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Inclusive Special Education: Severe Disabilities

Master of Education (M.Ed.): Initial Licensure Program, On-Campus, Off-Campus, or Teacher Residency

Inspire self-determination in students with disabilities.

If your goal is to teach PreK-12 students with complex learning needs, this program will give you the knowledge and skills to teach, support, and advocate for your students. The program begins with an overview of the special education profession. From there, you'll take courses that cover communication and reading and writing. Design curriculum for learners of varying abilities, and learn about assessment. Build Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). Explore elementary subject areas from math to social studies.

You’ll explore issues in speech, language, and communication, and learn positive behavior supports. Discover how to develop a variety of strategies for adapting curriculum, and apply those strategies during your student teaching experience. And because evaluating students is a responsibility of all special educators, you’ll also focus on assessment issues.

At Lesley, we prepare teachers who are lifelong advocates for their students. We believe in the competence of every individual, and equal access to quality education. Here, you’ll learn to express those beliefs in your teaching. Study with faculty who believe in the competence of every individual and that equal education is a right.

Graduate ready to commit to the career you're passionate about. As the preferred provider of teacher education in Massachusetts, we prepare teachers to enter the classroom on day one. 

Program Structure

Full-time or part-time on-campus, off-campus, or residency program

41 Credits
Small group of students in a classroom setting
On-Campus Option

Take face-to-face classes on our Cambridge campus with faculty who are experienced practitioners, in small classes with personalized attention.


Two graduate students sitting at table with laptops open
Off-Campus Option

Earn your degree studying at an off-campus site one weekend a month, in eight-week semesters, with a small group of fellow students. You'll know your entire program schedule before you begin, and will complete the program in about two years. A new cohort location will be announced soon.

2 students in a graduate classroom
Yearlong Teacher Residency Option

Finish your degree in just over a year—with double the teaching experience and at a reduced cost—as a resident intern in a participating public or independent school. In this program format, you participate full-time in the life of the school, and take classes at both the school site and Lesley.

Gain Skills and Expertise
Our severe disabilities program prepares you to:
Average salary for teachers in Massachusetts, according to the National Education Association.
Superintendents and other hiring managers across Massachusetts prefer to hire Lesley graduates, reporting that they are best prepared to enter the classroom on day one. (Source: Radius Global Market Research)
Top Schools
Massachusetts ranks as the best state to be a teacher, with some of the highest performing schools and best salaries in the country, according to US News.
Linda Lengyel
Special Education
Linda Lengyel
Linda's work has focused on supporting persons with complex needs, considered to have severe disabilities in inclusive environments. Before entering higher education, she supported persons with severe disabilities and their families in school, work, employment, and home settings. Linda also has an extensive history of advocacy activities, supporting IEP teams, as well as advocating for systemic and policy changes.
The degree employers are looking for.
Lesley graduates go on to rewarding careers in public and private schools, charter schools, and beyond. That's because our programs are ranked #1 for preparing teachers with the skills Massachusetts employers are seeking, including:


Total approximate cost for this master's degree program. Tuition and fees are for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Inclusive Special Education: Severe Disabilities
  • Tuition
    $850/credit x 41
  • Fees
    Field Experience Fee
    Assessment Fees
    Registration Fees
    MAP ePortfolio Fee
    Activity Fees
    Materials Fees
    Degree Completion Fee
    Practicum Fee
  • Total
Estimated Cost

The per credit tuition rate listed above is for students who have matriculated on or after May 14, 2018.

Review all graduate tuition and fees, and what they cover.

Tuition and fees are subject to change each year, effective June 1.

Teacher Residency

Teacher Residency pricing varies from school to school. Contact Graduate Admissions for pricing information at 888.LESLEY.U / 617.349.8300 or

The Office of Veterans Affairs has determined that Teacher Residency programs are not eligible for Veteran’s Benefits under the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill.

Apply Now

Ready to get started? We're here to make the application process as smooth as possible. Just answer a few quick questions, and get your customized application guide.

Your degree is an investment, and we're committed to ensuring its value. That's why we offer the best teacher education in Massachusetts, at competitive tuition rates.
We'll help ensure your degree is as affordable as possible. Use our step-by-step guide to apply for federal and university funding. Scholarships, grants, Work-Study, and loans. It’s all right here.

Next steps to apply

Ready to get started? We're here to make the application process as smooth as possible. Just answer a few quick questions, and get your customized application guide.