About the Program

Candidates in the 4+1 accelerated pathway begin the required graduate coursework for the Generalist 7-12 Exceptional/Special Education master’s program during their senior year of undergraduate study.

Candidates may complete a maximum of nine (9) credit hours during the undergraduate senior year. Candidates may then continue to complete the remainder of their graduate coursework to fulfill the program requirements for their M.S.Ed. degree.

This 4+1 accelerated pathway leads to eligibility for the following NYS teaching certifications:

  • Students with Disabilities (Special Education), Grades 1-6 – upon completion of undergraduate degree
  • Childhood Education (General Education), Grades 1-6 – upon completion of undergraduate degree
  • Generalist (Special Education), Grades 7-12  – upon completion of one or two graduate semesters
  • Grades 7-12 subject area extension (Math, English, Social Studies, or Science, if candidate has completed at least 18 credits in one subject area)  – upon completion of one or two graduate semesters

Candidates accepted to the accelerated pathway must follow the curriculum map as outlined in order to complete the program as scheduled.

Candidates must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 before enrollment in any graduate course in the accelerated pathway and must earn a minimum grade of “B” in their first Generalist 7-12 special education course.

Candidates are formally admitted to the Graduate School following verification of completion of bachelor’s degree requirements and acceptance of the graduate application.

Upon formal admission to the Graduate School, earned graduate credit is applied to the graduate course of study and all graduate policies and privileges apply. Graduate application fees are waived for students in the 4+1 accelerated pathway.

Enrollment in all teacher education programs follows the guidelines for "Admission to All Education Preparation Programs" found in the Graduate Catalog. Applicants who do not yet meet all admissions criteria should consult with the department.

All teacher education programs include a clinical/field component. If you have been convicted of a felony, your criminal history record may impede your ability to complete this program and/or become a NYS certified teacher. Please review Buffalo State's Admission of Persons with Prior Felony Convictions Policy.

Completion of a Buffalo State Educator Preparation Program leads to a college recommendation for NYS Teacher Certification. Buffalo State cannot determine the acceptability of an Educator Preparation Program for licensure/certification in another U.S. state or territory. Buffalo State’s full Interstate Disclosure document, including a full list of education departments for other states, can be found on the Teacher Certification website.


  • Entering first-year students must have a minimum high school average of 85.
  • Undergraduates must submit SAT or ACT scores for successful admission to the pathway. Current Buffalo State students who are changing majors and applying in their junior year may submit GRE or MAT scores instead.*
  • Students who have completed one semester of full-time undergraduate study or at least 12 credit hours of college study must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.

*Candidates accepted to the Special Education Childhood and Generalist 7-12  4+1 accelerated pathway as undergraduates are not required to submit GRE or MAT scores as required by SUNY for graduate teacher education programs if they have already submitted SAT or ACT scores for acceptance to the undergraduate portion of the pathway.


  • Transfer students from two-year and other four-year institutions follow the same institutional admission requirements as other students transferring to Buffalo State teacher education programs.
  • Acceptance of courses from other institutions to the special education Childhood and Generalist 7-12 4+1 course sequence is contingent on courses that have transfer equivalency to courses in the Buffalo State 4+1 accelerated pathway.
  • Undergraduates must submit SAT or ACT scores. Current SUNY students who are changing majors and applying in their junior year may submit GRE or MAT scores instead.
  • Transfer students should speak to a department chair before applying. Please call the Exceptional Education Department at (716) 878-3038 with questions or to arrange an appointment.
  • Meet with your department's undergraduate adviser.
  • Together, with your adviser, complete the Accelerated and 4+1 Pathway Application.

    4+1 Accelerated Pathway Application

  • The application must be signed by both your undergraduate department chair and graduate department chair/program coordinator).
  • Applicants must also submit to the Exceptional Education department a written statement of commitment to the major that clearly demonstrates why you are selecting the 4+1 option for 7-12 Generalist and affirms your intent to remain at Buffalo State for both undergraduate and graduate studies. The writing sample will be assessed by the faculty as an essential part of a successful application to the major.

More Information
Exceptional Education Department
Ketchum Hall 204
(716) 878-3038