Sep 30, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Education (M.S.)

Kansas State University prepares special education teachers at the graduate level in a cross categorical program with two areas of specialization: high incidence special education and low incidence special education. These programs have been approved for special education endorsement by the Kansas State Department of Education. 

Students pursuing a master’s degree in special education are required to complete requirements for full endorsement in at least one area of specialization.  However, when feasible, it is advisable to plan programs leading to endorsement in more than one specialization area. A minimum of 30 hours of academic credit comprising an appropriate program of study must be approved early in the student’s program by the student’s graduate committee and the Graduate School. The minimum requirements presented on the following pages are helpful guidelines but students must consult their assigned advisors to plan an appropriate program of study.

Click here to view the Special Education, Counseling, and Student Affairs  graduate program page.

Kansas Endorsement Requirements

Each area of specialization has a separate course sequence designed by the College of Education and approved by the Kansas State Board of Education (KSBE) and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The special education endorsement can be granted to a person who holds a valid Kansas teaching license.

Special education endorsement can be met without completion of the master’s degree. However, most students choose to complete the master’s degree while working toward endorsement. Completing the master’s degree is recommended by the special education faculty. Students who intend to complete a master’s degree should apply for admission to the master’s program before completing nine hours of graduate coursework. 

Full Endorsement

Full endorsement is granted to the applicant by the State Department of Education upon completion of the required sequence of courses.

Provisional Endorsement

Provisional endorsement is possible in the High Incidence area.

For provisional endorsement, a candidate must complete a specified sequence of courses, including a practicum. Provisional endorsement is for a two (2) year period, and may be renewed for an additional two year period. At the time of renewal, the candidate must have completed 50% of the courses remaining for full endorsement The entire sequence of courses for full endorsement must be completed within four years.

Courses Required for Provisional Endorsement in Special Education

Practicum and Provisional Endorsement

1. You must be admitted to the M.S. Program in Special Education prior to the semester you request your first practicum, unless you are completing your first practicum as part of either the undergraduate Quickstart or Step Ahead programs.
2. You must contact the professor in charge of practicum during the semester prior to the semester you are requesting practicum.
3. If you are considering provisional endorsement, EDSP 710, 742, and 743 must be taken prior to your first practicum.
4. It is expected that your first practicum will not take place in your own classroom. However, in the case of a person working on a “waiver” this requirement may be waived with additional supervision requirements to be set by the instructor of the practicum.
5. You must complete EDSP 830 before registering for a second practicum. (EDCEP 715 is a prerequisite for EDSP 830)
6. You will be required to maintain a comprehensive portfolio that provides evidence of your competence in meeting the requirements of both practica.

Endorsement Policies as Kansas State University

  • At least half of the credits required for special education endorsement must be earned at Kansas State University, including at least one major area course and one practicum, before the College of Education may recommend for special education endorsement.
  • Teachers are endorsed in special education at the level at which they hold regular teaching certificates. Individuals who hold K-12 certificates in content areas such as music, art, or physical education will need to make up deficiencies in elementary education if they wish to be certified K-12 in special education. Teachers fully certified at the elementary level in special education may add secondary-level certification by completing the secondary-level sequence, including a practicum at that level.
  • Teachers are responsible for initiating their own endorsement (Licensing Officer, 013 Bluemont Hall, 785-532-5524).
  • Provisional endorsement is not granted until the applicant is employed in a special education position.


To be recommended for endorsement, the student must have a 3.0 GPA overall in graduate work and must not receive a grade lower than a B in the 12 hours of core courses (EDSP 710, EDSP 742, EDSP 743, AND EDSP 785). The above program is subject to change depending on actions taken by the Kansas State Board of Education.

Program Requirements

High Incidence Disabilities: Elementary or Secondary


Eligible for licensure in elementary or secondary education, and one of the following courses:

  • EDSP 323 - Exceptional Student in the Secondary School (2)
  • EDSP 324 - Exceptional Child in the Regular Classroom (3)


  • Credits: 2
  • (Required for adding secondary level endorsement to elementary level endorsement and for all secondary special education endorsements.  Offered in spring semesters of odd-numbered years.)

Low Incidence Special Education: Elementary or Secondary

All courses required for High Incidence endorsement and:

Additional Requirements for a Master’s Degree

The above program leads to endorsement in special education. Students wishing to complete the master’s degree must complete at least 30 hours of graduate level credit and successfully present their teaching portfolio. Committee members will recommend additional course work based on individual student need. This course work will include but not be limited to: EDSP 886 Seminar: Special Education or EDCEP 816 Research Design and Treatment of Data.