have the knowledge and skills to be psychoeducators. The program addresses teacher and student well being, efficacy, resilience, and social emotional competence, factors that lead to improved social-emotional learning and academic performance among students and teachers. The program also bridges best practice and new learning in adolescent development to optimize how teachers design and deliver innovative instruction in classrooms to maximize student engagement and learning. A small cohort design provides significant mentoring and support. Graduates of this program are highly sought after for post-program employment, as well as demonstrate teacher-retention rates many times higher than the national average.

Visit the program website for additional information.

Admission deadlines*: 

Fall - Rolling admissions (January 15 to be considered for merit-based tuition support

Summer - Rolling admissions (January 15 to be considered for merit-based tuition support)

Recommendations require

Two (2) recommendations (preferably one from a faculty member and the other from a professional supervisor)

Prior academic records:

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript.  Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be uploaded to your online application.  Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

Transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be accompanied by an official transcript evaluation from an accredited independent evaluating agency. Please be sure you request a detailed evaluation that includes all course titles, credit hours, grade-point average (GPA), United States degree equivalency, and date of degree conferral. For a list of acceptable foreign credential evaluation services.

Statement of purpose:

In an essay of 250 to 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study at The George Washington University, describing your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned in the application.

Additional requirements:

A resumé is required.

International applicants only:

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Office of Graduate Admissions
Graduate School of Education and Human Development
The George Washington University
2136 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052

Contact for questions: ~ 202.994.9283 ~ 202.994.7207 (fax)
9:30 am – 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 33 credits in required courses, successful completion of a master’s comprehensive examination, and completion of the relevant teacher licensure assessments (see below).

SPED 6201Overview and Legal Issues in Educating Exceptional Learners
SPED 6203Research and Practice: Diagnostic Reading for Exceptional Learners
SPED 6231Curriculum and Instructional Methods in Special Education and Transition
SPED 6236Introduction to Career and Career–Technical Education and Transition Services
SPED 6238Issues in Educating Individuals with Learning, Emotional, and Intellectual Disabilities
SPED 6239Teaching and Collaboration for Professionals Working with Students with Disabilities
SPED 6280Developmental Assessment of Adolescents
SPED 6288Characteristics of Individuals with Learning, Emotional, and Intellectual Disabilities
SPED 6290Affective Development and Behavior Management in Special Education
SPED 6992Behavior Management Practicum: Adolescents with Disabilities
SPED 6996Teaching Internship in Transition Special Education
Comprehensive examination
Successful completion of a comprehensive examination is required of all students.
Teacher Licensure
Completion of the relevant teacher licensure assessments (i.e., PRAXIS) required by the District of Columbia Educator Licensure Services Office