MA, MS, MEd (Non-Licensure) in Special Education

The master’s only option is ideal for current teachers who are interested in pursuing advanced graduate training in special education and completing a program that is individualized and based on their interests and goals.

This option is ideal for individuals with a bachelor’s degree who want to learn more about special education, but who do not necessarily want to pursue a career in teaching and instead want to pursue a career in:

  • The private sector
  • A nonprofit organization
  • Another setting where an advanced degree (without license) would be beneficial

We can help create a program of study for this degree that matches your interests in special educaton and helps you achieve your specific career goals.

The general master’s with an individualized interest provides students a general program of study within special education that can be tailored to meet their longer-term goals.

Students work with their advisors in designing a program of study that maximizes the instructional and research interests and practices within the College of Education.

Many students complete the master’s program as preparation for later doctoral study.

Graduates with this degree typically have a teaching license in special education (from other institutions) and are currently working in the field and want to obtain a master’s degree.

Other graduates have created programs within special education emphasizing:

  • Assessment
  • Post-school environments
  • Autism
  • Public policy and advocacy
  • Legal aspects to schooling students with disabilities

SPED Master's Handbook


Master’s (Non-Licensure) Degree Prerequisites

Students may work toward a master of education, master of arts, or master of science degree.

MEd Degree Prerequisite

  • Candidates must have a valid teaching license and have completed at least one year of successful classroom teaching in the US

MA Degree Prerequisites

  • The candidate must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language.
  • The master of arts degree requires second-year, third-term level of proficiency in a second language as required for the bachelor of arts degree.
  • The CLEP language exams in French, German, and Spanish can be used to meet the university’s second language proficiency requirement.
  • Language competence must be demonstrated within the overall seven-year limit for completion of a master’s degree.

Program Requirements

All of our master’s degree programs conform to the established University of Oregon and College of Education requirements and procedures.

Students complete an integrated program:

  • Minimum of 45 credits in courses approved for graduate credit taken as an admitted master’s degree student (51 credits minimum if doing a specialization area)
  • Up to 15 credits may be officially transferred in through a petition process
  • 24 credits must be in UO graded courses passed with a GPA of 3.0 or better
  • At least 9 credits in 600 level courses must be taken in residence
  • Minimum 30 credits in SPED courses

All credits for the degree (including transfer credits) must be completed within seven years.

Students who earn their first master’s degree at the UO may receive a second master’s in another field by taking at least 30 graduate credits of which at least 24 must be in graded courses taken after official admission to the new major.

This can be particularly useful for students wishing to pursue a master’s in general teaching via our UOTeach program, and then add a special education focus as part of second year master’s level studies.