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.


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

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

Admissions Requirements


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

There is no departmental assistantship consideration for this program.

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

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 as well as GRE test scores for admission.  The GRE is just a portion of the overall admission package and a lower score does not mean an automatic denial if the other elements of the application are strong.  The Department considers all evidence during admissions.  Please contact Dr. Saddler, the Director of the Division of Special Education, if you have questions or concerns about the GPA requirement. 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.

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 currently under review by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) for an accreditation decision in July 2021.

See accreditation data for details.

The teacher preparation programs in the Department of Literacy Teaching and Learning and the Division of Special Education are currently under review by AAQEP for an accreditation decision in July 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 SUNY website provides data on those graduates only working in NY and the wages earned after a specified time after graduation.

Our graduates that elect to pursue NY State certification must successfully complete related certification exams. See our exam pass rates.

The satisfaction of degree completers is valuable data for our programs. See University collected data.

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. Data on enrollments and degree awarded.

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