Oct 24, 2021  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year]

Learning Disabilities [M.A.]

Students accepted into the graduate program in learning disabilities may elect a teaching endorsement in learning disabilities or, if a specified previous special education endorsement has been earned, a dual endorsement in learning disabilities and cognitive impairment or emotional impairment and a master of arts degree. The learning disability endorsement is K-12.


Eastern Michigan University’s advanced professional education programs support inquiry, advocacy, and leadership education for a diverse and democratic society. In addition, the masters-level programs in the Department of Special Education & Communication Sciences and Disorders produce professionals with the comprehensive knowledge, skills, and attitudes to deliver a continuum of habilitative/rehabilitative services to persons with special needs, and their families, within a diverse society.

Program Admission

Graduate School Application

After reviewing the admission requirements below, please select the appropriate application. The University is transitioning application platforms; pay close attention when selecting the application below.

The program you are applying to may not accept applicants every semester.

For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.

Admission Requirements

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

A four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution. In addition, a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 in the last half of the undergraduate program, is required for full admission. Applicants who do not meet minimum admission requirements may be considered for conditional admission. See International Admissions for international applicant requirements.

Applicants must also meet the following program requirements:

  • Possess a valid Michigan teacher certification with a special education endorsement. Applicants who have earned a teaching certificate, but no special education endorsement, are required to complete additional deficiency and/or elective courses, as determined by their advisor.
  • Submit two references (name and contact information).
  • Submit a personal statement of purpose describing why you would like to pursue graduate studies in learning disabilities and how you hope to benefit from these studies.
  • Have a successful personal interview, if requested, with an assigned advisor. Not required.

Department Information

Special Education & Communication Sciences and Disorders | David Winters, Ph.D., Department Head | 128 Porter, 734.487.3300, dwinter1@emich.edu

Derrick Fries, Ph.D., Graduate Coordinator | 106 Porter, 734.487.3300, dfries@emich.edu

Contact the Graduate Coordinator for information concerning admissions and programs of study.

Advisor Information

Rhonda Kraai, Ed.D., 128L Porter, 734.487.2740, rkraai@emich.edu

Program Requirements

The graduate student seeking a master of arts degree in learning disabilities through the Special Education & Communication Sciences and Disorders Department must:

  1. Complete an approved master’s degree program that has been planned with a graduate advisor for the Department of Special Education & Communication Sciences and Disorders.
  2. Complete a competency examination at 90 percent or better.
  3. Have on file with an advisor, two evaluations of teaching effectiveness/professional competence. These evaluations are to be completed by supervisors/administrators in public or private schools at the conclusion of the internship experience.
  4. Complete a supervised practicum experience.
  5. Complete the degree requirements within six years of enrolling for the first-class applicable to the degree program.
  6. Meet all other requirements of the Graduate School.

Exit Requirements

Exit criteria include the demonstration of acceptable levels of performance in the following areas:

  • Ability to carry out suitable procedures for assessment of listening, thinking, talking, reading, spelling, writing, mathematics, or other skill deficiencies
  • Ability to specify, in behavioral terms, the instructional objectives, that are appropriate to the skill needs and entry-level characteristics of, an individual student
  • Ability to set up and maintain conditions and procedures of instruction suitable to the learning goals set for the individual student
  • Ability to assess instructional outcomes in terms of the student’s behavior change and use this data in the formulation of an on-going instructional plan adjusted to changed student conditions
  • Ability to use appropriate techniques with the student to help develop the self-management skills required for constructive social participation and independent learning
  • Ability to function as a member of interdisciplinary teams and maintain effective liaison with parents and others working with the student

Acceptable levels will be determined by course grades, GPA, competency examination, practicum evaluations, and performance in research colloquium, including production at the end of practicum of a comprehensive written document which demonstrates the understanding, synthesis of knowledge and the practical applications of diagnostic-prescriptive planning for K-12 students with disabilities. This product is considered a culminating activity for the degree program.

Degree Requirements: 30 hours

Students must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours; however, exact coursework requirements will be determined based on the student’s previous coursework and experience.

Learning Disability Concentration: 6 hours

Students who previously earned credit in SPLI 468, are not required to complete SPLI 568 and should complete an additional elective course.

Electives: 2 hours

Students must complete a minimum two credit hours of elective or deficiency coursework, at the 500-level or above. Course(s) must be approved by assigned advisor.

Dual Endorsement

Students pursuing this degree program are eligible for an additional endorsement in either Cognitive Impairment or Emotional Impairment.

Required coursework for a dual endorsement consists of the 30 credit hour minimum required for the MA in Learning Disabilities and an additional 15 (EI) or 19 (CI) credit hours. Total hours required for the additional endorsement will vary, additional deficiency courses may be needed or in rare cases, students end up with less than 15 (EI) or 19 (CI) hours as a result of previous coursework completed (as determined by their advisor). To earn both endorsements a student must complete their program in its entirety.