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School of Education

M.Ed in Exceptional Children and Youth 4+1 Track: Autism/Severe Disabilities Concentration

Program Coordinator: Bridget Duda

The Autism/Severe Disabilities concentration in the 4+1 track of the M.Ed in Exceptional Children and Youth program is for current UD early childhood education majors and elementary teacher education majors in the special education concentration. This five-year program combines undergraduate and graduate coursework. Students will earn a bachelor’s degree in their major at the end of four years and a M.Ed. in Exceptional Children and Youth in one additional year. Students who complete the M.Ed. requirements during the +1 year are eligible for teacher certification in Autism/Severe Disabilities.


Students apply to the M.Ed. in Exceptional Children and Youth by December 15th of their junior year and are admitted as seniors. Information about how to apply to the M.Ed. is available online. Some application requirements specific to this program are:

  • One of the three letters of reference must be from a UD professor.
  • The personal statement must specify the intention to pursue the 4+1 track with an Autism/Severe Disabilities concentration.

Course Requirements

Students complete 33 graduate credits for the M.Ed. in Exceptional Children and Youth program. During the senior year, students complete 9 graduate credits (which may be in lieu of 9 undergraduate credits) and complete all remaining undergraduate requirements. During the +1 year, students complete 18 credits of graduate coursework plus 6 credits of a graduate special education teaching internship in local schools.

  • EDUC 624: Introduction to Autism and Severe Disabilities
  • EDUC 625: Special Education Instruction and Curriculum: Autism/Severe
  • EDUC 626: Functional Communication for Individuals with Autism and Severe Disabilities
  • EDUC 655: Assistive Technology: Autism/Severe Disabilities
  • EDUC 669: Engagement in the General Curriculum for Students with Severe Disabilities
  • EDUC 673: School-to-Adult Life Transitions and Disability
  • EDUC 681: Techniques for Behavior Change and Positive Behavior Support
  • EDUC 682: Special Issues in Special Education
  • EDUC 745: Collaborative Teaming in Special Education
  • EDUC 750: Graduate Teaching Internship (6 credits)

Course Schedules

Disabilities Studies Minor Option

Early Childhood Education (ECE) and Elementary Teacher Education (ETE) students can double-count some of the 4+1 courses in the autism/severe disabilities concentration towards their major and the Disabilities Studies Minor. Click here to see how this double-counting can be accomplished.

Internship Requirement

To fulfill the 6-credit internship requirement, students are placed for 16 hours each week for 9 months in local partnership schools as a special education teacher intern. Students receive supervision from UD and school staff.

Exit Requirements:

Students must complete a performance assessment as required by the state.