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Master of Science in Exceptional Student Education

The Master of Science Degree in Exceptional Student Education with a concentration in Varying Exceptionalities is designed for students who wish to obtain a teaching certification in the State of Florida. The purpose of this program of only 36 credits of
coursework is to prepare culturally sensitive educators to respond to the special and unique needs of children with exceptionalities in grades K - 12.

Albizu's unique program design integrates the study and understanding of human behavior and sensitivity towards culturally diverse populations. It is infused with psychological principles to better prepare teachers for the demands of classroom teaching in a multicultural setting. A highlight of the program is the completion of an action research capstone course in which the student uses instructional strategies, methodologies, curriculum development, educational technology, behavior management and assessment to affect change in the context of an educational environment under the supervision of a faculty mentor.

Opportunities for professionals with a Master of Science Degree in Exceptional Student Education are in K – 12 education, academia, research or consulting in public or private organizations, and leadership positions in public or private service agencies, among others. The mean annual wage for Medical and Health Services Managers is $93,670.00 or $45.03 an hour.

Available on the following locations


Credits: 36

Academic Level: Masters


  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution.
  • Applicants must have a grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0) scale at the undergraduate level.
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.
  • Complete the online application form at
  • Copy of Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation from a professor, employer, or a community leader.
  • A maximum of six (6) credits can be transferred from another graduate program at the discretion of the Academic Program Director. Only courses with a grade of B or better can be accepted for transferred coursework.
  • International students must submit an official evaluation of academic credentials by an authorized agency.
  • A statement of purpose, which should be double spaced and one page in length providing a clear indication of the applicants interest in the field, career goals, and how the applicant expects Albizu University to contribute to such goals.

Program Director:

Rafael Martinez, Ed.D

Time it takes to complete: 2 Years

Accreditations for this program

Middle States Commission on Higher Education

What can be the expectations of a student during this program and how does this program satisfy them?

Being a graduate student in Albizu’s Graduate Education programs means that you are a part of a dynamic group of people who are passionate and committed to Education. You will learn from experts in the field of exceptional student education and research. You will be have a faculty advisor to meet with each term and whenever necessary.  Our faculty are attentive to your needs and provide you with support throughout the program. Some students have even published research with our MS ESE faculty. You will leave the education program with the skills necessary to support exceptional students in the classroom and as a school leader.

What can the student do with this title in his/her professional life? What fields or opportunities for employment or research do you provide? *

Students will be equipped to work in k-12 education both in the classroom and as school leaders, behavior management consultants, leadership in public and private agencies.

Modality of the program

Courses are offered fully online and hybrid.

What type of student arrives here? (where they come from, social level)

Students in the MS ESE program over the past few years have been predominantly immigrants from Latin America, some are educators in the k-12 system, others are seeking to sit for the ABA certification and need a graduate degree in exceptional student education to quality along with credits in the ABA that they have already obtained.

Is this program offered at other universities in the United States or Puerto Rico? If so, how does it differ or stands out from the other options?

Our program stands out due to the capstone project which is systematic and rigorous - student write a literature review and conduct a capstone project in 15 weeks; most students conduct their projects in MDC k-12 schools, provides students whose projects excel with the opportunity to prepare their work for publication, and students have a faculty advisor/mentor throughout the program.

What experience do students have in the program? Theoretical, practical? What kind of skills do they develop? How does it enhance the student’s current title?

The program provides a quality educational opportunity in graduate pedagogic training for its students, consists of both theory and practical knowledge as well as the attitudes necessary to effectively apply their training in the classroom setting. Students graduate as effective educators with a deep understanding of exceptional student education with varying exceptionalities. Students are able to identify and remediate speech disorders in exceptional students. Students learn to identify the learning disabilities and needs of exceptional children and foster cultural sensitivity toward those of diverse cultural backgrounds and special needs.

Perceive patterns of social, emotional, physical and cognitive development in children.


The learn to Incorporate special methodologies and interventions for transitioning students from elementary to middle school, middle school to high school, high school to community settings and from family supported to independent living. They are exposed to a variety of curriculum development and enhancement strategies within the context of exceptional student  education and develop an appreciation in each student for the individual worth and dignity of all people regardless of background, origin, and/or life circumstances.

Infuse psychological theories, principles and methodologies within the graduate curriculum so that they may be applied to an academic setting with children. Students learn fundamental knowledge and skills needed to conduct and interpret research in education. They learn to foster the development of advanced communication skills, thereby leading to improved teacher-student and teacher-parent relationships. They develop the skills needed for competent classroom management with emphasis in psychoeducational strategies that are appropriate across cultural groups and which incorporate advanced educational technology within different learning modalities (e.g. Auditory, visual, tactile).

How is this program integrated with others at the University

Students from any undergraduate program can apply to the program but especially undergraduate elementary and ESE programs.

What is the support of the University during the tenure of the program?

Faculty advisor, student support services, library, online virtual library – databases, physical structure, departmental gatherings, meetings with faculty, career fairs, access to all services on campus.

What additional skills does the student who participates in the program acquire?

Research Skills, writing skills, analytical and critical thinking skills,  Network of educators

With what educational/work experience does the faculty of the program count?

Publications, Fellowships

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