BS in Special Education

Effective fall 2022, undergraduate students interested in applying to Wheelock College will be admitted to its BS in Education & Human Development and will no longer be admitted to the BS in Special Education program. Continuing students will continue to complete the degree program that they entered.

The Special Education program at Boston University provides opportunities for students to prepare for careers as teachers in public and private school programs and in residential and vocational settings.

All first-year, first-time students will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, a general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements can be satisfied through coursework in and beyond the major and, in some cases, through cocurricular activities. Students majoring in Special Education will ordinarily, through coursework taken in the Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, satisfy BU Hub requirements in Diversity, Civic Engagement, and Global Citizenship; Communication; and some elements of the Intellectual Toolkit, essential for educators working with other professionals and families. Additional requirements may be satisfied through required Arts & Sciences coursework, and it is important that students keep Hub requirements in mind when selecting these courses. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major or, in some cases, cocurricular experiences.

BU students specializing in the education of students with disabilities engage in a comprehensive course of study that includes a strong base in the arts and sciences, with coursework in the humanities, social sciences, and math and science, as well as in education, in general, and in special education. Fieldwork in area schools with students with and without disabilities is threaded all throughout the students’ course of study.

The program of study for each student is carefully designed to enable the student to meet both the BU Hub capacities and the requirements that enable Boston University to recommend students to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for teaching licenses at the Initial Level as a Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities Grades Pre-K–8 or 5–12, or a Teacher of Students with Severe Disabilities (All Ages). Fulfillment of licensure requirements in the program can lead to licensure in states with which the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has reciprocity.

To be eligible for the student teaching practicum in the Special Education program, students must have:

  • earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 across in all BU coursework;
  • earned a minimum GPA of 2.5 in all professional coursework;
  • earned a B– or higher in SED ED 110 Introduction to Education and SED SE 250 Disability, Education, and Public Policy;
  • obtained a grade of B or higher in required pre-practicum Special Education course(s); and
  • passed the Gateway Assessments.

Additionally, students must have:

  • maintained a record of having consistently demonstrated professional behavior in person and in written communication;
  • provided documentation of having met school district CORI/SORI and fingerprinting requirements; and
  • gained approval for practicum by their academic advisor, placement coordinator, and the program director.

Learning Outcomes

  • Curriculum, Planning, and Assessment: Promotes the learning and growth of all students by providing high-quality and coherent instruction, designing and administering authentic and meaningful student assessments, analyzing student performance and growth data, using this data to improve instruction, providing students with constructive feedback on an ongoing basis, and continuously refining learning objectives. (Well-Structured Lessons; Adjustments to Practice; Reflective Practice)
  • Teaching All Students: Promotes the learning and growth of all students through instructional practices that establish high expectations, create a safe and effective classroom environment, and demonstrate cultural proficiency. (High Expectations; Meeting Diverse Needs; Safe Learning Environment)
  • Family and Community Engagement: Promotes the learning and growth of all students through effective partnerships with families, caregivers, community members, and organizations.
  • Professional Culture: Promotes the learning and growth of all students through ethical, culturally proficient, skilled, and collaborative practice. (Meeting Diverse Needs)
  • Demonstrates Subject Matter Knowledge: Shows depth and breadth of knowledge needed  to teach the subject matter to students as evidenced by lesson planning and implementation.

Program Requirements