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Special Education, M.A. (Only for FPU Credential Graduates within 5 years of completion)

School of Education

We invite graduates of the special education program at FPU to embrace teaching as a calling to redemptive service. Our hope is that you will become scholars, professionals, peacemakers, and leaders as you advance in the teaching profession.

The Special Education Credential programs prepare candidates for a preliminary teaching credential and provides foundational courses for a master’s degree in special education (SPED MA).

After completing the requirements for a preliminary credential, you will have the option to extend and deepen your understanding of effective teaching strategies, curriculum analysis, and other special education topics within the Master of Arts Degree in Special Education program. 

Program Highlights

  • Emphasis on teacher inquiry into problems of practice, connecting theory to practice, advocacy, and service to the profession.
  • Opportunity to engage in rigorous scholarly and professional dialogue about issues critical to new teachers.
  • Cohort model which fosters a robust community of practice.
  • 2 Semesters I 4 courses post-credential coursework centered on teacher inquiry and action research.
  • Coursework facilitated online (Zoom/Moodle).



The Special Education Credential programs prepare candidates for a preliminary teaching credential and provides foundational courses for a Master of Arts Degree in Special Education (SPED MA). Only Fresno Pacific credential program completers are eligible to continue in the capstone courses of the SPED MA to complete their degree. SPED MA students must be employed as a credentialed special education teacher and return to the capstone courses within five years of credential program completion.

After completing the requirements for a preliminary credential, candidates have the option to extend and deepen their understanding of effective teaching strategies, curriculum analysis, and other special education topics within the Master of Arts Degree in Special Education program. This program is comprised of all credential program coursework units and 12 units of post-credential coursework within five years of credential program completion. Courses must be completed in the prescribed sequence and academic terms as outlined.

Candidates will be challenged to reflect on their role as a teacher and their commitment to teaching as a vocation. Candidates will develop a deeper understanding of teacher inquiry and gain a teacher-research identity, which will be applied by completing a classroom action research project and report.

Admissions Requirements

  • Earned FPU Education Specialist Credential within previous 5 academic years.
  • Graduate Admission Update Form 
  • Employment Verification Form 
  • Education plan from Program Director (given after advising appointment) 
  • Earned all As and Bs in credential coursework
  • No readmission fee required

Locations Offered


Required Courses

Special Education Credential

  • Early Childhood Special Education Preliminary Credential  OR
  • Extensive Support Needs Education Specialist Preliminary Credential  OR
  • Mild/Moderate Support Needs Preliminary Credential  

Capstone Courses (12 Units)

  • SPEC 731 - Issues in Teaching: Investigating Problems of Practice in Special Education Credits 3
  • SPEC 733 - Literature Review Credits 3
  • SPEC 734 - Research Methodology: Action Research Credits 3
  • SPEC 735 - Research Project Credits 3
  • Note: Courses must be taken and successfully completed sequentially

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 Higher Education 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 nine states: Georgia, Michigan, New York, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington D.C. 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 UnitAmount
700 Level$750
Teacher Education$750
MSN and LEAD$775
Other CostsAmount
Student services fee (per semester)$70
* MBA Field Placement Fee (charged for both the international and regional trip semesters)$1,500


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

* 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