Oct 01, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Special Populations, MEd - Dual Degree with BS in HDFS

College of Education  > Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies  / Department of Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences  > Special Populations, MEd - Dual Degree with BS in HDFS

The Special Populations Dual Degree Master’s Program prepares professionals for the high-needs field of Disability Support. Graduates find abundant opportunities for challenging and rewarding careers in supporting individuals with disabilities across the lifespan. Graduates learn skills needed to address complex and emerging disability related needs for individuals of all ages. There is an increased need in both the public and private sectors for specialists in Disability Support to develop, implement, and evaluate programs and policies for improved supports for individuals with disabilities.

This program is for students who have completed the Bachelor of Science in Human Development & Family Studies (BSHDFS) portion of BSHDFS and Master of Education in Special Populations Dual Degree Program at the University of Houston.

For additional information, visit: https://uh.edu/education/degree-programs/spec-ed-med/.

Admission Requirements

The College of Education takes into consideration a number of criteria when determining admission, including prior college or university performance, letters of recommendation, standardized test scores (if applicable), and statement of intent. All applicants must abide by the minimum qualifications for admissions to a master’s or doctoral program. All graduate applicants (regardless of citizenship status) must demonstrate proficiency in English to obtain admission to the University. For more information, visit https://uh.edu/graduate-school/international-students/english-proficiency/.

An applicant is responsible for ensuring that all required materials for the evaluation of admissions are received by the College before the program’s deadline. If the application is not complete by the program’s deadline, it will not be evaluated for admissions. Full details of the online application process can be found at https://uh.edu/graduate-school/admissions/how-to-apply/.

Applicant checklist:

  1. Complete online graduate application including:
    1. statement of interest,
    2. resume/CV,
    3. letters of recommendation,
    4. and application fee payment.
  2. Additional details are outlined on the ELPS Admission page: https://uh.edu/education/departments/elps/admissions/.
  3. Official transcripts from all previous college/university work sent to the UH Graduate School.
  4. International students have additional documentation requirements, which can be found at https://uh.edu/graduate-school/international-students/.

Grade Point Average Requirements

Admission requirements for this program require a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 for undergraduate coursework or over the last 60 credit hours of coursework. The College requires a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 for graduate coursework. The College’s admission committees evaluate all credentials submitted by applicants to determine a student’s ability and potential to succeed in graduate study. In addition, the committee is interested in the applicant’s potential to contribute to their program of study and the University community as a whole.

For the ELPS Admissions website, visit: https://uh.edu/education/departments/elps/admissions/.

Degree Requirements

Credit hours required for this degree: 30.0

The curriculum for the MEd in Special Populations Program involves the completion of specific coursework. The M.Ed. degree program requires 18 hours of core  special populations courses and an additional 12 hours of specialization electives. The specialization elective courses are chosen to reflect the career interests of the student. Students choose one of three (3) specializations based on whether they want to serve individuals with disabilities directly (Initial EC-12 Special Education Certification), provide formative and summative evaluations that support evidence-based program design (Assessment), or lead others who provide support (Organization/Management/Leadership).

Core/Special Populations Courses

18 Credit Hours

Specialization Electives

12 Credit Hours

Initial EC-12 Special Education Certification

Comprehensive Exam

Students in the MEd in Special Populations Program may elect to complete either a written Comprehensive Examination or take and pass the relevant TExES Examination as part of a capstone to the program.

Comprehensive Exam

The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies regularly schedules written exams that test a student’s comprehensive knowledge of the Special Populations Program area. Students have the option of taking a traditional written comprehensive examination. Students seeking certification may take the appropriate TExES Certification exam in lieu of the traditional written comprehensive examination. Students should apply for the exam in the last two semesters of their program through MyAdvisor. All students in the MEd in Special Populations program must successfully complete the Master’s Comprehensive Examination.

Academic Policies


Seeking a Master’s degree and certification are two separate but related endeavors; each has its own requirements and resources. Certification plans detail the coursework and requirements you’ll need to be eligible to be recommended for a Texas Educator Certificate through the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC). We have designed our graduate degree plans to align closely with the coursework listed on the certification plans; however, it is important to remember that you are really completing both sets of requirements concurrently. Please refer to the Student Handbook (https://uh.edu/education/degree-programs/spec-ed-med/med-handbook-fall201.pdf) and the COE Certification web page (https://uh.edu/education/student-services/certifications/index) for additional information.