Frequency Part-time, full-time
Format In-person
Completion Time 2 to 5 years
Credits 39

The MS in Special Education (Mild-to-Moderate Disabilities) from the Johns Hopkins School of Education is designed for those seeking certification to teach students identified with disabilities.

Across the nation, the demand for teachers is high — and in the realm of special education, the need is critical. Throughout this innovative program, you will build practical skills in evidence-based techniques so that you can support diverse students in a range of educational settings.

There are two focus areas available: elementary/middle school (grades 1–8) and secondary/adult (grades 6–12). With flexible enrollment options for full or part-time study, the program can be completed in as few as five semesters, but coursework must be completed within five years.

Finances should never stand in the way of your educational journey, which is why we offer a range of assistance programs, including RISE-TC. This partnership between Johns Hopkins University and Montgomery County Public Schools provides financial support, hands-on training, and ongoing mentorship for students enrolled in this program.

Graduates are eligible for Maryland state certification in special education, which is reciprocated by many other states. There is a 36-credit option for candidates seeking advanced training without certification.

Questions? Please reach out and we’ll be in touch soon.

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Core Faculty

  • Rebecca Cruz, PhD

    Assistant Professor

    Affiliation

    Center for Safe and Healthy Schools, Innovative Teaching & Leadership

    Expertise

    Social Context of Education, Special Education

    Headshot of Rebecca  Cruz, PhD
  • Tamara Marder, PhD, BCBA-D

    Associate Professor
    Faculty Lead, Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis Programs

    Affiliation

    Innovative Teaching & Leadership

    Expertise

    Special Education

    Headshot of Tamara  Marder, PhD, BCBA-D
  • Alexandra Shelton, PhD

    Assistant Professor

    Affiliation

    Innovative Teaching & Leadership

    Expertise

    Learning & Instruction, Special Education

    Headshot of Alexandra  Shelton, PhD

Program Overview

The MS in Special Education — Mild-to-Moderate Disabilities prepares candidates to teach students identified with emotional, intellectual, and learning disabilities. The program provides instruction and applied experiences in legal issues, psychoeducational assessment, data-based decision-making, instructional programming, behavior management, and collaborative programming among general and special educators. Graduates are eligible for Maryland state certification in special education, which is reciprocated by many other states.

Two tracks available: elementary/middle school (grades 1–8) and secondary/adult levels (grades 6–12). All candidates complete two internship experiences in which they have the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge learned in the core courses with supervision on the implementation of evidence-based practices covered in coursework. Candidates on the elementary/middle track must complete both internships working with students in grades 1–8. Candidates on the secondary/adult track complete both internships working with students in grades 6–12.

In addition to completing all required coursework and internships, candidates must complete program milestones including successfully passing a comprehensive exam, completing a Culmination Video Analysis of Teaching Project and Presentation OR Graduate Project/Graduate Presentation, and passing the Praxis II examinations (state certification requirement). Upon graduation, candidates will be eligible to apply for Maryland state certification under the appropriate teaching area.

The MS in Special Education program also offers a Special Education Teacher Immersion Training cohort for current Montgomery County Public Schools paraeducators or long-term substitutes. With flexible enrollment options for full- or part-time study, the program can be completed in as little as six semesters, although eight is typical. Coursework must be completed within five years.

View Curriculum

Rising into Special Education Teacher Collaborative (RISE-TC)

The Rising into Special Education Teacher Collaborative (RISE-TC) is a Johns Hopkins-Montgomery County partnership that uses evidence-based, culturally responsive practices to prepare teachers to support students with disabilities in inclusive and special education settings.

$5K Potential Financial Support

A limited number of RISE-TC candidates will receive financial support through stipends of up to $5,000 for educational-related expenses.

After SOE

Our graduates go on to success as special education teachers, resource specialists, and educational consultants, and they are employed in a variety of roles, including lead teacher, special education department chair, or instructional support specialist. Many candidates have also pursued doctorates to become leaders in special education research and training.

Careers

  • Preschool Special Education Teacher
  • K-12 Special Education Teacher

This has been an amazing opportunity. I hope to take everything I’ve learned with me along life’s journey and into every classroom that I teach in throughout my career.

Jordan Hensley, MSEd ’22, EdD ’25 Special Education Teacher, District of Columbia Public Schools
Jordan Hensley headshot.