Dec 04, 2022  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog

Master of Education - Special Education


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Plan Description


The Master of Education in Special Education program is designed to meet the needs of persons who hold a baccalaureate degree and wish to earn a master’s degree in special education or early childhood education special education, with or without licensure. A number of specific focus areas are available and can lead to the following Nevada Department of Education endorsements: Applied Behavior Analysis, Autism, Early Childhood Special Education, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, Generalist-Mild Disabilities, Gifted and Talented, Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, or other professional areas. The Master of Education – Special Education program requires 36 credits of graduate-level coursework.

Several subplans in the Master of Education in Special Education program are approved for licensure or certification through outside professional organizations (e.g., Nevada Department of Education, BCBA). Coursework described in each subplan has been approved for these certifications, however there may be additional requirements for students to apply for and earn licensure or certification (e.g., additional testing, student teaching, fieldwork). Students are required to meet with their advisor and review licensure and certification organization websites to ensure that their plan of study and additional activities align to these requirements.

For more information about your program, including your graduate program handbook and learning outcomes please visit the Degree Directory.

Plan Admission Requirements


Application deadlines

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website.

In addition to meeting the admission requirements of the Graduate College, applicants must also meet the requirements established by the Department of Early Childhood, Multilingual, and Special Education. They are:

  1. A minimum grade point average of 2.75 for all undergraduate work or a 3.00 grade point average for the last two years of undergraduate work. Admission to a master’s degree program in special education requires that students with a GPA of less than 2.75 be admitted to the graduate program with provisional status; and
  2. A 350-400 word letter of application/intent that discusses (a) the special education area(s) of concentration you are interested in, (b) your professional and academic goals, and (c) a discussion of your experience relevant to your area of interest.

Applications are processed when all credentials required by both the Graduate College and the Department of Early Childhood, Multilingual, and Special Education have been received by the Graduate Coordinator. The Graduate Coordinator evaluates the applicant’s credentials and recommends either 1) admission to full, contingency, or provisional graduate standing (depending on the strength of the applicant’s academic credentials); or 2) denial. Those who wish to begin studies but who miss the application deadline may enroll as a non-degree graduate student. However, since there is no guarantee that courses taken as a non-degree student will count toward a degree, and since a maximum of 15 credits taken prior to admission to the program may be used to meet degree requirements, candidates are urged to seek advisement prior to registering for any course(s).

Applicants should log back into their online applications to monitor the status of the application. Official decision letters will be posted in the online application once a decision has been made. Hard-copy letters are not issued. The online decision letter will include the name of the student’s advisor. Students are responsible for contacting their advisors.

All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements. 

Students are accepted into a degree program as described in the Graduate Catalog. The faculty and corresponding sub-disciplines and sub-plans within the described programs are subject to change at any time.

Subplan 1 Requirements: Applied Behavioral Analysis


Total Credits Required: 36

Course Requirements


Required Courses – Credits: 9


Complete the following three (3) courses; if students completed an introduction to special education or disability course in a previous degree, they should meet with their advisor to discuss a possible course substitution.

Elective Courses – Credits: 3


Complete 3 credits of advisor-approved course work.

Degree Requirements


See Plan Degree Requirements below.

Graduation Requirements


See Plan Graduation Requirements below.

Subplan 2 Requirements: Autism


Total Credits Required: 36

Course Requirements


Required Courses – Credits: 9


Complete the following three (3) courses; if students completed an introduction to special education or disability course in a previous degree, they should meet with their advisor to discuss a possible course substitution.

Fieldwork Courses – Credits: 10 (Optional)


Fieldwork is optional for the completion of the Master of Education in Special Education - Autism degree, however, may be required for licensure in the state of Nevada. Students should meet with their advisor to discuss fieldwork options aligned to licensure requirements. If students register for fieldwork, then they must register for 8 credits of fieldwork (ESP 720) AND 2 credits of seminar (ESP 692; 10 credits total).

Degree Requirements


See Plan Degree Requirements below.

Graduation Requirements


See Plan Graduation Requirements below.

