Skip to content
Phone 800-985-7215 800-985-7215
(888) 905 1161 (888) 905 1161

Master of Arts in Education – Teacher as Leader in Moderate & Severe Disabilities Online

This online graduate program gives you the understanding and instructional tools to meet the needs of students who require significant support in an academic environment.

10/05/23 Next Application Due Date
10/18/23 Start Classes

Program Overview

Discover NKU’s Online Moderate and Severe Disabilities Master’s Program

$12,840 Total Tuition Starts At
As few as 18 months Program Duration
30-52 Credit Hours

Develop the knowledge and skills to ensure that students with moderate and severe disabilities reach their learning potential by earning your Master of Arts in Education – Teacher as Leader in Moderate & Severe Disabilities (MSD) online from NKU. This 100% online program is designed to prepare you to work with students with intellectual disabilities that impede academic achievement and adaptive behavior skills.

Study how to assess students with MSD and learn how to design differentiated instruction based on their needs. You will also learn behavioral management skills for children with the most significant disabilities and how to collaborate with teachers and parents to develop effective strategies to enhance student learning.

Taught by the same dedicated faculty who teach on campus, this online master’s in education program will prepare you to work in a variety of roles, such as teaching in self-contained settings and resource classes as well as co-teaching with general education teachers.

In this online education master’s program, you will:

  • Gain a strong foundation of special education theory, methods, and practical teaching experience
  • Understand the field of special education, including legislation and litigation that has affected the rights of individuals with disabilities
  • Learn the nature and needs of students with exceptionalities and the characteristics of students who have intellectual disabilities or orthopedic and/or health impairments
  • Study principles of behavior analysis applied to curriculum, methodology, and management of students with disabilities
CAEP Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation logo

The educator preparation programs at Northern Kentucky University are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

Have questions or need more information about our online programs?

Online Education Programs Also Available:

Northern Kentucky University offers a variety of graduate education programs online. Check out our other quality online education programs.

Some programs may be TEACH Grant eligible. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance for more information.*


Pay for Your Online Education Program by the Course

Our MAEd – Teacher Leader – MSD online program features the same affordable, pay-as-you-go tuition for all students, no matter where you live.

Tuition breakdown:

$412 Per Credit Hour
$12,840 Total Tuition Starts At

View full tuition breakdown

Program Per Credit Hour Required Fees Total With Fees
Master of Arts in Education – Teacher Leader – Moderate and Severe Disabilities $412 $480 Starts at $12,840*

Tuition and fees are subject to change at any time.

*This does not include the additional hours needed for certification.

Forbes badge

Ranked among the “Top Public Colleges” by Forbes, 2022


When to Apply, When Classes Start, When Tuition Is Due

With six start dates a year, the MAEd – Teacher Leader – MSD online program is flexible and convenient. View the calendar to find the best start date for you, along with corresponding deadlines.

Now Enrolling:

10/05/23 Apply By
10/18/23 Start Classes

View full calendar

Session Program Start Date Application Deadline Document Deadline Registration Deadline Tuition Deadline Last Class Day
Summer 1 05/08/2023 04/26/2023 05/01/2023 05/04/2023 05/08/2023 06/23/2023
Summer 2 06/26/2023 06/14/2023 06/19/2023 06/22/2023 06/26/2023 08/11/2023
Fall 1 08/21/2023 08/09/2023 08/14/2023 08/18/2023 08/21/2023 10/06/2023
Fall 2 10/18/2023 10/05/2023 10/10/2023 10/13/2023 10/18/2023 12/08/2023
Spring 1 01/08/2024 01/02/2024 01/04/2024 01/05/2024 01/08/2024 02/23/202$
Spring 2 03/11/2024 02/29/2024 03/04/2024 03/08/2024 03/11/2024 04/26/2024

Ready to take the next step toward earning your degree online from Northern Kentucky University?


Read the Details of Our Admissions Criteria

The admission process is the first step to earning your degree online. Requirements of the MAEd – Teacher Leader – MSD online program include:

Official transcripts of all coursework from accredited institutions
2.75 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale
Valid teaching certificate or out-of-state equivalent

View full admission requirements

MAEd – Teacher Leader – MSD Online Admission Requirements

  • Complete online application for admission
  • Pay $40 non-refundable application fee
    • If you are an NKU alumni or active/veteran military member, your application fee will be waived
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) coursework from an accredited institutions
  • Minimum 2.75 GPA
  • Teaching Certificate: Submit a copy of current teaching certificate or out-of-state equivalent. New teachers in Kentucky may submit a Kentucky Statement of Eligibility.
  • Submit official scores for the Graduate Record Examination (general test) taken within the past five years
    • The GRE requirement is waived for applicants who have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, and for applicants who have already earned a master's degree from an accredited institution
  • Teacher as Leader Admission Agreement: Print, sign, and submit the Teacher as Leader Admission Agreement to the Office of Graduate Education
  • Supplemental application

Official documents may be mailed or emailed to:

NKU Office of Graduate Education
302 Lucas Administrative Center
Highland Heights, KY 41099

[email protected]

Have a question? Call us at 800-985-7215.


