Exceptional Student Education, M.A.

Degree:Master of Arts (M.A.)
Major:Exceptional Student Education
Specializations:Applied Behavior Analysis
Special and Alternative Education
Department:Teacher Education and Educational Leadership
Building 85, Room 196
College:Education and Professional Studies
CIP Code:13.1001
Semester Hours Required For Degree: 30-42

The M.A. in Exceptional Student Education is a comprehensive program. There is a critical shortage of certified teachers, administrators, related professionals, and specialists in many areas of exceptional student education.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the University graduate admission requirements described in the Admissions section of the catalog, the applicant must meet the following minimum departmental admission requirements for provisional admission:

  • Hold or be seeking professional teaching certification*
  • Have earned a GPA of at least 3.0 on bachelor's degree**
  • Submit a current (within five years) official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) verbal score OR Miller’s Analogies Test (MAT) score***
  • Submit a letter of intent that includes the following information: your background, short- and long-term goals, contributions you would like to make to your field of study, and strengths you bring to the program
  • Submit contact information (email addresses and phone numbers) for two professional references

To be fully admitted to the program, the following requirements must be met in addition to the requirements for provisional admission (above). Full admission is required by the fifth week of the first semester. Students will be unable to register for a second semester of coursework until full admission has been granted.

  • Purchase and activation of a subscription to the Department of Teacher Education and Educational Leadership's assessment system, Tk20, within the first week of the first semester
  • Completion of the Professional Education Applicant Disposition Scale by each person identified as a professional reference
  • Completion of the Professional Education Applicant Disposition Self-rating Scale within Tk20

Tracks, options, and concentrations are an informal designation used by graduate programs to indicate areas of emphasis and research, but have no formal significance. They do not appear on the student transcript and diploma.

* Applicants pursuing the Applied Behavior Analysis cognate are not required to hold or be seeking current professional teacher certification

** Applicants who do not meet the GPA requirement but submit a desired current GRE verbal or MAT score at or above the 50th percentile and meet all remaining admission requirements may be conditionally admitted to the program.

***The graduate admission test will be waived for the following:

  • Applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher from an accredited institution.

All approvals for admission to the  Department of Teacher Education and Educational Leadership are subject to reevaluation as students progress through the program. Students denied admission or removed from the program may appeal the decision to the Dean, College of Education and Professional Studies.

Department of Teacher Education and Educational Leadership students are expected to adhere to the Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida and national standards of conduct associated with professional, accreditation, and state agencies. Students who are struggling to meet content and/or disposition standards and/or competencies may be referred to the Culture of Achievement through System of Tiered support (CAST) process. Any student who is referred to the CAST process and does not successfully complete the process may be denied continued enrollment in any professional education program.

Exceptional Student Education Comprehensive

The comprehensive master’s degree program in Exceptional Student Education is designed to develop master teachers who will be prepared for instructional and leadership roles in special education, but it is not an initial certification program. 

Students will be assigned a faculty mentor who will provide career advice and advisement concerning professional issues. Students in this master’s degree program have the option of selecting one of two specializations:

  • Special & Alternative Education Specialization
  • Applied Behavior Analysis Specialization

Students must also complete a cognate program of study of at least 15 semester hours. The pre-approved cognate area options are the following:

  • Special Education
  • Exceptional and Alternative Educational Studies
  • Applied Behavior Analysis Intensive

Before graduating, students enrolled in the Special & Alternative Education Specialization will be required to complete an action research project as a capstone experience. All required courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or higher.