Special Education, M.A.

Admission Requirements

Special Education M.A.

All applicants (including those seeking admission as professional development (certification only), should follow the admissions process described in this catalog or at the Graduate Admissions website at www.marshall.edu/graduate/admissions/how-to-apply-for-admission.

Applicants must:

  • Have an undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.80 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • Meet one of the following two requirements:
    • A total of 286 on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or
    • A raw score of at least 30 or a scaled score of 378 on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT)

Non-Education Certification Program

Students must meet all Special Education Program admission requirements. In addition to the general Special Education Admission requirements, applicants must pass the Praxis I (Pre-Professional Skills Test) in Reading, Mathematics, and Writing within their first twelve hours of coursework. The Praxis I requirement is waived for applicants with an enhanced ACT score of 26 or higher, a re-centered SAT score of 1125 or higher or if the applicant holds a master’s degree.

Current West Virginia Department of Education initial certification requirements also require a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, as well as a 2.5 GPA in the content specialization area. Candidates in the Non-Education Certification program must also meet the WVDE Praxis II testing requirements including the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) test at the 5-9 or 7-12 levels.

Program Requirements

Special Education M.A.

A master’s degree may be earned with a specialization in any of the Areas of Emphasis listed below. Students without a background in education must acquire certification in regular education prior to endorsement in Special Education, or they can enter the Non-Education Certification program (see Section 6 under Program of Study). The Preschool Special Education certification is exempt from this requirement.

Plan of Study

A Plan of Study approved by the student’s advisor must be submitted for approval to the academic dean before the student registers for his or her 12th semester hour. The Plan of Study is a student’s “blueprint” for completing graduation requirements.

2-C Rule

  • Students may use three (3) credits of C in Special Education courses to meet requirements of graduation. Any student earning a C in any of the clinical courses (CISP 655) will be required to repeat that course.  Once a student earns a grade of C, that student needs to meet with his or her advisor, and, perhaps, the instructor of that course to discuss the grade, the deficiencies that led to that grade, and prepare a plan to prevent a second C or lower grade. This plan will be put in writing and signed by the student, advisor, and the faculty member and submitted to the Program Director. A copy will be retained in the student’s advising file.
  • Students who earn six (6) credits of C in Special Education Program courses may be dismissed from the program. Students who earn an F, NC, or U in any Special Education course in their Plan of Study may be dismissed from the program.
  • Students dismissed from the program may not reapply to this program.

Additional Certification Requirements

All Special Education majors must pass the Praxis II Test in the area(s) in which they seek endorsement. The Special Education Content Specialization Test is taken at or near the end of the certification coursework in Special Education. Students should contact the Special Education program area for additional information about these tests.

Special Note

The reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has strengthened the requirements in the definition of “highly qualified” for special education teachers if they provide direct instruction in core academic subject areas (English, mathematics, science, etc.). Applicants’ transcripts and teacher licenses will be analyzed upon admission to determine what, if any, additional coursework may be required to meet the federal requirements.

Plan of Study

M.A. in Special Education

Master's Degree Requirements
CISP 611Special Ed Research I3
CISP 615Special Ed Research II3
CISP 627Issues Special Education3
or CISP 629 Special Education Seminar
Special Education Core
CISP 520Intro to Exceptional Child3
CIEC 534Appli Software Class Curr Area3
CISP 606Reading Strat Except Student3
CISP 607Math Strat Except Students3
CIRG 644Literacy in the Content Area3
CISP 626Diagnostic-Clin Practices3
Certification Area
Select one of the following:9-15
Select 0 - 9 credit hours0-9
Total Credit Hours36-51

Certification Areas listed in Areas of Emphasis section.