Non-degree seeking graduate classes in special education

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Non-degree seeking graduate classes in special education

Earn credits now, apply them to a degree later

As you consider your special education MEd and/or licensure options, you may feel unsure about commiting to a school or program at this time. It’s with this in mind that we developed a series of graduate-level non-degree seeking courses in special education. These no-commitment courses allow you to earn credits toward an MEd and/or licensure in special education that you can apply to a program (at the U of M or elsewhere) when you’re ready.

Help all people get the support they need to succeed

Gain a broad understanding of special education and how you can help individuals who require specialized support achieve success throughout their lifespan. Our special education graduate programs are consistently ranked in the top 10 by U.S. News & World Report. (This year, we’re #10.) So, you’ll learn from leaders in the field who will help you bridge research to the practice of being a teacher. Our goal: to help you improve the lives of children and families and make a lasting impact on your schools and communities.

Available classes

To provide you with a more holistic view of special education, we selected introductory courses across a wide-variety of areas within the field. Note: Please take no more than 12 credits in total to ensure you’re able to apply them all to your future special education MEd/licensure.

ASL 1701: American Sign Language 1 (5 credits)

The first dynamic course of a four-course sequence is designed to prepare you for the visual modality of American Sign Language. This course introduces basic grammatical structure and basic vocabulary to develop communicative proficiency and cultural knowledge. The course utilizes a practical approach to teaching vocabulary, grammar, fingerspelling, and cultural aspects through conversational activities. Community involvement in the ASL/Deaf community is required outside of class.

EPSY 5001: Learning, Cognition, and Assessment (3 credits)

Gain an understanding of the principles of learning, cognition, cognitive development, classroom management, motivation, instruction, assessment. Topics covered include: behaviorism, cognitive/social constructivism, human information processing theory, intelligence, knowledge acquisition, reasoning skills, scholastic achievement, standardized testing, reliability/validity, student evaluation, performance assessment, portfolios, and demonstrations. The information you use in this course can be applied to the instruction/organization of curricular materials.

EPSY 5613: Foundations of Special Education (3 credits)

This course is the first course for students seeking to become licensed in special education. You’ll learn about the organization of educational programs and services for people with disabilities.

EPSY 5625: Education of Infants, Toddlers, and Preschool Children with Disabilities: Introduction (2 credits)

Gain an understanding of the issues, problems, and practical applications in designing early intervention services for young children with disabilities and their families.

EPSY 5641: Foundations of Deaf Education (3 credits)

Get a philosophical foundation of deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) education. In this class, you’ll engage in discussion, debates and processes that have influenced deaf education, communication methodologies, and placement options in the United States. Topics will be considered from the perspective of deaf children, adults and their families.

EPSY 5661: Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder (3 credits)

Gain the knowledge and skills needed to promote learning and success for school age children with autism spectrum disorder. We’ll define ASD and its etiology and characteristics. We’ll discuss current research and issues as well as collaborative problem solving, family-professional partnerships, and educational programming.

How to register

To get more information on how you can register for courses at the University of Minnesota as a non-degree seeking student, follow these instructions on the One Stop Student Services website.


For more information on graduate level gap year courses in special education, contact LeAnne Johnson (