Master of Arts in Special Education

The Special Education Master’s Degree may be earned with a specialization in any of the areas of emphasis listed below (except autism). Students without a background in education must acquire certification in regular education prior to endorsement in special education, or they can enter the Non-Education Certification Program.  The Non-Education Certification Program is designed to allow candidates from non-education backgrounds to obtain West Virginia teacher licensure in visual impairments or multi-categorical. The non-education program does not include a general education teaching endorsement. The Preschool Special Education Area of Emphasis is exempt from this requirement.

Areas of Emphasis

Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Multi-Categorical Special Education

Preschool Special Education

Teaching Visually Impaired

Admission Requirements

Special Education M.A.

All applicants (including those seeking admission as professional development (certification only), should follow the admissions process described in this catalog or at the Graduate Admissions website at

Applicants must:

  • Have an undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.80 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • Meet one of the following two requirements:
    • A total of 286 on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or
    • A raw score of at least 30 or a scaled score of 378 on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT)

Non-Education Certification Program

Students must meet all Special Education Program admission requirements. In addition to the general Special Education Admission requirements, applicants must pass the Praxis I (Pre-Professional Skills Test) in Reading, Mathematics, and Writing within their first twelve hours of coursework. The Praxis I requirement is waived for applicants with an enhanced ACT score of 26 or higher, a re-centered SAT score of 1125 or higher or if the applicant holds a master’s degree.

Current West Virginia Department of Education initial certification requirements also require a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, as well as a 2.5 GPA in the content specialization area. Candidates in the Non-Education Certification program must also meet the WVDE Praxis II testing requirements including the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) test at the 5-9 or 7-12 levels.

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