Master of Arts in Special Education

This program is offered in-person or online.

Students may focus their studies on obtaining a special education teaching endorsement in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), emotional impairments (EI), or learning disabilities (LD) or a master's degree as a behavior intervention specialist. All options are based on competencies from the Council for Exceptional Children and/or the Michigan Department of Education. Upon admission, students are assigned an advisor. Prior to taking classes, students must meet with their advisor to develop a graduate program of study and complete an endorsement evaluation. 

Program concentration options include:

  • NEW! An 18-month expedited clinical teacher, initial teaching certification: Program for individuals pursuing their initial teaching certification with a focus in special education and endorsement in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), emotional impairments (EI), or learning disabilities (LD). Candidates include paraprofessionals, teacher aides, and other initial teaching certification seekers that hold a bachelor's degree in any subject and have experience working with children. Select "Online" and "Special Education: Clinical Teacher - MA" on your application to apply for this program.
  • Clinical teacher: Program for individuals seeking their first special education endorsement in either autism, learning disabilities, or emotional impairments. Candidates must have an elementary or secondary teaching certificate to enter the program.
  • Master teacher, additional special education endorsement: Program for current special education teachers to earn an additional endorsement in autism, emotional impairments, or learning disabilities. Candidates must hold a current elementary or secondary teaching certificate and a special education endorsement to enter the program.
  • Master teacher, behavior intervention specialist (online only): Program for general or special education teachers to pursue advanced preparation in positive behavior intervention supports and coaching behavior management. Candidates include general or special education teachers, principals, school psychologists, school social workers, speech pathologists, or other ancillary school staff.


96% of WMU special education graduate students were employed or continuing education within three months of graduation. 

Explore the data >


U.S. News and World Report ranked WMU No. 4 in the state of Michigan for graduate schools in education. 

Explore the data >

Hear it from us

"It’s been a really, really great experience. I would recommend the program to anyone!"

- Austin Giles (M.A.'23). Read his story.

Additional information


Dr. Sarah Summy

Dr. Sarah Summy

Professor and Program Coordinator

Contact Dr. Summy