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Program Details

Teaching Students with Disabilities [TSD_712] M.S.Ed. (Graduate)

Foundations and Social Advocacy Department
David Smukler, chair and graduate coordinator
Cornish Hall, Room 1213
Fax: 607-758-5007


Expand on your strong commitment to inclusive special education for children in grades 7-12 by studying for the M.S.Ed. in teaching students with disabilities at SUNY Cortland.

Program Highlights

This program is intended for you if you have certification in adolescence education and wish to pursue a master's degree and certification in teaching students with disabilities in grades 7-12. Your course work includes disability studies, discipline and social skill development for students with disabilities, teaching the special education learner in the general education classroom, language acquisition, adaptive technology, and working with students with disabilities in a variety of contexts.

A 150-hour internship working with students with disabilities is required.

The degree requires 35 credit hours of prescribed graduate study. It can be completed full time over approximately 15 months or part time over two years.

Culminating Experience

Your culminating master's project will involve research on an educational issue related to students with disabilities.

Career Potential

  • Special education teacher, grades 7-12
  • Resource room teacher, grades 7-12
  • Committee on Special Education (CSE) chair
  • Developmental disabilities specialist
  • Curriculum specialist
  • Transition Services Coordinator
  • Supported Employment Job Coach Specialist

Graduate Admission

Evaluation Policy

At the State University of New York College at Cortland, we seek a diverse and academically strong student body. Our admission policy and practice will not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, national origin or marital status.

Required Materials

  1. Completed online Graduate School Application - Apply Now
  2. Official transcripts from all regionally accredited colleges or universities attended to be forwarded directly to the SUNY Cortland Graduate Admissions Office. Note: Candidates for admission must present evidence of bachelor's degree conferral prior to the start of their academic program.
  3. Three letters of reference detailing the ability to meet the rigors of graduate study and the commitment to, and competence in, working with students with disabilities (submitted online with the application).
  4. A personal statement (submitted online with the application) indicating:
    1. reasons for wanting to work with students with disabilities, including personal experiences that have influenced this decision,
    2. reasons for selecting SUNY Cortland for graduate studies and this program specifically,
    3. discussion of long-term professional goals and your view of how this program will support achieving them, and
    4. any other information deemed relevant.
  5. Documentation of initial certification in adolescence education — evidence of pending or awarded certification. Documentation or transcript review showing eligibility for SWD 7-12 Generalist certification. If not yet completed, SWD 7-12 requirements can be fulfilled as part of the program.
  6. Documentation of successful completion of six credit hours of course work at the undergraduate or graduate level in literacy development and language acquisition that may have been completed as part of your adolescence education program.

Admissions Criteria

Preference will be given to candidates with the following: An overall undergraduate GPA of 2.8 and above on a 4.0 scale.

Note 1: If you graduated more than 10 years prior to application, you may be required to provide additional evidence of more recent academic competence, such as continuing education courses, CEUs or other appropriate documentation.

Note 2: An interview with the TSD program coordinator or designee may be required if deemed necessary after application review.


Fall semester applications: July 1.

Applications submitted after the deadline may be considered on a space availability basis. Please contact the Graduate Admissions Office at 607-753-4800 to check availability.

Requirements for Teaching Students with Disabilities (Grades 7-12)

You must meet any additional undergraduate or graduate requirements for the award of the degree established by the Foundations and Social Advocacy Department. Such additional requirements must be ascertained by you in consultation with the department. Specific information regarding requirements such as state examinations, identification and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment, alcohol and drug abuse education, school violence prevention training and foreign language requirements for New York state teaching certification can be found in the Teacher Certification  section of this catalog.

A. Core Courses: 12 credit hours

  • EDU 671 - Issues in Foundations of Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 515 - Introduction to Disability Studies in Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 651 - Understanding and Conducting Educational Research (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 653 - Master's Project TSD 7-12 (3 cr. hr.)
  • Students who do not successfully complete FSA 653 must register for FSA 697 - Extension of Graduate Culminating Activity (1 cr. hr.)

B. Content Courses: 20 credit hours

  • FSA 530 - Assistive Technology and Augmentative Communication (1 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 615 - Assessment for Adolescents with Disabilities (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 620 - Discipline and Social Skill Development (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 625 - Inclusive Curricular Pedagogy for Adolescents with Disabilities (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 630 - Students with Disabilities in Context (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 683 - Administration of Special Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 694 - Internship: Teaching Students with Disabilities 7-12 (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 695 - Seminar: Teaching Adolescents with Disabilities (1 cr. hr.)

C. One Diversity Course: 3 credit hours

Choose from the following:

  • EDU 552 - Gender Issues in Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 505 - Sociology of Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 525 - Teaching the Inner City Child (3 cr. hr.)
  • SAB 550 - Education Institute in Western Belize (3 cr. hr.)
Total credit hours: 35