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Bachelor of Science in Education, Special Education

The bachelor's programs in special education prepare you with the skills and license to teach children who have learning or developmental disabilities. With three distinct disciplines to focus, you will play important roles in the education and development of children that will make a lasting impact.


The BSEd in Special Education is a competitive undergraduate teacher licensure program that prepares students to help meet the educational needs of diverse learners with disabilities. There are three intervention specialist disciplines to learn - early childhood, mild to moderate and moderate to intensive.

The program emphasizes the design, implementation and evaluation of direct instruction for students with disabilities. The goal of special education is to help learners with disabilities acquire the skills to be successful in their schools, homes and communities.

Intervention Specialties

Early Childhood Intervention Specialist - Early childhood intervention specialists are trained with the skills to teach children age 3 to grade 5 who have disabilities or are at risk for developing disabilities. Given the high demand for teachers with this specialization and a large body of research demonstrating that early intervention is key, students can make a lasting impact in the education and lives of children with disabilities.

Mild to Moderate Intervention Specialist - Mild to moderate intervention specialists are prepared with the skills and license to teach children in grades K-12 who have learning or mild intellectual disabilities or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Teachers with this specialization use instructional strategies to develop individual learning plans for students. They also use co-teaching methods to maximize the learning potential for students with disabilities.

Moderate to Intensive Intervention Specialist - The specialty in moderate to intensive intervention prepares students to earn a license to teach children with moderate to intensive disabilities in grades K-12, and up to age 21 within schools. Students focusing in this discipline play important roles in the education and development of students with significant disabilities.

The faculty in the special education program approach teaching from a behavior analytic perspective. Students who pursue a special education degree learn how to develop, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of lesson plans using evidence-based practices and monitor student progress using these philosophies.

Career Paths

Graduates who earn their licenses go on to teach primarily in public schools. Some also have careers in private schools or clinical settings.


Deadline to Apply: 
September 25

Program start: Spring semester
Prerequisites: 30 Ohio State semester hours; Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA; B- or higher in: ESSPED 2251, ESCE 2189S, English 1110, Math 1125/1135
Coursework: Philosophy of education, reading foundations, educational assessment, applied behavioral analysis, methods of instruction
Degree requirements: 16 general education courses (54 hours), 3 pre-major courses (8 hours), 18 major courses (58 hours)
Other requirements: First Educational Experience Program
Academic opportunities: Student Council for Exceptional Children, Kappa Phi Kappa
Other opportunities: Association for Behavior Analysis (ABA); Association for Positive Behavior Support (APBS); Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT); Council for Children With Behavioral Disorders (CCBD); Council for Exceptional Children (CEC); Council for Learning Disabilities (CLD); National Institute for Direct InstructionStandard Celeration SocietyTASH

View the Curriculum Sheet


Sheila Alber Morgan, PhD, BCBA-D, Professor
Christina Billman, PhD, Senior Lecturer
Matthew Brock, PhD, Associate Professor
Donna Y. Ford, PhD, EHE Distinguished Professor
Leah M. Herner-Patnode, EdD, Associate Professor
Terri Hessler, PhD, Associate Professor
Yvonne Goddard, PhD, Associate Professor
Moira Konrad, PhD, Associate Professor
Helen Malone, PhD, BCBA-D, Professor
Peter Paul, PhD, Professor
Mary Peters, PhD, Senior Lecturer
Alana Telesman, PhD, Senior Lecturer


Peter Paul
Program Chair/Professor

Undergraduate Student Services

Ohio State academic programs are designed to prepare students to sit for applicable licensure or certification in Ohio. If you plan to pursue licensure or certification in a state other than Ohio, please review state educational requirements for licensure and certification and state licensing board contact information at