Master's Degree & Certification

Special Education (MEd)

Prepare to better meet the needs of Pre-K-8 special education students through modern technologies and cutting-edge research and theory.

special education teacher in classroom with students

Program Overview

Whether you are a special education teacher or a general education teacher with differently-abled learners, Widener’s graduate program in special education (Pre-K-8) prepares you to better meet your students’ needs through modern technologies and cutting-edge research and theory.

Learn how to use evidence-based practices for working with children and youth with special education needs. You’ll master principles of effective assessment, specialized instruction, and individualized programming, and upon completion of the program, you’ll be eligible to apply for Pennsylvania Instructional I certification in special education (Pre-K-8).

Widener's Center for Education is proud of its 2016 NCATE accreditation and is prepared to meet the renewed rigor and relevance of excellence by seeking accreditation based on the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) 2023 standards. Eligible programs take steps to maintain gapless national accreditation for educator preparation. See CAEP standards and annual impact and outcome measures. 

Program Options

View the academic catalog for Loading...

Upon completion of the program, you’ll be eligible to apply for Pennsylvania Instructional I certification in special education (Pre-K-8).

View our academic catalog for Loading...

Admissions Information

  • Complete the online application form.
  • Copy of your Resume.
  • Personal Statement.
  • Send an official transcript from all previous graduate and undergraduate programs.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation from colleagues, supervisors, or college professors.
  • Complete a writing sample. Contact the Writing Center at 610-499-4332 to schedule an appointment. The writing sample can be waived if you have an acceptable undergraduate GPA.

You will have an admissions interview with a faculty advisor.

We enroll on a rolling basis. You may enter the program in any semester.

As an incoming MEd student, you are eligible to receive a program-specific scholarship upon acceptance. Scholarship amounts are awarded based on program-specific criteria.

No need to fill out a scholarship application—you are automatically considered and if you have been chosen for a scholarship, it will appear in your acceptance letter.

Program Highlights

Gain the skills and capabilities to help students succeed in school using the latest methods and technology available.

Personalized Learning

At Widener, you can rely on your graduate coursework to meet your career goals. In fact, students often learn by doing and sharing knowledge from their own professional experience.

Comprehensive Curriculum

You’ll learn to assess, analyze assessment results, and select and monitor interventions for diversely-abled children. You’ll develop sensitivity to your work environment so you can respond effectively to the needs of individual students, families, and teachers. You’ll be a positive change agent for the education field with the knowledge you’ve gained through the program.

Expert Faculty

Our special education program faculty are incredibly knowledgeable with many years of experience in the field to inspire you to academic excellence and help you find access accurate and up-to-date information in the field of education.


Our professors' leadership and research are shaping the education field.

Essence Allen-Presley
Assistant Professor

"I believe classroom culture should include opportunities to create community through social justice values, respect, and equality for everyone. Teachers must include students' needs and interests, their knowledge from personal experiences, interactions, opportunities to explore hands-on activities, social-emotional regulation through positive behavior supports, and self-constructed inquiry and knowledge through questioning."

Xiaobao Li
Associate Professor

"I have authored or co-authored 15 publications in top-tier education journals and am honored to be a highly rated online professor of Widener students."

Your Inside Track to Success

Your Inside Track to Success

Here, you'll prepare for a rewarding career in special education.

Recent Employers & Industry Connections

  • Chester Community Charter School
  • Chester Upland School District
  • Elwyn
  • Interboro School District
  • Ridley School District
  • The School District of Philadelphia
  • Widener Partnership Charter School

Outlook & Outcomes

Potential Careers

  • Special education classroom teacher
  • Inclusive general/special education teacher
  • Special education consultant
  • Special education assistive technology advisor

Industry Growth

Overall employment of special education teachers is projected to grow 3% from 2018 to 2028. School enrollment and the demand for special education services should drive employment growth.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Where Graduates Work

  • Public school districts
  • Private and charter schools
  • Early childhood centers
  • Intermediate units
  • Medical health centers

Take the Next Steps

Join a leading university dedicated to your success.

Visit Us

A visit, whether in person or online with a special online admissions guidance counselor, is the best way to get to know us. Schedule your visit today, and see all that Widener can offer you.

View Tuition and Fees

Explore program costs and payment options.

Financial Aid

At Widener, opportunities for financial aid extend to graduate students. Discover how Widener can help make obtaining your degree possible.

Next steps to apply

We’re glad you made the decision to apply. All applications and supplemental materials are submitted through the online application system. There is a $35 application fee to apply to Widener.

Get in Touch