Master's in Interdisciplinary Secondary Transition Services

The online Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Interdisciplinary Secondary Transition Services prepares you to be a change agent in teaching, leadership and support roles. The master’s program will also assist youth with disabilities and at-risk youth to make successful transitions through high school to post-secondary education, employment and independent adulthood.

The program meets the Transition Guideposts of the U.S. Department of Labor National Collaborative on Workforce & Disability for Youth (NCWD-Youth) and the CEC Advanced Knowledge and Skills Base for Transition Specialists (2008).

This nationally-recognized program provides critical knowledge and experience in the ever-emerging field of secondary transition based upon legislative requirements, research, and evidence-based practices. With a strong social justice focus, you are prepared to effectively lead quality transition programs and services for all youth with disabilities in various settings.

A Certificate version of the program is also available.


The online program requires 36 credit hours of graduate course work and school and community-based internship to apply learning to field-based professional practice and research.

Why GW’s online Master’s in Interdisciplinary Secondary Transition Services?

  • Interdisciplinary Interaction: Through interactions in the discussion forums and small group projects, you gain exposure to different viewpoints and refine critical analysis and communication skills.
  • Leadership Component: The program imbeds a "train-the-trainers" leadership component enabling you to be recognized by your organization as a "transition leader" or the resource person for best practice information on the range of transition issues.
  • Applied Research: The program offers a relevant curriculum that is driven by the most up-to-date, applied research by experts in the field and is responsive to a variety of transition outcomes.
  • Scholar-Practitioner Faculty: Learn from faculty members who are current in the field, share their real world experiences and provide a diversity of perspective on the field.
  • Networking Opportunities: The internship enables you to develop close working relationships with faculty experts and peers as you gain the skills that will not only advance your career, but the education of your students.

36 credits, including 30 credits in required courses and 6 credits in a field of specialization, and successful completion of a comprehensive examination.

Core Courses

  • SPED 6210 Universal Design for Learning and Assessment (3 credits)
  • SPED 6214 Applied Research in Secondary Transition Practices (3 credits)
  • SPED 6222 Legal Issues and Public Policy for Individuals With Disabilities (3 credits)
  • SPED 6230 Vocational Assessment of Individuals with Disabilities (3 credits)
  • SPED 6231 Curriculum and Instructional Methods in Special Education and Transition (3 credits)
  • SPED 6233 Curriculum in Special Education (3 credits)
  • SPED 6235 Employment Models for Individuals with Disabilities (3 credits)
  • SPED 6236 Introduction to Career and Career–Technical Education and Transition Services (3 credits)
  • SPED 6255 Collaboration with Systems and Families (3 credits)
  • SPED 6995 School and Community-Based Internship in Special Education and Transition (3 credits)

    6 Credits in One Area of Specialization

      Acquired Brain Injury Specialization

    • SPED 6223 Introduction to Brain Injury: Programs, Policies, and Resources (3 credits)
    • SPED 6224 Brain Function and Impact of Brain Injury on Learning and Education (3 credits)

    Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialization

  • SPED 6253 Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders (3 credits)
  • SPED 6254 Autism Spectrum Disorders and Transition to Employment and Post-Secondary Life (3 credits)

Successful completion of a comprehensive examination is required of all students.

Career Outcomes

The online Master’s in Interdisciplinary Secondary Transition Services is designed for passionate educators like you who are ready to take a step forward in their careers with a challenging, practice-based online Master’s program.

After completing this master’s program you will be prepared to work as a transition specialist across multiple disciplines:

  • Secondary educators (general/special education, career/tech education, guidance/career counselors)
  • Secondary transition educators (State Education Agencies, Local Education Agencies, transition consultants)
  • Agency transition professionals (public and private vocational rehabilitation, community providers, career one-stop centers, Medicaid waiver providers, Centers for Independent Living, parent advocates, youth advocates)
  • University positions (disability services offices, adjunct instructors)
  • Admissions


    Program Entry: Spring, Summer, Fall
    Prerequisites: Bachelors Degree
    Campus: Online

    Application Requirements

    • Online Application
    • Resume
    • Statement of Purpose
    • 2 Letters of Recommendation
    • Transcripts
    • Application Fee

    *Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants
    For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions FAQ page.

    We encourage you to apply as early as possible for the next available start term. Please contact the admissions team with any questions.

    Transformation Begins Here

    For more information, please request information or contact our admission office at or 202-994-9283.