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Whether it’s vision challenges, learning difficulties or a way of being that’s not neuro-typical, students come to the classroom with different needs.

MSU Denver’s Special Education major will prepare you to help meet those needs. At MSU Denver, classes are kept small, so you receive personal instruction from faculty, many of whom have K-12 Special Education teaching experience. From learning about multicultural differences and adaptive technologies to becoming familiar with how different disabilities affect learning, you will develop the knowledge and awareness necessary to work with special-needs students.

Your coursework is only the beginning. Because MSU Denver stresses career readiness, your Special Education program will provide you with significantly more field experience than is required by the state, so you develop important skills that you will bring with you into your own classrooms.

You will also have the chance to customize your MSU Denver Special Education program to your interests by choosing one of four concentrations: Early Childhood, Elementary Education, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education or Secondary Education.

Our goal: To help you become an ethical educator who will make a difference in your profession and students’ lives.

Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver

The Fulbright Group Projects Abroad program offers grants to support overseas projects in training, research and curriculum development.

In 2013 and 2015 six pre-service licensure students spent a month abroad in Turkey and Morocco as part of a Fulbright Group Projects Abroad.

Learn more.

Career Opportunities for Our Graduates

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Special Education program graduates go to work as teachers at all levels from Kindergarten through high school in schools nationwide.

The median salary for Special Education teachers was $57,910 in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.


Peggy Anderson_Special EducationPeggy Anderson

Professor Peggy Anderson, who has taught students with learning disabilities at the elementary and middle school levels, has focused her research on case studies, dyslexia and online learning. She is the author of Case Studies for Inclusive Schools.




Rebecca Canges_Special EducationRebecca Canges

Assistant Professor Rebecca Canges started her career as a middle school Special Education teacher in California, where she worked to promote acceptance of students with disabilities by implementing district-wide awareness programs. She has both studied and provided trainings for improving instruction for English Language Learners and currently researches methods for improving teacher preparation programs so teachers can better support students with disabilities who are in their classrooms.


Bill Gustashaw_Special EducationBill Gustashaw

Assistant Professor Bill Gustashaw has taught students with learning and behavior disabilities at the elementary and secondary levels in both Indiana and Virginia. His research interests include effective academic and behavioral interventions for students with learning and behavior disabilities and federal education policy for students with disabilities.



Learn more about MSU Denver Special Education faculty.

Alumni at Work

MSU Denver Special Education graduates have been hired by these schools:

  • Ponderosa High School, Parker, Colo.
  • South Elementary School, Brighton, Colo.
  • Niwot High School, Niwot, Colo.
  • JFK Middle School, Northampton, Mass.
  • Clark Middle School, Anchorage, Alaska
  • Mount Carbon Elementary School, Littleton, Colo.
  • Summit Elementary School, Aurora, Colo.

Sample Classes

Image of professor in Special education class

  • Diversity and Multicultural Education
  • Transition Planning and Instruction
  • Assessment and Methods for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
  • Educational and Medical Aspects of Disabilities
  • Elements of Literacy Instruction for Students with Disabilities
  • Effective Behavioral Support Systems

Learn more about Special Education courses.

Facilities and Resources

MSU Denver is located on the Auraria Campus just steps from downtown Denver. MSU Denver’s proximity to the city offers countless opportunities for fieldwork and student teaching in urban and suburban schools with diverse populations.

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