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Special Education FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)


Special Education Questions:


How many hours are requird for the master's degree in special education?

Our M.A. in Special Education degree is a 36-hour program. Students pursuing teaching certification plus the master's degree will typically need 48-51 hours, depending upon previous coursework.

Where can I get my degree plan?

You will receive your degree plan (or degree audit) after you are accepted to the university. You can access your degree plan online.

Do I have to take my classes in a certain order?

Yes, most of the concentrations ask that you take courses in a certain order.  There are many reasons for this:  Certain courses require other courses as prerequisites, some courses are only offered in certain semesters, some courses require field work, etc.  Your advisor will give you instructions about the recommended or required sequence of courses for your degree.

How do I get a class over-ride if I haven't taken the prerequisite?

See your advisor.

What if I can't get a required class? Can I substitute a different class?

Sometimes we can do this but any substitution must be approved in advance by your advisor.

What are the comps?

The 'comps' refer to the special education comprehensive exams.  End-of-program comprehensive exams are required by the university for our Master's Programs.  Comprehensive exams may be taken after you have completed 18 graduate hours, but are usually taken during your last semester before graduation.  Each concentration has slightly different versions and requirements for comps.  Ask your advisor for more information.

Why are the Special Education classes not offered online?

At this point, we believe that face-to-face classes are the most effective way to prepare you for the demands of teaching and professional leadership in the field of special education. However, we understand that the demands and challenges of today's world sometimes makes it difficult to attend classes on campus, and therefore we are exploring options for non-traditional formats for some of our classes.  In addition, some classes require online work as part of the course.

How do I know if I am a Career Alternative in Special Education (CASE) student?

You are a "CASE" student if you are seeking special education certification in addition to your Master's degree.

Who can I go to if I have any questions?

Everyone is assigned an advisor; however, many of the faculty and staff may be able to answer your questions or direct you to the right person.

What are my Special Education teaching cerfication options?

CASE students typically pursue EC-6 ESL and all-level special education certification.  Other certification areas are possible but may require additional coursework.  You will be certified to teach special education, all grades. To meet No Child Left Behind Requirements for highly qualified teachers, you will also be certified in another general education area, such as EC-4 Generalist, 4-8 Generalist, or another area.  Most CASE students choose EC-4 Generalist or 4-8 Generalist for their general education certification; your coursework is designed to prepare you for the TExES exams in these areas (state certification exams).

As a certified special education teacher, you will be highly qualified to teach elementary special education classes, secondary inclusion or special education support, or life skills.

University Questions:

How do you navigate the Education building?

Yes, this is a confusing building! The stairs at the west end of the building (off the breezeway) allow access to floors 2 - 4. The elevator provides access to floors 1 - 4. The first floor may be also be accessed from the exterior corridor off the large flight of stairs in the front of the building. The stairs at the east end of the building are exit-only - you may not re-enter the building from that stairwell once you leave.

Are the graduate classes only offered at Texas State in San Marcos?

No, graduate classes are also offered at the Texas State campus in Round Rock. However, we offer only a few special education courses at that campus.

How much does school cost and are there scholarships available?

Check the Tuition & Fees website for specific expenses. Check the Financial Aid office and the Curriculum & Instruction website for information about financial aid and scholarships.