Degree – Master of Science in Secondary Education, MSEd
Concentration: Special Education

Description of Program

The Master of Science in Secondary Education (MSEd) degree program offers endorsements in 14 areas. Graduates are prepared for advanced preparation to serve as teachers or practitioners in various educational capacities. The endorsement in Special Education focuses on curriculum and teaching strategies for working with the educationally disabled. There are two tracks offered: face-to-face and online to enhance the teaching skills of K-12 Mild/Moderate Special Education teachers, or for teachers who have mild/moderate students within their non-special education classroom.

Learning Outcomes

  • Acquire skills to implement scientifically-based interventions for students with disabilities in a variety of settings
  • Identify important legal and policy issues in special education
  • Demonstrate knowledge of specific characteristics of individuals with mild disabilities
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the research processes within the field of special education

Admission Requirements:

Students applying for entrance to the Master of Science in Secondary Education in Special Education are required to submit an application for admission, Apply Online (

  • Educator License
  • two letters of recommendation
  • official transcript from an accredited school (if a student has attended more than one school, transcripts must be submitted from all schools attended). At least one transcript must document the student has a bachelor’s degree.
  • Immunization record (on-campus program)

Decisions are made only after receipt of all credentials by the Department of Education and Psychology admission committee. The department uses an admission formula to accept students. The entire application packet, including all supporting materials, must be submitted to the Graduate School.


A Standard Educator License in a teaching area is required for admission to programs in the Master of Science in Secondary Education with the exception of certificate programs.

Degree Requirements:

The curriculum for the Master of Science in Secondary Education in Special Education requires 36 credit hours of coursework and passing required exit exams for degree completion. Students complete 12 hours of required core credits, 21 hours of required course credits, and 3 hours of electives.

Graduation expectations require the following:

  • A minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate instruction must be completed in residence at Alcorn State University
  • Earn no more than two Cs in coursework
  • Successfully pass the Core Exit Exam
  • Successfully pass the Area Exit Exam according to content area
  • Official transcripts on file for all transfer credits accepted by the University

Academic advisors are allowed to accept up to six semester credit hours earned at an accredited university with a grade of “B” or higher for graduate coursework completed. Substitutions of coursework are allowed with the approval of an advisor and department administrators up to nine hours if the substitution(s) meet curriculum requirements.

See Transfer of Credits Policy for additional information.
See the Substitution of Courses Policy for additional information.

Academic Track: Exit Exams

Students pursuing a Master of Science in Secondary Education must pass a Core Examination and Area Examination to exit.

Master Degree Audit:

Before candidacy for graduation can be confirmed, each student progression to degree completion will be evaluated to determine if student has met all academic requirements for course work and other aspects of the student’s course of study and Graduate School requirements. When these requirements are met, the student is cleared for graduation.

Time to Degree Completion

Alcorn’s time to degree completion policy allows 6 years to complete the special education program. Degree completion depends on the pace a student completes the curriculum. If the time exceeds six years, the student must petition the Graduate School to consider an appeal for more time to degree completion.

See the Student Academic Appeals Policy for Expiration of Timeline for additional requirements

Degree Plan and Course Sequence

Core Education Courses (12 Hours)
ED 512 Foundations of American Education
ED 514 Methods of Educational Research
ED 533 Curriculum Development
PH 513 Advanced Educational Psychology

Required Courses (21 Hours)
SE 535 Introduction to Intellectual Disabilities
SE 536 Introduction to Learning Disabilities
SE 540 Methods/Materials for Teaching Children with Intellectual Disabilities
SE 541 Methods/Materials for Children with Learning Disabilities
SE 545 Individualized Instruction for Students with Disabilities
SE 553 Counseling Children with Disabilities and Their Parents
PH Psychology of Exceptional Children

Electives (3 Hours)
SE 537 Introduction to the Emotionally Disturbed
SE 542 Methods and Materials for Children with Behavioral and Emotional Disorders
SE 551 Administration and Supervision of Special Education

For More Information Contact:
Dr. Felicia McGowan ▪ 601.877.6203 ▪
[email protected] (Department of Education and Psychology)