Dive into the Online Master’s in Education – MSD Teacher Curriculum

For the MAEd – Teacher Leader – MSD online program, students who already hold certification and are seeking a non-certification degree must complete 12 courses for a total of 30 credit hours. For students seeking certification, an additional 19-22 credit hours are required for a total of 49-52 credit hours.

Expand All [+]

Students must take the following courses:

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 0

Orientation to the Master of Arts in Education Teacher as Leader program including graduate policies and procedures, selection of a specialization/endorsement, advising services, certification, educator dispositions, professional behaviors, online learning, and the action research sequence.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course is an introduction to school leadership. Students will engage in a thorough investigation of contemporary leadership research, scholarship, theory, and practice. This course will introduce the concept of “transformative” change in schools, classrooms, and in individuals. Participants will create personal and professional growth plans to enhance their effectiveness.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Introduction to education research enabling candidates to become effective consumers and users of research in education. It will improve candidates’ ability to apply research findings appropriately in school settings and will lay a foundation for an original action research project.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Research, theory, policy, and practice in multicultural and diversity education; recognizing race, class, gender, learning, and linguistic diversity within home, schools, and community settings; developing and demonstrating culturally relevant and responsive approaches to meeting the needs of students.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Research-based best practices and models of instructional design to meet the needs of all learners in a school setting.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 2

(Students will repeat this course for a total of 2 credit hours: two 7-week sessions)
Methods and skills needed to design, conduct, interpret and apply action research to address issues in classrooms and schools through data driven decision making; develop a research proposal related to a specific P-12 educational issues, secure permission from a local educational agency to conduct research, comply with regulations related to human subjects research, and develop an implementation plan for the proposed research project.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 1

(Students will repeat this course for a total of 1 credit hour: two 7-week sessions.)
This course examines various aspects of conducting applied educational research. Students will complete a research project addressing a specific educational issue leading to enhanced P-12 student learning, including data analysis, written summary of research findings, and present their findings to faculty and peers.

Students must take the following courses:

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Evaluating for assistive technology; approaches and devices for communication, mobility, and sensory impairments; distances learning technology for transition to the community and post school careers.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Theories of language development; teaching functional communication skills; skills necessary for pre interactions; assistive technology and communication; teaching conversational skills.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Knowledge of and skills in coordinating agencies and community services that provide opportunities for students with multiple disabilities.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Theoretical perspectives, measurement systems, ecological inventories, functional behavior assessment, and positive and proactive behavior intervention plans.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 4

Assessing functional skills; formal and informal assessment; portfolio assessment; adaptive approaches; teaching self-care and independent living skills, language skills, motor skills, social skills, and career skills; community-based instruction, transportation and mobility; encouraging student self-determination; and teaching for skill generalization.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3-6

Classroom field experience in added area of certification; individual project.

Students pursuing Learning & Behavior Disorders certification must take the following additional courses:

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Nature and needs of students with exceptionalities; overview of legal requirements and educational approaches.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Characteristics and educational programs for students who have intellectual disabilities or orthopedic and/or health impairments.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Principles, instruments, and procedures to place and plan instruction for students with learning or behavior disorders.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Principles of behavior analysis applied to curriculum, methodology, and management of students with disabilities; behavioral teaching methods contrasted with alternative management techniques.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Information, skills, and resources for effective interaction with parents and families of children with disabilities.

*The maximum grant amount can vary by year. TEACH Grants are available to qualified applicants and require approved recipients to sign a service agreement for certain teaching service obligations for four academic years. If obligations are not met within eight years after graduation, the grant will turn into a Direct Unsubsidized Loan that must be repaid with all accrued interest from the date of disbursement. For more information, please visit: or contact the NKU Financial Aid Office.

Request Information
*All fields required.
or call 800-985-7215 800-985-7215
By submitting this form, I am providing my digital signature agreeing that Northern Kentucky University (NKU) may email me or contact me regarding educational services by telephone and/or text message utilizing automated technology or a pre-recorded message at the telephone number(s) provided above. I understand this consent is not a condition to attend NKU or to purchase any other goods or services.