Master of Arts - SPED Master's Exam

The Department of Special Education Master of Arts (MA) comprehensive exam procedures for Special Education students.

Dates of SPED MA Exam

Fall 2024 Semester
Saturday through Sunday, October 5 - 6
* Open book and notes format on Canvas beginning 8:00 am on October 5, and closing at 11:59 pm on October 6.

Spring 2025 Semester
Saturday through Sunday, March 1 - 2, 2025
* Open book and notes format on Canvas beginning 8:00 am on March 1, and closing at 11:59 pm on March 2.

Eligibility to take the SPED Master's Comprehensive Exam

In order to be considered eligible to take the MA Comprehensive Exam, students need an approved Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) and Culminating Experience (CE or PCE) proposal on file with the Graduate Division, which will be reflected in the Milestones section of the Student Services Center. The ATC and CE must be approved one semester prior to taking the culminating experience. Refer to the Division of Graduate Studies for current student deadlines.

  • Students must enroll in SPED 896EXM. This course has zero units. Returning students who are taking the exam after their grace period has ended must register for EDUC 499 for an additional tuition fee.
  • Students must meet the Pre-admission Writing Assessment (PWA) (also referred to as Written English Proficiency-WEP) requirements to be eligible to take the exam. 


*If accommodations are needed due to a disability, please contact Disability Programs Resource Center (DPRC) to register and establish accommodations. Please note that you are able to begin the registration process with DPRC by completing an online application using myDPRC, a digital database used to manage accommodations for students and professors. 

    Study Guides

    • Some program areas provide study guides or hold an advising meeting prior to the examination date. Check with your program advisor.

    After the Exam

    • Faculty readers will see only the exam # when evaluating examinations.
    • Examinations will be read and evaluated by a minimum of two faculty members.
    • A third reader will be arranged when exam results from two readers are in doubt or readers request assistance for a final decision.
    • The department will email a letter to each student to report the examination result. Allow 6-8 weeks to receive the results. 
    • Examination results will not be disclosed over the phone or to any other person besides the student.
    • After notification of examination results, students may set up an appointment with their faculty advisor to review the exam results. 
    • Upon successful completion, each examinee is responsible for submitting a Report of Completion (ROC). This will be found in the Student Center under the “To Do” section. This report will be submitted to the Graduate Division to document your culminating experience.
    • Follow the Steps to Graduation with the Division of Graduate Studies.