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  
  • ED 207  
  • ED 210  
  • ED 221  
  • ED 222
  • ED 241 (taken in January) 
  • ED 243  
  • ED 246  
  • ED 248 or CS 102
  • SPE 100  
  • SPE 235  
  • SPE 238  
  • SPE 320  
  • SPE 324 or 326 or 328   
  • SPE 327  
  • SPE 350*
        (taken concurrently with 350)

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

Electives for additional practical experience:

  • SPE 224  
  • SPE 228 
  • SPE 226
    SPE 344, 346, or 348 may be substituted for SPE 350 for those seeking categorical out-of-state certification.

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

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

Courses required in other academic areas: MA 110 and 113, English composition, literature, art or music, United States history, non-Western culture, social science other than education, laboratory science other than psychology, second physical science course (need not include a lab, may include psychology).

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.