Certificate in Foundations of Special Education

University of Oregon College of Education students in discussion in HEDCO extended lobby

Our Special Education (SPED) undergraduate certificate is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a teaching license in K-12 Special Education. The certificate allows undergraduate students to complete the first year of our graduate licensure program as undergrads, then complete the program and a Master’s degree in one year, post-baccalaureate. This certificate is open to students from all majors.

The SPED certificate coursework is grounded in research and practical applied work, preparing students to work collaboratively in school settings to promote the success of all students with disabilities and their families through evidence-based practices through:

  • Applied field and practicum experiences
  • Foundational coursework that includes history, etiology, identification, classification, legislation, and alternate program delivery systems for individuals with disabilities
  • Required licensure coursework in special education including instructional methods, positive behavior supports, classroom management

SPED Certificate Program Requirements

  • Students must complete a minimum of 36 credits of required courses
  • All upper-division credits must be completed in residence at the University of Oregon
  • A minimum grade of B- or P must be earned in each required course
  • All courses must be taken for a letter grade unless only offered pass/no pass (e.g., field studies, practicum)
  • Students wishing to waive required coursework need to obtain coordinator approval

SPED Certificate Program Plan

Complete the courses listed below, with a minimum grade of B- or P, prior to applying for the SPED certificate.

Second Year - 7 Credits

course and TitleCREDITS
SPED 411 Foundations of Disability I* (online; prerequisite to SPED 406)3
SPED 406 SPED Field Studies*/**/*** (Field Studies can be taken 1 credit [30 hours] at a time)3
SPED 407 SPED Minor Seminar*** (take concurrently with first term of SPED 406)1

*Students may count field study from another program, if the experience involved working with individuals with disabilities in a special education or community setting. This may also apply to students with extensive experience (paid or unpaid) in special education.

**University and TSPC background checks are required for the SPED Certificate, prior to beginning Year 4. If you have questions, please email the SPED Certificate Program Coordinator. Students should complete any volunteer procedures required by their field study site.

*** Instructor approval required.


Third Year — 17–18 Credits

  • Apply to the Certificate program during the Fall term

course and TitleCREDITS
Child/Adolescent Development Course* – SPED 410; CDS 455; EDST 411; FHS 328; PSY 3083–4
SPED 426/SPED 526 Behavior and Classroom Management (online; instructor approval required)4
SPED 410/SPED 510 Diversity in Special Education3
SPED 422/SPED 522 Special Education Mathematics Instruction4
CDS 446 Services for Deaf Students (elective; not required)3

*Child Development course is a prerequisite for licensure program

Fourth Year - 12 Required Courses; 12 Reserved Graduate Credits

course and TitleCREDITS
SPED 436 Advanced Behavior and Classroom Management3
SPED 540 Early Literacy for Diverse Learners**4
SPED 406 Field Studies3
SPED 541 Intermediate Literacy for Diverse Learners**4
SPED 443 Supporting Students with Low Incidence Disabilities***4
SPED 542 Adolescent Literacy for Diverse Learners**4
SPED 409 Practicum I*3
SPED 488 Professional Practices3

**Complete Reserve Graduate Credit form

***Additional course recommended for those continuing with SPED K–12 License.