Master of Arts in Special Education

Master of Arts in Special Education, with an option to combine with an Education Specialist Credential: Mild/Moderate Disabilities Program Elementary or Secondary.

Admission Requirements

Provisional Admission requirements for Master of Arts in Special Education and/or Credential:

  1. Attendance at an Information Session (for credential candidates only): Contact the Admissions Coordinator at 310.338.7845 or to attend an information session. Applicants will receive an information packet that includes: Graduate Application; Candidate Information Sheet; two Recommendation Forms; Technology Self-Verification Form; Fingerprint information; program information.
  2. Submission of Graduate Application and Application Fee: Applicants may either submit the application to the Graduate Division or complete the online application.
  3. Candidate Information Sheet: Applicants must submit the Candidate Information Sheet to the Graduate Division.
  4. Statement of Intent: Applicants must write a 3-to 5 page essay describing how their experiences, qualities, and goals reflect the School of Education's motto – REAL (Respect, Educate, Advocate, Lead). See website for additional information on REAL at The Statement of Intent should be submitted to the Graduate Division.
  5. Letters of Recommendation: Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation to the Graduate Division. At least one letter must verify the applicant's experience and familiarity with the age group appropriate to the candidate's interest.
  6. Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement: A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher or a GPA of 3.05 or higher in the last 60 semester hours of the applicant's undergraduate degree or a GPA of 3.0 or higher obtained in 9 semester hours of graduate work. Students who do not meet this requirement may be recommended to the Exceptions Committee by the Program Director.
  7. Transcripts: Applicants must submit to the Graduate Division two sets of official transcripts with their bachelor's degree posted. If applicants are in the process of completing the degree, they must submit official transcripts with their degree posted by the start of registration for the following semester. Candidates must submit two sets of official transcripts from each college/university attended.
  8. Observation/Volunteer Hours Plan of Action: Candidates must complete at least 20 hours of experience working with culturally diverse youths in the required age level for the program (elementary, 5-12 years of age; secondary, 13-19 years of age).
  9. Basic Skills Proficiency Requirements: All Multiple (Elementary) Subjects and Single (Secondary) Subject applicants must meet the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing requirements for basic skills by obtaining a passing score on the CBEST examination.
  10. Subject Matter Competency Test (CSET) Plan of Action: Candidates must demonstrate mastery of the required subject matter by passing the appropriate subject matter exam (CSET). Candidates will provide a Plan of Action, and CSET exam registration confirmation on when the CSET will be taken. Candidates must provide an original passing score report to the School of Education.
  11. Certificate of Clearance (COC): Information about fingerprint clearance (also known as Live Scan) is included in the Admissions information packet. Official results of the Certificate of Clearance must be received by the Credential Office prior to enrolling in education courses. All fees associated with fingerprint clearance are the responsibility of the student.
  12. Tuberculin Test: Candidates must submit an official copy of their tuberculin skin test results, given within one year.
  13. Technology Requirement: Candidates may satisfy the technology requirement by either completing a self-verification form or verifying the completion of an approved course through another institution. Candidates must register for LiveText during the first education course. The e-Portfolio fee is assessed during the first semester of enrollment.
  14. Interview with the Academic Program Director/Assistant Director: Following the submission of all requirements to the Graduate Division, the candidate will be contacted to schedule an admissions interview with the Program Director or Assistant Director.
  15. Admission Status: Following the interview, the candidate's application will be reviewed by the Assistant Dean. Candidates are admitted on either Controlled or Provisional Admission to the appropriate Master of Arts and/or Credential Program.
  16. Advisement: Academic Advising: Immediately upon admission, the student must schedule an appointment with the Academic Advisor. The Academic Advisor advises candidates on appropriate course sequence and program information. All candidates are required to meet with the Academic Advisor once a semester.

Professional Advising: All candidates are required to meet with the Professional Advisor (Program Director or Assistant Director) once a semester. Candidates will discuss academic course progress, career plans and goals, dispositional issues, and other issues related to the teaching profession.

Admission Requirements for Master of Arts in Special Education and/or Credential Review by Committee by end of Fall Semester (credential requirement)

  1. U.S. Constitution Requirement: Candidates may satisfy the U.S. Constitution requirement in one of the following ways: Taking one of the following LMU courses: HIST 198 upon approval or POLS 135; Completing an equivalent course at another institution. The course must be approved by the School of Education Admissions Coordinator. Candidates must present a course syllabus and course description; Completing an approved course at another institution; Passing an approved examination offered online at
  2. CSET: Candidates must submit official passing score report to the Academic Advisor. Students who have not taken the CSET, must submit their CSET registration as proof of their intent to take the CSET.
  3. Disposition form: Signed Candidate Disposition Forms from two faculty members in the School of Education with whom the candidate has had courses are required before a candidate is granted Formal Admission.

Field Experiences

Students in the Education Specialist: Mild/Moderate Credential program choose one of three routes to the credential/Master of Arts Degree.

Note: During the program, if a traditional candidate changes to the intern track as a full-time teacher, the candidate must meet all the requirements of the intern candidate as state below, including four semesters of fieldwork, beginning when the candidate is issued an intern credential.

Culminating Program Requirements

  • Additional Coursework Required for the Master's Degree and or Credential: Enroll in and complete EDSS 6317 Research and Leadership in Special Education (2 semester hours) and EDSS 6995 Comprehensive Exam (0 semester hours, fee required).
  • Exit Interview: Candidate must schedule an exit interview with the Special Education Director or Assistant Director. The exit interview must be completed prior to submitting an application for a credential and Master's degree.
  • Application for Credential: When all requirements have been completed, candidates must complete an application for a preliminary teaching credential (fee required, see SOE website for more information).
  • Intern/Practitioner Credential Requirements: Eligibility for the Intern Credential is determined by the following guidelines set by the California Commission on Teacher Credential (CCTC).
  • Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA): After completing EDES 6202 Teaching Reading for Today's Learners or EDES 6203 Improvement of Literacy in Single Subject Classrooms, candidates are required to take, pass and submit an original score report of the RICA to the Special Education program advisor.
  • Application for Master of Arts Degree: Candidate must complete an application for a Master of Arts degree with the Office of the Registrar the semester prior to the completion of degree requirements.