Department of Special Education and Disability Studies

Department of Special Education and Disability Studies (image of clinician practicing sign language with young student)




Change Lives, Starting With Yours

The Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD) within the George Washington University prepares scholar-leaders to work within clinical settings, schools, and communities to meet the diverse needs of those with disabilities. Our variety of specialized programs span all developmental stages, from birth through young adult.

Our programs equip students with the expertise to promote inclusion and equity for all learners, engage in culturally responsive collaboration with families, and implement strength-based and evidence-based interventions. GSEHD's high touch programs allow each graduate student to benefit from high quality mentorship and gain the knowledge and skills they need to make a difference for people with disabilities.





 Find the Degree that Matches Your Career Goals



Master's Degrees

Special Education

- Online -

Develop knowledge and skills to infuse social justice ethics, culturally responsive practices, strength-based strategies, and disability rights lenses into your teaching and educational experiences.

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Early Childhood Special Education

Prepare to address the learning and developmental needs of young children (birth through age eight) with or at-risk for disabilities.

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Interdisciplinary Secondary Transition Services

- Online -

Develop expertise in the design, implementation, and continuous improvement of transition planning and programming to empower students and young adults with disabilities in successfully transitioning to postsecondary opportunities.

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Special Education for Children with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

This program is designed to train educators who are able to address a full continuum of needs of culturally and linguistically diverse exceptional students. Graduates are eligible for teacher licensure in Special Education - Emotional Disturbance (ED), Learning Disability (LD), and Intellectual Disabilities (ID).

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Special Education for Cultural Responsiveness and Equity in Teaching

- Online -

Designed for initially certified teachers and educational service providers currently working in schools who are passionate about improving the quality of learning for children with diverse needs.

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Doctoral Degrees

EdD in Special Education

Students study structural and functional changes in the brain, examine cognitive processing, and consider the implications of those findings for teaching, learning, and educational policy. Graduates have an impact through leadership in academic settings, research communities, policy institutions, and advocacy organizations. 

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Graduate Certificates

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Provide focused instruction and intense individualized interventions and evaluate, select, and implement evidence-based practices to support children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

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Brain Injury: Transition Services

- Online -

Empower students and young adults with brain injuries in successfully transitioning to postsecondary opportunities.

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Special Education for Cultural Responsiveness and Equity in Teaching

- On-Campus or Online -

Enhance your skills to meet the needs of students with diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds and those with varying social and learning abilities.

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Transition Special Education

- Online -

This certificate focuses on social justice as you learn to design and implement strategies to help ensure the success of youth as they transition to adult life.

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Why GSEHD at GW?

Access Washington, D.C.

Take advantage of our unique location in the heart of our nation’s capital, with access to opportunities in government and private organizations, as well as urban and suburban public, charter, and private schools.

Unmatched Outcomes

With its reputation of excellence, you will join, learn from, and support a cohort of brilliant peers who are highly sought after for post-program employment.

Gain Credentials

GSEHD prepares you for licensure in supporting children with learning, emotional, or behavioral challenges through various stages of development.

You May Be Eligible

Learn more about benefits that may apply to you, depending on the program you choose >


No Application Fees


GRE is Not Required


Scholarships Available