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Be an Advocate for Students as an Educational Diagnostician

Earn an educational diagnostician certification from A&M-Commerce to cultivate your knack for analyzing data and become a stronger advocate for students struggling academically. Our professional certification program prepares you to assess students, analyze the data and develop a plan to help each student get the support they need for success. The program, which can be completed in one to two years, is available face-to-face or online. Take the next step as an educational diagnostician.

Where It Is Offered Commerce

4 semesters

Foreign Language

No foreign language credits required

Delivery Face-To-Face, Online
Total Credit Hours


Thesis Requirements

Physics with Teacher Certification

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Students doing work on a computer.

Department of Special Education


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Educational Diagnostician FYP

Focus Your Passion

Our department offers two tracks designed to meet your research interests and career goals. Both tracks are offered as a Master of Science (MS) degree.

Thesis Track

Pique your interest in special education diagnostic work. Earn your master’s degree while researching a targeted topic as you prepare for your career as an educational diagnostician. Our 42-hour thesis track takes you deep into current research and the practical tools you will need as an educational diagnostician.

Non-Thesis Track

If you’re ready for a career change and interested in being an educator but don’t have a teaching certificate, we’re here to help! Our 39-hour non-thesis track prepares you to design prevention and intervention strategies to help educators work with exceptional learners. It is composed of 36 semester hours of coursework and 3 semester hours in a practicum.

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Master of Education/Master of Science in Special Education :: PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

what you will learn

A master’s degree in special education offers the opportunity to:

  • Understand techniques to promote achievement in language, reading and math
  • Gain knowledge knowledge diagnostic characteristics and their effects on learning
  • Learn to provide instruction while accommodating students’ needs
  • Earn specific training in diagnosis and intervention strategies for exceptional learners
  • Conduct behavioral assessments, promote behavioral management and develop intervention when needed
Student doing special education activity.
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Master of Education/Master of Science in Special Education :: Careers


Gain the recognition you deserve by earning your master’s degree in special education. Graduate with confidence, knowing our program boasts a nearly 100% employment rate throughout Texas.

Career Possibilities and Current Median Salaries

Special Education Teacher
Educational Diagnostician

US DOL Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2019. TEA Staff FTE Counts and Salary Reports, 2020.

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Educational Diagnostician :: Featured Courses

Featured Courses

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Educational Diagnostician :: Course Delivery

A A&M Commerce student interacting with two kids.

Course Delivery

Our flexible Master of Science in Special Education with educational diagnostician certification program is designed for current educators and working professionals. The program requires two face-to-face classes offered in a summer block. Some face-to-face classes are provided at our main campus in Commerce, as well as our extended university location at the Mesquite Metroplex Center. Other courses are offered online.

Degree Plans

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Graduate Program Cost


Tuition and fees for graduate students taking nine credit hours are $3,594 for Texas residents and $6,897 for non-residents.

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ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS International/Domestic Tabs


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Master of Special education :: Program Admission Requirements


Applications are accepted throughout the year.

Your Path to Becoming a Lion

Step 1. Submit Application

Submit your application through ApplyTexas.

  • Select “Create a new graduate school admissions application.”
  • Select “Texas A&M University-Commerce (Commerce)” as your “Target University.”

  • Select “Special Education, MS or Special Education, MED” as your “Major.”
  • Pay the $50 application fee.

Wait to receive an application confirmation email before proceeding to the next step.

  • After you submit your application, the Graduate School will send a confirmation email within two business days to the personal email account you used for ApplyTexas.

Step 2. Submit Documents

Submit the following documents after you receive an application confirmation email.

Official Transcripts

Contact your previous institution(s) and request that they send your official transcripts to [email protected].

  • We recommend that you request transcripts for all of your academic work.
Postal Alternative

If your institution is unable to submit a digital copy, hard copies may be mailed to:

Texas A&M University-Commerce
Attn: Graduate School
PO Box 3011
Commerce, Texas 75429-3011

We will need official/original documents. If those documents are the only copies you have, the Graduate School can mail them back to you upon request. Contact [email protected] for more information.

Three Letters of Recommendation

Request three signed letters of recommendation, on letterhead, from professionals who can attest to your goals and ability to succeed in the program.

  • At least one of the references should hold a doctoral degree.

Those individuals should

Statement of Goals

Submit a statement of educational and professional goals of 500 words or less on the following prompt:

  • Discuss your educational and professional goals and how you believe this graduate degree will help you achieve them.

Resume or CV

Submit a resume or curriculum vitae (CV) which includes your academic and professional history and achievements.

