Elementary and Severe Special Needs, M.Ed.

This program prepares candidates to teach students in the elementary grades and students across grade levels who have severe and multiple disabilities, including autism.

The program stresses a humanistic approach to teaching that is both developmentally appropriate and intellectually challenging. It prepares the teacher to work with a diverse range of children by providing the teacher with knowledge about instructional practices, along with perspectives on children, schools, and society.

Prerequisite for the program is a bachelor's degree with an arts and sciences, interdisciplinary major, or the equivalent. No prior teaching licensure is required for admission.

The Programs of Study for the program includes foundation and professional courses, and practicum experiences. The program reflects current research and practices in teaching and learning.

Courses of study are carefully planned with the faculty advisor to ensure that both degree requirements and licensure requirements are fulfilled.

Students may enroll full or part-time.

This dual program leads to eligibility for initial teaching licenses in elementary education and in severe disabilities.

Financial Assistance

Education should level the playing field – we feel the same way about financial aid.

The Lynch School of Education provides more than $7.5 million in financial aid to students each year. As a result, the quality of BC’s instruction, the benefit of our alumni network, and the impact a BC degree will have on your employment options is both affordable and invaluable. Here’s why:


At a Glance

How many courses?

This program consists of 58 (TELL/TDLL 61) credits.

How long will it take?

Full time students will typically complete the program in two years, while part time students will complete the program in four years.

When can I start?

Students can begin the program in the spring, summer, or fall semesters. 

Highlighted Faculty

What will I study?


  • Courses: 20 (TELL/TDLL: 21)
  • Credits: 58 (TELL/TDLL: 61)
  • Comprehensive Exam
Course Course Title Credit
APSY 7418
Applied Child Development   3
EDUC 7438 Instruction for the Special Needs of Diverse Learners
EDUC 7435 Social Contexts of Education
EDUC 6495 Mathematics and Technology: Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum in the Elementary School
EDUC 7542 Teaching Reading 3
EDUC 7543 Teaching Language Arts
EDUC 7546 Teaching About the Natural World
EDUC 6540 Educational Implications / Sensory, Motor, and Health 3
EDUC 6686 Augmentative Communication for Individuals
EDUC 6374
Management of the Behavior with Students with Special Needs
EDUC 6384 Teaching Strategies for Students with Multiple Disabilities
EDUC 6389 Assessment of Students with Low-Incideince and Multiple Disabilities
EDUC 6497 Interventions for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
EDUC 6495 Human Development and Disability
EDUC 6346 Teaching Bilingual Students
EDUC 7621 (TELL/TDLL only) Bilingualism, Second Language, and Literacy Development
  Graduate Inquiry Seminar I, Pre-Practicum, II
EDUC 7610 Clinical Experience - Elementary/Moderate
EDUC 8100 Master's Comprehensive Examination 0

How to Apply


To begin your online application, click the box below. 


Early Desicion
November 1
Regular Desicion
January 4
Late Desicion
March 1

Online Application

Apply Now

A non-refundable application fee of $65 is required, however, this fee is waived for select applicants. To view the list of approved waivers, view the fee waiver form below.

Fee Waiver Form


To be uploaded to your online Application Form

In addition to your academic history and relevant work experience, please include any licenses currently held, any social justice-related experience, any language skills other than English, and any research experience or publications.

Personal Statement

To be uploaded to your online Application Form.

In 1,000-1,500 words, describe your academic and professional goals, any experience relevant to this program, and your future plans, expectations, and aspirations.

Letters of Recommendation

Identification of recommenders/instructions to recommenders are outlined in the online Application Form

Two letters of recommendation are required with at least one required from an academic source. Applicants may submit one additional recommendation of their choice. 


Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded to your online Application Form for purposes of application review. However, official transcript(s) must also be submitted upon acceptance/matriculation. Both undergraduate and graduate transcripts are required.

Official transcripts should be sent to the following address:

Boston College, Lynch School of Education

Data Processing Center

P.O. Box 8027

Portsmouth, NH 03802

For FedEx or UPS shipments, please use this address:

Boston College, Lynch School of Education

Office of Graduate Admission, Financial Aid, and Student Services

Campion Hall 135

140 Commonwealth Avenue

Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Standardized Tests

An unofficial score report may be uploaded to your online Application Form; however, an official score report – sent directly from ETS – must also be submitted upon acceptance/matriculation.


  • This program requires all applicants to have taken the GRE in a maximum of 5 years prior to application being submitted, regardless of previous academic coursework, previous degrees/credentials earned, and/or professional experience. No exceptions will be made.

  • The MAT may also be substituted for the GRE.

For more information about the GRE exam, including test dates and testing sites, visit https://www.ets.org/gre. Lynch School of Education GRE Code: 3218

Writing Sample

Not required.

International Students

An international applicant is defined as any person that requires a student visa in order to study in the United States. International applicants are eligible to apply to any graduate program in The Lynch School, provided they have successfully completed the equivalent of a United States bachelor degree and have the appropriate diplomas and/or satisfactory results on transcripts or leaving examinations from the country in which the degree was earned. International applicants must complete all program-specific application requirements as well as additional requirements outlined below.


Applicants that have completed a degree outside of the United States must have a course-by-course evaluation of their transcript(s) completed by an evaluation company approved by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Click HERE for a complete list of NACES-approved evaluators. Submission of falsified documents is grounds for denial of admission or dismissal from the University.

English Proficiency

All applicants whose primary language is not English (or for whom English is not one of their primary languages) are required to submit proof of satisfactory English proficiency. At this time, the only acceptable forms of proof for English proficiency are the TOEFL and IELTS exams (certificates of completion from English-language schools are not currently accepted). Below are the minimum scores required.

TOEFL iBT = 100 minimum

IELTS – 7.0 minimum

An official score report must be sent directly from Educational Testing Services (TOEFL). TOEFL School Code: 3240.


Applicants that meet either of the criteria below do not need to submit proof of English proficiency.

  • Applicants who completed an undergraduate OR graduate degree from a regionally-accredited institution within the United States

  • Applicants who completed an undergraduate OR graduate degree at an institution outside of the United States where the language of instruction was English

Conditional Acceptance

The Lynch School offers Conditional Acceptance to applicants that fulfill all academic requirements for admission to and are accepted to the program, but whose level of English proficiency does not meet the minimum requirements. In these cases, admitted students will be granted conditional admission, but will have to retake the TOEFL or IELTS exam and submit an official score report that shows the minimum score has been met no later than six weeks prior to the start of the semester in which the student’s program will begin. If a student with conditional admission does not submit a passing TOEFL or IELTS score within the allotted time frame, he/she will be granted a deferral to start in a future semester, no later than one year from the original start term. Due to this policy, we strongly encourage international applicants to apply as early as possible in order to ensure that these conditions can be met.

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