Special Education - Master of Arts

Enrollment in graduate licensure program courses with field experiences in Special Education is limited to persons who have been accepted into the graduate program in Special Education. For other special education graduate courses, enrollment of students outside of the special education program is contingent upon meeting prerequisites and availability after enrollment of Special Education graduate students.To complete a course of study, each student must meet the program's academic and field based competency criteria, including a grade of B or higher in each course in the program of study, satisfactory evaluation in field experiences for those seeking licensure, and a passing score on the MA Comprehensive Exam. The Master of Arts in Special Education has five pathways to meet the varied needs of students pursuing graduate education and can be completed in two years for full-time students. 

Admission

The Special Education Program has a "rolling admissions" procedure for MA programs. Applications are reviewed upon submission to determine if candidates meet admission requirements.  Application requirements follow:

1. A completed Graduate School admission application.

2. A letter of interest explaining the applicant's goals in pursuing an MA in Special Education.

3. Complete transcripts of all college work, including notation of a BA or BS Degree and a cumulative GPA of a 3.0 or higher.

4. A curriculum vitae or resume.

5. Email addresses to contact three individuals who can provide a professional recommendation, such as professors, employers, or others qualified to evaluate potential for graduate work. 

6. For alternative licensure, a letter from a school district indicating consideration for a position. 

7. For international students with English language testing requirements, TOEFL test results of at least 79 iBT; 550 paper, or IELTS results of at least 6.5.

MA in Special Education Pathways

MA in Special Education (Initial License)

This route is 42 credits including student teaching and provides preparation for the New Mexico pre-K-12 Special Education license. Candidates must be admitted to the Teacher Education Program before completing practicum and student teaching experiences.

There are two course prerequisites that may be required, SPED 500 Introduction to Special Education in a Diverse Society and SPED 523 Advanced Curriculum for Diverse Exceptional Learners. If these are required they must be taken in the first semester they are offered.

Prefix Title Credits
Course Requirements
SPED 504Introduction to Assessment of Diverse Exceptional Learners3
SPED 506High Incidence Disabilities in a Diverse Society3
SPED 507Low Incidence Disabilities in a Diverse Society3
SPED 509Reading for Elementary Exceptional Learners in a Diverse Society, K-63
SPED 510Current Issues in Special Education for Teaching in Culturally Responsive Society3
SPED 511Reading for Secondary Exceptional Learners in a Diverse Society, 7-123
SPED 513Current Research in Special Education3
SPED 545Technology and Exceptionality in a Diverse Society3
SPED 548Field Experience in Education, Equity & Cultural Diversity 13
SPED 559Classroom Management for Diverse Learners3
SPED 582Student Teaching SPED 212
Total Credits42

MA in Special Education (Prior General Ed. Licensure)

This route requires 30 credits of special education coursework and provides preparation for a second license, in Special Education, for students who already have an initial license in another area such as Early Childhood, Elementary, or Secondary Education.

There are two course prerequisites that may be required, SPED 500 Introduction to Special Education in a Diverse Society and SPED 523 Advanced Curriculum for Diverse Exceptional Learners. If these are required they must be taken in the first semester they are offered.

Prefix Title Credits
Course Requirements
SPED 504Introduction to Assessment of Diverse Exceptional Learners3
SPED 506High Incidence Disabilities in a Diverse Society3
SPED 507Low Incidence Disabilities in a Diverse Society3
SPED 509Reading for Elementary Exceptional Learners in a Diverse Society, K-63
SPED 510Current Issues in Special Education for Teaching in Culturally Responsive Society3
SPED 511Reading for Secondary Exceptional Learners in a Diverse Society, 7-123
SPED 513Current Research in Special Education3
SPED 545Technology and Exceptionality in a Diverse Society3
SPED 548Field Experience in Education, Equity & Cultural Diversity 13
SPED 559Classroom Management for Diverse Learners3
Total Credits30

MA in Special Education (Alternative Licensure)

This route includes 39 credits. It begins with completion of alternative licensure components, which includes 21 credits of state-approved coursework and two semesters of university supervision while concurrently employed as the special education teacher of record in a classroom. After completion of the alternative components, students complete the remaining coursework (18 credits) and degree requirements.

Note: Alternative Licensure requires concurrent employment as a special education teacher.

Prefix Title Credits
Course Requirements
Alternative Licensure Courses
SPED 500Introduction to Special Education in a Diverse Society3
SPED 504Introduction to Assessment of Diverse Exceptional Learners3
SPED 506High Incidence Disabilities in a Diverse Society3
SPED 507Low Incidence Disabilities in a Diverse Society3
SPED 509Reading for Elementary Exceptional Learners in a Diverse Society, K-63
SPED 511Reading for Secondary Exceptional Learners in a Diverse Society, 7-123
SPED 559Classroom Management for Diverse Learners3
Additional Courses for the MA
SPED 510Current Issues in Special Education for Teaching in Culturally Responsive Society3
SPED 513Current Research in Special Education3
SPED Elective Courses (12 credits)12
Total Credits39

MA in Special Education (Scholarly Route)

This route requires 30 credits of special education coursework and is for students who are not seeking licensure or who already have a license and are seeking additional depth of knowledge.

There are two course prerequisites that may be required, SPED 500 Introduction to Special Education in a Diverse Society and SPED 523 Advanced Curriculum for Diverse Exceptional Learners. If these are required they must be taken in the first semester they are offered.

Prefix Title Credits
Course Required
SPED 510Current Issues in Special Education for Teaching in Culturally Responsive Society3
SPED 513Current Research in Special Education3
SPED Elective Courses 124
Total Credits30

MA in Special Education (emphasis in Visual Impairment)

This route requires 30-36 credit hours in visual impairment and special education coursework and prepares for licensure in teaching school-aged children/infants/toddlers and/or orientation and mobility. Students who meet qualifications and are interested in visual impairment may elect to pursue licensure only, rather than a master's degree, with 15-27 credits leading to a Blind and Visually Impaired Teaching License or National Certification in Orientation and Mobility.