Master of Education in Special Education

Total Graduate Faculty in Program:
Graduate Students in Program:
Students receiving assistantships:
Priority deadline:

  • Fall January 10
  • Spring July 1


  • Pullman
  • Vancouver
  • Global Campus

International Student English Proficiency Exams

International students may need to surpass the Graduate School’s minimum English language proficiency exam scores for this program. If the graduate program has unique score requirements, they will be detailed below. Otherwise, please refer to the Graduate School’s minimum score guidelines.

  • TOEFL – iBT 80
  • IELTS Band 7

Degree Description:

The College of Education offers two master’s degrees and a doctoral degree with specializations in special education. The M.A. degree requires a thesis, while the Ed.M. degree requires a special project, both of which are research focused. The M.A. is designed for students who will potentially enter a doctoral program or who desire to focus on educational research, as opposed to application of educational strategies. The Ed.M. allows students to study a variety of education-related areas within structured coursework both on campus as well as online. A specific set of coursework also can lead to a supporting endorsement in special education. Although the Ed.M. students enroll in research courses and engage in research endeavors, the emphasis in this degree option is on application of educational research strategies in schools settings.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited four year institution. The Department of Teaching and Learning and the Graduate School require a 3.0 or higher cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale.  A letter of intent, three letters of recommendation and a writing sample is also required. Acceptance into the Master in Education program partially depends on the availability of a faculty member with expertise in the area of the student’s primary research interest.

Because the Special Education master’s degree is specialized degree and is not an entry level degree, there are special prerequisites that students who apply must complete/meet. They are:

Required Special Education Experience and Knowledge. Student must meet both the teaching/working experience and the knowledge foundations requirements

Teaching/working experience. One or more of the following is required:

  • Teaching experience at the P-12 level, one or more years
  • Significant public school teacher substitute experience; paraprofessional experience
  • Student teaching at the K-12 level
  • Significant experience working with adults with disabilities in agency services/employment services

Knowledge foundation. Coursework on special education/students with disabilities (one or more courses)

Student Opportunities:

Internships in the public school system are available.

Career Opportunities:

Teaching, educational specialist, K-12 administration.

Career Placements:

Teaching, educational specialist, K-12 administration.

Contact Information: