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Special Education

Master's Degree Program


Graduate opportunities

The graduate programs in Special Education at the University of North Texas strive to make a positive impact on programs and provisions for children, youth and young adults with exceptionalities. Our primary focus is training you in the areas of autism intervention, emotional and behavioral disorders, educational diagnostician, and mild/moderate disabilities.

We offer course work leading to a Master of Education degree in Special Education as well as endorsements, certifications and emphases in:

  • Autism intervention
  • Behavioral specialist
  • Educational diagnostician
  • Special education early childhood-12 program
  • Instructional Model to Prepare Adept Certified Teachers in Special Education (IMPACT)
  • Transition specialist
  • Traumatic brain injury

Our graduates hold positions as teachers, diagnosticians, coordinators and supervisors in schools, juvenile correctional facilities, psychiatric hospitals, regional service centers and private/governmental agencies.

The special education faculty members are nationally known in their field. They remain current on practices through research experiences, their high levels of academic preparation and the service projects they coordinate. They have expertise in a wide variety of areas such as programs and procedures for gifted learners; establishments of partnerships to facilitate services for exceptional individuals; and behavioral management systems for special populations, parent and professional communication and collaboration.

In addition to specialized courses, we provide you many opportunities to participate in interdepartmental studies, become involved in community-based programming, and network with other professionals in special education and other fields.

The College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (2010 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 500; Washington, D.C. 20036; telephone 202-466- 7496). This accreditation means we meet or exceed strict academic standards for excellence in education. The college is also one of Texas’ top producers of teachers, administrators, counselors and other school professionals.


Research centers and opportunities

The Department of Educational Psychology is affiliated with various research and intervention centers, providing faculty and students with opportunities for research and development.

The Autism Center offers opportunities for research and intervention among individuals with autism.

The Center for Parent Education and Family Support engages in research and outreach to support parent and family educators, family support professionals, and other students.

The UNT Institute for Behavioral and Learning Differences serves as a resource for professionals, parents, schools, and community and state agencies. Much of the research focuses on understanding, developing and initiating strategies involving unique behavioral and learning characteristics.

Attending UNT

Admission requirements

You will need to meet the admission requirements for the Toulouse Graduate School as well as provide the department the following items:

  • At least two letters of recommendation from individuals who can give evidence of your reading, critical thinking, writing and mathematical skills (These letters can be sent from the reference, signed and on letterhead.)
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae that includes previous career and/or educational experiences
  • One- to three-page personal statement describing your goals, reason for applying to the program, and any related job experiences such as teaching, working with special populations or research and evaluation experiences
  • GRE scores (High GRE scores are viewed as positive indicators of potential success in the programs. However, low GRE scores do not exclude a candidate who shows positive indicators in other areas.)

The educational diagnostician concentration also requires a copy of your teaching certificate and two years of experience as a fully-licensed teacher.

All program application materials, including GRE scores, must be received within two months of the submitted application. The admission requirements for the graduate school are outlined at gradschool.unt.edu.


Program advisors

Miriam Boesch Autism intervention

Lyndal M. Bullock Emotional/behavioral disorders

Bertina Hildreth CombesMild/moderate disabilities; autism intervention

Mary Bailey Estes Mild/moderate disabilities; IMPACT alternative certification in special education

Endia Lindo Mild/moderate disabilities

Smita Shukla Mehta Autism intervention

Pamela Peak Educational diagnostician


Degree requirements

These requirements vary based on your desired specialization. Specific courses are outlined at www.coe.unt.edu/educational-psychology. General requirements are:

  • 9 credit hours of required department core courses
  • 9 credit hours of required degree courses
  • 18 credit hours of concentration courses

Financial assistance

Several of the special education graduate programs receive funding through the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs that provides tuition and stipend support. Other scholarships and stipends may also be available to help you pursue your graduate degree. Visit www.coe.unt.edu or financialaid.unt.edu for financial assistance and scholarship opportunities.