Exceptional Student Education, M.A. Comprehensive

The M.A. in Exceptional Student Education is a comprehensive program. There is a critical shortage of certified teachers, administrators, related professionals, and specialists in many areas of exceptional student education.


Program Description

The comprehensive master's degree program in Exceptional Student Education is part of the NCATE accredited Professional Education Unit, and is designed to develop master teachers who will be prepared for instructional and leadership roles in special education.

Students will be assigned a faculty mentor who will provide career advice and advisement concerning professional issues. Students in this master’s degree program must complete a 21-semester-hour core, which includes a twelve-semester-hour Department of Teacher Education and Educational Leadership core and a nine-semester-hour Educational Investigative Sequence.

Students must also complete a cognate program of study of at least 15 semester hours. The following are pre-approved cognate area options:

  • Special & Alternative Education
  • Applied Behavior Analysis

Online degrees may not be available in all states. If you are an out-of-state student, please review our State Authorization Status to confirm that the program is available in your state.

Program Contact

Kathleen Heubach
Associate Professor
Department of Teacher Education and Educational Leadership

Catalog Description
Department's Website


Special & Alternative Education Specialization: Cognates in Special Education and ESE/Alternative Education
Applied Behavior Analysis Specialization: Cognates in Applied Behavior Analysis and Intensive Applied Behavior Analysis

Admissions Requirements

In addition to the University graduate admission requirements, the applicant must meet the following minimum departmental admission requirements for provisional admission:

University Requirements*
• Submission of Graduate Application and Processing Fee 
• Submission of official transcripts 
*International students may have additional requirements.

Departmental Requirements
Step-By-Step Application Procedures
• Hold or be seeking current professional teaching certification*
• Have earned a GPA of at least 3.0 on bachelor's degree** 
• Submission of current official GRE or MAT scores***
• Submit a letter of intent that includes the following information: your background, short- and long-term goals, contributions you would like to make to your field of study, and strengths you bring to the program
• Submit contact information (email addresses and phone numbers) for two professional references

* Teacher certification is not required for applicants to the specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis.
** Applicants with an undergraduate GPA of less than 3.0 must submit a GRE verbal or MAT score that falls at or above the 50th percentile. 
*** Review your eligibility for an admission test score waiver.


Application Deadlines

  • Fall placeholder calendar image
  • Spring placeholder calendar image
  • calendardate Summer March

Certain graduate programs have earlier application deadlines. Check with the graduate department for departmental specific deadlines.


Download the Exceptional Student Education, M.A Academic Learning Plans:
Exceptional-Student-Education-ALP (PDF)

"This program is not intended to lead to teacher certification. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement" (Washington Student Achievement Council Degree Authorization, February 26, 2013).

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