Program Details - SUNY Cortland

Program Details

Teaching Students with Disabilities 1-6 [TSD] M.S.Ed. (Graduate)

Special Education Program

Foundations and Social Advocacy Department
Janet Duncan
, chair
Cynthia Moriarity, graduate coordinator
Cornish Hall, Room 1213
Fax: 607-758-5007


Expand on your strong commitment to inclusive special education for children in grades 1-6 by studying for the M.S.Ed. in teaching students with disabilities at SUNY Cortland.

Program Highlights

With your bachelor's degree in childhood/elementary education or a bachelor's degree in education that includes childhood education content areas such as health, physical education, art, music, early childhood, speech and language disabilities, or special education, you can extend your capacities in assessment, curriculum and instruction, educational research, and administration.

As you collaborate with our dedicated professional faculty, you'll explore topics such as discipline and social skill development for students with disabilities, teaching the special education learner in the general education classroom, students with disabilities in context, and foundations of education. To receive an annotation in teaching students with severe and/or multiple disabilities, you also may choose courses in teaching students with severe/multiple disabilities and autism spectrum disorders.

Culminating Experiences

In addition to an internship in teaching students with disabilities that takes place in schools in grade 1-6 classrooms, you will complete a culminating master's project, in which you'll examine a research question or topic focused on issues relating to students with disabilities in educational settings.

Career Potential

The M.S.Ed. in Teaching Students with Disabilities from SUNY Cortland leads to New York certification in Students with Disabilities, grades 1-6. This program enhances your professional credentials and prepares you for potential positions such as special or inclusive education teacher, chair of a committee on special education (CSE), developmental disabilities specialist, or community or college instructor.

This program is intended for students who have a bachelor's degree in childhood/elementary education or students who have a bachelor's degree in education that incorporates childhood education content including health, physical education, art, music, early childhood, speech and language disabilities, or special education. It requires a minimum of 36 credit hours of approved graduate course work including student internship and culminating experiences. Students may elect to take an additional six credit hours in approved course work to receive an annotation in Teaching Students with Severe and/or Multiple Disabilities.

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:

a. reasons for wanting to work with students with disabilities, including personal experiences that have influenced this decision,
b. reasons for selecting SUNY Cortland for graduate studies and this program specifically,
c. discussion of long-term professional goals and your view of how this program will support achieving them, and
d. any other information deemed relevant.

     5. Documentation of initial certification in childhood education or in field that incorporates childhood education content — evidence of pending or awarded certification.

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

Candidates for the degree 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 the candidate 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 information section of this catalog.

A. Required Core: 29 credit hours

Select one of the following courses: 3 credit hours

  • EDU 552 - Gender Issues in Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • EDU 671 - Issues in Foundations of Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 505 - Sociology of Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 525 - Teaching the Inner City Child (3 cr. hr.)
Select each of the following courses: 26 credit hours
  • FSA 510 - Teaching the Special Education Learner in the General Education Classroom (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 530 - Assistive Technology and Augmentative Communication (1 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 600 - Inclusive Education Pedagogy (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 610 - Advanced Assessment of Students with Disabilities (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 620 - Discipline and Social Skill Development (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 630 - Students with Disabilities in Context (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 651 - Understanding and Conducting Educational Research (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 683 - Administration of Special Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • LIT 682 - Assessment and Instruction of Learners Experiencing Literacy Difficulties (3 cr. hr.)
  • LIT 683 - Field Experience: Birth-6 (1 cr. hr.)
B. Culminating Activities: 7 credit hours
  • FSA 652 - Master's Project (3 cr. hr.)
    Students who do not successfully complete FSA 652 must register for
  • FSA 697 - Extension of Graduate Culminating Activity (1 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 690 - Internship: Teaching Students with Disabilities - Grades 1-6 (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 691 - Seminar: Teaching Students with Disabilities - Grades 1-6 (1 cr. hr.)
Total Credit Hours: 36
Required Workshops

Complete the following workshops:

  • Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting (CARR)
  • Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)
  • Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE)
Annotation in Severe/Multiple Disabilities: 6 credit hours
  • FSA 640 - Teaching Students with Severe/Multiple Disabilities (3 cr. hr.)
  • FSA 650 - Autism Spectrum Disorders (3 cr. hr.)