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Exceptional Student Education

The FCE programs in Exceptional Student Education/Special Education (ESE) prepare professionals to assume positions as teachers, professors, administrators, and disability service providers. The MS program with a specialization in ESE addresses the academic and professional needs of individuals who: (a) are certified teachers or related services professionals who seek to engage in advanced, specialized study in the field, or (b) seek teacher certification (Florida) or licensure (Nevada) in the field of ESE.

Who Should Apply

This option offers a program of study that does not result in certification. The program is open to (a) certified teachers who seek to attain the MS in ESE and/or add categorical endorsements to current certification, and (b) individuals from the related services who seek to attain the MS in ESE. Students have the option to design a customized program of study. This option is intended to permit students to concentrate on a categorical area of study (disability specific) or to study a combination of courses that best meet individual career objectives and needs.

  • Completed admission application packet, including a $50 nonrefundable application fee made payable to Nova Southeastern University.
  • Official transcript indicating conferral of a bachelor's degree by a regionally accredited institution (2.5 minimum cumulative grade-point average required).
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended postsecondary institutions.


Non-certification, Customized Program Option
Additional Admission Requirements

Certified/Licensed Educator or Related/Direct Services Professional


Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
EDU 5000 Orientation to the Graduate Teacher Education Program 0
CUR 526 Educational Research for Practitioners 3
CBD 501 Special Education Law 3
CBD 502 Assessment and Diagnosis of Exceptional Learners 3
ESE 630 Educational and Psychological Assessment of Exceptional Students 3

Customized (Selected) Courses: The remaining courses (minimum of 15 credits) are to be selected from the following Categorical program options:

Note: Students may select from the full menu of courses available, including ESE courses offered as part of the certification programs. For the purposes of planning, disability specific courses are grouped by categorical area; additional ESE courses are listed following the categorical information.


Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
EP 650 Assessment, Diagnosis, and Nature of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder 3
EP 655 Nature of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Intervention Methods, Strategies, and Application 3
EP 660 Behavioral Assessment and Intervention for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder 3
EP 665 Language, Communication Development & Augmentative Communication in Autism Spectrum Disorders 3


Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
CBD 510 Characteristics and Needs of Students with Developmental Disabilities 3
CBD 513 Methods for Teaching Students with Developmental Disabilities 3


Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
CBD 512 Characteristics and Needs of Students with Emotional Behavioral Disorders 3
CBD 515 Methods for Teaching Students with Emotional Behavioral Disorders 3


Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
EDU 550  Nature and Needs of the Gifted 3
EDU 551  Educational Procedures for the Gifted 3
EDU 555 Seminar for the Guidance of Gifted Children 3
EP 5281 Developing Creativity in Gifted Students 3
EP 5282 Educating Special Populations of Gifted Students 3
EDU 561 Independent Study for Research on Gifted Students 3
EP 699  Applied Professional Experience in Gifted Education 3


Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
CBD 511 Characteristics and Needs of Students with Learning Disabilities 3
CBD 514 Methods for Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities 3


Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
EP 5265 Nature and Needs of Young Children with Disabilities 3
EP 5270 Assessing the Needs of Young Children with Disabilities 3
EP 5275 Intervention Strategies and Classroom Behavior Management of Young Children with Disabilities 3
EP 5280 Working with Families of Young Children with Disabilities and the Community 3


Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
CBD 503 Classroom Management 3
CBD 504 Curriculum and Instructional Materials for Exceptional Learners 3
CBD 505 Working with Families of Exceptional Learners 3
CBD 506 Transition of Exceptional Learners 3
CBD 508 Methods and Strategies in Behavior Management 3
CBD 509 Social Skills Training 3
CBD 516 Teaching Mathematics to Exceptional Learners 3
CBD 517 Teaching Reading to Exceptional Learners 3

Additional Endorsement

Students who seek an additional endorsement (add-on certification) in a content cognate area of study (e.g., TESOL or Reading) should refer to their respective State Department of Education to determine certification requirements. FCE requirements for content areas of specialization are published and can be located in this catalog. For additional information, contact your ESE faculty and/or Academic Advisor.


Este programa ha sido diseñado para aquellos profesionales que quieren ser más efectivos en la enseñanza de los estudiantes excepcionales. En la actualidad estos maestros ofrecen la atención que los niños y jóvenes con necesidades especiales requieren así como ponen en práctica las políticas de inclusión exigidas. Las clases son impartidas en forma presencial y a través del internet.

Para más información o para comenzar su aplicación, contacte a:

Dra. Beatriz Diaz, Directora de ITEP
Abraham S. Fischler College of Education
Nova Southeastern University's Miami Campus
8501 SW 124th Avenue, Miami, FL 33183
Teléfono: (305) 275-2638
Fax: (954) 262-2535

Descargue el Curriculum Temático

The applied professional experience is one of many practical applications included in the exceptional student education specialization. It is the final step in the completion of the program. Conducted in an appropriate educational setting, candidates will maintain reflective journals and create files of samples of their students’ work and the assessment instruments used to demonstrate achievement of the state professional and content standards. All applied professional experiences are accompanied by portfolios detailing the rationale, process, and evaluation of the project.

Coursework for the master’s in exceptional student education program is available online and at many of the NSU Campuses throughout the state of Florida. The online special education master’s program allows international students and those who don’t live near our South Florida campuses to receive and submit coursework and interact with participants and professors via the Internet. The site-based delivery option allows students to take classes in the evenings or on weekends in locations near their homes. The distance education option allows busy professionals the option to complete their online master’s in special education without having to leave their jobs or travel long distances.

Faculty members in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction are dedicated to preparing aspiring teachers and those seeking careers as professionals in education-related fields. Hailing from NSU and other major universities and institutions throughout the country and around the world, our faculty are highly respected professional practitioners and recognized scholars who are carefully selected on the basis of their subject area expertise, teaching abilities, and professional involvement. Furthermore, they are united in their desire to not only educate, but to inspire students to use what they learn to motivate others.

Meet the Faculty and Staff of the Department of Curriculum & Instruction

  • Satisfactory completion of all required coursework;
  • Successful completion of the Applied Professional Experience, including the portfolio, demonstrating competence with the Educator Accomplished Practices;
  • Cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher;
  • Completed application for degree.

Students are advised to contact their state department of education or an Enrollment Services Representative (Academic Advisor) to determine if this program is suitable for certification/licensure and their career goals.

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