Students working on a computer with a teacher

Master of Science 

Special Education and Literacy (II)

Program of Study


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

Child Development and Learning

  • Development in Childhood
  • Application of Cognitive Theories to Content Area Instruction

Teaching Literacy to Diverse Students

  • Literacy in Society
  • Early Literacy Development, B-2
  • Classroom Literacy Instruction
  • Teaching Written Expression to Students with Disabilities
  • Developing Reading Comprehension and Content Knowledge for Students with Disabilities

Practica in Literacy Instruction

  • Instruction to Prevent Literacy Difficulties
  • Writing in the Classroom, 1-6

Teaching Children with Special Needs

  • Introduction to Human Exceptionality
  • Instructional Environments and Practices for Students with Disabilities
  • Math and Inquiry Instruction for Students with Disabilities
  • Teaching Students with Severe and Multiple Disabilities
  • Educating Students with Emotional Disorders and Challenging Behaviors: Advanced Tiers of Support
  • Assessment of Students with Disabilities

Practica in Special Education

  • Differentiated Instruction and Coaching, B-6
  • Teaching Students with Diverse Learning Needs

Curriculum Development and Classroom Management

  • Effective Teaching and Curricula for Diverse Learners
  • 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

  • Safe Schools Against Violence in Education Act (SAVE)
  • Child Abuse Identification and Reporting
  • Needs of Students with Autism
  • Substance Abuse Prevention
  • Dignity for All Students Act

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

Additional Information

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact Dr. Matthew LaFave 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

This is the only program at UAlbany that leads to initial certification in childhood education in New York State. All other graduate programs in childhood education, literacy, and/or special education require you to hold initial certification to teach grades 1-6 prior to your enrollment.

Earning this master's degree makes you eligible to apply for three different NYS teacher certifications:

  • Childhood Education (Grades 1-6)
  • Students with Disabilities (Grades 1-6)
  • Literacy (Birth-Grade 6)

Graduates are commonly employed as elementary school, special education, and literacy teachers for grades 1-6 within public and private schools, and as specialists in disability services and community agencies.

Teacher working with a group of students
Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Option

If you’re a current UAlbany undergraduate student with a declared Human Development major and at least a 3.2 GPA, you can save time and money by beginning your graduate degree coursework in your senior year. Up to 12 academic credits, billed at the undergraduate rate, will count towards both degrees – so you can save money and lighten your courseload once you enter the graduate program full-time.

Contact your undergraduate advisor to see if you’re eligible and learn about your combined graduate program options.

Commencement stock photo

Admissions Requirements


Fall: Not Available
Spring: Not Available
     Deadline 1: March 15
     Deadline 2: April 15
     Deadline 3: May 15

There is no departmental assistantship consideration for this program.

Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Three letters of recommendation

Please note: Combined undergraduate/graduate applicants must have a 3.2 GPA to 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. No prior certification required. Must have a major, minor, or concentration in one of the liberal arts and sciences. A minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA is required.

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.


The University at Albany is a member in good standing of the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), a national accrediting organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.


Logo for the AAQEP - Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation
See accreditation details.

The programs listed below have been awarded full accreditation by AAQEP through June 30, 2028. Full accreditation acknowledges that a program prepares effective educators who continue to grow as professionals and has demonstrated the commitment and capacity to maintain quality.

AAQEP-Accredited Programs and Annual Reports at the University at Albany

Advanced Graduate Certificate Programs

Master of Science Programs

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