Special education graduate programs are designed to help establish, maintain and improve educational services to exceptional children by providing exemplary personnel resources. Courses of study leading to the educational specialist (EdS) degree and Class AA professional educator certification in the education of exceptional children are offered.

Traditional Class AA programs are available in

  • collaborative education
  • early childhood special education
  • gifted and talented


In addition to meeting the Graduate School's admission requirements, a student interested in the EDS program must have earned a master's degree with appropriate prerequisite Class A certification.

In addition to meeting admission requirements for the Graduate School and the College of Education, students interested in the special education programs should also be aware of the admission requirements established by the Alabama Department of Education.


The Alabama State Board of Education grants Class AA professional educator certification in special education (collaborative, early childhood special education, or gifted). To be eligible, students must hold appropriate Class A certification and must complete all requirements for the EDS degree in the chosen program as described in this catalog, including a comprehensive exam and the Praxis subject assessment(s) (if applicable).