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Phone: (210) 458-4331

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Special Education, M.A.

Basic Degree Information/Description

The Master of Arts Degree in Education with a concentration in Special Education is designed for individuals seeking initial, additional or advanced preparation as educators, counselors, and other professionals in serving individuals with disabilities in a variety of settings. The program is intended to offer students the opportunity to acquire theoretical understanding and classroom/clinical experiences in order to develop and apply effective instructional, habilitation skills and therapeutic practices for working with individuals with disabilities and their families. Graduates of the program go on to, or continue their careers in serving children, youth, and adults with intellectual, scholastic, social, and behavioral disabilities as teachers, supervisors, and administrators in public and private education and service agencies.

Why pursue an M.A. in Education - Special Education?

The program enables students in all stages of their careers to gain deeper knowledge working with individuals with disabilities.  Courses cover a range of topics and types of disabilities to offer depth and breadth to students’ knowledge.  The program also offers an option to pursue an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis.  Students interested in becoming eligible to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Examination should see an advisor for further instructions about the requirements for this program.

Degree Requirements

  • Hours required for degree dependent upon Certification Option.
  • For a complete list of degree requirements please see the Graduate Catalog.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Admission Prerequisites:

  • Bachelor's degree with 18 credit hours in field of study or in another appropriate field of study.

Application Requirements:

  • A degree seeking applicant must meet university wide requirements.
  • A complete Graduate Studies application.
  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended.  All international transcripts must be recorded in English or officially translated to English.
  • If an applicant’s GPA is between 2.7 and 2.99, probationary admission may be granted and the student must maintain a minimum of a 3.0 GPA during the first 12 hours of coursework.
  • Individuals who do not meet the University-wide graduate admission grade point average standard may be required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for consideration in admission decisions. Some concentrations may also require GRE scores because of licensing regulations.
  • Resume or CV, Letters of Recommendation, and Statement of Purpose are not required.
  • Minimum TOEFL Score (for International Applicants): 550 paper/79 internet
  • Minimum IELTS Score (for International Applicants): 6.5
  • Additional Requirements: International students and those with international degrees may be required to submit additional documents per our admissions policies and procedures. The Graduate School reserves the right to request any additional documents needed to fairly and consistently evaluate applicant credentials.

Career Options Available for a M.A in Education - Special Education Graduate

There are several career options for students in our academic program. Some students become teachers, other work at private facilities for student with severe disabilities. Graduates have also been employed at the state hospital. Many graduates become special education supervisors for their campus or school.

Research taking place in the M.A in Education - Special Education program

Current research focuses on using technology to promote achievement for students with disabilities.

Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis

UTSA has been approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board for a course sequence in applied behavior analysis (ABA). As part of the MA/EDU/SPE program, this specialization prepares highly qualified individuals to educate children and youth with autistic and other challenging behaviors in school, home, and community settings. For more information, contact Dr. Lee Mason.

Contact Information:               

Student Development Specialist: Elizabeth Narvaez, M.A.
Telephone: (210) 458-7443

Graduate Advisor of Record: .Richard Boon


Telephone: (210) 458-7439

Degree Website:

Degree Catalog Link:

Funding Opportunities:

Course Scheduling and Offerings

  • Courses are offered at night once a week for three hours (6 PM to 8:45 PM) Monday-Thursday in the fall or spring. Or, during the day two hours a day Monday through Friday in the four-week summer sessions. In addition, some courses are available at night meeting Monday through Friday for three weeks in the May-mester.
  • This program is housed on the UTSA Main Campus.