Teacher helping a child to read

Master of Science 

Special Education and Literacy (I)

Program of Study

To fully prepare you to work with exceptional children in elementary classrooms, this curriculum includes intensive practicum and internship experiences.

Graduates are commonly employed as elementary school, special education, and literacy teachers in public and private elementary schools, and as specialists in disability services and community agencies.

Teaching Literacy to Diverse Students

  • Classroom Literacy Instruction
  • Practicum: Instruction to Prevent Literacy Difficulties
  • Literacy in Society
  • Developing Reading Comprehension and Content Knowledge for Students with Disabilities

Practica in Literacy Instruction

  • Writing in the Classroom, 1-6
  • Differentiated Instruction and Coaching, B-6

Teaching Children with Special Needs

  • Instructional Environments and Practices for Students with Disabilities
  • Math and Inquiry Instruction for Students with Disabilities
  • Teaching Students with Severe and Multiple Disabilities
  • Students with Emotional Disorders and Challenging Behaviors: Advanced Tiers of Support
  • Assessment of Students with Disabilities
  • Managing School and Classroom-Wide Student Behavior to Promote Efficient and Effective Instruction

Clinical Internship with Integrated Seminar in Teaching Students with Disabilities

In this full-time internship, you gain supervised clinical experience working with students with disabilities in education settings. The accompanying seminar covers special topics to help you succeed in your fieldwork.

Master's Project

NYSED Training requirements

  • Needs of Students with Autism Training
  • Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)

To pursue professional certification once you complete the program, you must request the University recommend you to the New York State Department of Education.


See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact Dr. Saddler at [email protected].

This program is approved for licensure or certification in New York State and the institution has not made a determination regarding the educational requirements for any other state.


NYS Teacher Certification

Earning this master's degree qualifies you to achieve initial/professional certification in teaching literacy to children from birth through sixth grade and initial/professional certification in teaching students with disabilities from first through sixth grade.

In addition, this graduate program leads to professional teacher certification in childhood education (grades 1-6) in New York State.

Upon receiving the Literacy B-6 certificate, teachers with a childhood certificate may apply for early childhood certification directly through the New York State Education Department.

Story time in class


Student getting help reading
Practical Training

As a graduate student at UAlbany, you move through an integrated sequence of courses and field experiences in which you acquire the knowledge needed to successfully teach in special education and literacy settings.

Courses are held online or in the evening on campus. During the school day, you develop skills teaching special education classes and interacting with students, colleagues, and administrators in elementary schools and human service organizations.

Admissions Requirements


Departmental Assistantship Consideration

Fall: May 1
Spring: Not Available
Summer: Not Available

No Departmental Assistantship Consideration

Fall: June1
Spring: Not Available
Summer: Not Available

Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official GRE scores*

Supplemental Documents

Prior teaching certificate in Elementary/Childhood Education


*In light of the current situation, applications will be considered for review without GRE (or approved alternative) scores. Official admission will be contingent on the receipt of exams scores; however, we encourage all interested individuals still apply.


Available information for applicants.


Special Notes

NY State Certification program. This program is not available to international applicants. Full consideration will be given to applicants who apply by the Priority Review Deadline. Prior teaching certificate in Elementary/Childhood Education required for entrance to program. The test score requirement is for application Fall 2016 and forward. The department will also accept the following exams in lieu of GRE: edTPA, GMAT, Miller's Analogies, or Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators. Please contact the Pathways Into Education Center (518-442-3529) with questions regarding the entrance exam requirement.

Applicants to this program should include copies of teaching certifications held and copies of test scores. Be aware that candidates applying for certification on or after May 1, 2014 or candidates who applied for certification on or before April 30, 2014 but did not meet all the requirements for an initial certification on or before April 30, 2014 must now complete the following certification exams: edTPA; Educating All Students Test (EAS); Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST), and the revised Multi-Subject Content Specialty Test (CST). Applicants to the Inclusion and Special Education program must also include a copy of the test scores on the Special Education Content Specialty Test. In addition, as of December 31, 2013, all applicants for certification are required to complete six clock hours in DASA (Dignity for All Students Act) training. Admission is contingent on proof of valid New York State Teaching Certification and passing grades on these examinations for all applicants.

Please note: This program requires an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience requirement. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions.  If applicants have concerns about this matter please contact the Dean’s Office of the intended academic program.   


This teacher education program is accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) for the 10-year period of 2011 to 2021.

See accreditation data for details.

The School of Education's teacher and leader education programs are accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) for the 10-year period of 2011 to 2021. Below is institutional and programmatic data in accordance with this accreditation.

The School of Education offers programs that prepare new teachers and also those that already hold NY teacher or leader certification. Additionally, some of our programs lead to multiple certifications. As such, data on employment does not reflect the many career opportunities our graduates are afforded. For example, our Literacy MS leads to NY certification as a Literacy Specialist in grades B-6 or 5-12. This program requires prior NY teacher certification so not all graduates pursue positions in Literacy after degree completion, but remain in their current specialty area. The following SUNY website provides data on those graduates only working in NY and the wages earned after a specified time after graduation:  https://www.suny.edu/gradwages/

Our graduates that elect to pursue NY State certification must successfully complete related certification exams. Our exam pass rates can be found at: https://title2.ed.gov/Public/Home.aspx

Consumer information about the University at Albany can be found at: https://nslds.ed.gov/nslds/nslds_SA/defaultmanagement/cohortdetail_3yr.cfm?sno=0&ope_id=002835

The satisfaction of degree completers is valuable data for our programs. University collected data is available at: https://www.albany.edu/ir/assesss_tableau1945c.html

Additionally, our teacher and leader programs are completing a self-study during the 2020 and 2021 academic years. Data is being collected and analyzed on employer satisfaction, degree completion and on the impact our graduates have in the field of teaching. Results of the self-study will be published to meet requirements set forth by the self-study process. 

Students in our masters and certificate programs have six calendar years from the date of initial registration in the program to complete their program. Additionally, masters and certificate students are not required to enroll every semester. As such, time to graduation varies. Please see here for data on enrollments and degree awarded. https://livealbany.sharepoint.com/:b:/s/web_soe/EeQ4ahViFkJFtgIWv447_FABOdOi5bMX66zRo9kbc1rVQg?e=vFMhiQ

Careers and Advisement

The Pathways Into Education (PIE) Center is the central office on campus serving undergraduate, graduate, and prospective students interested in pursuing careers in education and programs leading to teacher certification.

Please call or email to schedule an appointment.

Graduate Advisement:
Email Graduate Advisement
(518) 442-3529