To help keep track of the program requirements you can download a pdf-formatted Special Education Program checklist.

Candidates who enter the special education program will declare either the PK-8 or 7-12 grade band option. The criteria for certification and admission to each grade band option is regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) as follows:

  • Special Education PreK-8 Option: Candidates with previous PA certificates in early childhood N-3, elementary K-6 or PreK-4, middle school 4-8, and certified reading specialists are eligible for this option.
  • Special Education 7-12 Option: Candidates with previous PA certificates in secondary education 7-12 content areas and certified reading specialists are eligible for this option.

**New Wilkes University Requirement(s) Regarding Completion of both Special Education Certification Grade Bands **

Wilkes graduate students completing the Special Education PK-8 program may choose to pursue Special Education 7-12 certification by completing the following:

  1. Obtain certification in a Grade 7-12 Content Area by passing the certifying exam and applying for certification through PDE TIMS.
  2. Once the 7-12 content area certification is approved by PDE, the student will request registration into the Special Education 7-12 internship course through the Program Coordinator. *The hours for this internship course will be determined by the PDE requirements at the time of registration.
  3. Once the internship is successfully completed, the student will apply through PDE TIMS for certification and will need to pass the designated certifying exam for Special Education 7-12.

Wilkes graduate students completing the Special Education 7-12 program first, may choose to pursue Special Education PK-8 certification through the same process by substituting the appropriate grade band content area certification.

(Note: Courses designated with * are required for state certification)

Prerequisite courses or their equivalents may be completed at the undergraduate (for those only seeking certification) or graduate level, online or face-to-face. Candidates may receive credit for the certification competencies completed through previous program coursework. Prerequisite courses can be completed at any time prior to applying to the state for special education certification.

  • * EDAM 5066: Accommodations and Adaptations in Literacy for Diverse Learners              
  • * ESL 504: Intercultural Communication For Language Teachers
  • * ED 569: Teaching Diverse Learners Using Inclusive Classroom Practices                                     

CORE COURSES: 12 Credits  

  •  * ED 510: Psychological Foundations      
  • ED 519: Issues, Laws & Trends in Education     
  • ED 522: Curriculum and Instruction     
  • ED 585: Integrating Technology into the Curriculum

(Act 34, 151, and 114 clearances are required for field experiences)

  • * EDSP 501: Sp Ed Meth I w/Field Exp. (20 hrs.)     
  • * EDSP 502: Sp Ed Meth II w/Field Exp. (20 hrs.)    
  • * EDSP 503: Behavior Mgt w/Field Exp. (20 hrs.)
  • * EDSP 504: Assessment in Sp Ed
  • * EDSP 505: Effective Practices in Sp Ed


Must be taken as the final EDSP course or in conjunction with the final EDSP course.

Advisor must give permission to register for the Internship.

  • * EDSP 506: Internship in Sp Ed (100 hrs.)

Transfer Credits

A maximum of six graduate credits completed at another accredited institution may be used toward your Wilkes MS degree. You must have completed the courses within six years prior to the date of admission to Wilkes University and have received a grade of B or better. Official transcripts are required.