Program Overview

The Master of Arts in Special Education builds on the foundation of the Preliminary Education Specialist credential. Candidates develop advanced level knowledge, skills, and dispositions aligned with professional standards and directly apply research-based theory and "best practices" as they work with students with special needs in a variety of settings.

Incorporated into this advanced degree are the Education Specialist Clear credential requirements and an Added Authorization for Special Education (AASE). Coursework is strategically aligned and blended with BTSA induction requirements to address Clear credential proficiencies as they complete their BTSA programs. The curriculum for this degree provides a deeper specialization in contemporary issues in this field.

For all included coursework visit our program overview page.

Click Here to view SPED MA Handbook 

This program is ideal for:

  • Credentialed Special Education teachers seeking an advanced degree.
  • Special Education teachers needing a Clear Credential.
  • Private school or charter school teachers who work with students with varying abilities.
  • Educational consultants working with schools and families.
  • Specialists who support classroom instruction.

Program Details


  • Total Semester Units: MA in Special Education, 36 units; Clear/Added Authorization only, 12 units.
  • Format: Combination of face-to-face and distance learning. In-class meetings are from 4:30-9 p.m., one night per week for a duration of 8 weeks.
  • Completion time: 18 - 24 months for complete program; 1-2 semesters for Clear/Added Authorization only.
  • Location: Regional centers in Mission Valley - San Diego, and Bakersfield.
  • Tuition and fees: Please visit our Graduate Student Financial Services website.
  • Fieldwork: Classroom assignments where candidates work directly with students in schools as assigned by the Field Experience Coordinator at the regional center.
  • Transfer work: Candidates may transfer up to 6 units of approved graduate level coursework to this program.


A Graduate Enrollment Counselor is available to answer questions about the program, admissions process, priority application dates and requirements.  

Key Contacts by Location


Stephanie Meier, Graduate Enrollment Counselor

(661) 377-4721


Mission Valley (San Diego)

Chelsea Barilli, Graduate Enrollment Counselor

(619) 563-2857


Bella Owen, Graduate Enrollment Counselor

(619) 563-2892