Inspire All Learners
Exceptional learners need your support and advocacy. You can make this happen through our Special Education program. At A&M-Commerce, we turn your passion for teaching into a reality. Our master’s degree prepares you for a rewarding career as an educator or as an educational diagnostician. You’ll learn the characteristics of mild to severe disabilities, application of assessments and development of diverse learners. Gain the opportunity to interact first-hand with assistive technologies that you’ll use in the classroom. You can make a difference in the lives of exceptional learners. Are you ready to respond to the call?
2 to 3 years
No foreign language credits required
Thesis and non-thesis options available
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.
Master of Special education :: Program Admission Requirements
Applications are accepted throughout the year.
Note: This program is not available to international students.
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.
- Upload your documents at myLeo > Apps > Check Admissions Application Status & Test Scores or email your documents to your graduate coordinator, [email protected], unless otherwise specified below.
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.
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.
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.
- View your degree plan in DegreeWorks.
- View the Schedule of Classes.
- Go to myLeo > Student Resources > Registration Menu.
Contact your Graduate Enrollment Specialist if you have any questions regarding your degree plan and registration.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Are there prerequisites I need to be sure to complete?
What happens after we receive your completed application?
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
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.
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.
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.