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Master of arts in Special Education

Master's Degree with Certification Option: Early Childhood Special Education

Below are the courses and credit information for students who select the master’s degree with certification option in the Early Childhood Special Education Program. This program is subject to revision whenever teacher education or certification requirements are changed.
SPED 600 Instructional/Assistive Technology
3 cr.
SPED 604 Characteristics/Educational Developmental Disabilities
3 cr.
SPED 605 Family/Professional Collaboration: Developmental Disabilities
3 cr.
SPED 606 Communication Intervention: Developmental Disabilities
3 cr.
SPED 607 Formal/Informal Assessment: Developmental Disabilities
3 cr.
SPED 610 Typical/Atypical Development: Early Intervention
3 cr.
SPED 611 Early Learning Curriculum: Early Intervention
3 cr.
SPED 612 Responsive Interventions: Early Intervention
3 cr.
SPED 616 Behavior Guidance/Support : Early Intervention
3 cr.
SPED 619 Culminating Practicum: Early Intervention*
6 cr.
Approved Electives (in areas related to ECSE Program and approved by advisor)**
3 cr.


36 Credits Total


ALL students should follow the program requirements outlined on the Student Program Plan sent with the admission letter.

Request information from sped@mail.wvu.edu or direct questions to 304-293-3450.

*Students must pass PRAXIS tests required by the program prior to and as a condition of admission to practicum:

  • Education of Exceptional Students: Preschool/Early Childhood (0690)
  • Early Childhood Education (0020) – recommended, not yet required

These or other tests also may be required for licensure in West Virginia or in the designated specialization area in other states/countries to earn initial certification or additional endorsement.

Students who previously completed an initial six-credit graduate practicum at WVU in special education may be eligible for a three-credit practicum in other areas.

All courses in a certification program must be completed within 8 years; this includes waivers granted for courses completed within other programs or at other institutions.

**Electives should be designed to develop the student’s knowledge and skills in a way that directly supports the program in Early Childhood Special Education by enhancing his/her ability to work with young children with special needs and their families. All courses in the Severe/Multiple Disabilities or the 2 specialization courses in the Autism Spectrum Disorders programs can be counted as electives toward a degree in the Early Childhood Special Education Program. Selected courses in other areas of special education may be especially helpful, as will courses in curriculum and instruction, child development, or instructional technologies. All electives must have earned graduate degree credit from a regionally accredited institution and must be approved in advance in writing by the faculty advisor. Courses that earned continuing education or professional development credits may not be counted as electives in a degree program.

All courses in a degree program must be completed within 8 years; this includes transfers from other institutions and elective courses.

Retention in this program requires maintaining active student status and an overall GPA of 3.0. Students who fail to maintain active student status by enrolling in at least one course every two years become inactive and will have to re-apply and meet any NEW requirements in effect at the time of admission. Students who fail to maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 will be dismissed from the program and may be unable to reapply for admission.