Advancement to Candidacy & Culminating Experience

It is the policy of the University, the Graduate Division, and the Department of Special Education  to have students submit their Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) and Culminating Experience (CE) Proposals the semester prior to undertaking their culminating experience. The ATC is essentially a course roadmap on how students complete their 30 units for the MA degree. The CE indicates how students intend to complete the degree through a thesis, field-study, creative work project, or comprehensive exam. This process is completed in advance in order for the Graduate Division to evaluate student graduation applications and to ascertain that students have met all the coursework requirements, as well as successfully completed the Culminating Experience.

  • Students need to meet with their faculty advisors to complete and submit the ATC/CE. Consult the department or an advisor for semester deadlines.

A brief description is provided below for the ATC & CE Forms:

The Advancement to Candidacy (ATC)

The ATC form must be submitted to Graduate Studies after completion of 18 units toward the degree and no later than the semester prior to beginning the Culminating Experience. The Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) form must be approved by the graduate major advisor and the graduate coordinator/department chair. On approval of the ATC, the student is advanced to candidacy or classified status.

Culminating Experience Requirements

Students must file a Proposal for Culminating Experience that has been approved by program faculty. This form must be submitted subsequent to or simultaneous with the ATC. Students are not permitted to enroll in a Culminating Experience course (SPED 894, 895, 896, 898) until both of these forms have been approved by Graduate Studies. A Report of Completion of the Culminating Experience and/or Receipt for Thesis or Creative Work Project must be submitted or amended by the deadline date in order for the student to graduate in the semester of submission. Consult the deadline calendar for graduate students.