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Phone number

Physical location
Old Main, room 476

Mailing address
College of Education and Counseling Psychology
Saint Martin's University
5000 Abbey Way SE
Lacey, WA 98503-7500

Office hours
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday - Friday

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Special Education Program (Major, minor)

What is the Special Education Program?

The Special Education Program provides graduates with the education and training to work with mildly or moderately handicapped students in an inclusionary kindergarten-12 classroom, a resource room, or a self-contained special education class.

Completion of required courses for the teaching major will lead to an institutional recommendation that the student be endorsed in special education by the state of Washington.

Why study special education at Saint Martin's?

The University's special education program provides a rigorous educational environment in which faculty members work closely with their students. Small classes allow students to receive individual attention from faculty with extensive experience as University educators and in the kindergarten-12 education system.

Additional benefits include:

  • National accreditation
  • Approved by the Washington State Board of Education
  • 97% of our graduates find teaching jobs
  • Study abroad opportunities open doors to teaching internationally
  • Top employers includes public schools in Washington, Hawaii and California
  • Two subject endorsements required to better prepare students for employability
  • Educational endorsements aligned with most majors offered on campus
  • Ongoing experience in schools throughout the program

For a complete list of program goals, objectives and outcomes, please visit our undergraduate education website.

What can I do with this major?

A degree in special education prepares graduates to work with people with special needs in a learning environment such as:

  • K-12 school systems
  • Day care centers
  • Community organizations
  • Residential care facilities

For a complete list of professional applications, visit For additional information about how Saint Martin’s can help you find the career for you, visit our Career Center.

What is required?

To insure proper sequencing of courses, students planning to enter the program must consult an advisor from the College of Education to taking courses at the University.


  • 24-25 semester hours of pre-professional courses such as:
    • MTH 101 or higher level math course
    • SPH 106 Public Address
  • 59-60 semester hours of core courses such as:
    • SED 359 Introduction Exceptionality
    • ED 360 Classroom Management
  • 128-148 semester hours of preschool-12 teaching internship

In addition to the primary endorsement in special education, students are required to complete at least one additional endorsement with 30 to 40 semester hours of credit in an area of academic field emphasis. The additional endorsement may be earned either at Saint Martin's University or elsewhere. Depending on the academic field and with careful planning, this endorsement/academic field may require only 14 or 15 semester hours.

NOTE: Completion of the special education major and endorsement program does not allow the certificate-holder to teach in a regular elementary or secondary classroom. Therefore, candidates also must complete the required elementary or secondary sequence, including at least eight weeks of internship in a regular classroom.


  • 21 semester hours of upper-division courses such as:
    • SED 461 Instructional Methods of Exceptional Learners
    • SED 467 Legal Issues and the IFSP/IEP

NOTE: The minor in SED does not include a complete endorsement in special education.

Visit the undergraduate academic catalog for a complete breakdown of special education courses and requirements.

All Saint Martin's students must complete the University's general education requirements.

Related fields of study

Educational studies (M.) | Elementary education (M.) | Secondary education (certification/endorsements) | Minors in education