Special Education Master's Degree Program

Admission Dates


  Interviews by invitation only to be held 3rd Friday of June.


  Interviews by invitation only to be held 1st Friday of November.


  Interviews by invitation only to be held 1st Friday of March

Special Education Graduate Handbook

Degree Plans 

Masters of Special Education with Educational Diagnostician Certification

Masters of Special Education

Graduate Programs:

Graduates can obtain one of three degrees: the Master of Arts, Master of Science, and the Master of Education according to the area of student interest and degree requirements sought. Minors in special education graduate studies are also available at the Master's level (12 hours in an area of concentration) and Doctoral level.

Educational Diagnostician**

**Starting July 1 any students you admit to your professional certification program will be required to pay a $55 TEA Assessment fee in Marketplace  that goes directly to the Texas Education Agency. This must be completed prior to interviewing.

We have set up a TEA Assessment fee account in MarketPlace where the student can pay the $55. This is where the student also pays the $50 certification fee to Certification Office. There will be two accounts to submit payments.

The Department of Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education offers a Master's Degree leading to certification as an Educational Diagnostician.  This program includes 39 hours of coursework including specific training in diagnosis and intervention strategies for individuals with special needs.  We are pleased that our graduates approach 100 percent employment throughout Texas. For more information, contact Tabitha Triplett tabitha.triplett@tamuc.edu

Coursework for Educational Diagnostician Degree Path

I.     Foundation and Professional Roles (6 hours)

SpEd 520          Introduction to Exceptionalities

and one from the following

SpEd 524          Characteristics of Students with Mild Disabilities
SpEd 526          Characteristics of Students with Moderate Disabilities
Sped 540          Autism Spectrum Disorders

II. Law (3 hours)

SpEd 528          Special Education Law

III.    Assessment and Evaluation (12 hours)

Psy/SpEd 572    Principles of Assessment and Measurement
Psy/SpEd 573    Principles of Cognitive Assessment
SpEd 574          Principles of Psycho-Educational Assessment
Psy 635            Advanced Behavioral Assessment and Intervention

IV.    Curriculum and Instruction (9 hours)

Psy/SpEd 535    Applied Behavior Analysis
SpEd 553          Cognition, Learning, and Development 
SpEd 586          Inclusion
V.    Practicum (3 hours)

Psy 691            Clinical Practicum in Psychology

VI.    Research (6-9 hours)

Thesis option

SpEd 518         Thesis (6 semester hours)

Non-Thesis option

SpEd 595         Research Literature and Techniques
Psy/Sped 605   Single Subject Designs


1.  Admission into Graduate School;

2.    Acceptance into department’s Master’s Degree program for educational diagnostician certification; 

(If Master’s Degree is currently held, acceptance into the educational diagnostician certification program is required.)

3.  Hold valid classroom teaching certificate prior to development of Certification/Degree Plan;

4.    Admission to the Center for Educator Certification and Academic Services;

5.    Face to face interview (by invitation only) with committee on the Commerce campus.

6.    Completion of deficiency/degree plan; (Coursework applied to certification cannot exceed 6 years of age at the time of program completion.)

7.    Successful completion of the comprehensive exam by non-thesis candidates (may be taken after 18 hours in psychology/special education as identified on deficiency/degree plan);

8.    Two years teaching experience (approved by SBEC and may be obtained concomitantly with degree/deficiency plan completion);

9.    Transfer of maximum of 4 courses from a non-degree to a degree program;

10.  Required approval to register for Psy 691;

TExES Requirements:

11.    A minimum of 12 graduate semester hours taken at Texas A&M University-Commerce as certifying institution;

12.   Approval for TExES when all coursework is completed or during the last semester of coursework (not to exceed 6 SH);

13.   Requirement of a GPA of 3.50 on SpEd 520, Psy/SpEd 572, Psy/SpEd 573, SpEd 574, Psy 691 and overall GPA of 3.50 on ALL certification coursework.

Master of Special Education

The Department of Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education offers a Master's Degree in Special Education.  This 36 hour program includes areas of coursework concentration in identification and diagnosis of and intervention for learners with special needs. For more information, contact Tabitha Triplett tabitha.triplett@tamuc.edu

 Coursework for Master of Special Education

I.  Core (12 hours)

Sped 520        Introduction to Exceptionalities
Sped 553        Cognition, Learning, and Development
Sped 580        Current Topics in Special Education
Sped/Psy 535  Applied Behavior Analysis

II.  Characteristics (6 hours)

Sped 524        Characteristics of Students with Mild Disabilities
Sped 526        Characteristics of Students with Moderate Disabilities
Sped 540         Autism Spectrum Disorders**

III.  Law (3 hours)

Sped 528         Special Education Law

IV.  Methods (6 hours)

Sped 563        Clinical Teaching of Students with Emotional Disturbance **
Sped 583        Content Area Instruction for Students with Mild Disabilities
Sped 586        Inclusion:  Strategies and Accommodations
Sped 597        Special Topic 

V.  Electives (3 hours)

Psy/Sped or approved course

VI.  Research (6 hours)

Sped/Psy 605   Single Subject Designs
Sped/Coun 595 Research Literature and Techniques

**Students seeking EBD/Autism emphasis must take Sped 540 and Sped 563

Admission: Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Master of Education in Special Education

In addition to meeting the general university requirements for admission to the Graduate School, applicants to the Master’s Degree program in special education must:

1.    Have a grade point average of at least “B” (3.00) in all advanced or graduate special education courses taken.
2.    Have a satisfactory background in education, psychology, or related areas.
3.    Have all deficiencies removed prior to admission to the program.
4.    Submit three letters of recommendation.
5.    Submit a statement of goals (Why you chose the field, what goals to you plan to reach in the program. 
6.    Submit scores for the quantitative, verbal, and writing sections of the GRE. (Undergraduate seniors who plan to apply for graduate training should arrange to take the GRE during their senior year.)

7.     Attend face to face interview with committee. 

As part of the admission process applicants will be interviewed by the Special Education committee.  These interviews are conducted after the application is complete and sent to the department for review.  Applicants will be notified by the department of the date and time of the interview.

In addition, applicants may submit for departmental review additional materials or a portfolio to support their application, including items such as awards, certificates of merit, examples of innovative program/curriculum development, publications, and a resume. Students seeking admission will be required to have approval of the department’s graduate faculty.