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The Department of Special Education recommends that prospective students familiarize themselves with the application deadlines, program guidelines, application requirements, and additional resources below.

Graduate Application Deadlines

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we are accepting applications until July 1, 2020 and extending deadlines for required application documents. 

We are currently offering conditional admission without test registration, passing test scores, fingerprint clearance, and early field experience.

Students who are conditional admitted will be allowed the following extended deadlines to submit their required documentation:

  • Students must provide proof of registration for the required test(s) by July 31, 2020. 
  • Students must provide proof of Certificate of Clearance by July 31, 2020.
  • Students must provide proof of passing test scores by November 30, 2020. 

The Department of Special Education will be monitoring the COVID-19 crisis and will offer extensions to these deadlines as necessary.

  • March 15 (Fall) - extended to July 1, 2020
  • October 15 (Spring)

Before You Apply

Attend an Information Session

The information session covers the admissions process, application requirement, and programs offered by the Department of Special Education. Information sessions are held on the first Wednesday of each month from 3-5pm in Burk Hall 158. Prospective students can register for an upcoming information session on Eventbrite.

Select a Program

All applicants must select one of the program objectives:

  • Master of Arts (MA Only)
  • Master of Arts plus Credential (MA+CRED)
  • Credential Only (CRED Only) - CRED Only applicants must already possess a Master’s degree

After selecting a program objective, applicants must select one program area to focus their studies:

Program Requirements

Prospective students should prepare application materials in advance before starting the online Cal State Apply application. Application materials vary by program objective and program area.

Program Requirements for All Applicants: The following requirements apply to all prospective students.

  • Curriculum Vitae/Resume
  • Personal Statement
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Unofficial Transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA – can be cumulative GPA or last 60 semester/90 quarter units

Additional Requirements for MA Only Applicants:

Additional Requirements for MA+CRED Applicants:

Additional Requirements for CRED Only Applicants:

Admission Requirements & Resources

Application Process & Guidelines

Prospective students seeking graduate degrees, graduate certificates, and credentials must complete the online application through Cal State Apply. Applicants must complete all required sections of the online application for admission to SF State and to the Department of Special Education. The complete admission process requires approximately 4 to 6 weeks from the application deadline.

Submit Your Application

Visit Cal State Apply and start an application by selecting the semester you intend to enter the program. Applicants must complete all four quadrants of the online application in order to submit the application.

All program requirements are uploaded onto the Program Materials quadrant of the online application. Refer to the SPED Application TIPS for specific details on which sections to complete, how to complete them, and other important information.


Following initial screening and review of applicant files, interviews will be conducted by faculty selection committees to assess the applicant’s communication skills and behaviors required to meet professional standards. Additional information may also be considered to assess the applicant’s professional qualities including test results, previous experience, and observations in coursework/fieldwork.

Additional Application Resources