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
Duration 2 to 3 years
Foreign Language No foreign language credits required
Delivery Blended (50-85% Online), Face-To-Face
Total Credit Hours 36-42 hours
Thesis Requirements Thesis and non-thesis options available

Special Education (MED/MS) :: Big Easy Links

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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. In addition, we offer an Educational Diagnostician Certification only for you who do not want a master’s degree, yet want to earn a graduate certificate.

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)

Special Education with Educational Diagnostician Certification

Do you want to become an educational diagnostician while earning your master’s degree in special education? Our program expands your knowledge and teaches you to support your students with disabilities through assessment, planning, and implementation of an academic plan for meeting their educational needs. This track has a thesis and a non-thesis track. (Total Hours: 39-42)

Educational Diagnostician Certificate Only

Have you two years teaching experience, a master’s degree in special education and a desire to advance your career? Then, we have a certification only program for you. As an educational diagnostician, you may consult with your colleagues and students’ parents as you develop and implement an academic learning plan for each student. (Total Hours: 21)

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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., 2021.

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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

Social worker playing with a child.

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 Cost


Tuition and fees for graduate students taking nine credit hours are $3,669 for Texas residents and $7,341 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 scholarships and graduate assistantships once you are admitted.
  • Apply for financial aid by submitting a FAFSA and sending it to school code 003565.
  • Contact your financial aid advisor with any questions.

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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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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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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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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What is the course sequence in Special Education graduate program? What about in Educational Diagnostician certification program only?

Download the Course Sequence for details.

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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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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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