M.A. Program

Certified elementary or secondary teachers may obtain an endorsement in learning disabilities (Code SM) by pursuing a master of arts in education degree with a concentration in learning disabilities (LD). Certified teachers not pursuing the master of arts in education degree may elect to pursue only the endorsement. All students, regardless of program choice, must meet basic core competencies in reading, mathematics, and psychology and must have completed a survey course in exceptionalities. Those lacking preparation in any of these areas will need to extend their programs beyond the normally required hours, in order to acquire these prerequisites.

The faculty adviser will direct the plan for each program and evaluate students’ undergraduate and graduate credits to pin-point any core area deficiencies and determine equivalencies of any prior work. These determinations will become the foundation for an appropriate plan of study.


  • Students entering this preparatory program are required to have taught for at least one year.
  • Courses listed below are required of all students seeking either LD endorsement and/or the master's degree in LD.
  • Those seeking the endorsement are not required to take the research component.

Total Credits Required for Degree   34-52

Research (5 credits)
ED 500A Educational Research (3)
ED 500B Seminar in Educational Research (2)

Concentration (17-30 credits)
ED 560 Special Education in the Schools* (2)
ED 562 Introduction to Learning Disabilities (3)
ED 563 Organization and Management of Programs for Learning Disabled Students (3)
ED 565 Methods for Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities (4)
ED 568 Supervised Practicum with Learning Disabled Students and Seminar (4) or
     ED 569 Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities in K-12 Schools (6)
     (if seeking initial special education certification)
ED 571 Diagnosis and Treatment of Reading Disabilities (4)
ED 405 Diagnosis and Assessment in Special Education (4)
Electives (0-4)

Cognates (8-17 credits)
ED 504 Psychology of Education (2)
ED 511 Trends in the Teaching of Language Arts* (2)
ED 561 Collaborations for School Professionals:  General and Special Education (2)
ED 566 Behavior Strategies in the Classroom* (3)
ED 596 Special Topics* (1-4)
SL 456 Language and Learning Disabilities in Children (4)

*Students who already satisfy these requirements, whether from undergraduate preparation or through another area of endorsement, would not be required to include them in their plan, and appropriate electives, if needed, would be substituted.

Note: To obtain the additional endorsement in learning disabilities (K-12) from the State of Michigan, one needs to pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) in Learning Disabilities and to file the appropriate application with the certification counselor in the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service.