Loyola University Chicago

School of Education


MEd in Special Education (for Licensed Teachers)

Completion of the MEd in Special Education program requires 33 semester hours, consisting of nine classes plus a full semester of practicum (during the Summer), and completion of the impact on student learning project and professional practice profile at the end of coursework. The classes are sequenced for full-time day students and part-time evening students. Candidates also are required to be available for up to six observation days at school sites per class, per semester (during non-student teaching/practicum semesters). Candidates apply for student teaching/practicum one year prior to experience.


Applicants will hold a valid teaching license. Candidates without a general education endorsement should apply to the MEd in Special Education for non-teachers.

Required Courses (33 semester hours)

  • CIEP 425: Classroom Assessment
  • CIEP 451: Learning Theory and Teaching
  • CIEP 477: Academic Assessment and Interventions
  • CIEP 478: Behavior Assessment and Interventions
  • CIEP 479: Consultation, Collaboration, and Community Involvement
  • CIEP 501: Exceptional Learner Part II
  • CIEP 510: Accessing and Adapting the General Education Curriculum
  • CIEP 511: Developmental Theory and Disabilities
  • CIEP 512: Seminar: Special Education, the Profession
  • CIEP 563: Special Education Student Teaching / Practicum

Length of Program: Candidates with a teaching endorsement on their Professional Educator License (PEL) and typically at least one year of teaching experience as the teacher of record take one year to complete the program on a full-time basis and two years to complete the program on a part-time basis. Candidates complete a summer practicum experience in lieu of a full semester of student teaching. Summer practicum is a six week experience that begins the week after Chicago Public School (CPS) ends for the summer and ends at least one week prior to the beginning of the CPS school year. Sites typically involve settings for extended year services for students with disabilities. Following initial advising upon acceptance to the program, please contact your program advisor to schedule a meeting to determine your final curriculum plan. Candidates have five years from acceptance to complete the program.

Program and State Requirements: All candidates must pass the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) to advance past their first semester of enrollment.  Candidates in all programs leading to Illinois license are also required to pass an Illinois State Criminal Background Check. Policies and procedures for receiving Illinois licensure must be met.

Continuous Enrollments: Master's candidates in Special Education are required to maintain the status of continuous enrollment during their program of studies. This means that during each semester of each academic year (excluding Summer Sessions), each candidate must enroll in at least one course. A formal leave of absence may be granted upon request and the approval of the School of Education’s Associate Dean of Student Academic Services.

Comprehensive Assessment: An Impact on Student Learning Project and  Professional Practice Profile are required.  The assessment is completed during Student Teaching. Candidates must submit a proposal for approval. The faculty assessor will notify the student of results.

Graduation Requirements

  • Overall GPA of 3.0 for graduation
  • Complete practicum
  • Illinois competency test in LBSI
  • All degree requirements
  • Completion of comprehensive assessments 
  • Illinois assessment of professional teaching

Degree Conferral: While the commencement ceremony is every May, degrees can be conferred May, August, and December. Students must apply for graduation/degree conferral. Students should apply for graduation in the semester they anticipate completing all degree requirements. Failure to meet application deadlines may result in a delay of the conferral of the degree to the following semester. Applications for Degree Conferral are due:

  • August 1 for December conferral
  • December 1 for May conferral
  • February 1 for August conferral*

*Students having their degrees conferred in August are eligible to participate in the proceeding May Commencement.

Please note the degree conferral application is valid for only one semester. If the degree is not conferred for the semester requested, a new application is required for a subsequent semester.

See also