Graduate Programs


Graduate FAQs

Department of Special Education

How many course will I be required to take for certification?

This program could be as many as 12 courses or it may be fewer. Applicants’ transcripts are reviewed to determine what courses, if any, can be waived for the Special Education PreK – 12 certification program. An approved program of study is created by the Graduate Coordinator, and this guides the student’s program.

Can I take this program online?

This program is only offered online. The field components and student teaching experience require hours in a school setting that will be supervised by a University instructor. 

How long will this program take?

The program can be completed at a rate of two classes per semester, including two classes over the summer; however, candidates may choose to take only one class per semester.

Will I have to student teach for a whole semester?

Yes. The PreK – 12 certification program requires 15 weeks of supervised student teaching in a Pennsylvania public or approved private school. Student teaching is only offered in the fall or spring semesters. 

What is the application deadline?

We offer rolling admissions, so candidates can apply at any time.

How will I know what classes to take and when?

Candidates will receive an Approved Program of Study (APS), which will guide the coursework for the certification along with a pacing guide from the department’s Graduate Coordinator. 

How much does the program cost?

This is a graduate program, and tuition costs can be found by visiting the bursar’s page.

I do not have any teacher certification, can I still be certified to teach special education?

Yes. Special Education is now a stand-alone program that covers grades PreK – 12. Applicants no longer need an existing certification in order to be eligible for Special Education certification. 

Are the online classes synchronous or asynchronous? 

All online courses offered from the Department of Special Education have both synchronous and asynchronous components. Any required synchronous components will be held in the evening hours after 4:25 p.m. 

How do I apply for graduate programs in Special Education? 

Can I teach in a Special Education classroom with the Autism Certificate?

No. The autism certificate program does not lead to Special Education certification. 

Can I get financial aid if I enroll in the Post-Baccalaureate Special Education Certification program?  

Are the classes for the Post-Baccalaureate, M.Ed., and certificate programs self-paced? 

No. The Graduate Coordinator will provide pacing information for your program, and all courses have a meeting day and time.