Dual Degree | LSU School of Education

Become an Exceptional Educator

Do the Dual

Improve student outcomes  |  Expand your teaching skill toolkit  |  Double your certifications  |  Stand out to school principals

One of LSU’s strategic challenges is transforming education. One way for you to make a positive impact on education is to pursue the dual certification in general education and special education/mild-moderate disabilities. 

The Lutrill & Pearl Payne School of Education’s grades 1-5 dual certification degree is an eight-semester program of study that allows students to graduate with two certifications. Candidates who are interested in the PK - 3 or 6 - 12 programs can complete the five-course minor in special education in addition to their respective program coursework. That alone makes you stand out to the school principal who will offer you your first job upon graduation. 

Special Education Program faculty members have a vested interest in your exceptional and transformative development.  We work with public school mentor teacher teams to develop your teaching skills to improve the outcomes of students with and without disabilities. This professional support system will expand your teaching toolkit beyond the traditional teacher education program.

Child Centered

  • We recognize each student as an individual.
  • We value and teach each student within the contexts of his/her class, school, family, home, and community.

Data Driven

  • We strive to develop candidate knowledge and skill mastery of assessment and instructional procedures that are research- or evidence-based.
  • We incorporate objective and valid measurement in our planning, teaching, and evaluation processes.

Outcome Oriented

  • We foster teacher education candidate actions that emphasize development and monitoring of meaningful and appropriate student outcomes.
  • We cultivate a culture of effective collaboration with school professionals and family members in developing and monitoring meaningful and appropriate student outcomes. 

Solution Seeking

  • We emphasize communication and action that promote problem solving.
  • We collaborate for the purpose of performing meaningful teaching and learning. 

Recommended Program of Study.

About the Program 

If you follow the recommended path, you can complete the program in 4 academic years or 8 fall-spring semesters. In the first 4 semesters the university’s general education requirements and some School of Education prerequisites are met. One prerequisite, EDCI 2700 Characteristics of Learners with Exceptionalities (3), is generally taught by special education faculty.

In the final 4 semesters, you take a series of special education assessment, instruction, and classroom management courses in the fifth semester, a collection of science and math methods courses in the sixth semester, and a group of reading/language arts courses in the seventh semester prior to full-time placement in a public school setting in the eighth semester. The candidates’ seventh and eighth semesters constitute a residency/student teaching experience.

The final 4 semesters, you are presented content in LSU classrooms and then practice implementation in public school classroom placements. During this time there is an emphasis on mastering effective instructional practice, including teaching procedures shown to contribute to student achievement gains.

You are assigned a mentor teacher team which includes a general education teacher and a special education teacher. Placements are organized by special education faculty members and provide the opportunity to receive an in-depth exposure to classroom teaching practice and school/classroom climate. Placements develop ongoing relationships with practicing teachers, public school students, and specific grade-level contexts. In the best of cases, you remain in the area and are offered teaching positions in our partner schools.

Entrance requirements:

  • a 2.5 LSU and cumulative GPA
  • completed 24 hours of college credit
  • passing scores on Praxis Core (Reading, Writing, and Math) tests or meeting the State Board Approved Options

 Completion requirements:

  • course requirements
  • passing scores on Praxis Subject Specific Tests (Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications, Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects, Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades K-6)

The ideal dual certification candidate has two attributes that school principals have emphasized repeatedly over the years. First, the ideal candidate wants to be the best teacher he or she can be. There is a willingness which program faculty and partner school principals can add the ‘how to’ through course content and field-based practical experience. Second, the ideal candidate is willing to work with all students, what some teaching researchers have described as the HALO – high achievers, average achievers, low achievers, and others, including students with disabilities. We want it known that dual certification graduates can be general education classroom teachers or special education teachers, whatever they want to be, upon graduation and certification. School principals tell us that their ideal general education teacher is dually certified.

LSU’s Special Education Program has working relationships with school districts in West Baton Rouge and Ascension Parishes. Meaning our dual certification candidates complete their field experience and residency experiences in classrooms in those districts. We are working to expand the opportunities to work with different student populations and school and classroom contexts. For example, it is possible for grades 1-5 candidates to complete additional field experience activities in Baton Rouge at the Emerge School for Autism, the Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired, or the Louisiana School for the Deaf. It is also possible for PK-3 candidates to complete additional field experience activities at Iberville (Parish) Elementary Montessori School. It is the goal of special education faculty to improve and expand the opportunities for dual certification candidates to positively impact the academic and social-emotional-behavioral lives of students with and without disabilities, students’ caregivers and families, and their teachers and accompanying educational professionals.

Learn more about the Praxis tests, locate testing centers, and register for a test at this website.

  • select LSU (recipient code 6373) as a score recipient when registering

Praxis Subject Specific Tests

Test Test Code Qualifying Score Recommended Semester to Complete
Special Education: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications 5543 153 Fifth

Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects

  • Reading and Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Social Studies
  • Science


Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades K - 6 5622 160 Sixth

Teacher Education Disclosure

The Special Education Elementary Grades Education BS program, (Dual Certification), meets the educational eligibility criteria for certification in Elementary Grades and Mild/Moderate in the State of Louisiana. Graduates of this Louisiana state-approved teacher preparation program will qualify for a Level 1 Professional Certificate. Graduates of the program who wish to teach in another U.S. state or country may require additional eligibility criteria to qualify for licensure and/or certification in those locations. We are unable to confirm the licensure and/or certification requirements of other states or countries. Therefore, if you intend to pursue such credentialing in another state or elsewhere, it is advised that you contact the applicable state or country credentialing authority to familiarize yourself with its specific requirements and determine if this program meets the applicable eligibility criteria. If you have additional questions in this regard, please contact us to assist you in your career planning.

Procedures for filing appeals and complaints are accessed here.

For More Information

Paul Mooney, PhD
213 Peabody Hall

Email Dr. Mooney

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