Master's of Science
Special Education

Master's of Science<br>Special Education

Graduate Special Education Program FAQs

What is the deadline for applying?

There are no set deadlines for application.  We operate on a rolling admissions basis. We recommend submitting all materials required for admission at least 30 days prior to the start date for the term you wish to begin.  Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible to allow for the best scheduling options, since some course sections may close out if registering late.  

When is the program offered?

With the exception of the Advanced Special Education program which offers fall (late August), spring (mid-January) and summer (May/June) start dates, the other four program options only offer fall and spring start dates.  You select your start date when you file your application.  If you are unsure of your start date, select the earliest one that you are most likely to attend.  Should you be accepted and wish to change your start date to a later term, simply inform the office of your new start date in writing and the change will be noted on your file.

Most courses are offered Monday through Thursday in the late afternoon and evening . 

During the summer, Canisius College has two five-week sessions offered from the middle of May to the beginning of August.

How long will it take to complete the program?

Teachers certified in childhood and special education can complete the masters program in 30 credit hours.

Teachers with initial certification in another area (childhood/adolescence) can complete the program in 33 credit hours.

Candidates without initial teacher certification can complete the program, including additional requirements for initial certification, in 54 credit hours.

What is the field experience requirement of the program?

Candidates not already certified in special education are required to complete 50+ hours of field experience prior to student teaching.  These hours are included in designated courses throughout your course of study.  Please refer to the appropriate Curriculum Web Page for specifics. 

Student teaching for candidates seeking initial certification consists of two seven-week supervised teaching placements.  

Teachers already certified in childhood or adolescence education must complete one seven-week student teaching placement in a special education classroom.  This can be completed in summer school.  

Teachers already certified in special education are not required to complete the student teaching requirement.

What prerequisite courses are required for those obtaining initial teacher certification during the program?

Candidates without initial certification must meet requirements in an area of concentration (childhood or adolescence).

Childhood education requires 3 credit hours in each of the following areas: math, science, English, social studies and a foreign language.

Adolescence Education requires 36 credit hours in one of the disciplines: English, mathematics, science*, social studies**, French, German, or Spanish.  Additionally completion of three (3) credit hours in a foreign language is required. 

Adolescence candidates must also complete 6 credit hours in English, math, science and social studies in order to meet generalist requirements.

*The 36 credit hours in science must include at least 30 semester credit hours in biology, chemistry or physics.

**Social Studies requires 36 credit hours in related course work.  Eighteen (18) of those hours must be in history.  Three (3) credit hours are required in each of the following areas:  geography, political science/government, cultural studies, and economics.  The remaining credit hours may be form any ohter area of social studies including psychology or philosophy.

What prerequisites are required for candidates already holding childhood or adolescence teaching certification?

Adolescence candidates holding initial teacher certification must complete 6 credit hours in English, math, science and social studies in order to meet generalist requirements for the MS in Special Education: Adolescence.

Candidates holding initial teacher certification will meet prerequisites for the MS in Special Education: Childhood.  Candidates for the Advanced Special Education program must hold childhood and special education certifications.

Can I apply and attend Canisius if I have prerequisites to be made up?

Yes, but all prerequisites should be completed prior to student teaching.

Can I attend the program part-time?

You can attend our programs on a full or part-time basis.

Will American Sign Language count for the Foreign Language requirement?

Yes, you must complete 3 credit hours of American Sign Language.

How is the scheduling of classes done?

All scheduling/registration of classes is complete online via the myCanisius portal. You can view the schedules for previous, current, and some future semesters by accessing the Graduate Admissions web page and then clicking on "Course Schedules".

What is the cost of tuition for all programs?

Please see our Tuition & Fee's page for information on the program cost.

Is a bachelor's degree required to begin the program?

Yes, a bachelor's degree is required to start our graduate programs.  

Can I apply if I am "In Progress" with my last semester of courses?

You can apply during your final semester as an undergraduate.  However, you will be accepted provisionally until you supply us with an official transcript that posts your degree.

What is the minimum GPA required for acceptance into the program?

Most candidates have a minimum GPA of 3.0 from their undergraduate studies. GPA’s below 3.0 will be reviewed by admission staff and program faculty to determine status.

Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required?

For candidates who already possess an initial teaching certification and are pursuing entrance into a professional certification MS program, a standardized test score is required. Candidates can submit GRE, MAT, or ALST test scores to complete this requirement. Contact admissions staff with questions.  

For candidates pursuing entrance into an initial certification teaching program, a standardized test score is required.  Candidates can submit GRE, MAT, SAT, or ACT test scores to complete this requirement. Contact admissions staff with questions.

What tests are required for certification?

Applicants for certification must pass the required certification exams in their area.  See the NY Certification Exam Web Site, or your adviser, for more information on these tests, including preparation guides.

Where can I get information about Financial Aid?

Click here for information regarding financing graduate school.

You may also contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance in financing your education at Canisius by calling 716-888-2300 or 800-541-6348 (toll-free).

Is there a tuition payment plan?

Yes, the college has payment plans.  For more information, contact the Student Accounts Office at (716) 888-2801.

Is housing available?

Campus housing for graduate students is based on space available. Contact the Office of Residence Life at 716-888-8300 for more information, including availability.

Can I take the CLEP tests to meet the prerequisite requirements?

Yes, students can take examinations sponsored by the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) or by the New York State College Proficiency Examination Program (CPE).  Students must consult with the appropriate dean for permission to use any credit by examination toward their graduate degree or certificate requirements.