Special Education

Loyola Marymount University's Special Education program provides you with the theoretical and professional skills needed to teach students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities. Our program is committed to preparing you to work successfully with culturally and linguistically diverse students with disabilities. You will be prepared to succeed as an Education Specialist with a Preliminary credential, to excel as a site leader, and to advocate for all students, especially those with disabilities. Many of our graduates teach and serve in leadership positions in traditional public, charter, private, and non-profit settings.

LMU's program offers you several crucial benefits. Our program is authorized by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and is also NCATE accredited. Classes are taught by our distinguished full- and part-time faculty, all of whom have undertaken significant teaching and research in the field. To accommodate your schedule, the majority of the classes are held in the late afternoon or evening, and several classes are offered as online/face-to-face hybrid courses. Class sizes are kept small, ensuring that you receive individual attention and develop close relationships with your fellow students as well as with your professors. Scholarship opportunities are also available and candidates are encouraged to apply for these!

Our program is flexible with multiple pathways:

Undergraduate Track

Undergraduates can earn a Bachelor's degree either in Liberal Studies or another major by passing CSET or a waiver program and an Education Specialist Preliminary credential through special education coursework and student teaching. They may also combine the Education Specialist credential with a Multiple or Single Subject credential. undergraduates may also complete a Minor in Special Education (18 units).

Graduate Student Pathways

Traditional Track candidates complete a two-year program with a combined Master of Arts (MA) in Special Education and a California Preliminary Mild/Moderate Education Specialist Credential. The core curriculum provides instruction in evidence-based courses based on educational research and theory along with practical teaching methodologies and a student teaching assignment. The combined program is a minimum of 36 units with an optional added three units upon completion of a Thesis.

Intern Practitioner candidates who are employed as a full-time Education Specialist in a California K-12 traditional public or charter school can take advantage of the Intern option which allows them to complete the credential program while working within one year. If desired, intern candidates may continue their studies into a second year which will include Master's level coursework to also earn a Master's degree in Special Education.

You will receive comprehensive and ongoing advising from an Academic Advisor who specializes in assisting Education Specialist Credential candidates. Our Clinical support staff ensures that your student teaching/intern assignment will be a positive and successful learning experience, and our Credential Office assists you in completing California's credentialing requirements as you complete the program.

Our graduates are recognized throughout California as professional, compassionate, and competent educators who immediately benefit their students and school sites.