Degree type(s): Master's
Degree field(s): Education
Location(s): Blended (Online / On-site); Bismarck, ND; Fargo, ND; Watford City, ND
Program offerings by location and modality are subject to change.

Special Education Strategist Master of Education Program

Graduate degree; Master of Education (M.Ed.)

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 14 percent of North Dakota’s student population has been identified as having disabilities. The Special Education Strategist master’s degree program at the University of Mary will help you develop the diverse skills and knowledge necessary to lead in the field of special education. This graduate program was designed for working professionals who need a flexible schedule and want the option to earn a North Dakota endorsement in special education. Graduates of the Special Education Strategist master’s degree program will gain North Dakota Teaching Endorsements in the areas of Learning Disabilities, Emotional Disorders, and Intellectual Disabilities.

To meet the needs of adult learners, the Special Education Strategist M.Ed. degree is offered in several formats: You can earn your master’s degree at the University of Mary’s main campus in Bismarck, North Dakota, and selected satellite campus locations. Graduate classes are offered summers, weekends, and evenings to accommodate different schedules. You can also conveniently earn your special education strategist degree online, or in a blended format of online and on-site classes.

Special Education Strategist Program Highlights

A Master of Education degree will help you to develop your skills as a professional special education provider, and expand your future employment options. At the University of Mary, you have the opportunity to earn your master’s degree in an accredited graduate program at an affordable, private, Catholic university:

  • Earn your Special Education Strategist M.Ed. on a flexible schedule that is convenient for working professionals.
  • Gain hands-on experience you can apply directly to your career, working closely with world-class faculty and experienced practicing teachers and administrators.
  • Complete the master’s degree via a capstone project of your choosing: a thesis or a professional portfolio.
  • Learn in a curriculum grounded in Christian, Catholic, Benedictine values that will enrich your career and your everyday life.


Core Courses (15-16 semester credits):
EDU 531 Ethics in Education and Human Performance
EDU 551 Critique and Design of Research
(It is strongly suggested that EDU 551 be taken prior to EDU 565)
EDU 565 Statistics
EDU 567 Diversity in Culture and Human Relations
EDU 608 Foundations in Education

Thesis Option:
EDU 700 Research Seminar I
EDU 701 Research Seminar II
EDU 704 Research Presentation

Portfolio Option:
EDU 705 Portfolio Preparation
EDU 706 Portfolio Presentation

Emphasis Area Requirements (39 - 40 semester credits):

EDU 523 Introduction to Specific Learning Disabilities, or
EDU 593 Introduction to Emotional Disorders, or
EDU 507 Special Education: Mild Disabilities
EDU 576 Advanced Methods and Materials Learning Disabilities
EDU 588 Advanced Methods and Materials Intellectual Disabilities
EDU 592 Special Education Transitions
EDU 595 Behavior Management
EDU 609 Internship: Intellectual Disabilities
EDU 611 Reading Diagnosis and Correction
EDU 617 Reading Clinic
EDU 645 School and Family Relations (2)
EDU 656 Assessment of Exceptional Students
EDU 657 Assessment of Exceptional Students II
EDU 660 Special Education Law
EDU 670 Education of Students with Emotional Disorders
EDU 682 Advanced Practicum: Emotional Disorders, Intellectual Disabilities, and Learning Disabilities
EDU 690 Internship: Emotional Disorders
EDU 691 Internship: Learning Disabilities

* EDU 505 Exceptional Child (3) (or undergraduate equivalent) is prerequisite to Emphasis Area Requirements

* If the candidate's licensure is at the secondary level, Elementary Math Methods and Elementary Reading Methods are required for ND endorsement.


Individuals holding a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and who have an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 overall, or 2.75 during the last two years of the undergraduate degree, or 3.0 in a major field will be admitted to begin graduate study.

Individuals seeking a North Dakota credential or endorsement must hold a bachelor’s degree in education from an accredited institution, have the appropriate North Dakota licensure and years of experience, as well as the required coursework, to be recommended for North Dakota credentialing or endorsement by the University of Mary Department of Education.

In most cases, the requirements listed below must be met prior to admission for graduate study. In addition, a student must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 to continue in the graduate program in education. To complete the application process, please submit:

  • Completed application (to include goal statement)
  • Current teacher education licensure (unless seeking licensure)
  • Two letters of reference
  • Resume identifying appropriate experience
  • Application/enrollment fee

Graduate credit earned at other institutions may be accepted toward a degree at the University of Mary. Upon approval, up to one-third of the required credits may be transferred as part of the graduate degree.

Program Advisor: Jaylia Prussing- [email protected]

For information about the education graduate program, contact Michelle DeGraw at [email protected].  

If you are considering the Special Education Strategist M.Ed. degree, you might also be interested in the following graduate programs at the University of Mary: