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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?

Where It Is Offered Commerce, Mesquite

2 to 3 years

Foreign Language

No foreign language credits required

Delivery Combination
Total Credit Hours

36-42 hours

Thesis Requirements

Thesis and non-thesis options available

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Department of Special Education


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Focus Your Passion

Our department offers three different tracks designed to meet your research interests and career goals. All tracks are offered as Master of Science (MS) or Master of Education (MEd) degrees.

Current Educators

Already have a Texas teaching certificate? Consider earning your master’s degree in Special Education! Our program teaches you how to identify and equip students with exceptional needs. You’ll learn how to support students with disabilities in all grade levels (K-12). We offer a thesis and non-thesis track. (Total Hours: 36)

Future Educators

Are you ready for a career change? Interested in becoming an educator but don’t have a teaching certificate yet? We’re here to help! Earn your teaching certificate while studying Special Education through our post-baccalaureate certification program. Our non-thesis track educates you in student engagement, classroom management and teaching interventions. (Total Hours: 36)

Educational Diagnostician Certification

Learn how to assess and diagnose exceptional learners through our Educational Diagnostic Certification track. You’ll design prevention and intervention strategies that helps educators work with exceptional learners. We offer a thesis and non-thesis track. (Total Hours: 39-42)

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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 will offer you the opportunity to:

  • Understand techniques to promote achievement in language, reading and math
  • Gain knowledge about disabling conditions and their effects on learning
  • Learn how to provide instruction while accommodating student’s needs
  • Earn specific training in diagnosis and intervention strategies for exceptional learners
  • Conduct behavioral assessments, promote behavioral management and develop intervention when needed
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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. Plus, graduate with confidence knowing the 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, 2018; TEA Staff FTE Counts and Salary Reports, 2020.

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Master of Education/Master of Science in Special Education :: FEATURED COURSES

Featured Courses

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Master of Education/Master of Science in Special Education :: Course Delivery and Resources

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Course Delivery and Resources

Designed for current educators and working professionals, our fully online master’s of Special Education program offers a flexible way to earn your degree. We also offer a few face-to-face courses at the Mesquite Metroplex Center and main campus locations. The master’s of Special Education with an Educational Diagnostician Certification requires two face to face classes (offered in a summer block).

Degree Plans

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Graduate Program Costs

Program Costs

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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Master of Special education :: Program Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

Required Documents for Domestic Students

  • Apply Texas Application
  • Application fee: $50
  • Resume (vita)
  • Statement of Goals
  • 3 Letters of recommendation
    (must be signed and less than one year old)
  • Interview
  • All official transcripts
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Any master’s degree transcripts, if applicable
  • One of the following:
    • Official General Test GRE Scores
    • An awarded bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.25 overall GPA or higher
    • Graduate overall GPA of 3.25 or higher from A&M-Commerce or another regionally accredited institution

Application Packet Submission Deadline

Domestic student applications are accepted throughout the year.
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 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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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 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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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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