Moderate/Intensive Educational Needs

The Master’s Degree in Special Education Moderate/Intensive Educational Needs concentration provides students with advanced knowledge about special education for students with moderate/intensive educational needs including intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), multiple disabilities, and complex health impairments.

Students with moderate/intensive educational needs generally do not fully participate in the general education curriculum and require access to a modified curriculum and/or other extensive special education (SPED) supports. Although they may participate in general education classrooms for parts of their day, they are more likely to receive their special education supports within small groups or individually in settings such as resource rooms, or classrooms or programs developed specifically for students with disabilities. Moderate/intensive special educators teach a broad range of skills including academics, adaptive and life skills, self-regulation, and leisure and social skills, and (in older grades) career training and post-school transition skills.

The Master’s Degree - Moderate/Intensive concentration is designed to provide advanced knowledge and skills in the following areas:

  • Identifying, designing, implementing, and evaluating effective, research-based practices that address the special educational needs of K-12 students with moderate/intensive educational needs;
  • Understanding and analyzing contemporary issues, trends, and controversies related to special education and moderate/intensive educational needs; and
  • Explaining the various roles of scientific research in theory development, policy-making, and improving educational and other outcomes for K-12 students with moderate/intensive disabilities.


To be admitted to the the Master’s Program, students must complete the online graduate application and submit an official transcript or transcripts (if coursework was completed at more than one institution), a goal statement, and two letters of recommendation. Application materials should be sent to Graduate Studies. More Information on how to submit application materials can be found here. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required although students may be conditionally admitted with GPAs that do not meet that minimum. Students who are admitted conditionally are required to earn grades of B or better in their first 3 courses to continue in the program.

Program Requirements

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree requires a minimum of 33 semester hours of graduate coursework with at least half being at the 60,000 level. A maximum of 12 hours of approved (e.g., relevant, current, and earned grades of A or B) graduate level coursework can be transferred into the Master’s Program. Students have six years from the term of first enrollment to complete the degree.


Please note that the Master’s degree and Non-degree Graduate Licensure Preparation Program are distinct and separate. If you are interested in Moderate/Intensive Special Education Licensure in addition to a Master’s degree, you must be fully admitted into the Moderate/Intensive Educational Needs Licensure Preparation (Non-Degree) and complete the prescribed coursework for that program in addition to that prescribed for the Master’s Degree.

Please contact Dr. Sloane Burgess for more information about Moderate/Intensive Graduate Programs.


Professional Licensure Disclosure
This program is designed to prepare students to sit for applicable licensure or certification in Ohio. If you plan to pursue licensure or certification in a state other than Ohio, please review state educational requirements for licensure or certification and contact information for state licensing boards at Kent State's website for professional licensure disclosure.

Kent State's website for professional licensure disclosure.