Dordt’s Master of Special Education (M.SPED) program prepares teachers or administrators to be competent and Christ-like leaders in special education roles. Plus, the program is 100% online, and courses can be completed in as little as two years.
The program provides practical, hands-on learning experiences to assess and address learning and behavioral difficulties. Students will develop instructional strategies, inclusion opportunities, and behavior interventions. They will also learn to work with professionals and parents to maximize learning opportunities for children.
Third Most Innovative Among Regional Universities (Midwest)
Dordt tied for third for "Most Innovative among Regional Universities (Midwest)" ranking, which, according to the methodology, "examines the colleges and universities that are making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology, and facilities."
The Master of Special Education program provides options for three cross-categorical endorsements and an ABA Course Sequence.
Intended for the elementary, middle school, or high school classroom teacher, school special educator coordinator, or district special education professional, this program option can add a special education endorsement in mild/moderate to an existing elementary or secondary teaching license.
Intended for any level classroom teacher, school special educator coordinator, or district special education professional, this program option can add a special education endorsement in behavior disorders and learning disabilities to an existing elementary or secondary teaching license. Other states, provinces, or countries may vary.
Intended for persons without a current teaching license, this track can prepare one for special education teaching in behavior disorders and learning disabilities at any grade level and for roles as a school special educator coordinator, or district special education professional. This track includes a student teaching requirement and two additional courses required for all Iowa teachers.
Intended for teachers and special education professionals who wish to be nationally certified to work with behavior analysis in schools, districts, or clinics, this course sequence can be added to any of the tracks above. The course sequence consists of 21 additional credits (9 courses). National behavior analyst standards require certified BCBAs to hold a relevant master’s degree, complete these additional behavior analyst courses, and pass the national BCBA certification exam.
“One of the ways that Dordt has readied my heart is the way that professors have poured into me and truly tried to get to know me as a leader. And I've taken that lesson to the role that I'm in right now to help students find out who they are.”
–Brian Verwolf, Dordt Graduate Program Alumnus
ABA Course Sequence Program
Intended for teachers and special education professionals who wish to be nationally certified to work with behavior analysis in schools, districts, or clinics, this course sequence can be added to any of the tracks above. The course sequence consists of 21 additional credits (9 courses). National behavior analyst standards require certified BCBAs to hold a relevant master's degree, complete these additional behavior analyst courses, and pass the national BCBA certification exam.
An undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 from an accredited institution in education.
Official transcripts sent to the Director of Graduate Studies from your undergraduate institution as well as transcripts from any graduate level course that you would like to have considered for transfer into the program.
A recommendation form completed by your administrator or supervisor.
About Dordt University
Located in Sioux Center, Iowa, Dordt University is a Christian university committed to helping you serve in the real world—right now, today.
The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education have consistently ranked Dordt #1 in student engagement. So you know you can expect to experience a Christian community that builds you up and pushes you to grow when you begin your graduate studies at Dordt University.
Financial Aid Options
In an effort to make graduate education at Dordt available to as many people as possible, program costs are kept as reasonable as possible. Financial aid in the form of federal loan programs is available. Students who wish to apply online should visit studentaid.gov. For more information, contact Harlan Harmelink in the Financial Aid Office at (712) 722-6082.
The Dordt University Federal ID is #001859.
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant provides funds for teachers who plan to teach in a high-need field serving low-income students.
BCBA GRANT (IOWA)
Students agreeing to practice as a BCBCA in the state of Iowa upon graduation may be eligible for up to aid equaling up to 50% of tuition and fees for the program.
Frequently Asked Questions
The M.SPED program is 30 credits, with courses on instructional strategies, inclusion opportunities, behavioral interventions, and working with professionals and parents. Optional courses in Applied Behavior Analysis may be added to qualify for the BCBA certification exam.
The program can be completed in two years. A typical plan of study includes one course every fall semester and spring semester and three courses every summer for two full years. A slower pace can reduce summer work to two courses in each of three summers.
Yes, all of our courses are 100% online. No travel or on-campus residency is required.
Dordt, a Christian university in Sioux Center, Iowa, has been ranked a top college in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report and Wall Street Journal / Times Higher Education. Dordt draws students from all over the country and the world. As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, alumni, and the broader community to work effectively toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life.