Special Education & Literacy

M.S. in Special Education (Behavior Analysis)

Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears in the first three years of life. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that as many as one out of every 60 children falls somewhere on the autism disorder spectrum. Helping these children and their families is the goal of the master’s degree program in special education with a concentration in autism.

The 30-credit Master of Science in Special Education prepares highly specialized educators to work with children and adults diagnosed on the autism spectrum. It also prepares educators to work in teams with psychologists, social workers and families to respond to the special needs of this unique population. The program leads to New York State certification in Special Education for Grades 1-6, and includes four of the eight courses required for the BCBA credential. The additional four courses are offered in the Psychology Department. Assistance is available for candidate placement in schools that utilize ABA methodology. 

As a student in this program, you will study the assessment and instruction of students with severe disabilities, behavior management for children with autism and developmental disorders, communication development and language disorders in children with autism, and other subjects central to the education of individuals on the autism spectrum. Professors with extensive experience and expertise lead small classes, and the program places considerable emphasis on field study and practicum.

The M.S.Ed. in Special Education program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, signifying that the program of study meets the highest standards of quality in preparing competent, caring and qualified professional educators who will teach and lead in public and private schools.
Candidates must possess initial teaching certification in childhood education. 

For more information please review the LIU Graduate Bulletin or contact us at 516-299-2244.


Applicants to the Master of Science program must meet the following requirements for admission.
• Application (https://apply.liu.edu/quickapp/). 
• Application fee (non-refundable). 
• Official copies of your undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts from any college(s) or universities you have attended. 
• GRE is required.
• Applicants must have achieved at least a 3.0 overall grade point average or equivalent from an accredited bachelor’s program. 
• Applicants must hold provisional or initial teaching certificate. 
• International students please visit www.liu.edu/post/admissions/international/Fs for information.
• If you do not meet these requirements, you are welcome to discuss options for admissions with the graduate advisor. 

Send application materials to: 
Graduate Admissions
LIU Post
720 Northern Blvd., Brookville, NY 11548

Program Goals

The M.S.Ed. in Special Education: Concentration in Autism is dedicated to preparing teachers who are:

  • Knowledgeable, ethical, caring decision-makers for students with special educational needs, including autistic students, in the context of diverse and inclusive social groups, communities, families and students.
  • Educators who serve children and families with specific educational needs through: assessment and intervention; leadership and collaboration; clinical application, research, and practice.
  • Instructors skilled in the planning, implementation and assessment of education for children with special needs.
  • Proficient in instructional technology including the knowledge of skills, strategies, software and hardware to be used in classroom management and computer-assisted instruction.
  • Knowledgeable in theories of learning and growth, content areas to be taught, and the theories, laws, procedures, and programs related to the field of special education.
  • Collaborative and ethical decision-makers
  • Life-long learners committed to: intellectual growth, inquiry, professionalism, appreciation of diversity, and advocacy for students.


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