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Frequently Asked Questions


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NOTE: These are answers to general program questions from individuals interested in applying to our master's program.

What degrees are offered?

We offer M.Ed. and M.S. degrees in Special Education, and offer concentrations in Administrative/Supervisory Licensure and BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst).

How do I apply?

Apply online through the School of Graduate Studies.

Application fee waivers are available to students who demonstrate financial need, are first-generation students, identify as a member of a racial, ethnic, LGBTQ+, or other community or group historically underrepresented in our field, or have served or are serving as members of the U.S. military. Our overall goal as a department is to ensure the application fee is not a barrier of entry to our programs, so please reach out if it is. Fee waivers are confidential and are not disclosed to admissions committees. 

Please contact our graduate coordinator, Elise Gonzalez, 435-797-3245, if you would like to be considered for an application fee waiver or if you have any further questions.

What are the admission deadlines?

Applications for the M.Ed/M.S. in Special Education are due by March 15th for summer semester, June 15th for fall semester, and October 15th for spring semester.

Applications for the M.Ed. with Administrative/Supervisory Licensure concentration are due by March 15th for summer semester, May 1st for fall semester, and October 15th for spring semester. Students interested in applying to this concentration must also submit an application directly to the Teacher Education and Leadership department. Application requirements and deadlines can be found here http://teal.usu.edu/htm/asc/admissions

Applications for the M.S. with BCBA coursework are due March 15th for Fall Semester. Individuals applying to work with a specific faculty member or laboratory or who want an early decision should submit their applications by January 15th for Fall Semester.

Files must be complete (all items received by the graduate school) before they will be reviewed.

Is the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) necessary?

No, the GRE is no longer necessary as a component of the application.

What are the minimum requirements for admission?

3.00 GPA over the last 60 semester hours, three letters of recommendation, all transcripts, and letter of intent.

Do you need a Special Education Endorsement for admission?

You should already have your SPED endorsement, or be admitted to an endorsement program at the time of admission. The BCBA master's program does not require a SPED endorsement. 

Who should I get the three letters of recommendation from?

If you have been in school during the last five years, at least two of the letters must come from persons from whom you have taken academic coursework. The third letter can come from a special education director or principal. We strongly recommend that even if you have been out of school for five years that you obtain two letters from college professors.

What should my letter of intent include?

Your letter must detail your specific reasons for wanting to attend graduate school, and also list and describe experiences and qualifications that you believe prepared you for advanced study. Letters of intent are considered a vital element of the selection process and are carefully reviewed. Letters characterized by clear organization, attention to requested information, and mechanical accuracy allow selection committee readers to better evaluate your request for graduate training. 

Application Process

Once your application has been received by the graduate school and is complete, a file review takes place.  Files are scored on GPA, teaching experience, diversity, supervisory experience, letters of recommendation, and letter of intent. After faculty review files, applicants are divided into three groups: 1) applicants whose files are very strong are admitted for the next semester; 2) applicants whose files were viewed positively but for whom slots were not available (holding pool), and finally; 3) applicants with weaker files who will not be admitted. If your file is placed in the "holding pool," your application will be considered again at the next file review with more recently received applications and will be given an additional point in the scoring process. This additional point will give your application higher priority, but will not guarantee that you will be admitted.

How long will it take for me to find out if I am admitted to the program?

You will be notified by email of your admission status approximately 1 month after the admission deadline.

Is the program admission competitive?

The program is competitive. The average admittance rate is approximately 50%-70% over the past four admission dates.

What is the cost of 3 credits?

Tuition and fees for a 3 credit graduate course cost approximately $1,800.

Do you have any graduate student support or scholarships available?

Contact the Financial Aid office (435-797-0173) for information on student loans and other financial aid.

Are courses taught in the evening?

Courses are typically taught in the evening from 4:30-7:00 or 7:15-9:45 once a week.

Where do I take courses?

Live, interactive courses are available on the Internet. Students need only an Internet connection with a microphone and video.

Can I complete my entire program at a distance site? Do I have to travel to Logan?

All of your coursework can be completed at the distance site. However, unless approved otherwise by your committee, you will need to travel to Logan for your proposal meeting and your final defense meeting.

How long does it take to finish the program?

Typically, students take about 2-3 years to finish the program if they take 2 classes per semester and make consistent progress on their project/thesis.

Can I take classes before I am admitted into the program?

You can take up to 12 credits before you are admitted into the program. You should know that you are taking these courses at your own risk. You are not guaranteed admission into the program just because you are taking classes.

How many credits can I transfer into the program?

Twelve credits from an accredited university. The credits cannot have been used for another degree, and must be relevant to the field of special education. Your committee must approve all credits transferred into the program.

I am enrolled in an endorsement/licensure program (OPTT). Can I apply some of these credits towards my master's degree?

You can apply up to 12 credits towards your master's degree.

How many total credits do I have to take to complete the program?

The M.Ed./M.S. degree is 36 credits. The M.Ed. with Administrative/Supervisory Licensure is 42 credits. The M.S. with BCBA coursework is 30 credits.

How are courses broadcast?

Courses are broadcast over a teleconferencing system from Logan, Utah.

What is the difference between the M.Ed. and M.S. degrees?

The M.Ed. degree requires that a student do a creative project. The M.S. requires a thesis. General speaking, a thesis is more rigorous and recommended if a student plans to go on for a Ph.D. degree.

Who should I contact for additional information?

Contact: The Graduate Program Coordinator, Elise Gonzalez, 435-797-3245.