Teaching Students With Disabilities

Teaching Students with Disabilities, Birth - Grade 12 & Early Childhood, Childhood or Adolescence Education

Combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Science
  • 120 - 138 credits
  • School of Education
  • Bronx
  • Manhattan
  • Online
  • Westchester
Teaching Students With Disabilities


Teaching students with disabilities can be one of the most rewarding fields in education and we want to help you get into a classroom faster. Our 4+1 Teaching Students with Disabilities (SWD) B.S./M.S. allows students to earn their undergraduate degree and teacher certification in SWD and a master's degree in early childhood, childhood or adolescence education with an additional teacher certification in just five years.

While in undergrad, students take up to 15 graduate courses that can be used toward both a bachelor's and master's degree. This qualifies students for teaching certification in Students with Disabilities following the completion of their undergraduate degree and helps you to earn your master's degree in Early Childhood Education, Childhood Education, or Adolescence Education faster. At the completion of the master's degree, students will get an additional teacher certification to work as early childhood, childhood, or secondary education teachers.

Teacher giving student personal attention.

Specialized Content

You will not only become an expert in teaching students with disabilities, you'll also be able to specialize in a specific field of study. Students specialize in one of the four core content areas taught in schools: English, math, social studies, or science – helping to make you an expert in your field and a highly sought after teaching candidate with dual certification. 

Earn Your Dual Certification

Upon completion of your undergraduate degree you can apply the 15 graduate credits you earned toward a Master's in order to earn dual teaching certification. 


SWD & Early Childhood Education, Birth - Grade 2

18 additional graduate credits


SWD & Childhood Education, Grades 1 - 6

18 additional graduate credits


SWD & Adolescence Education, Grades 7 - 12

15 additional graduate credits

Specialize in: English, math, social studies, biology, physics, chemistry or earth science

Teaching Students With Disabilities

Career Opportunities

  • Preschool, Elementary or Secondary School Teacher
  • Positions in Charter Schools
  • Positions in Private Schools
  • Positions in New York Public Schools
  • Special Education Teacher (all grades)
Teaching Students With Disabilities

The Mercy Advantage

  • Strong relationships with elementary and secondary schools across New York City and Westchester
  • Undergraduates take 15 graduate education credits during their bachelor's degree
  • Semester-long student teaching experience
  • National accreditation by CAEP
  • Some courses completely online

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5 Year Program

Career Outcomes

Earn a B.S. and M.S. in just 5 years

$83K Salary

Average Pay

For a childhood teacher in the New York region

4+1 Program

Earn your Bachelor's and Master's Degree in 5 Years

Core focus areas in English, math, social studies, or science
Mercy window seal

Program Outcomes


Candidates will understand, explain, analyze and apply major theories and philosophies for the education of students with physical affective and cognitive disabilities.


Candidates will create high-quality, meaningful learning opportunities that are based on competencies and content knowledge, utilize developmental knowledge, employ formal and informational assessment strategies, and incorporate collaboration with all aspects of the broad school community to facilitate developmental processes and encourage growth to a child's maximum potential.

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Candidates will become reflective practitioners who continually reflect on their practice and actively pursue opportunities for professional growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you will become certified as a teacher in Students with Disabilities, Birth – Grade 12 upon completion of this undergraduate degree

Successful completion of coursework and other academic requirements.

The School of Education offers a Master of Science in Education with a concentration in one of the following areas: Early Childhood Education, Birth-Grade 2; Childhood Education, Grades 1-6; Secondary Education, 7-12; Teaching Literacy, Birth-Grade 12; Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL); Educational Supervision; Educational Administration.

This program is designed for incoming undergraduate students looking to become a teacher. 

Transfer students are also eligible to complete the program. Depending on credits being transferred into the program students may need to complete the UG version of this program and pursue a 1 year degree in the MS education program that best fits their background. 

Program Details & Curriculum

B.S. in Teaching Students with Disabilities
General Education Requirements: 60 credits
Major Concentration: Teaching Students with Disabilities: 36 credits
Open Electives: 24 credits

Total: 120 credits

This undergraduate program allows students to complete a BS in Teaching Students with Disabilities (SWD) and get  recommended for NYS teacher certification in SWD, birth-grade 12 (all grades) at the completion of the undergraduate degree. As part of their undergraduate major requirements, students will take 15 graduate level education credits that have the option of being counted toward both undergraduate and graduate level credit. 

Students must accumulate 30 credits in one liberal arts and sciences content area through the general education and open elective coursework as part of NYS teacher certification requirements. Students select a liberal arts content area from one of the Liberal Arts Disciplinary Groupings comprising the general education curriculum. 

4+1 Program - Curriculum Requirements
Additional Graduate Credits
Early Childhood Education: 18 credits
Childhood Education: 18 credits
Adolescence Education: 15 credits

Upon completing the B.S. degree in Teaching Students with Disabilities, students may apply the 15 graduate level credits they completed as part of their undergraduate major requirements to a MS degree and receive recommendation for an additional NYS teacher certificate in either Early Childhood Education (birth to grade 2), Childhood Education (grades 1-6), or Adolescence Education (English, Math, Social Studies, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, or Earth Science, grades 7-12), depending on which 30-credit content area they pursued as an undergraduate student.

Students must accumulate 30 credits in one liberal arts and sciences content area through the general education and open elective coursework as part of the NYS teacher certification requirements. Students interested in the 4+1 BS/MS option are limited to one of the 4 core content areas taught in schools: English, math, social studies, or science for their liberal arts content area.

For an adolescence certificate, the 30-credit liberal arts content area must match the content area of the certificate. For SWD, early childhood education, and childhood education, any of these liberal arts and sciences content areas are acceptable.

For a full curriculum listing visit our catalog.

The programs of study in the School of Education are designed to provide professional preparation for candidates planning to teach and serve as educational leaders.

Mission Statement of the School of Education

The Mercy University educational unit is dedicated to preparing effective educators, including teachers and other school professionals, who are reflective practitioners, equipped with the knowledge base, technological skills, research tools, and professional strategies and insights to empower them to help diverse populations of students succeed in their learning and community environments. The values of competency, diversity, and ethical practice support the proficient development of candidates enabling them to become skilled professionals and lifelong learners. The unit is committed to creating innovative, flexible, and accessible programs of study for its candidates, and to developing partnerships and opportunities for collaboration and clinical experiences within Mercy University and with external communities.

Please refer to the general requirements for admission and matriculation in the Graduate Admissions section of the course catalog. Please review the prerequisite preparation for each program and consult with the program chair or associate dean. 

To be accepted into the B.S. Education program, students must: 

  • Be a high school graduate who has earned a New York State Regents Diploma with an 85 average or better


  • Be a high school graduate with a score of 500 or better on the verbal portion of the SAT and 500 or better on the math portion of the SAT or corresponding ACT


  • Place at ENGL 111 and MATH 115 on the Mercy University Placement exam

Students must have earned an associate degree in Liberal Arts with an overall GPA of 3.0. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 each semester at Mercy University to remain in the Five-Year Program and must adhere to the above requirements.

Students who do not meet the above admission criteria may apply to the dual program upon completion of the 60-credit General Education requirement and completion of at least 15 credits in their major field of study with a GPA of 3.0 or better. Thirty credits must be taken in residency at Mercy University.

Students must submit an Effective Educator Statement to complete their application. You can download requirements here. 

Please submit the completed statement to your application portal

All initial certification programs are nationally recognized by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Full-Time Faculty

Part-Time Faculty