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Special Education, M.A.

School of Education

Our Master of Arts in Special Education is designed to prepare you to serve children in the disability community. With multiple options available, you’re sure to find a program that meets your career goals.

Program Options

Master of Arts in Special Education Blended Option
A minimum of 36 semester units of coursework is required for a Master of Arts in Special Education and an Education Specialist credential. All candidates must receive advisement and an education plan must be developed prior to admission to the programs. The combined credential and MA program include 13 core thesis units and 23 credential units, as well as an extensive list of electives to add if you so choose. Up to 9 units may be eligible for transfer from another university. Courses include traditional, online, and blended format.


Program Director: Lisa Keith, Psy.D.

The Master of Arts in Special Education prepares candidates to be leaders in their respective positions. Candidates learn how to utilize research to foster change based upon best practices. A minimum of 43 semester units of coursework including completion of an FPU Special Education credential is required for a Master of Arts in Special Education. All candidates must receive advisement and an education plan must be developed prior to admissions to the Master of Arts program. There are thirteen (13) core units. Thirty (30) SPEC units must be from select FPU Education Specialist Credential courses. MA courses are in a fully online format. Up to nine units may be transferred from another university.

Admissions Requirements

  • Official transcripts verifying bachelor's degree
  • Minimum GPA 3.0
  • Letter of explanation if GPA is under 3.0
  • Three current reference forms
  • Education plan completed by the MA Program Director
  • All official transcripts from colleges/universities attended
  • Academic writing sample
  • Copy of valid certificate of clearance
  • Verification of negative TB test (within last 12 months)

Locations Offered

Main Campus Fresno, Merced, Visalia, Online

Required Courses

Master of Arts Core (13 Units)

  • SPEC 708 - Abstract, Critical and Technical Writing Credits 2 *
  • SPEC 796 - Leadership & Communication Credits 1
  • ED 779 - Values in School and Society Credits 3
  • EDRH 794 - Thesis Introduction and Literature Review Credits 3 *
  • EDRH 795 - Research Methods in Education Credits 3
  • EDRH 796 - Thesis Completion Credits 1
  • *Students must be concurrently enrolled in SPEC 708 when taking EDRH 794

Elective Units

  • SPEC 601 - Foundations of Special Education and Health Credits 3
  • SPEC 602 - Special Education Laws, Ethics and Inclusion Credits 3
  • SPEC 605 - Positive Behavior Support Credits 3
  • SPEC 606 - Medical Implications Credits 2
  • SPEC 607 - Comparative Development ECSE Credits 3
  • SPEC 609 - Special Education: Assessment and IEPs Credits 3
  • SPEC 610 - Transition: Mild/Moderate Disabilities Credits 3
  • SPEC 611 - Transition: Moderate/Severe and Early Childhood Credits 3
  • SPEC 612 - Curriculum and Technology for Mild Moderate Credits 4
  • SPEC 613 - Curriculum and Technology for Moderate/Severe Disabilities Credits 3
  • SPEC 615 - Curriculum and Technology for Early Childhood Educators Credits 4
  • SPEC 620 - Early Childhood Special Education: Program Design and Development Credits 3
  • SPEC 749 - Physical, Health, and Intellectual Impairments Credits 3
  • SPEC 755 - Autism Spectrum Disorders Credits 3
  • SPEC 760 - Advanced Collaboration, Consultation and Inclusion Credits 3
  • SPEC 770 - Foundations for Working With Students With Emotional Disturbance Disorders Credits 3

Possibilities Await
With an FPU Education

The decision to embark on graduate studies is a big one. Our 40+ graduate programs will equip you to succeed in your career and in your life. You’ll become part of a small community of learners, thrive in a flexible learning environment  and be challenged by a rigorous curriculum. Learn how much further you can go at FPU!  

For more information, contact the campus nearest you, attend an information meeting or ask about a program.

First Steps to Admission

  • Apply online
  • Submit 2 reference forms (Varies based on program of interest)
    These can be filled out by academic or professional acquaintances familiar with your ability to complete graduate-level work. Print the reference form.
  • Include statement of intent.
    You can also provide an addendum explaining your interest in the program, any long-term goals and your experience in the field.
  • Request official transcripts.
    Transcripts must be from accredited institutions to verify your bachelor’s degree. Send transcripts electronically to or mail sealed transcripts to the Registrar’s Office at 1717 S. Chestnut Ave. Fresno, CA 93702.
  • Complete program requirements.
    These requirements are specific to your program of choice. You will be contacted for an interview and additional requirements if applicable.
  • Apply for financial aid.
    You can apply for FAFSA.  Use FPU school code: 001253
  • Schedule an appointment.
    Meet with your Student Financial Services Advisor. You can contact them at 559-453-2041 |

Program Requirements

  • Educational Plan
  • Three letters of reference and forms
  • Verification of negative TB test (within last 12 months)
  • Academic Writing Sample
  • Certificate of Clearance

State Authorization

State authorization is a federal requirement in the HigherEducation Act that requires institutions to be authorized in the state in which online programs are offered. Fresno Pacific University works regularly with individual state authorization agencies to meet each state's requirements. Currently, Fresno Pacific University has received authorization to offer online degree programs in all but six states: Georgia, Michigan, New York, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

For the latest updates on the status of FPU's authorization in your state, contact your FPU Admissions representative.

Cost & Financial Aid

The below listed prices reflect the current and upcoming Fall and Spring semesters and do not include any financial aid. Paying for college can be an overwhelming step in your education journey. We can help you find all the opportunities to reduce your out of pocket costs.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition per Unit Amount
700 Level $730
Teacher Education $730
MBA $785
MSN and LEAD $750
KIN $590
Other Costs Amount
Student services fee (per semester) $60
* Field Placement Fee (charged for both the international and regional trip semesters) $1,500
Tuition per Unit Amount
700 Level $705
Teacher Education $705
MBA $757*
MSN and LEAD $720
KIN $570
Other Costs Amount
Student services fee (per semester) $60
* Field Placement Fee (charged for both the international and regional trip semesters) $1,500

* This is an estimate. Costs subject to change. Please refer to the Catalog for additional fees. Cost of attendance figures are used for budgeting purposes only and represent an estimate of projected tuition and fees for the coming academic year. Actual tuition rates are approved by the Board of Trustees and may vary.

Types of aid

Financial aid can refer to scholarships, grants and loans, which are available to you from the government, the university or outside sources. Aid types vary depending on the type of student you are.

View Graduate Private Scholarships

Career Development Happens Here

The staff in our Career Development and Experiential Learning Center are here to help you prepare to enter the working world. Whether your a freshman or an FPU alum, there are a number of resources and trainings offered to help you find the internship and job you’re looking for.

  • Resume writing classes
  • Career assessments, exploration & planning
  • Job search and networking opportunities
  • and much more

Visit the Career Development Center