The Department of Education offers a major in elementary/middle school special education as a teacher of exceptional children in Maryland. This program has been approved by the Maryland State Department of Education. A student who satisfactorily fulfills the standards of the programs and meets the Maryland State Department of Education's Essential Dimensions of Teaching is recommended for generic special education certification (Grades 1-8) in Maryland. The state certifies special education teachers non-categorically by age/grade-level criteria. Although graduation usually occurs within eight semesters, satisfactory completion of certification requirements may require one or more additional semesters.

Because Maryland certifies special education teachers non-categorically, students who would like certification outside Maryland should contact the Department of Education of the state of their choice regarding reciprocity and that state's requirements. Interested students should consult with the director of special education as early as possible. 

Maryland law prohibits anyone who has been convicted of a crime of violence or a crime against children from being certified to teach.

Required courses for certification in generic special education, grades 1-8:

  • ED 101  Child Development (4 Cr.) 
  • ED 207  Psychological And Developmental Foundations Of Education (3-4 Cr.) 
  • ED 210  Development Of Education in the United States (3 Cr.) 
  • ED 221  Assessment and Evaluation In Education (3 Cr.) 
  • ED 222  Foundation of Reading and Language Arts: Processes, Acquisition, and Instruction of Reading (6 Cr.)
  • ED 241 (taken in January) Materials for Teaching Reading (3 Cr.)
  • ED 243  Assessment for Reading Instruction (3 Cr.) 
  • ED 246  Teaching Social Studies in Special Education and the Elementary School (2 Cr.) 
  • ED 248 or CS 102 
  • SPE 100  Special Education: Histrocial, Philosophical, and Legal Foundations (4 Cr.)
  • SPE 235  Teaching Mathematics and Science in Inclusive Settings: Methods and Instructional Procedures (3 Cr.)
  • SPE 238  Curriculum For Exceptional Students: Principles and Programs (3 Cr.)

  • SPE 320  Counseling Exceptional Students and Their Parents (3 Cr.) 

  • SPE 324 or 326 or 328 (4 Cr.)  
  • SPE 327  Diagnostic and Prescriptive Techniques for Exceptional Children (3 Cr.) 
  • SPE 350*Special Education Internship (10 Cr.) 
        (taken concurrently with 350)

Click here to see the recommended course breakdown for the Special Education Major.

Electives for additional practical experience:

  • SPE 224  Practicum in Special Education with Children with Intellectual Disabilities (Variable Cr.) 
  • SPE 228  Practicum in Special Education with Children with Emotional Disturbance (Variable Cr.)
  • SPE 226  Practicum in Special Education with Chirdren with Emotional Disturbance (Variable Cr.) 
    SPE 344, 346, or 348 may be substituted for SPE 350 for those seeking categorical out-of-state certification.

Successful completion of Praxis Core is a prerequisite for SPE 344, 346, 348, and 350.

A minimum grade of B- in these internship courses and satisfactory completion of Praxis Core is required to complete the certification program.

Courses required in other academic areas: Literature, Composition, art or music, U.S. history, non-Western culture, social science other than education, one natural science with a lab other than psychology, two additional natural sciences (need not include a lab, one of which may include psychology), three math courses (may include, MA110, MA113, PSY200, and EC100, excluding MA100).

Demonstrated writing proficiency in the major through one of the following:

  • ED 210  
  • SPE 320  
  • ED 222  
  • SPE 324, 326, or 328

Note: Many special education courses are offered only in alternate years, so these programs require careful planning. Students should consult with the director of the Special Education Program as early as possible.

Special Education Major Checklist

Review the Special Education Major Checklist (PDF) with your academic advisor to ensure that you are taking the necessary courses and credits to graduate. If you have any questions, please contact your advisor or visit the Academic Advising website for more information.