MSSP Introduction

The MSSP program is a competency-based program that enables you to earn a Master of Science in Special Education degree online. The MSSP program includes content knowledge related to teaching special education K–12, as well as research, instructional design, and performance improvement.


The program contains a 240-hour practicum. The hours for activities have been predetermined and are included in the MSSP Practicum Log. Activities include Interviews, Observations, IEP Development and Meetings, Professional Growth, Professional Development Readings, Video Reflection, Teacher Work Sample, and six lessons, 3 at the elementary level (1-5 grade multi-subject elementary classroom or 6th grade non-departmentalized multi-subject elementary classroom) and 3 at the secondary level (7-12) to be taught with individual students and small groups within an inclusion class, under the observation and evaluation of a clinical supervisor; (these lessons must take place on different days, in core subjects – Math, Language Arts/English, Science, and Social Studies – and require you to complete a field experience application prior to engaging). Please see additional information under the heading: Observations and Final Evaluation.


The most important aspect of this program is that it provides an avenue for you as a professional currently engaged in a teaching career, whose content and pedagogy backgrounds are significant, to serve in our country’s elementary, middle, and high schools by teaching in special education in grades K-12. This program is for licensed teachers with bachelor’s degrees who are interested in moving into special education instruction.


WGU is committed to providing a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff. WGU will only approve potential practicum sites that are expected to fully comply with all relevant ordinances and laws related to safety and health and will not knowingly place a practicum candidate at a site that is out of compliance with such ordinances or laws. If there are questions related to your approved site, please contact


The MSSP program includes four Capstone experiences, which are:


  • MS SPED Teacher Work Sample Written Project/Practicum
  • 240-hour practicum*
  • Praxis 5543
  • Additional research courses.

*Note: The 240-hour practicum is a WGU program requirement. Your state may have additional requirements.  The Teacher Licensure Home Page (opens new window) in the Student Handbook contains detailed information about the licenses your state offers that align with WGU programs and how to apply. You will work with the WGU Licensure office ( regarding all certification and endorsement questions.


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