Test Scores

You do not need to submit GRE scores if you have:

  • a completed bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university with a 3.25 GPA overall or higher
  • a completed master’s degree from a regionally accredited university with a 3.25 GPA overall or higher

If you do not meet the GPA exemption criteria, request that your GRE® scores be sent to Texas A&M University-Commerce (6188) when you register for the test. If you have already taken the GRE®, you can order additional score reports.


Interviews are scheduled by the department after a complete application file has been submitted. Not all applicants will be asked to interview.

Look for application updates in myLeo > Apps > Check Application Status

  • Once an admission decision has been made, you will receive an email to your student email account at myLeo > Apps > Leomail.

Step 3. Apply for Financial Assistance

  • Apply for FAFSA and TAFSA financial aid through the state and federal governments during the admission application process. Use code 003565.
  • Apply for outside scholarships once you are admitted to A&M-Commerce.
  • Check your financial aid and scholarship info through myLeo > Student Resources > Financial Aid Information.

Step 4. Register for Classes

Once registration opens and you are eligible to enroll, your graduate enrollment specialist is here to help you complete registration.

Contact your Graduate Enrollment Specialist if you have any questions regarding your degree plan and registration.

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Master of Special education :: Program Admission Requirements International

If you are an H1B or H4 applicant, please contact the Graduate School for details at [email protected].

Note: This program is not available to international students.

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Master of Education/Master of Science in Special Education :: Staff

We are here to help!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What happens after we receive your completed application?

Once our department receives your complete file from the Graduate School, the faculty will review it and make a determination regarding whether to move forward to the interview process. If so, you will be contacted to schedule the interview.

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Are there prerequisites I need to be sure to complete?

Yes, SPED 572 is a prerequisite for SPED 573 and 574.

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What does practicum for the educational diagnostician candidates entail?

Practicum must be done in a school setting. The TEA requirement is 160 hours with 1/3 of those being direct service hours. Practicum is typically completed in your last semester (fall or spring) and you take your TExES 153 during your practicum semester. Most students complete Practicum while working full-time.

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Can I get my certification to be an educational diagnostician without completing a master’s degree?

If you hold a Master’s Degree and have completed two years of teaching, you may decide to go Educational Diagnostician-Certification Only. This plan is 6 classes plus a practicum (21 hours), and you do not take the Comprehensive Exam or complete a thesis. If this is what you choose, you will apply through the Center for Educator Certification and Academic Services.

As part of the application packet, you will need to include:

  • Texas Teacher Certificate
  • Teacher Service Record
  • One (1) letter of recommendation
  • Dated within two (2) years of application
  • Written by individual who is knowledgeable about applicant’s functioning in school setting
  • Focuses on candidate’s interest and projected success in educational diagnostician program
  • Graduate transcript(s) verifying the conferring of a Master’s degree, including GPA
  • GRE scores as available (not required)
  • $50.00 non-refundable processing fee
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When are application deadlines?

For either degree-seeking applicants or those for certification only, we have rolling admissions, which means you can apply anytime. We typically hold interviews once a month via Zoom. If you don’t get scheduled for the month you apply, you will be interviewed the following month.

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How do I apply?

To apply to the program (degree-seeking; can apply without an existing mater’s or two years of teaching), you will need to apply formally through the Graduate School.

As part of the application packet, you will need to include:

  • 3 letters of recommendation (current and preferably from professionals, not friends; signed and on letterhead)
  • a writing sample giving your goals statement (why you are applying to our program and your future goals)
  • all college transcripts
  • GRE examination results (the printout provided by the testing company) ONLY if your undergraduate GPA is less than a 3.25
  • a copy of your teaching certificate (educational diagnostician applicants only)
  • any language equivalency test results
  • Attend face to face interview, if invited

When our Department receives communication from the Graduate School that your complete application has been received, your file will be dispersed to the special education faculty. They will then independently review your file and submit a vote on whether to move to the interview process. If an interview is recommended, I will be in contact with you to set it up.

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What are the degree options in Special Education?

  • Master of Special Education (36 hours)
  • Master of Special Education (Educational Diagnostician) (39 hours for non-thesis/42 hours thesis;
    • Candidates that already hold a master’s can apply for Educational Diagnostician certification only—18 hours plus a practicum)
  • Post-baccalaureate with initial certification (36 hours)
  • A minor in Special Education (12 hours).

All degree plans have a thesis or non-thesis option (thesis does not apply to certification only).

Class offerings are primarily online. However, that the assessment courses (SPED 573 and 574) on the educational diagnostician track will remain face-to-face, but they will be offered in a block in the summer to accommodate teachers.

Find more information on available degree plans and required coursework on the catalog.

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Contact Us

Special Education (MEd/MS) Request Information

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Master of Education/Master of Science in Special Education :: RELATED DEGREE PROGRAMS

Related Degree Programs

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