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You see possibilities where others see limitations


Special Education Programs Advancing the Common Good

The University of St. Thomas offers 6 high-quality, state-accredited special education teacher preparation programs where you can work towards an initial or additional special education teaching license and complete a Master of Arts degree.

Our award-winning programs include highly flexible (hyflex) formats with in-person and online (synchronous and asynchronous) options taught by engaging faculty dedicated to your success.

  • Academic Behavior Strategist (mild to moderate cross-categorical disabilities)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Developmental Cognitive Disabilities
  • Early Childhood Special Education
  • Emotional or Behavioral Disorders
  • Specific Learning Disabilities

Through traditional and district-serving “grow your own” teacher formats, we prepare inclusive minded educators who focus on student’s strengths and are prepared to teach in-person and through distance education.

We look forward to working with you on your journey to becoming a special educator, where you make a difference in the lives of students.


Barbara Jo Stahl

Executive Fellow, Special Education
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Initial License/MA in Teaching Special Education

The University of St. Thomas makes it easy for new teachers to jumpstart their careers by earning a Master's degree with an initial teaching license. This option prepares students earning their initial teaching license in special education to make in impact on classrooms from day one.

Jumpstart Your Career
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Increase your Capability

Additional Licensure

Already a licensed teacher? The University of St. Thomas makes it easy to earn an additional license. And even better, you can earn your MA in Special Education with just a few more courses.

Additional Licensure
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Prepare to Lead

Master of Arts Degree: Special Education

Set yourself up for success in the world of Special Education with this invaluable advanced degree. This program is a perfect fit for experienced teachers looking to earn an initial or additional special education license, as well as an MA.

MA in Special Education
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Education for Busy Educators

Summer Institutes

The University of St. Thomas is proud to offer Special Education Summer Institutes in 4 disability areas: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Developmental Cognitive Disabilities (every other year), Emotional Behavioral Disorders, and Learning Disabilities (every other year).

Summer Institutes provide an opportunity to learn how to meet the needs of special education learners. The institutes are conveniently scheduled online and/or over the summer to meet the needs of busy educators looking to add an additional license. These courses count toward a Special Education License or Certificate.

Details for the 2024 Summer Institutes will be released in the spring. Check back for more information. Regional Low Incidence tuition support is available. Learn more by viewing the 2023 Summer Institutes flyer.


Related Programs

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Director of Special Education Licensure

Our administrative licensure programs are here to help you meet the demands of educational leadership during and after the pandemic.

Director of Special Education Licensure
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Work and Learn

Through strategic school partnerships, the School of Education has developed and deepened our commitment to collaborating with districts and schools to invest in growing their human capital. Work and learn at the same time toward your degree!

Work and Learn
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The residency model is a teacher preparation program that gives students a rigorous full-year classroom apprenticeship paired with master's-level education content. These partnerships are in place with St. Paul and Minneapolis schools along with several charter schools.