Master of Arts in Special Education

Preliminary Special Education Credential

NDNU’s Level I Education Specialist Credential in Special Education is designed to train teachers to alleviate the increasing shortage of special education teachers in the State of California.

NDNU’s Education Specialist Credential in Special Education and Master of Arts in Special Education programs prepare students to teach in special education settings in public and private schools. Mild/Moderate credential holders teach students in resource specialist programs, students in special day classes for learning disabilities and some full inclusion students. Moderate/Severe credential holders will be able to teach students in grades K-12 whose needs are more severe.  Students may pursue a special education credential whether or not they have a regular education credential.

See the NDNU General Catalog for course descriptions:


  • By taking additional coursework (which must include the capstone course), students may qualify for the master’s degree after earning 47 units. Many of these units are met by completing the preliminary credential.
  • As part of their credential program, it is sometimes possible for education specialist students to complete their fieldwork as a paid intern teacher. Prerequisite coursework and other state and NDNU requirements need to be met in order to secure a California University Internship Credential before beginning any internship in a public school.
  • Each course in the program meets once per week in the late afternoons and evenings. Summer courses meet two times per week.
  • A program plan is arranged for each student when he or she meets with the program director.

Admission Requirements

Students may apply to enter the Master of Arts in Special Education and credential programs in the fall, spring, or summer semesters and should meet the following requirements:

  • Official Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, with one transcript showing a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S., or equivalent academic preparation outside of the U.S.
  • Two letters of recommendation, academic or professional
  • A cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better
  • In-person interview with NDNU Advisor in the Education Department


Graduate Admissions

Dr. Sungho Park
Program Director

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