Special Education

Special Education Master of Arts (M.A.)

If you wish to have a broader graduate program where significant course work, or a minor area of study outside your specialty is desired, the master of arts degree is a good choice. The M.A. degree also offers the option of writing a thesis as a part of your program.

Most special education students apply for the master’s in education (M.Ed.) program which is geared toward completing endorsement options. However, M.A. programs offer the option of writing a thesis which is not available for the M.Ed. Be sure you apply for only one of the two master's degrees available. You should carefully consider your interests and consult with a special education faculty member before deciding which degree program to apply for.

Option I: This option is for research, scholarly work or college or university teaching. You must earn a minimum of 30 semester hours: 20-24 hours of regular coursework and present a thesis equivalent to 6-10 hours. At least one-half of the required work, including thesis must be taken in one major subject. Remaining work may be in supporting courses or in minor consisting of at least 9 semester hours. Eight hours credit, in addition to thesis, must be earned in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900-level or 800-level without 400 or lower counterparts).

Option II: You must earn a minimum of 36 semester hours of credit in courses representing a major and either one or two minors. A thesis is not required. A program consisting of a major and one minor must include no fewer than 18 hours in the major and 9 hours in the minor. If two minors are elected, the major must total at least 15 hours and the minors at least 9 hours each.  In either case, at least 12 of the 36 hours must be earned in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900- or 800-level without 400 or lower counterparts). In work for the Master's of Education degree, at least 6 semester hours selected from education courses outside the major must be included and supporting work may be substituted for the minor(s).

Option III: Especially for scholarly work in your chosen field past the master's level. Permits substitution of more intensive work in advanced courses for thesis or minor. You must earn a minimum of 36 semester hours, at least 18 of which must be in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900- or 800-level without 400 of lower counterparts). Your program must include no fewer than 18 hours in the major.

Application to this program

How to Apply: M.A. / M.Ed. Degree Programs

Part 1:
Link to the Office of Graduate Studies Steps to Admission and submit the following:

  • Online application 
  • Transcripts 
  • TOEFL scores (International students only) (Institution code = 6877; Department code = 77) 
  • Financial Resource Certification (International students only)

Part 2:
After submitting the online application in Part 1, you will receive an e-mail notification with your new NU ID and a temporary password with instructions on how to setup your permanent password for MyRED. Now link to GAMES using your NU ID as login and MyRED password to complete the Department application. You must enter or upload the following: 

  • Resume/vita
  • Statement of purpose/ goals
  • Prerequisite courses
  • GRE scores (Institution code = 6877; Department code = 0620) 
  • Names and contact information for three references of your choosing. (GAMES will automatically email the specified people and request that each upload the recommendation to GAMES.)
  • Assistantship / Fellowship Application (optional) 
  • Writing Sample (optional)

Deadline for M.A. / M.Ed. Applicants

January 15th. (Summer/Fall admission only)

START THE APPLICATION PROCESS AT GRADUATE STUDIES