Degree Programs

NMSU’s distance education degree programs are designed to serve students who may not be able to pursue an education through traditional means. NMSU offers Bachelor degree completion programs, Masters and Doctorate programs, and a number of Graduate Certificate and K-12 NM educator licensure and endorsement programs.

Please contact the listed distance education director for your degree program.


Special Education Alternative Licensure Preparation and Master's Degree

College: Education

Program Category: Online

Description: Persons with a bachelor's degree and a school employment offer in special education are candidates for this program. Through extensive field experience, technology, and multicultural education included in the coursework, students will gain the skills to effectively teach children and adolescents who receive special education services.

Delivery method: Course content is delivered through online (Canvas) instruction.

Requirements: Alternative Licensure Preparation requires 21 credit hours, including:

  • SPED 500: Introduction to Special Education in a Diverse Society
  • SPED 504: Introduction to Assessment of Diverse Exceptional Learners
  • SPED 506: High Incidence Disabilities in a Diverse Society
  • SPED 507: Low Incidence Disabilities in a Diverse Society
  • SPED 509: Reading K-6 for Elementary Exceptional Learners
  • SPED 511: Reading 7-12 for Secondary Exceptional Learners
  • SPED 559: Classroom Management for Diverse Learners

The remaining coursework for completion of the Master's degree includes 18 credit hours:

  • SPED 510: Current Issues in Special Education
  • SPED 513: Current Research in Special Education
  • 4 SPED electives (3 credits each)

Costs: Current main campus tuition and fees plus a $35 per credit hour distance education fee. See the University Accounts Receivable Tuitions and Fees for the current rate.

Prerequisites: Program entry requirements include:

  • Completed at least a Bachelor's degree with 30 credit hours in a content field and a 3.0 or higher GPA.
  • Hired by a school district in New Mexico to teach Special Education or able to provide documentation of a school district's intent to hire to teach Special Education.
  • Teaching on a waiver/emergency license or eligible to apply for a New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) Internship License.
  • Teaching in a district with a mentoring program approved by NMPED.

To apply: Apply to the Graduate School for

  • Admission to the NMSU Graduate School
  • Admission to the Department of Special Education/Communication Disorders
  • Accreditation: NMSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
    HLC website
    HLC phone: 800-621-7440

    Specialized Accreditation:

    More info: Alternative Licensure in Special Education

    Disabilities: If you have a disability that may affect your performance in a course, or if you require accommodations in order to take a distance education course, contact NMSU's Student Accessibility Services (SAS). Providing accommodations for distance education students sometimes requires more time than in a traditional classroom setting so students are encouraged to begin working with SAS as early as possible.

    Updated: 2017-08-17