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master of arts in special education

Master's Degree with Certification Option: Multicategorical Special Education

Below are the courses and credit information for students who select the master’s degree with certification option in the Multicategorical Special Education Program.

SPED 500 Legal/Educational Foundations: Special Education
3 cr.
SPED 601 Academic Interventions: Special Education
3 cr.
SPED 603 Classroom/Behavior Management: Special Education
3 cr.
SPED 609 Technology Applications for Special Needs
3 cr.
SPED 663 Collaborative-Consultative Inclusion Strategies
3 cr.
SPED 665 Mathematics for Special Needs
3 cr.
SPED 666 Reading for Special Needs
3 cr.
RDNG 622 Content Area Literacy Instruction
3 cr.
SPED 667
OR
SPED 668
Elementary Content Methods: Special Needs

Secondary Content Methods: Special Needs
3 cr.

3 cr.
SPED 669 Culminating Practicum: Multicategorical Special Education*
3-6 cr.
Approved Electives (in areas related to Multicategorical Special Education Program and approved by advisor)**
3-6 cr.


36 Credits Total


Students who are currently enrolled should follow the program requirements outlined on the student program plan sent with the admission letter.

Students who are seeking admission should review the detailed information available in the program brochure that can be obtained from sped@mail.wvu.edu. If accepted into the program, they will be sent a student program plan that outlines the requirements in effect at the time of admission.

This program is subject to revision whenever teacher education or certification requirements are changed in West Virginia.

Individuals certified in multicategorical special education grades 5-Adult are also required to hold a content endorsement for special educators in the academic content area(s) in which they are assigned to teach.

West Virginia also currently permits individuals who have completed a program in multicategorical special education grades K-6 or 5-Adult or who already hold prior certification in multicategorical special education grades K-12 or behavior disorders grades K-12 to add an additional endorsement in autism by completing only six additional hours of coursework in the Autism Spectrum Disorders Program and no practicum experience.

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

  • Principles of Learning and Teaching K-6 (0522) OR 5-9 (0523) OR 7-12 (0524) (if no prior certification)
  • Education of Exceptional Students: Core Content Knowledge (0353)
  • Education of Exceptional Students: Mild to Moderate Disabilities (0542)

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 Multicategorical Special Education Program by enhancing his/her ability to teach students with mild/moderate disabilities in elementary and/or secondary settings. Some courses in other areas of special education (especially autism spectrum disorders or common courses in other programs) 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 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.