Developmental disabilities teaching licensure and M.Ed.

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Department of Educational Psychology wordmark.

Developmental disabilities (D.D.)
teaching licensure and M.Ed.

Help solve learning challenges for students with developmental disabilities

In the developmental disabilities program, you'll receive the training you need to teach students, kindergarten through age 21, with developmental disabilities. You'll leave the program with your license and the skills you need to help solve the challenges of learning for students with developmental disabilities and their families.

Rated #5 in the nation among special education graduate programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2018


Graduates of the developmental disabilities licensure program:

  • Teach in specialized classroom settings, provide inclusion services in the general education setting, and work with young adults in transition programs.
  • Serve as a consultant to general classroom teachers
  • Serve students from birth through young adult, who have additional conditions — such as deaf-blindness and physical challenges — and come from a variety of cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic backgrounds


All classes are offered in the evening to allow students to maintain full time employment while completing course requirements. Most courses are taught in person on the Minneapolis campus.

The developmental disability and special education M.Ed. program require the completion of 55-61 credits. Your total number of required credits may vary based on previous educational experience or licensures.

Download a sample plan of a DD course schedule.

Note: This plan is an example only. You'll work with your advisor to develop a course schedule specific to your needs.

Core courses (17 credits)

  • EPSY 5613 – Foundations of Special Education (3cr)
  • EPSY 5605 – Collaborative Practices for the Special Educator (3cr)
  • EPSY 5614 – Assessment and Due Process in Special Education (3cr)
  • EPSY 5616 – Classroom Management and Behavior Analytic Problem Solving (3cr)
  • EPSY 5618 – Specialized Interventions for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities in Reading and Written Language (3cr)
  • EPSY 5631 – Module 1: Introduction to Augmentative and Alternative Communication (1cr)
  • EPSY 5705 – Practicum in ECSE / Elementary Settings (1cr)

Required DD licensure courses (27 credits)

  • EPSY 5604 – Transition from Work to School or Community Settings for Persons with Special Needs (3cr)
  • EPSY 5611W – Research-Based Practices in Academic and Behavior Disabilities (3cr)
  • EPSY 5619W – Specialized Interventions for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities in Mathematics (3cr)
  • EPSY 5621 – Assessment and Instructional Design for Students w/ Developmental Disabilities (3cr)
  • EPSY 5622 – Programs and Curricula for Students w Developmental Disabilities (3cr)
  • EPSY 5624 – Biomedical and Physical Impairments of Students w/ Developmental Disabilities (2cr)
  • EPSY 5636 – Sensory Impairments of Students w/ Developmental Disabilities (2cr)
  • EPSY 5632 – Module 2: Evidence-Based Methods for Augmentative and Alternative Communication Assessment and Intervention (2 cr)
  • EPSY 5755 –Student Teaching: Developmental Disabilities: Mild/Moderate (3cr)
  • EPSY 5756 – Student Teaching: Developmental Disabilities: Moderate/Severe (3cr)

Required courses for M.Ed. (2 credits)

  • EPSY 5690 – Experimental Teaching Seminar: M.Ed. Culminating Project (2cr)

How to apply

Faculty and instructors

Virginia Zeyer headshot

Virginia ZeyerDevelopmental disabilities supervisor and advisor; instructor

  • Developmental cognitive impairments
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Transition programming
  • Assistive technology
  • Work Based Learning options for students with disabilities
  • Professional development for teachers, paraprofessionals and parents
  • College accommodations for students with disabilities


Program contact

Alicia Vegell, program staff special education


University contacts

Disability Services