MEd Special Education

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The MEd SPED program is a 31-credit online program designed for professionals who wish to increase their knowledge and skills in providing services to individuals with disabilities. The MEd SPED program supports career advancement in fields such as special education, early intervention, related services, and adult programs for individuals with disabilities. Candidates have flexibility, with the assistance of their academic advisor, to select elective coursework that informs their research emphasis area. There are also two 18 credit pre-established elective course sequences available: (a) Literacy Specialist and (b) Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®).

Spring 2019 and Fall 2019 Funding Opportunity
Thank you to everyone who inquired regarding the funding opportunity available through the partnership between the Hawaii Department of Education and UH Manoa's Department of Special Education to fund candidates interested in becoming Licensed Behavior Analysts (LBAs).
All 40 spot have now been filled and the funding opportunity has ended. Congratulations to the admitted candidates!



Class Type, License, & Certification

ONLINE PROGRAM (online, synchronous): All required courses* in the MEd- SPED program are offered online and include synchronous online class sessions in the early evenings. This program does NOT lead to initial teacher licensure. *Delivery of elective/emphasis courses will vary according to the department in which they are housed. Your advisor can discuss course availability upon acceptance into the program. Graduates who are licensed to teach special education can use their new degree for career advancement or salary step increases. MEd SPED graduates also pursue employment opportunities in nonprofit agencies serving individuals with disabilities (e.g. Easter Seals, Lanakila Pacific); as well as for-profit, child-serving behavioral health agencies.


Core Courses (15-18 credits)
  • SPED 602: Special Education Laws & Compliance (3 credits)
  • SPED 641b: Seminar in Issues in Special Education (3 credits)
  • SPED 642: Seminar on Applied Research/SPED (3 credits)
  • SPED 688: Research Practicum in Special Education (3 credits)
Choose one:
  • SPED 695: (3 credits) - Plan B Project
  • SPED 700: (6 credits) - Plan A Thesis
Program Emphasis (15 - 18 credits) Candidates will work with their advisor to design a 15 credit course sequence to inform their chosen area of study in special education. Some examples of possible emphasis areas include: Early Intervention, Autism, Mild/Moderate Disabilities, Severe Disabilities, Instructional Specialist, Assistive Technology               As an alternative, there are two 18 credit elective course sequences available:
  1. Literacy Specialist (HTSB Add-a-field licensure option)
  2.  Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®)
Please refer to separate emphasis insert for more information.
Students listening intently in class

Quick Facts

HTSB Add A Field:
Teacher Licensure:
Online Classes:
Evening Classes:
Typical Length (Months):