Special Education

Special education teachers use our expertise and creativity to create rich educational experiences for all our students — regardless of ability.

Through the bachelor’s degree in Special Education, you’ll train to be an educator who works capably and compassionately with students who have intellectual, social or behavioral challenges. Throughout the program, you’ll explore the newest methods for assisting learners with diverse needs, learn to use technology effectively in the 21st-century classroom, and complete multiple field experiences that put you side-by-side with students in local schools.

A bachelor’s degree in Special Education with elementary teacher certification will prepare you to teach all subjects in grades K-5 with the option to become endorsed in Learning Disabilities upon successful completion of the endorsement requirements.

Dearborn Discovery Core

Please see the Dearborn Discovery Core (General Education) webpage or additional information.

Foundational Studies

Writing and Communication (GEWO) – 6 Credits

Upper-Level Writing Intensive (GEWI) – 3 Credits

Quantitative Thinking and Problem Solving (GEQT) – 3 Credits

Critical and Creative Thinking (GECC) – 3 Credits

Areas of Inquiry

Natural Science (GENS) – 7 Credits

  • Lecture/Lab Science Course
  • Additional Science Course

Social and Behavioral Analysis (GESB) – 9 Credits

Humanities and the Arts (GEHA) – 6 Credits

Intersections (GEIN) – 6 Credits


Capstone (GECE) – 3 Credits

Core Course Requirements

Language Arts
COMP 105Writing & Rhetoric I3
EXPS 298Exploring Writing to Communicate, Learn, & Teach3
LING 280Introduction to Linguistics3
LIBR 465Literature for Children3
or EDA 236 Literacy in Grades 3-6
Social Studies
EXPS 282History & Civics Elem Schools3
EXPS 283Geography & Econ Elem Schools3
or EDM 292 The world around us: Integrated world geography for upper elementary teachers
MATH 385Math for Elemen Teachers I3
MATH 386Math for Elem Teachers II3
MATH 387Math for Elem Teachers III (Not required for the Early Childhood major.)3
Science Studies
NSCI 231Inquiry: Physical Science 13
NSCI 232Inquiry:Earth/Planet Science 13
NSCI 233Inquiry: Life Science 13
EXPS 420Science Capstone3
Not required for the Early Childhood major.
Total Credit Hours39

Two of the three NSCI core courses may be transferred to UM-Dearborn. A) an introductory physical science will satisfy NSCI 231, B) an introductory earth/planetary science will satisfy NSCI 232, and C) an introductory life science course will satisfy NSCI 233.

BIOL 240/BIOL 242 and NSCI 120/NSCI 121 cannot be used for science credit.

Pre-Professional Requirements

Pre-professional courses are generally completed in the freshman and sophomore year.  

EDA 205Introduction to Education3
or EDA 200 Social Justice & Community Based Education
EDA 419Early Literacy/Language Devel3
or EDA 219 Early Literacy: Birth to Grade 3
Required for Early Childhood and Special Education Majors only
EDC 240Psych of Child Development3
EDF 450Health, Nutrition and Physical Activity for Children and Families3
EDT 211Design Tech-Based Learn Solutn3
EXPS 250Elem Ed Vis & Perf Arts3
EXPS 407Inquiry-based Math and Science3
Required for Early Childhood Majors only
Total Credit Hours21

Major Requirements

A minimum of 30 semester hours from the following:

EDC 401Introduction to LD3
EDN 403Assessment of the Learner3
EDN 401Strategies for LD3
EDN 402Socio-vocational Transitions3
PDED 405Sp Ed Legisltn and Litigation3
EDC 417Mgmt of Classroom Behavior Also counts in Education Professional Studies3
EDC 240Psych of Child Development Also counts in Pre-Professional Studies3
EDT 430Assistive Technology3
EDD 413LD Elem Directed Teaching2
EDD 420LD Sec Directed Teaching2
EDN 408LD Directed Teaching Seminar2
Total Credit Hours30

Program Notes:

  1. Minimum GPA's are required for program completion: 2.75 cumulative, 2.75 in major, 2.75 in optional minor(s), and 2.75 in Professional Studies.
  2. Advising Policy:  The student is responsible for complying with requirements described in the Undergraduate Catalog as well as on the Four Phase Checklist.  Students are expected to meet with their College of Education, Health, and Human Services advisor at least once per year and in the term prior to graduation.
  3. Courses taken on a PASS/FAIL basis will NOT be accepted toward program completion.
  4. The minimum number of semester hours required to graduate is 128.
  5. CEHHS recommends successful program completers for State of Michigan Certification, however, it is ultimately up to the State of Michigan to issue certificates.  Certain offenses on a criminal record can keep individuals from obtaining teacher certification.  Please refer to The Revised School Code, Act 451 of 1976, section 380.1539b.
  6. Students must meet Dearborn Discovery Core requirements.  See http://umdearborn.edu/696973/ for details.