Master of Science in Special Education

Boy reading outside on the grass

Master of Science in Special Education with a Focus on Literacy

Bryn Athyn College’s Master of Science in Special Education is focused on literacy. Students with language-based differences aren’t the only students who struggle with learning to read and write. Our program’s emphasis on the research behind teaching literacy will equip you with in-depth knowledge about how to best help all students learn to read and write.


The mission of the Master of Special Education, Literacy Concentration Program at Bryn Athyn College is to prepare certified educators with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the needs of diverse learners in an inclusive environment, support students with language-based learning differences and offer a perspective on the spiritual nature of language. In so doing we support the mission of the college to contribute to human spiritual welfare.

Expertise that Makes the Difference

The knowledge and skill you will gain from a master of science in education will prepare you to bring a much-needed expertise into the classroom. Sixty percent of fourth graders in Pennsylvania are reading below grade level. Whether your students’ challenges come from physical impairments, specific learning disabilities, or the lack of opportunity to learn (“environmental dyslexia”), they need the help our program prepares you to offer.

Our Commitment to You

Whether you are looking to add the Pennsylvania Pre-K to 8 special ed certification to your existing general education certification or to deepen your knowledge of how to meet the needs of students with learning differences, our curriculum is designed with you in mind. Providing one-on-one advising ensures a graduate program that is tailored to your professional experience and needs. We provide extensive support to teachers already in the field both during and after completion of our program. Additionally, our cohort model gives you the ongoing support and collegiality of a professional learning community.

Educate with a Purpose

At Bryn Athyn College education is studied in a spiritual context. Each child in special education comes to us with unique challenges. How can we help? Opening our hearts and minds to the question of how best to serve each child calls for a reflective practice of careful observation. Our program begins with a course designed to cultivate the art of awareness in the work of a special educator.

BAC Teacher Residency Program, Depth of Experience

Becoming an expert practitioner takes time and expert mentorship. Bryn Athyn College Teacher Residency program is an optional full-time 6-9-month placement in a school setting, such as AIM Academy, designed to support struggling readers and students with language-based learning differences. Throughout the residency experience, you will have the opportunity to master critical skills through practice and mentorship under a skilled practitioner on site.

BAC Distinguished Special Educator Fellowship

We believe in recognition of excellence and welcome graduate students to apply for consideration of our Special Educator Fellowship. This distinguished honor includes the opportunity to present their Graduate Capstone poster at the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators conference, personal invitation to the Pennsylvania Council for Exceptional Children and the national Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children conferences, and a special invitation to the AIM Research-to-Practice Symposium.

Application Requirements

  • Official sealed transcript(s) of undergraduate/graduate coursework
  • BA or BS degree from an accredited college or university
  • Personal Statement:
    • Highlighting their professional endeavors, motivations for pursuing their graduate degree in special education, and how they will utilize their degree to enhance their teaching practice upon program completion.
  • GPA – 3.0
  • Three Letters of Recommendation:
    • One must be from the candidate’s building administrator demonstrating support for graduate student or if not currently employed in a school district, a school administrator from their previous field placement.
    • One must be from a faculty member from the candidate’s undergraduate program.
  • Resume
  • Additional Documents:
    • Required Pennsylvania Clearances
    • To be Eligible for Special Education Certificate: Copies of PreK-4 and/or 4-8 Level I/II Teaching Certificate(s)

Advisement Sheet (PDF)

For more information contact Dr. Kelly M. Ballard, Head of Master of Special Education program, at 267-502-2416 or