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Graduate Catalog 2016/2017

Exceptional Student Education (AVE)

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Master of Arts (M.A.)
CIP Code: 13.1001
College of Education (ED)
Total Minimum Program Hours Required (Post Bachelor's Degree): 36

Contact Information:
College of Education
Teaching and Learning Department (EDS)
4202 E. Fowler Avenue EDU105
Tampa FL  33620

Program Director or Coordinator:
Ann Cranston-Gingras
Phone: 813-974-1387


Faculty Search: Education Faculty List

Program Information

The Master's Programs in the Department of Special Education prepare special education teacher leaders for work in public and private schools and in state, federal, or community settings. Specific areas of education and training include behavior disorders, intellectual disabilities, specific learning disabilities, and varying exceptionalities (exceptional student education). The program is designed to ensure that all graduates are prepared to be reflective practitioners, able to evaluate and continuously learn from their own teaching; collaborative professionals who affirm diversity; knowledgeable of theory and research; and skilled in the best practices of special education. Graduates of this program will have advanced clinical and pedagogical skills in working with children with disabilities and their families. The program is structured so that students can maintain full-time employment while pursuing their degrees through on-line course delivery. After admission to a program, the candidate and the department advisor together chart a program of study incorporating both core requirements and courses of specific interest to the student. All programs stress field application.

Accreditation Information:

Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools.


Admissions Information

Admission Deadlines

There is an established University deadline for the submission of admission application materials. Programs may have earlier deadlines than the University deadline. The deadlines reflected below are the earliest of the two deadlines. Graduate Programs may continue to accept and process applications after the published deadline if space exists within the program. Check with the Program for availability.

Application Deadline (domestic application)

Fall: February 15
Spring: October 15
Summer: February 15

International Students

Foreign applicants who are outside the U.S. are required to apply for a visa. Depending on the country of origin, this may take a few months. So the deadlines for these international applicants may be earlier than the Program deadline and these applicants must apply prior to both deadlines. They are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible. Foreign applicants who are in the U.S. and are currently on a visa may use the domestic application deadline dates. In addition to meeting the published application deadline for the Program of interest, all immigration documents should be submitted as soon as possible, but must be on file at USF no later than the following processing deadlines:

Fall: February 15
Spring: September 15
Summer: January 15

Admission Requirements

You must comply with general University policies and meet general University Admission requirements in addition to those listed below.

Must meet University requirements (see Graduate Admissions) as well as requirements listed below.

Program Admission Requirements
For admission, all programs require earned degrees from regionally accredited institutions or an international equivalent. Other requirements include:

  • An earned baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from a regionally accredited college or university, or its international equivalent.
  • Scholastic evidence to successfully perform in the academic program, as indicated by one of the following:
    • An earned graduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
    • A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in upper division undergraduate coursework.
    • The following preferred minimum GRE scores:
      • Verbal: 60th percentile
      • Quantitative: 45th percentile
      • Analytical Writing: 60th percentile
  • A Professional Goals Statement that addresses why the candidate desires to pursue an MA degree in education.
  • At least two (2) letters of recommendation from persons who have observed the candidate teach and/or work with children and youth.
  • Interview with the MA program faculty.

For international applicants
Applicants whose native language is not English or who have not earned a degree in the U.S. must, according to university policy, submit a TOEFL score (minimum of 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 80 internet-based test). See the Graduate Admissions website for further clarification and possible exemptions. Please check with program regarding the policy on evaluation of transcripts. For more information, please visit

Admissions Status: Apply


Program Degree Requirements

All Special Education programs are currently under review. Students are advised to work closely with program advisors in the department when developing their programs of study.




Plan I (36 credits)
The M.A. program in education is a 36-hour program, designed for students with an undergraduate degree in special education. This program is delivered fully online. Students usually take one or two courses a semester and complete their program of study within two to four years. Students are required to take courses two of the three semesters each calendar year and they must complete their program of study within 7 years of their admission date.





Foundations of Educational Research


EEX 6025

Trends and Issues in Special Education*
Management and Motivation
Advanced Psychological Assessment
Transitional Programming
Consultation and Collaboration
Working with Families
Instructional Approaches
Advanced Seminar in Special Education
*Not required if equivalent course taken in undergraduate program





Varying Exceptionalities courses




Advanced Theories and Practices in Behavior
Advanced Theories and Practices in Specific
  Learning Disabilities
Advanced Theories and Practices in Intellectual






A project is required to fulfill the comprehensive examination requirement.


Practicum in Exceptional Student Education


Plan III
This option is available for students who do not hold an undergraduate degree in education.






College Degree Requirements

Refer to the College Section of theGraduate Catalog for College requirements and information.


USF Degree Requirements

See USF Degree Requirements —


Financial Assistance

Financial Aid

Fellowships & Scholarships

Graduate Assistantships


Registration Process

First, contact your graduate program advisor for guidance courses to register for. Obtain any electronic course permit if necessary. Register for the new student orientation online at Then go to the link to OASIS, USF's on-line registration system to register for your classes. Follow the directions given on-line.

To access online course materials, students must have a USF NetID (e-mail account). Please visit: to obtain your NetID.

New students, including those studying online, may obtain a USFCard. Please visit: to obtain your USFCard.

Tuition and fees: Fees are determined by the level of the course. Please visit Cash Accounting, Controller's Office, for information on tuition and fees.


Graduate Course Information

Lookup graduate courses in the USF Course Inventory at