Sep 24, 2023  
2022 - 2023 Catalog 
2022 - 2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Education, Special Education Strategist, M.Ed.

Program Director: Jaylia Prussing

The M.Ed in Special Education Strategist supports development of the diverse skills and knowledge necessary to lead in the field of special education. The program is designed to meet the requirements of the North Dakota Teaching Endorsements in the areas of Learning Disabilities, Emotional Disorders, and Intellectual Disabilities.

The Master of Education Degree Requirements (M.Ed.)

The Master’s degree must be completed within seven years of the completion of the earliest graduate course used in the course of study. Up to one-third of the total credits required for the course of study may be transferred from another accredited institution. To achieve the Master’s Degree, the student must complete courses within an emphasis area (listed following) and must successfully complete either a thesis or a comprehensive professional portfolio.

Thesis Option

The thesis option emphasizes original research. It represents a student’s capacity for detailed, in-depth research or advanced scholarship. A thesis must demonstrate a student’s ability to clearly define a worthwhile problem, to conduct a thorough investigation, to organize the findings, to draw defensible conclusions, and to give an oral presentation of the findings. After the student has been admitted to candidacy for the degree, a research proposal is written and the thesis committee is selected. These activities are completed within EDU 701 - Research Seminar II  and EDU 704 - Research Presentation . The research proposal must be approved by the Graduate Committee and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Writing and presentation of the thesis totals at least five semester credits (EDU 708 , 3 credits; EDU 701 , 1 credit; and EDU 704 , 1 credit). EDU 704  must be completed by the date established with the student’s advisor, or the student must register for continuing credit each semester until the thesis has been completed and the research presented.

Portfolio Option

The portfolio option requires the student to complete courses within an emphasis area and to create an electronic portfolio demonstrating competence in the University of Mary’s graduate requirements, competence in the student’s emphasis area, and further demonstrating the graduate’s ability to  assume a leadership role in the field of education. Creation and presentation of the graduate portfolio totals four hours of credit ( EDU 705 - Research Analysis Capstone Prep , 2 credits; and EDU 706 - Research Analysis Capstone Pres , 2 credits).


The University of Mary is accredited by North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, with its most recent notification of accreditation occurring in 2013. The Education program is approved by the state of North Dakota. Other memberships include the North Dakota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NDACTE), the North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders (NDCEL), and the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED).


For information concerning the Education Graduate Program, contact the Division of Education Administrative Assistant at 701-355-8058.

The graduate webpage may be accessed through the University of Mary website

Please note: The emphasis area courses in the following degree plans meet the North Dakota Endorsement or Credential requirements in all programs applicable.

Major Requirements

Required Courses:

Total: 36-37 Semester Credits

Program length: varies; minimum 2 academic years / 5 semesters / 80 weeks

Adding the Licensure track will increase the total credits needed for the overall program. Total credits added will vary by student need.

Licensure Requirements:

Non-teaching licensed candidates may become licensed by completing additional coursework. Additional courses will include all or some of the below, based on the student’s prior professional preparation.