M.Ed. in Special Education

Rivier’s Special Education programs will prepare you to work directly with students with learning disabilities or emotional and behavioral disorders in general and special education classrooms.

Why Study Special Education at Rivier?

Combining classroom and field-based experiences to connect coursework with practical school-based applications, our Special Education programs provide you with opportunities to develop the professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to effectively educate and accommodate students with special needs.

In this program you will:

  • Develop practical teaching knowledge and skills
  • Learn to consult and collaborate with other professionals and family members
  • Become an effective communicator and collaborator

Program of Study

This is a 39- to 49-credit program, which includes either a capstone project or internship(s). Our curriculum is designed to comply with New Hampshire Department of Education (NHDOE) standards for special education certification.

In addition to the initial certification in general special education, you can also acquire specialized knowledge in the following areas:

  • General Special Education: Initial Certification
  • General Special Education: Autism Specialization
  • Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities: Endorsement
  • Specific Learning Disabilities: Endorsement

Courses are offered in 7-week or 14-week terms. There are a total of six 7-week terms per year (two terms in each of the fall, spring, and summer semesters). 14-week terms are offered once per semester in the fall, spring, and summer.


Students seeking teacher certification must apply to the Professional Educator Program (PEPP) after successfully completing 12 credits, receiving positive Professional Disposition reports from a cooperating practitioner and a college professor, and maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Rivier, Lauren Hall, Class of 2012/2016G, was appointed Pelham School District’s first Special Education Coordinator, a leadership role that addresses the educational needs of students with wide-ranging disabilities. In 2018, she received the “Emerging Leader Award” from the New Hampshire Association for Special Education Administrators and the University's Young Alumni Award.

Where Will Your Special Education Degree Take You?

Graduates are prepared for a variety of rewarding leadership roles in a range of educational settings.


  • Special education teachers
  • Autism services program directors
  • Behavior coaches
  • Intellectual disabilities case managers

Take the Next Steps


Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Admissions

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Prepare for a rewarding career as a certified special education teacher with an M.Ed. in Special Education.