Special Education

Special EducationMaster of Arts (M.A.)

The master of arts (M.A.) program offers the option of writing a thesis, which is not available for the master's in education (M.Ed.). Most special education students apply for the M.Ed. program which is geared toward completing endorsement options. 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 A: 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).

Application to this program

How to Apply: M.A. Degree Program

Visit the Office of Graduate Studies website and submit the following:

  • Online application 
  • Transcripts 
  • GRE Scores (required for M.A. applicants)
  • TOEFL scores (International students only) (Institution code = 6877; Department code = 77) 
  • Financial Resource Certification (International students only)

You must also enter or upload the following: 

  • Resume/vita
  • Personal statement, addressing the following: (1) What is your motivation to want to complete a thesis and do research? (2) What do you hope to gain from completing a research project? (3) How does completing a research project align with your professional goals? *Your answers will also be judged based on the quality of your writing.*
  • Prerequisite courses
  • Names and contact information for three references of your choosing. (The system will automatically email the specified people and request that each upload the recommendation to the system.)
    References should be able to write letters attesting to the applicant’s academic ability to successfully complete graduate school. Letters should be signed by the reference and submitted on letterhead. These references likely hold a master's or more advanced degree, and should not have any family connection to the applicant.
  • Assistantship / Fellowship Application (optional) 
  • Writing Sample (optional)

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

May 1. (Summer/Fall admission)
January 15. (Summer/Fall admission)
October 15. (Spring/Summer admission)

Contact graduate@unl.edu with any questions regarding transcripts. All other application process questions can be sent to Jill England at jill.england@unl.edu.