Subplan 3 Requirements: Emotional and Behavioral Disorders


Total Credits Required: 36

Course Requirements


Required Courses - Credits: 9


Complete the following three (3) courses; if students completed an introduction to special education or disability course in a previous degree, they should meet with their advisor to discuss a possible course substitution.

Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Courses – Credits: 15


Complete 15 credits from the following list of courses, or other advisor-approved courses.​ When registering for ESP 717B, you must register for three credits.

Elective Courses – Credits: 12


Complete 12 credits of advisor-approved elective courses.

Degree Requirements


See Plan Degree Requirements below.

Graduation Requirements


See Plan Graduation Requirements below.

Subplan 4 Requirements: Generalist - Mild Disabilities


Total Credits Required: 36

Course Requirements


Required Courses - Credits: 9


Complete the following three (3) courses; if students completed an introduction to special education or disability course in a previous degree, they should meet with their advisor to discuss a possible course substitution.

Student Teaching Courses – Credits: 12 (Optional)


Student teaching is optional for the completion of the Master of Education in Special Education - Generalist degree, however, may be required for licensure in the state of Nevada. Students should meet with their advisor to discuss student teaching options aligned to licensure requirements. If students register for student teaching, then they must register for 10 credits of student teaching (ESP 691) and 2 credits of seminar (ESP 692; 12 credits total).

Degree Requirements


See Plan Degree Requirements below.

Graduation Requirements


See Plan Graduation Requirements below.

Subplan 5 Requirements: Gifted and Talented


Total Credits Required: 36

Course Requirements


Required Courses – Credits: 6


Complete 6 credits by completing all of the following courses:

Special Education Course – Credits: 3


Complete 3 credits from the following list of courses or other advisor-approved courses.

Technology Course – Credits: 3


Complete 3 credits from the following list of courses or other advisor-approved courses.

Assessment Course – Credits: 3


Complete 3 credits from the following list of courses or other advisor-approved courses. 

Elective Courses – Credits: 9


Complete 9 credits of advisor-approved courses.

Fieldwork Courses – Credits: 10 (Optional)


Fieldwork is optional for the completion of the Master of Education in Special Education - Gifted Education degree, however, may be required for licensure in the state of Nevada. Students should meet with their advisor to discuss fieldwork options aligned to licensure requirements. If students register for fieldwork, then they must register for 8 credits of fieldwork (ESP 720) AND 2 credits of seminar (ESP 692; 10 credits total).

Degree Requirements


See Plan Degree Requirements below.

Graduation Requirements


See Plan Graduation Requirements below.

Subplan 6 Requirements: Intellectual Disabilities


Total Credits Required: 36

Course Requirements


Required Courses – Credits: 9


Complete the following three (3) courses; if students completed an introduction to special education or disability course in a previous degree, they should meet with their advisor to discuss a possible course substitution.

Fieldwork Courses – Credits: 10 (Optional)


Fieldwork is optional for the completion of the Master of Education in Special Education - Intellectual Disabilities degree, however, may be required for licensure in the state of Nevada. Students should meet with their advisor to discuss fieldwork options aligned to licensure requirements. If students register for fieldwork, then they must register for 8 credits of fieldwork (ESP 720) AND 2 credits of seminar (ESP 692; 10 credits total).

Degree Requirements


See Plan Degree Requirements below.

Graduation Requirements


See Plan Graduation Requirements below.

Subplan 7 Requirements: Learning Disabilities


Total Credits Required: 36

Course Requirements


Required Courses - Credits: 9


Complete the following three (3) courses; if students completed an introduction to special education or disability course in a previous degree, they should meet with their advisor to discuss a possible course substitution.

Elective Courses – Credits: 12


Complete 12 credits of advisor-approved courses. 

Degree Requirements


See Plan Degree Requirements below.

Graduation Requirements


See Plan Graduation Requirements below.

Subplan 8 Requirements: Other Professional Areas


Total Credits Required: 36

Course Requirements


Required Courses – Credits: 6


Complete 6 credits by completing all of the following courses:

Special Education Courses – Credits: 15


Complete 15 credits of advisor-approved course work in special education.

