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Graduate Degree Program General Requirements 

Course Registration

WVU Five-Year Teacher Education Program

Students are required to meet with their assigned academic advisor PRIOR to each semester in the Office of Student Advising and Records to plan a schedule of courses based on the Tentative Plan to Graduate for their cohort. For more information, please consult  Office of Student Advising and Records.

Graduate Certification and Degree Programs

Students admitted to special education programs with department major code may enroll in all courses without advisor assistance except for those that require department approval (see list below) using the  STAR system.

MOST courses in graduate programs in special education have open enrollment for majors and are designed to require NO prerequisites so students may enroll at any point in the cycle, EXCEPT for the following:

  • selected courses in Braille or Nemeth Code in the certification only or certification plus master’s degree program in Low Vision/Blindness which require prior completion of Introduction to Braille;
  • Culminating Practicum: enrollment in the capstone course in any certification only or certification plus masters degree program is based on completion of ALL required courses with a grade of A or B, passing scores on Praxis tests, and submission of the application for practicum documenting that all other eligibility criteria have been met. Culminating practicum courses must be completed in either Fall or Spring semesters.
  • Culminating Project: enrollment in SPED 675 and 680 as capstone courses in any masters degree only program is based on completion of ALL required courses with a grade of A or B; and submission of the application for culminating project documenting that all other eligibility criteria have been met. SPED 675 and SPED 675must be competed in the same semester and enrollment in SPED 675 is contingent upon completing SPED 675 with a grade of A or B.

Doctoral Program Emphasis in Special Education 

ALL courses in the doctoral program emphasis in special education require departmental approval prior to registration.

Students are required to meet with their assigned academic advisor PRIOR to each semester to plan a schedule of courses based on their program option and available offerings. The advisor will grant departmental approval so the student may register for the course(s).

Requesting an Override to Register for a Course

Students who cannot register for a course because it has reached its enrollment cap may request an override to register ONLY IF this is a FINAL REQUIRED COURSE they must complete in order to be eligible for either culminating practicum or culminating project during the following semester. If this is the case, the student should send an email to the department chair requesting approval for an override for the specific course and section. The chair will approve the override after confirming that the student meets this condition or deny the override and inform the student when the course will be offered again.

Completing the Program

Maintaining Active Status in the Program

Newly admitted students must register in at least 1 course during the semester of admission or request a deferral of admission to the next semester. Students with deferred admission who fails to enroll in that semester will be made inactive and will need to reapply at a later date. At the time of re-application, they may need to meet new admission criteria as well as new program requirements if changes to the program have gone into effect in the interim.

A deferral of admission can be requested from  sped@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-7143.

Students who are admitted provisionally will NOT be approved for deferral but will be required to reapply at a later date. At the time of re-application, they may need to meet new admission criteria as well as new program requirements if changes to the program have gone into effect in the interim.

Students must enroll in at least 1 course every 2 years to maintain active student status; if they fail to do so, they will need to re-apply for admission and may need to meet new admission criteria as well as new program requirements if changes to the program have gone into effect in the interim.

Requesting Approval of Waivers, Transfers and Electives

Detailed information is available at the Waivers, Transfers & Electives page

Maintaining Good Standing in the Program

Students must earn an average of 80% or better on the required activities designated for each course competency and also achieve a grade of B or better in each required course or they may be dropped from the program.

A grade of Incomplete in any course will only be approved for emergency situations and when specific requirements outlined in the course syllabus have been met. All remaining requirements must be completed prior to the end of the next academic semester.

Transferring to a Different Program or Program Option

Students who decide they no longer want or need to complete the program option to which they were admitted may choose to transfer to a different program in special education) (e.g., from Multicategorical Special Education to Severe/Multiple Disabilities or to a different program option within the same area of specialization (e.g., from certification plus degree to degree only). Students must meet all admission criteria and complete any new requirements in effect at the time of the transfer for the new program or program option.

To request a transfer, students should send by email a formal written request specifying the desired change to the department chair (see email address under Faculty). Students who are approved for such a transfer will be sent a transfer letter and a new Student Program Plan and they may be assigned a new advisor. Students will only be approved for 2 such transfers.

Completing Program Requirements

Students must complete ALL program requirements within the 8 year time limit designated by WVU for a graduate degree program or doctoral degree program. Students who are unable to complete all requirements within the 8 year limit after the semester of admission will need to re-take the earliest courses that fall outside of that period. Students who have courses that are too old are NOT permitted to request an extension of the time period or a waiver of this policy. Because of the many rapid changes in special education policies and practices, this department does NOT provide a process for re-validation of out-of-date courses.

Students who are NOT enrolled when they apply for graduation must register and pay for at least 1 credit hour to be awarded any graduate degree during the semester in which the degree will be awarded.

Applying for Graduation

Students must apply for graduation at the beginning of the semester in which they plan to graduate. They must submit the required forms and pay any applicable fees to be eligible to graduate at the end of that semester. If all requirements are met, the student will be notified of procedures for participating in graduation ceremonies and receiving the diploma. If all requirements are not met, the student’s name will be deleted from the graduation list and s/he will need to submit a new application during a future semester.

Application forms for graduation may be obtained from  sped@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-7143.

SPRING Semester Graduation: Application due: OCTOBER 1
FALL Semester Graduation: Application due: FEBRUARY 1
SUMMER Semester Graduation:     Application due: JUNE 1