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 2.50 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 Graduate College 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.

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

Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Special education core not required.

CIDH 501American Sign Language I3
CIDH 502American Sign Language II3
CIDH 504Auditory Habilitation3
CIDH 505Intro Deaf & Hard of Hearing3
CIDH 506Curr & Meth Deaf/Hard of Hear3
CIDH 601Teach Intern & Pract I (Deaf/Hard of Hearing) (Residential)3
CIDH 602Tech Intern & Pract II (Deaf/Hard of Hearing) (Local School District)3
CIDH 607Dev & Remed of Rdg/Writ/Disc (for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing)3
CISP 607Math Strat Except Students3
CIEC 534Appli Software Class Curr Area3
Total Credit Hours30

Vision Impaired

Special education core not required.

CIVI 500Intro Visual Impair3
CIVI 501Reading/Writing Strat Vis Imp3
CIVI 502Anat Phys Human Vis Sys3
CIVI 503Assess/Prog Plan Vis Impaired3
CIVI 504Assess/Plan Vis Imp Add'l Dis3
CIVI 505Braille3
CIVI 600Math Methods/Visual Impairment3
CIVI 601Practicum Vis Imp I1-6
CIVI 602Pract in Visual Imp II3
CIVI 603Orientation & Mobility Skills3
CIEC 534Appli Software Class Curr Area3
Total Credit Hours31-36


CISP 553Characteristics Methods ID3
CISP 647Char/Mthd Spec Lrn Disabilties3
CISP 645Characteristics Methods E/BD3
CISP 655Field Exp: Multi-Categorical3
Total Credit Hours12

Preschool Special Education

General Education
EDF 621Educ Research & Writing3
or EDF 625 Qualitative Research Educ
CISP 627Issues Special Education3
or CISP 629 Special Education Seminar
Early Childhood Education
CI 632Early Childhood Programs3
CI 634Lang/Cog Early Childhood3
Special Education
CISP 520Intro to Exceptional Child3
CISP 529Intro to Develop Disabilities3
CISP 554Families of Except Students3
CISP 661Intro Preschool Sp Ed3
CISP 663Dev Issue Preschool Hand3
CISP 665Assess Preschool Sp Ed3
CISP 666Curr/Meth Preschool Sp Ed3
CISP 673Field Exp Preschool Sp Ed3
CISP 674Clinical: Preschool Special Ed3
Total Credit Hours39

Due to the nature of a student’s undergraduate program the total required in Preschool Special Education may only be 36.

Non-Education Certification Program

In addition to the Special Education Core and Certification Area course requirements, students in the Non-Education Certification program must complete EDF 619 Educational Psychology and EDF 616 Adv Studies Human Develop for certification. Additional master’s degree requirements are the same as for all other Special Education master’s degree programs.