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Academic Program Guide

Special Education

College: Education
Degree: Combined BS/MS
Limited Access: Yes

Contact: Robert Birken or Frank Amidon
Address: 2301 Stone Bldg., FSU Tallahassee, FL 32306-4460
Phone: (850) 644-3760

Description of Major
The Special Education BS/MS program is designed to prepare students to work with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, learning disabilities, emotional/behavioral disorders, and intellectual disabilities.

Upon graduation, you will earn both a both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Special Education and will be eligible for a Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate in Exceptional Student Education (K – 12), and the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) endorsement. The Special Education program is a Florida state-approved initial teacher preparation program.

Combined BS/MS Degree Program Notice
The Special Education program is a combined BS/MS degree program. The BS/MS program requires two years of upper-division undergraduate coursework plus one additional year of graduate coursework. Admission to the graduate portion of the combined degree program requires a 3.00 upper-division undergraduate GPA and official GRE scores (Verbal: 146, Quantitative: 140, Writing: 3.0). Students must complete the Master's portion of the combined-degree program to receive the Bachelor's degree.

Prerequisite Coursework

Prerequisite Coursework: (3 hours)

Pre-Education Coursework: (3 Credit Hours)
The following coursework must be completed with a grade of C minus or better.
EDF X005 (3) Introduction to Education

Limited Access/Enrollment Notice
Special Education is a limited access/enrollment program. *Meeting the minimum requirements for admission does not guarantee admission to the program.*

Admission to Educator Preparation
Admission to Educator Preparation is separate and distinct from admission to upper-division from lower-division or admission to the university as a transfer student. All prospective students for Special Education must apply for formal admission to Educator Preparation through the College of Education. The Educator Preparation application is available online at

Application Deadline
The Special Education program only accepts applications for the Fall semester. Educator Preparation applications are due April 1. All application materials including official transcripts and official FTCE General Knowledge Exam scores must be received by application deadline. The College of Education reserves the right to deny any application that is not complete by the application deadline.

Common Admission Requirements
All prospective students to Educator Preparation must meet the following minimum requirements for admission:

1. Complete 60 credit hours of college-level coursework.
2. Earn a 2.50 cumulative GPA in all attempted college coursework.
3. Complete FSU General Education curriculum or earn AA degree from a Florida public institution.
4. Complete a Natural Science Lab course with a C minus or better.
5. Complete Oral Communication Competency (Speech) requirement with a C minus or better.
6. Complete Computer Skills Competency requirement with a C minus or better (EME 2040 recommended).
7. Complete Diversity requirement with a C minus or better (EDF 2085 recommended).
8. Complete EDF 1005 - Introduction to Education with a C minus or better.
9. Earn passing scores on all four sections of the FTCE General Knowledge Exam.

Additional Requirements for Transfer Students
Transfer students must satisfy the university’s minimum requirements for admission including demonstration of satisfactory academic progress, college-level English and mathematics proficiency, and world language proficiency. See for details.

FTCE General Knowledge Exam
The FTCE General Knowledge Exam (GK Exam) is a state-mandated entrance exam for all Educator Preparation programs in the State of Florida. No student may be admitted to an Educator Preparation program without official passing scores on all four sections on the GK Exam. There are no exceptions to this policy. For more information on the GK Exam including test preparation resources please visit


Undergraduate Coursework: (48 hours)
EDE 4302 (3) Literacy Assessment and Instruction
EDE 4316 (3) Differentiating Reading and Content Area Literacy Instruction
EEX 3601 (3) Applied Behavior Analysis for Special Educators
EEX 3831 (1) Practicum in Direct Observation
EEX 4012 (3) Foundations of Special Education
EEX 4253 (3) Access to the General Curriculum for Individuals with Moderate/Severe Disabilities
EEX 4291 (3) Characteristics and Education of Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder
EEX 4486 (3) Differentiating Instruction for Students with Exceptionalities
EEX 4605 (3) Classroom Management for Special Educators
EEX 4613 (3) Positive Behavior Support
EEX 4751 (3) Collaboration with Families, Schools, and the Community
EEX 4842 (1) Practicum in Severe Cognitive Disabilities and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder
EEX 4941 (1) Practicum with Students with High Incidence Disabilities
RED 4310 (3) Early Literacy Learning
RED 4510 (3) Teaching Reading in the Elementary School
RED 4941 (3) Elementary Education Reading Practicum
TSL 4251 (3) Applied Linguistics for Second Language Learning
TSL 4520 (3) Cross Cultural Communication for Foreign/Second Language Teachers

Graduate Coursework: (33 hours)
EEX 5017 (3) Typical and Atypical Early Development
EEX 5210 (3) Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability
EEX 5239 (3) Assessment and Methods in Early Childhood Special Education
EEX 5286 (3) Preparing Individuals for Transition
EEX 5456 (3) Program Development for Young Children with Disabilities
EEX 5767 (3) Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) for Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder
EEX 5835 (3) Practicum with Learners with High Incidence Disabilities*
EEX 5836 (3) Practicum in Severe Cognitive Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders*
EEX 5841 (0) Field Lab Internship
EEX 8966 (0) Comprehensive Examination
EEX 5XXX (3) Special Education Research
EEX 5XXX (3) Specialization Practicum
TSL 5005 (3) Methodologies for Teaching Foreign and Second Languages

Graduate Practicum Coursework: (3 hours)
Select one of the following practicum courses:

EEX 5835 (3) Practicum with Learners with High Incidence Disabilities or
EEX 5836 (3) Practicum in Severe Cognitive Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders

University-Wide Graduation Requirements

Computer Competency: (3 hours) Completed within General Education/elective coursework

Oral Communication Competency: (3 hours) Completed within General Education/elective coursework

Natural Science Lab: (1 hour) Completed within General Education/elective coursework

Scholarship-In-Practice: (3 hours) Completed within major coursework (EEX 4941)

Upper-Division Writing: (3 hours) Completed within major coursework (RED 4310)

Program Completion
All Educator Preparation candidates must demonstrate mastery of the Florida Department of Education Uniform Core Curriculum and positive dispositions prior to graduation. Upon admission to the program, students will receive a cohort specific Educator Preparation Handbook that outlines these requirements in detail. A copy of the current Educator Preparation Handbook is available online at

Minimum Program Requirements – Summary

Total Hours Required: 145
General Education: 36
Lower Division Elective Coursework: 15
Computer Skills: 3
Oral Communication Competency: 3
Natural Science Lab: 1
Pre-Education Coursework: 3
Undergraduate Major Coursework: 48
Graduate Major Coursework: 36

Mapping is FSU’s academic advising and monitoring system. Academic progress is monitored each Fall and Spring semester to ensure that students are on course to earn their degree in a timely fashion. Transfer students must meet mapping guidelines to be accepted into their majors. You may view the map for this major at

1. A minimum of 45 hours at the 3000 level or above, 30 of which must be taken at this University.
2. All of the major course semester hours must be completed in residence at this University.
3. The final 30 hours must be completed in residence at this University.

Employment Information
Salary Information: National Association of Colleges and Employers, Occupational Outlook Handbook

Representative Job Titles Related to this Major: The Exceptional Student Education degree at Florida State University is a 5 year combined Bachelor's/Master's degree program. Students who cannot be admitted to graduate standing will not be permitted to graduate with a degree in Education of Students with Exceptionalities. With a graduate degree: Special Education Teacher, Teacher of students with exceptionalities, Resource Room Teacher, and Teacher of students with disabilities.

Representative Employers: School Boards, Local Agencies which serve individuals with disabilities, Private Schools.

View Special Education Academic Map