This is an archive of the 2019-2020 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, Please visit

This is an archive of the 2019-2020 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit


Program: M.A., Special Education

Early Childhood Special Education

Program Description

The Master of Arts degree in Special Education builds upon the competencies developed in the Preliminary Education Specialist and Induction Education Specialist Credential programs. This degree is designed to prepare graduates for positions of leadership, advocacy and scholarship in schools, the community and within the overall profession of special education. Toward this end, faculty members facilitate the development of student competencies in reflective dialogue, presentations and written avenues of expression.

Program Requirements

A. Requirements for Admission to the Program (Conditionally Classified Status)

  1. Baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or college.
  2. Good standing at the last university attended.
  3. A minimum of a 2.5 GPA in the last 60 semester units attempted.
  4. Admission to the Preliminary Education Specialist Credential program.

Students may petition the Graduate Committee for an exception for admission to the Education Specialist program, verifying one of the following has been met:

  1. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher or a University approved aptitude test for graduate study (GRE or MAT) has successful completion of the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE) with a score of 8 or higher.
    1. Score at or above the 50th percentile on one of the three GRE subtests, or
    2. Score at or above the 50th percentile on the MAT.
  2. Master’s degree in a related field.

In addition, candidates petitioning for an exception for admission to the Education Specialist program must verify the following:

  1. Fingerprint clearance: Applications will not be accepted without evidence of fingerprint clearance from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Provide a copy of a valid CTC Certificate or Credential. Instructions on completing the online process can be found on the Credential Office website. Live Scan forms and CTC payment confirmation printouts will not be accepted.
  2. Tuberculosis clearance: Provide evidence of freedom from tuberculosis within the last 2 years. Your test must clearly indicate a negative result. You may complete this test at any health facility you wish. If you are currently enrolled at CSUN, you may contact the CSUN Student Health Center for a TB test at (818) 677-3666. Include a photocopy of your negative test results with this application packet.

B. Requirements for Admission to the Program (Classified Status)

  1. Successful completion of the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam with a score of 8 or higher.
  2. A 3.0 GPA for all work taken as a conditionally classified student.
  3. Approval of a plan of study by the student’s advisor.

C. Other Requirements

  1. A minimum of 30 units, including a culminating experience, is required for completion of the Master of Arts degree.
  2. No more than 12 units of credit may be applied to a Master of Arts degree program until classified status is attained.
  3. Courses more than 7 years old will not be included in the total of 30 units required for the M.A. degree. Students should see an advisor prior to selecting classes.
  4. A 3.0 GPA or higher in all work undertaken since admission to the program to be advanced to candidacy (approval to proceed to the culminating experience course).

D. Early Childhood Special Education Option Requirements

1. Core Requirements (9 units)

Prerequisite: Classified Status

SPED 681 Graduate Research in Special Education (3)
SPED 682EC Advanced Clinical Practicum in Special Education (3)
SPED 683EC Current Trends in Special Education (3)

2. Requirements from the Preliminary Credential (9 units)

Three of the following courses from the preliminary credential may be selected:

SPED 500 Communication and Early Literacy Development of Young Children with Disabilities (3)
SPED 532 ECSE Curriculum and Instruction (3)
SPED 520EC Assessment and Evaluation in ECSE (3)
SPED 538 Early Intervention Practices (3)

3. Electives from the Induction Credential (9 units)

Courses satisfying preliminary credential requirements may not be included in the concentration area. Selected strands of graduate coursework to be determined in consultation with advisor that will expand student knowledge of exceptionality and core skills with complementary content from related areas of study.

4. Culminating Experience (3 units)

SPED 697 Directed Comprehensive Studies (3)
or SPED 698C Thesis or Graduate Project (3)

Total Units Required for the M.A. Degree: 30


Department of Special Education
Chair: Kathryn Peckham-Hardin
Education (ED) 1204
(818) 677-2596

Graduate Coordinator: Tamarah Ashton
(818) 677-4869

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate competencies as a scholar in the field of special education.
  2. Exhibit leadership skills in the field of special education.
  3. Serve as an advocate for students with disabilities and their families.