Master's Degrees

Disability & Psychoeducational Studies

Special Education M.A. (Severe & Multiple Disabilities)

The Severe and Multiple Disabilities M.A. program leads to a master's degree and, with additional coursework and practicum experience, can lead to Arizona teacher certification in severe and profound disabilities. The program emphasizes inclusion practices and a functional versus developmental approach to the education of children and youth with severe and multiple disabilities. Students labeled multiply disabled or severely/profoundly disabled usually have the following characteristics: severe to profound mental retardation, severe physical disabilities, sensory impairments, learning disabilities, emotional disturbances, and health disorders. Prospective teachers in this program will be taught to effectively program for and work with students who have a wide range of severe and multiple disabilities and who represent the spectrum from early childhood to adulthood.

Learn about issues related to the fields of special education and rehabilitation
Study methods of assessing and developing programming and instruction for students who have moderate, severe, and multiple disabilities
Graduate with the knowledge, skills, and requirements needed to teach students with severe and multiple disabilities (after receiving an Arizona teaching certificate)

Sample Courses

Courses in the program are delivered in-person. Core coursework of the special education program includes courses like SERP 500 (Introduction to Special Education), SERP 502 (Behavior Principles and Disability), and SERP 503 (Special Education Law and Policy). In addition to core coursework, students in the severe and multiple disabilities program specialization will take courses like SERP 513 (Assessing & Educating Students with Intellectual & Severe Disabilities) and SERP 564 (Introduction to Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorders).


Special education teachers of students with severe and multiple disabilities meet the needs of their students by engaging in a wide variety of responsibilities. As a special education teacher, you will:

  • Provide academic instruction
  • Conduct educational assessments
  • Develop educational plans
  • Create behavior intervention plans
  • Consult with general education teachers
  • Coordinate educational meetings
  • Manage educational records
  • Meet with parents

Contact Us

For more information about the program, please contact Assistant Professor of Practice Stephanie MacFarland.