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About this Program

Have you always wanted to become a special education teacher, but your life path took you in another direction? Did you recently realize that teaching students with special needs is the profession for you? The Master of Arts in Teaching program with a concentration in Special Education combines a master’s degree and requirements for teacher licensure in Colorado to prepare you for a successful career in preK-12 special education through a high quality, supportive, and accessible program!

Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver

The goal of the Master of Arts in Teaching program with a concentration in Special Education is to prepare preK-12 special education teachers to make effective decisions in diverse classrooms. To accomplish this goal, we emphasize producing master teachers who are self-reflective, lifelong learners who have an understanding of child development, content, and pedagogy.

Master of Arts in Teaching Special Education teacher candidates must apply theory, research, classroom experience, and professional judgment to lead others in collaborative planning, implementation, and evaluation of effective instruction for students with special needs, birth through age 21.

In our program, you will experience:

  • A diverse student population
  • Engaging, topical coursework
  • Supportive faculty and staff who value diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Clinical experiences in partnership schools across the Denver metro area throughout your program
  • Incredible value

Career Opportunities for Our Graduates

Image of three children sitting together smiling for the camera.With a Master of Arts in Teaching: Special Education degree, you will have the knowledge, skills, and experience to be a highly effective special education teacher who thinks critically about classroom issues and supports the needs of diverse learners.

Our graduates begin their teaching careers prepared and excited to become leaders in their schools and communities!

Admission Requirements

In order to apply to the MAT program for Special Education or Elementary Education, applicants must meet the following requirement:

  • Students must indicate completion of a degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. If a candidate holds a GPA lower than 3.0, alternative options to meet this requirement can be discussed with the Director of Graduate Programs in the School of Education. Feel free to request an appointment, or our graduate team will contact you after your application has been submitted if this discussion is warranted.

In addition to the above requirement, applicants must submit the following materials:

  • Completed MSU Denver Graduate Application
  • Graduate Application Fee
    • $50 fee paid online through the online MSU Denver Graduate Application
  • ALL official transcripts. (Please note: you do not need to provide MSU Denver transcripts if you attended here in the past)
    • Electronic submission is the preferred method. Have official electronic transcripts sent directly from the institution to: [email protected]
    • Official hard copy transcripts can be mailed to:
      MSU Denver
      The Office of Graduate Studies
      P.O. Box 173362
      Campus Box 48
      Denver, CO 80217
  • Supplemental Documents (uploaded as part of the MSU Denver Graduate Application):
    • Resume
    • Personal Statement – Please submit a personal statement addressing the points below. Submissions must be two pages, double-spaced, in 12 point Times New Roman font, and with one-inch margins.  Document must be must be .PDF or .DOC/.DOCX format.  Please note: applicants who are applying for the Autism & Significant Support Needs Certificate concurrently with a Master of Arts in Teaching program should combine their personal statements for both programs, and the length of the combined statements should be 3 pages total and should specifically address both programs.
      • Your reason for pursuing this degree and licensure.
      • Your experiences and/or qualities that will benefit you as you pursue this degree and licensure.
      • Your reason for pursuing this degree and licensure at MSU Denver, specifically.
    • Professional Recommendation – you will need to provide the email address and other details (name, title, relationship, phone #, etc.) of one professional reference (current or former employer, current or former university instructor, etc.).
      • This person will receive a request to submit a recommendation letter directly to our application system.
      • You will be able to include a personal message to your reference during the application submission process.
  • International Student Admissions Documents (if required)
    • Submit all additional required admissions documents for international students to:
      • [email protected]
      • or mail to:
        MSU Denver
        The Office of Graduate Studies
        P.O. Box 173362
        Campus Box 48
        Denver, CO 80217
    • For a list of the additional required admissions documents for international students, please contact the Office of Graduate Studies.

Featured Faculty

Headshot photo of Dr. Michele TrujilloDr. Michele Trujillo

Dr. Michele Trujillo is an Associate Professor of Special Education and has worked as a professional educator for 20 years. She is a co-founder and volunteer co-director of The Justice & Heritage Academy under the non-profit organization Conejos Clean Water. Michele is concerned with educational, social, environmental and food justice issues of the rural and urban communities in Colorado and how these inequities impact the educational achievement and growth of students; this is her primary research focus. Michele is a recent recipient of the Lena L. Archuleta Community Service Award by the Denver Public Library which recognizes her contributions and dedication to the Latino community within Colorado.

Alumni at Work

Our Master of Arts in Teaching: Special Education graduates become teachers and leaders in schools and facilities not just in Colorado, but across the country as well!  Our alumni have been hired at schools such as:

  • Ponderosa High School, Parker, Colo.
  • South Elementary School, Brighton, Colo.
  • Niwot High School, Niwot, Colo.
  • JFK Middle School, Northampton, Mass.
  • Clark Middle School, Anchorage, Alaska
  • Mount Carbon Elementary School, Littleton, Colo.
  • Summit Elementary School, Aurora, Colo.

Where will you end up?  Get started today to find out.

Contact the School of Education

Visit the school website

West Classroom: 136

(303) 615-1777

[email protected]