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Special Education - Moderate Disabilities Online
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate (PBC)

Earn a Special Education - Moderate Disabilities certificate online with this four-course, 12-credit program. For those teaching in Massachusetts this certificate will satisfy the academic requirements for the moderate disabilities license.

Students will gain practical experience in teaching within inclusive classrooms, as well as self-contained classrooms, through a 150-hour, semester-long practicum/internship experience.

The program can be completed in as little as one year. 

Program curriculum includes:

  • Special Education Law and foundations
  • Individualized Education Programs (IEP’s)
  • Response to Intervention (RTI)
  • Differentiated Instruction (DI)
  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Assessment techniques
  • Behavioral Interventions
  • Classroom Management
  • Report Writing
  • English Language Learners (ELLs)
  • Research and theories related to Special Education and Inclusive Practices

Required courses (12 credits)

  • EDU 547 Introduction to Special Education or *EDU 611 Developmental Reading
  • EDU 548 Classroom Management for Mildly and Moderately Disabled Students in Inclusive Settings (pre-req/Co-Requisite EDU 547 or equivalent)
  • EDU 549 Diagnostic and Remedial Assessment for Students with Moderate Disabilities (pre-req EDU 547 or equivalent)
  • EDU 550 Differentiated Instruction and Evidence Based Practice (pre-req EDU 547 or equivalent)

*Students will complete EDU 611 Developmental Reading in lieu of EDU 547 Introduction to Special Education if they have previously completed an Introductory Special Education course as part of their teacher preparation program.

Program sequence

Course Fall Spring Summer
EDU 547
EDU 548  
EDU 549  
EDU 550  
EDU 611

*course schedules are subject to change

Course descriptions, schedules and requirements


Candidates should have evidence of passing the following MTEL tests:

Elementary MTL test

  • Communication and Literacy Skills
  • Foundations of Reading or Reading Specialist Subject Matter Test
  • General Curriculum

Middle/Secondary MTEL test

  • Communication and Literacy Skills
  • Foundations of Reading or Reading Specialist subject matter test
  • Subject matter test in one of the core academic subjects taught in 5-8 or 8-12 for which the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issues licenses or the General Curriculum.

Initial license

You will qualify for an initial license in Moderate Disabilities upon completion of this program if you are an educator who currently holds a Massachusetts initial license in a core academic area. 

Licensure in Moderate Disabilities PreK-8 or 5-12 can be added to any Initial License in a core academic area such as Elementary, English, History, Biology, Physics, General Science, or Math.

Provisional license

You will qualify for a Massachusetts Provisional license in Moderate Disabilities after completing the Special Education Certificate program if you are a pre-service educator or an educator who does not currently hold a teaching license, and have also passed the relevant MTELs for the license. 

Applicants who are non-MA teachers must already hold a license in their home state that is equivalent to a MA initial license.

Application requirements

  • Submit graduate application (select online modality to see program)
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited University with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA.
  • Personal statement describing your beliefs about teaching and learning and why you have chosen teaching as a profession.
  • Resume
  • $60 application fee

For Massachusetts teachers

  • Submit either a copy of teaching license or proof of one year teaching experience outlined in your essay if you do not have a MA teaching license.

For out-of-state teachers

  • Submit teachers license of initial licensure or higher in your state.

University requirements for graduate admissions

  • Submit an application via the online portal. Be sure to provide your full legal name and to capitalize the first letter of all proper nouns.
  • Pay non-refundable $60 application fee (American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa) via the online portal. For Nursing applicants, the non-refundable application fee is $75.
  • Statement of Purpose, minimum 300 words. Unless otherwise indicated in the program requirement details, indicate your graduate study objectives, research interests and experience, and business or industry experience if applicable. If you are applying for a teaching or research assistantship, include any special skills or experience that would assist us in making assistantship decisions.
  • Resume
  • Transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended (regardless of whether a credential is earned or not). Unofficial transcripts are accepted for admissions application review, once enrolled a final official transcript is required. International students applying with an transcript evaluation, please submit that document with your unofficial transcripts. International applicants for Data Science must submit semester-by-semester transcripts as well as consolidated transcripts. 
  • Many programs have specific recommendations/requirements, please see the additional program-specific requirements for more information.
  • International students: official TOEFL iBT, IELTS, Pearson PTE or Duolingo (if accepted by program) score. Unofficial scores are accepted for admissions application review, once enrolled official scores are required and must be sent by the testing agency (copies/scans not accepted). This is required of any applicant who did not earn a bachelor’s degree or higher degree from an accredited academic institution in the U.S. or accepted English-speaking country, see exemptions for more details. We require an overall/total minimum score of 72 on the TOEFL iBT or BAND 6.0 on the IELTS or a 52 on the Pearsons PTE Academic for entrance to any program and a minimum score of 79 on the TOEFL iBT or BAND 6.5 on the IELTS for consideration for a teaching assistantship. Some programs require higher minimum scores (see program-specific requirements). Most programs also accept the Duolingo with a minimum score of 95. The following programs do not accept the Duolingo: Art Education, Biology/Marine Biology, Nursing (MS, DNP, PhD), Psychology: Clinical, and Public Policy. 
  • All official documents are required for enrollment, please have documents (ie. test scores) sent prior to the expiration. 

Program deadlines

Expand your opportunities

Add a Special Education endorsement to your existing (or in-process) Massachusetts initial license.

Learning Style: Online

Online courses are taught by UMass Dartmouth faculty to provide high quality instruction and personal attention. Students have the flexibility to accommodate work and home responsibilities within the structure of defined assignment due dates. The majority of our online courses are taught asynchronously.

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Course descriptions, schedules and requirements

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