Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2020-2021

Special Education (Advising Track)

School of Education

Concentration(s):
Early childhood, General education, and Severe disabilities
Program description

Students interested in applying to graduate programs for special education are encouraged to follow this Major Map in addition to the Major Map for their undergraduate major.   This advising map details key courses, activities, organizations and resources that can best prepare you for successful candidacy for graduate study.

The M.Ed. in special education prepares scholars for teaching and leadership roles in special education. The program provides aspiring educators with the tools they need to make a difference in the lives of children, youth and adults with disabilities through research, teaching, and service. In addition to the instruction from our nationally-recognized faculty, our master’s students can take advantage of field experiences available through Virginia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities training program as well.

Successful completion of our degree programs can lead to endorsement in areas such as early childhood special education, special education: general education curriculum, or special education: adapted curriculum.

The M.Ed. in special education can also be pursued as part of the Richmond Teacher Residency program, an innovative graduate teacher residency that pairs candidates with an experienced mentor in Richmond, Chesterfield, Henrico and Petersburg Public Schools.

Career opportunities

A special education master’s degree enables our graduates to empower others and effect change in the lives of students in both the K-12, higher education, and community setting. Special education is the top critical shortage teaching endorsement area in Virginia. Students have an opportunity to engage with relevant, up-to-date understanding of different disabilities and how to support all students to thrive in an educational setting. There are wide variety of career pathways depending on the age group and type of educational setting students want to work. There are students who need your help to make the most of their educational experience by setting up support systems to help them succeed. Be part of the positive change today. Graduates can also find work through programs such as RTR, AmeriCorps, America Reads or The Literacy Lab.  

Change of major requirements

Admissions requirements for graduate study at VCU: VCU graduate application, official transcripts, statement of intent, bachelors degree, three letters of recommendation, GRE or MAT, 3.0 GPA in last 60 credits of coursework, and personal interview.


Bachelor-level job titles
  • *** Completion of a graduate degree may be necessary for the following job titles:
  • Developmental Specialist
  • Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
  • Early Intervention Service Coordinator
  • Job Coaches
  • Special Education Advocate
  • Special Education Instructional Assistant
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Transition Specialist
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
    Science required
      Foreign language requirements
      Additional tuition/fees
      GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
      • 3.0 GPA in last 60 credits of coursework
      Department name:
      Department of Counseling and Special Education
      Building/room location:
      Oliver Hall Education
      Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
      Monroe park
      Phone:
      804-828-8160
      Email:
      soeadvising@vcu.edu 

      Major map compass icon [View Image]
      Major map

      Explore
      MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
      GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
      BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
      GET REAL EXPERIENCE
      • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists.
      • Consider applying for a federal work-study (FWS) job on- or off-campus through Handshake.
      • Create a draft resume and meet with a career advisor in VCU Career Services to discuss it.
      • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation with the da Vinci Center.
      • Follow the School of Education’s social media for workshops and events
      • Review the RRTC website and attend an event.
      PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

      Experience
      MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
      • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
      • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
      • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
      • Complete SEDP 330.
      GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
      BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
      GET REAL EXPERIENCE
      PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
      • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
      • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
      • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
      • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
      • Attend an SOE information session or Open House.

      Experience
      MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
      • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
      • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
      • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
      • Conduct independent undergraduate research.
      • Complete SEDP 505 and/or EDUS 305.
      GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
      BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
      • Apply to be a Diversity Ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
      • Attend presentations and conferences pertinent to intercultural dialogue, history and issues.
      • Richmond is known for hosting a wide array of festivals! Learn about new cultures, food, and music by attending one of these events.
      • Update your resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
      GET REAL EXPERIENCE
      PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
      • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
      • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
      • Attend the VCU Careers in Education Symposium.

      Excel
      MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
      • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met. 
      • Complete SEDP 630 with approval from the School of Education.
      GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
      BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
      • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
      • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
      • Attend Office of Multicultural Student Affairs I Love Diversity Week.
      • Attend OMSA Tunnel of Oppression.
      GET REAL EXPERIENCE
      • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
      • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
      • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
      • Apply for Substitute Teaching the VCU Way through the School of Education.
      PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
      • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
      • Consider training to become an educator through programs like RTR, which prepares graduates from a variety of majors to become effective teachers in high-need schools.
      • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.
      • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview through InterviewStream or with a career advisor.
      • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
      Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
      Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
      Major map compass icon [View Image]
      2020-2021

      Special Education (Advising Track)

      School of Education

      Concentration(s):
      Early childhood, General education, and Severe disabilities
      MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNINGGET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITYBUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCEGET REAL EXPERIENCEPREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
      ExploreYear 1
      • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists.
      • Consider applying for a federal work-study (FWS) job on- or off-campus through Handshake.
      • Create a draft resume and meet with a career advisor in VCU Career Services to discuss it.
      • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation with the da Vinci Center.
      • Follow the School of Education’s social media for workshops and events
      • Review the RRTC website and attend an event.
      ExperienceYear 2
      • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
      • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
      • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
      • Complete SEDP 330.
      • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
      • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
      • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
      • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
      • Attend an SOE information session or Open House.
      Year 3
      • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
      • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
      • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
      • Conduct independent undergraduate research.
      • Complete SEDP 505 and/or EDUS 305.
      • Apply to be a Diversity Ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
      • Attend presentations and conferences pertinent to intercultural dialogue, history and issues.
      • Richmond is known for hosting a wide array of festivals! Learn about new cultures, food, and music by attending one of these events.
      • Update your resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
      • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
      • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
      • Attend the VCU Careers in Education Symposium.
      ExcelYear 4
      • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met. 
      • Complete SEDP 630 with approval from the School of Education.
      • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
      • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
      • Attend Office of Multicultural Student Affairs I Love Diversity Week.
      • Attend OMSA Tunnel of Oppression.
      • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
      • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
      • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
      • Apply for Substitute Teaching the VCU Way through the School of Education.
      • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
      • Consider training to become an educator through programs like RTR, which prepares graduates from a variety of majors to become effective teachers in high-need schools.
      • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.
      • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview through InterviewStream or with a career advisor.
      • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
      View graphic version