Undergraduate Pathway

The Special Education program for undergraduates allows students from a variety of academic backgrounds to pursue a minor in Special Education or a California Education Specialist Teaching Credential: Mild/Moderate Disabilities alongside their undergraduate major. These programs include preparation in the education of culturally and linguistically diverse students with exceptional needs. The California Education Specialist Credential: Mild/Moderate Disabilities authorizes candidates to teach students with specific learning disabilities, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, or other health impairments.

Undergraduates can earn a Bachelor's degree either in Liberal Studies or another major (with passing CSET or completing a subject matter waiver program) while also earning the Education Specialist Preliminary Mild/Moderate Teaching Credential.  The program includes special education coursework and student teaching with their undergraduate degree program. They may also combine the Education Specialist Mild/Moderate Preliminary Credential with a Multiple or Single Subject Preliminary Teaching Credential. Alternatively, undergraduates may complete a Minor in Special Education (18 units).

Graduate Student Pathways

Graduate Traditional Track Candidates: Candidates following this path will complete all coursework before beginning their field experiences as student teachers.  LMU facilitates the candidates' placement as student teachers. All prerequisite requirements apply to the candidate choosing the traditional route, completing 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.

Graduate Intern Practitioner Candidates: A candidate following this path is already employed full-time at a public, charter, or private school in a school/district that has a partnership or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with LMU. The candidate takes courses while teaching full-time. This employment status, along with the required seminars and additional supervision in the classroom provided through LMU, fulfills the field requirements of the credential. Candidates seek out their own employment as Interns or Practitioners unless the candidates are in a cohort program where placement is facilitated through the program (e.g.,Teach for America). Intern/Practitioners are required to teach at least 60% in the area of the credential, and the contract must state that the teacher is contracted to teach in the area in which the candidate is seeking a credential.

It is necessary that the student complete the program pre-service requirements and hold a University Intern credential in order to be enrolled in the Intern program. University Intern credentials are issued for new placements at the beginning of the fall semester only. Candidates submit a Verification of Employment form, signed by the School District that holds a partnership agreement with Loyola Marymount University.

If desired, intern candidates may continue their studies into a second year which will include Master's level coursework to also earn a Master of Arts degree in Special Education.


Per Federal Regulation 34 CFR 668.43(a)(5)(v), all LMU School of Education credential/licensure programs meet the California state requirements as specified by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) and for the CA Board of Behavioral Sciences as appropriate. The institution has not made a determination as to whether these credential, licensure, and professional preparation programs meet the requirements of states outside of California. If you are interested in practicing outside the state of California, it is recommended that you contact the respective licensing entity of that state to seek information or guidance regarding their licensure and credential requirements in advance to allow for appropriate planning.