Whether preschool, child, or adolescent; hearing impaired, autistic, or physically disabled; requiring mild or severe interventions, their exceptional needs are ones you can confidently meet with a director of exceptional needs license.

This fully online program prepares you to be knowledgeable in finance, law, and administration of special education programs and leads you to Indiana licensure. The license will prepare you for leadership roles in special education at schools and at the district level.

Pathways to the License

If you hold a master’s degree. Since you hold a master’s degree, you’re well on your way to earning this 36-credit license.

If you are an out-of-state resident, you should discuss requirements with your state’s board of education prior to beginning this program. Completion of this program does not ensure licensure in states other than Indiana.

If you do not hold a master’s degree. You can complete the master of arts in special education while taking courses to fulfill the license requirements. You must meet all criteria for a master’s and be accepted through the Department of Special Education and our Graduate School. Completion of the courses below do not guarantee the granting of the master’s degree, unless you have been accepted into the master’s degree program.

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Admissions Requirements

  • The completion of, or working toward, a master’s degree. Master’s degree must be completed at the time of application for this license.
  • Two years of teaching experience in special education at an accredited school or schools. This must be verified in the form of a letter from your employing school system and submitted to our office prior to, or at the time of, application for this license.
  • CPR, AED, Heimlich maneuver, and suicide prevention training
  • Any additional requirements as outlined in Indiana’s current licensure law (REPA)

Academic Advisor

Contact your advisor, who can answer questions you have about our program.

The director of exceptional needs required coursework focuses on specific courses in educational leadership (EDAD) and special education (SPCE). Candidates may transfer credits to the program, however, those credits will need to go through an OTES transcript review. The course work is geared toward school administration and focuses on administration of programs in special education.

  • EDAD 600 Introduction to Educational Leadership (3 credits) 
  • EDAD 684 Educational Finance and Ethics (3 credits) 
    or EDAD 685 Fiscal Management of Educational Agencies (3 credits)
  • EDAD 687 Legal Aspects of Education (3 credits) 
  • EDAD 689 The School Principal (3 credits) 
  • SPCE 637 Special Education Administration and Law (3 credits)
  • SPCE 639 Special Education Administration and Organizational Behavior (3 credits)
  • SPCE 687 Educational Assessment: Mild Interventions (3 credits) - prerequisite of SPCED 686
  • SPCE 694 Internship in Special Education
  • SPCE 677 Teaching Parents to Educate Their Exceptional Child or CPSY 600 Introduction to School Counseling (3 credits)

Choose three courses from the list below:

  • SPCE 577 Introduction to Students with Intense Intervention Needs (3 credits)
  • SPCE 600 Education of Exceptional Children (3 credits)
  • SPCE 612 Theory & Practice in Early Childhood Special Education (3 credits) 
  • SPCE 631 Computer Technology and the Learner with Special Needs (3 credits)
  • SPCE 632 Introduction to Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (3 credits)
  • SPCE 686 Introduction: Mild Interventions (3 credits)
  • SPAA 543 Introduction to Audiology (3 credits)

Director of Exceptional Needs Program Sheet (PDF)*

*Director of Exceptional Needs candidates need to have their transcript reviewed by the Office of Teacher Education Services (OTES). 

Before you begin, you will need to contact Office of Teacher Education Services (OTES), for a license evaluation

Federal Employees Pay In-State Tuition

Ball State has joined the Federal Academic Alliance and is offering reduced tuition rates for all eligible, non-Indiana resident Federal Government Employees (civil servants), spouses, dependents, and retirees who enroll in online graduate-level programs and courses through Ball State’s Teachers College. Learn more.

Ready to Apply?

You will first want to check if you meet the admission requirements for the Ball State Graduate School. Then you may apply.

No GRE is required.


Admission to Ball State is selective, and we carefully evaluate all applications on an individual basis. Applying for admission is easy. Use our convenient, comprehensive, and secure online application.

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Students from Other States

Ball State is authorized by the U.S. Department of Education to accept online students from all U.S. states. However, if you are considering a program that leads to professional licensure, some states may have additional regulations. Review our state authorization website if you live outside of Indiana and contact us if you have questions.

Want to Learn More?

Do you have questions about this program or online learning? We’re here to help! You may request more information using our online form, or feel free to reach out directly to one of our staff.