Master's in Special Education for Children with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Become an Advocate for Positive Change
Graduate students in the Special Education for Children with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities (EBD) program gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become highly qualified special educators working with a diverse population of students with learning, emotional, and behavioral challenges.
Graduates of the program will be eligible for teacher licensure in Special Education - Emotional Disturbance (ED), Learning Disability (LD), and Intellectual Disabilities (ID).
A Professional Development School (PDS) model is emphasized in the program, blending theory and practice of learning to teach, so that concepts learned in a university classroom can be applied the next day to work with students with challenging behaviors in their full-time, clinical internship in a therapeutic school setting.
Nationally Recognized & Accredited
With 20+ years of experience training exemplary educators, the EBD program is nationally recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children and accredited by Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
Classes are offered in the evenings to accommodate working professionals and for internship experiences. Program can be completed as a part-time or full-time student.
Faculty are experts in developmental and educational psychology, behavioral interventions, and special education. They are nationally recognized educators and clinicians with experience leading innovative work in research and practice across education and health sectors.
The GW Advantage
Unique to the the DC, Maryland, Virginia (DMV) area, our location gives students access to urban or suburban; public, charter, or private schools. This allows students to examine, compare, and contrast schools with widely different student populations, structures, and demographics.
Students complete a two-semester clinical internship at a regional partner school or at their place of employment. University faculty and staff provide supervision and individualized feedback on the teaching process as well as weekly seminars that provide a forum for professional growth and peer-driven emotional support.
Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in the Field of Special Education for Children with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities
Special Education and Disability Studies
Summer, Fall, Spring
- Our Mission
The mission of the Programs for Teaching Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities (EBD) is first and foremost to prepare psychoeducators of the highest caliber. While this may seem to be a simplistic and generic training statement, we are committed to an organized framework of beliefs that we feel exemplify best practice.
The mission is a difficult one in the face of the challenges in today’s schools. The continuum of behaviors that students present can range from externalized explosions to internalized silence. Our program emphasizes a therapeutic approach to develop sensitivity to the complex issues concerning students who present many conflicts within themselves, their families, and society.
Our mission also guides our dedication to embracing diversity among our graduate student population. We believe that age, gender, culture, race, sexual orientation, and ethnic differences among our graduate students enhance learning.
Finally, our mission encourages research, scholarship, and leadership activities so that graduates become advocates for this population beyond the school.
The following requirements must be fulfilled: 34 credits in required courses, successful completion of the master of arts in education and human development comprehensive examination, and completion of the relevant teacher licensure assessments (see below).
Course List Code Title Required CPED 6224 Diagnostic Teaching of Reading: K–6 CPED 6412 Elementary School Curriculum and Methods (taken for 4 credits) SPED 6201 Overview of Legal Issues in Educating Students with Disabilities SPED 6202 Researching Current Trends in Special Education SPED 6238 Issues in Educating Individuals with Learning, Emotional, and Intellectual Disabilities SPED 6239 Teaching and Collaboration for Professionals Working with Students with Disabilities SPED 6260 Developmental Assessment in Special Education SPED 6288 Understanding the Characteristics and Needs of Students with Disabilities SPED 6290 Affective Development and Behavior Management for Teaching Students with Disabilities SPED 6990 Practicum in Teaching Students with Disabilities SPED 6991 Internship in Teaching Students with Disabilities Master of Arts in Education and Human Development comprehensive exam Completion of the relevant teacher licensure assessments (i.e., PRAXIS) required by the District of Columbia Educator Licensure Services Office
- Program Outcomes
Graduates of the program will be eligible for teacher licensure in Special Education - Noncategorical, Emotional Disturbance (ED), Learning Disabilities (LD), and Intellectual Disabilities (ID).
Students will learn to:
- Provide focused strength-based instruction and individualized interventions to support students' learning and behavioral challenges.
- Use research-based strategies to support students’ academic and socio-emotional growth.
- Be strong advocates for the students and families they serve.
GSEHD’s Office of Admissions invites you to apply for a spot in our program. Please review the following admission and financial information.
Ready to take the next step in your career? Review our step-by-step guide to applying to GSEHD >
To learn more about the program, admission process, and upcoming events, please connect with the GSEHD Admissions Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-994-9283.
|Apply Now||Schedule Consultation with Admissions Counselor|
To be considered for admission, applicants must submit the online application form as well as the following required supporting documents. There is no application fee.
Prerequisite: Bachelor's Degree
Transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities
Statement of Purpose
One Letter of Recommendation
*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants.
For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions FAQs page.
Applications are now being accepted for Fall 2023. We encourage you to apply as early as possible.
|Priority Deadline||Aug 1||Nov 1||Nov 1|
|Round 1 Deadline||Sept 15||Dec 15||Dec 15|
|Round 2 Deadline||Nov 1||Jan 16||Jan 16|
|Round 3 Deadline||Dec 15||March 1||March 1|
|Round 4 Deadline||N/A||May 1||May 1|
|Round 5 Deadline||N/A||N/A||Aug 1|
Tuition & Financial Aid
We know embarking upon graduate school is a big decision - due in part to the costs of attending. At GW, we understand the time and thought behind making graduate school work for you. Please take a moment to learn more about the options and opportunities available to help fund your graduate education.
Graduate tuition is charged per credit hour, unless otherwise noted. Rates vary by program and location.
The tuition rate* for the Master's in Special Education EBD program is $1,205 per credit hour.
This program requires 34 credits.
Please note: Additional fees may apply for international students, late fees, etc. Current tuition rates may be updated during the year.
*Summer 2023, Fall 2023 and Spring 2024
Scholarships are available to eligible admitted students. Review eligibility requirements and learn more about funding your education >
My experience at GSEHD has deepened my understanding of how to teach the whole child. I can immediately apply strategies from my professors in my current classroom of 9th and 11th graders. Our professors are kind, loving, and understanding.
BENEKA MEGGINSON ('23)
Master's in Special Education for Children with EBD
Graduates of this program are highly sought after for post-program employment, as well as demonstrate teacher-retention rates many times higher than the national average.
Within this field, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports job growth of 4% over the next ten years1 with better screening and identification of various disabilities in children increasing the demand for special education services. In addition, children with disabilities are being identified earlier and enrolled into special education programs.
1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Special Education Teachers, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm (visited September 08, 2022).
- Special Education Career Opportunities
In addition to becoming highly effective Special Education Teachers, our graduates are prepared to take on other critical roles in the education of students with disabilities, including:
- K-12 Special Education Teachers
- IEP Team Leaders/Coordinators
- Behavior Specialists
- Educational Consultants
- Potential Employment Settings
Graduates are prepared to work with children in multiple K-12 settings including:
- Inclusive Classrooms in Public, Charter, and Private Schools
- Self- Contained Classrooms
- Alternative or Nonpublic Schools
- Tutoring Companies
- Educational Consulting Companies
Assistant Professor, Special Education and Disability Studies
Assistant Professor, Special Education and Disability Studies
Associate Professor, Special Education and Disability Studies
Associate Professor and Department Chair, Special Education and Disability Studies