Master of Arts in Special Education
Cheryl McDonald, Coordinator
Special Education Program
The Master of Arts Degree in Special Education offers advanced preparation in mild/moderate disabilities and moderate/severe disabilities, and is closely related to course requirements for the Professional Level II Education Specialist Credential program. It is expected that students seeking admission to the Master of Arts Degree in Special Education will possess a substantial entry level background in special education, such as having made significant progress toward completion of the Preliminary Level I Education Specialist Credential program in mild/moderate or moderate/severe disabilities.
Applicants seeking the Master of Arts degree in Special Education who also wish to teach in special education settings in the public schools of California should be concurrently enrolled in the Education Specialist Credential program. The Master's Degree alone will not provide authorization for classroom instruction in the State of California. Only students seeking teaching positions in states other than California, students seeking expertise for application to employment settings which specifically exclude public education, or students desiring to teach outside of the United States may pursue the Master of Arts degree without concurrent enrollment in the Education Specialist Credential program. Students with these unique aspirations are responsible to understand credentialing/licensing requirements which may pertain to their desired work setting.
Students are not required to obtain this Master's Degree to be employed as a fully credentialed special education teacher in California. It is the credentials (both Level I and II) which provide the required State authorization. Most individuals at the Professional Level II will desire the Master's Degree as a reflection of their professional preparation beyond the entry level, and for possible purposes of salary augmentation and future job opportunities in the field. Students who already possess a Master's Degree in another field are not required to complete this degree program while pursuing the Education Specialist credentials.
It is essential that time considerations for admission to and completion of the Master of Arts degree and credential programs be observed. Applicants who wish to be fully credentialed as special education teachers must complete the Professional Level II Education Specialist Credential program in mild/moderate or moderate/severe disabilities within 5 years of completing the Level I program. The Master of Arts degree must be completed no later than 5 years subsequent to taking the first approved course for the degree.
The Professional Level II credential program offers specialization in mild/moderate and moderate/severe disabilities as described under the Preliminary Level I credential program. Candidates will have selected one of these professional paths for completion of the Preliminary Level I credential program. The selected specialization will be consistent with the work setting in which the candidate is employed and working under the Level I credential authorization.
Visit the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Studies in the College of Health and Human Services for more information.