Elective Courses – Credits: 15


Complete 15 credits of advisor-approved course work.

Degree Requirements


See Plan Degree Requirements below.

Graduation Requirements


See Plan Graduation Requirements below.​

Subplan 9 Requirements: Early Childhood Special Education Infant


Total Credits Required: 36

Course Requirements


Required Courses – Credits: 6


Complete 6 credits by completing all of the following courses:

Cognate Course – Credits: 3


Complete the following courses.

Elective Course – Credits: 3-9


Complete 3-9 credits of advisor-approved course work. 

Fieldwork Courses – Credits: 3-9


Three (3) credits of fieldwork are required for the Master’s degree. For licensure in the state of Nevada, a total of nine (9) credits of fieldwork are required.

Degree Requirements


See Plan Degree Requirements below.

Graduation Requirements


See Plan Graduation Requirements below.

Subplan 10 Requirements: Early Childhood Special Education Preschool


Total Credits Required: 36

Course Requirements


Required Courses – Credits: 6


Complete 6 credits by completing all of the following courses:

Cognate Course – Credits: 3


Complete the following courses.

Elective Course – Credits: 3-9


Complete 3-9 credits of advisor-approved courses.

Fieldwork Course – Credits: 3-9


Three (3) credits of fieldwork are required for the Master’s degree. For licensure in the state of Nevada, a total of nine (9) credits of fieldwork are required.

Degree Requirements


See Plan Degree Requirements below.

Graduation Requirements


See Plan Graduation Requirements below.

Plan Degree Requirements


Previous course work included in submitted graduate plans of study must have a grade of B or better. Only two subsequent grades of less than B- (one with an ESP or ECE prefix and one with any other prefix) will be permitted in a submitted plan of study. Under no circumstances will a Grade Point Average (GPA) of less than 3.00 be allowed on a finished plan of study. Failure to meet these standards will result in suspension from the degree program.

For licensure in the state of Nevada:

  1. Students must complete a total of 8-10 credits of student teaching or fieldwork, depending on their licensure area, plus a 2 credit fieldwork seminar; any additional credits will not count towards the degree program. Students should speak with their advisor to determine fieldwork courses that may be required for licensure.
  2. In order to be endorsed in English Language Acquisition and Development the following five courses must be completed in addition to the courses required as part of the degree program:
    • TESL 751 – Theory and Practice for Academic English Language Development
    • TESL 752 – TESL Methods and Curriculum for Teaching ELs
    • TESL 754 – TESL Assessment and Evaluation of ELs
    • TESL 759 - Critical Issues and Best Practices for Pre-K/Elementary or Secondary Practicum.

To complete their Master’s degree, students must successfully complete and pass a comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination is taken during the student’s last semester of coursework or in the semester immediately following completion of coursework listed on the student’s Plan of Study. If students opt to take the comprehensive exam the semester after completion of the coursework listed on their Program of Studies, they must enroll in ESP 766 or another graduate course. Per Graduate College Guidelines, students must be enrolled in a minimum of 3 credits of coursework the semester they graduate.

Students must apply to take comprehensive examinations. Specific application deadlines are available in the Department of Early Childhood, Multilingual, and Special Education. If a student does not pass their comprehensive examination on the first attempt, students enrolled in the ABA, Autism, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, Generalist, Gifted, Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, and Other Professional Areas subplans can retake their exam one time during the same semester of the initial test. If they fail a second time, they will be recommended for probation with the Graduate College and must apply to retake the exam in the subsequent semester. A third score of fail on the exam will result in separation from the program.

For students in the Early Childhood Special Education subplan, students who earn a mark of fail on their comprehensive exams will be recommended for probation with the Graduate College and must apply to take the exam in the subsequent semester. A second score of fail on the exam will result in separation from the program.

Master’s degrees must be completed within a six-year period and continuous enrollment must be maintained throughout the six years, unless a formal request for a leave of absence is approved by the department and Graduate College.

Plan Graduation Requirements


Students may apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing their degree requirements. All required forms must be submitted to the graduate college via the Grad Rebel Gateway.

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