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Special Education (MA) - Mild-Moderate Disabilities 
Program Description

Special Education (MA) - Mild-Moderate Disabilities

Program Description

The UA College of Education MA in Mild Moderate Special Education is a 36-unit MA degree that is designed to prepare graduates to teach students with mild to moderate disabilities. Our program is accredited by the Arizona Department of Education. Students who complete the program receive the MA degree. Students who successfully complete the MA and student teaching are eligible to apply for the Provisional Mild Moderate (K-12) Special Education Teaching Certificate in the state of Arizona.‚Äč

Traditional and Part-time

Students who are traditional full-time graduate students can complete the 36-unit program in 4 semesters. Part-time students will naturally take longer to complete the program.

In addition to the traditional two-year MA plan or part-time study, we provide options for qualified applicants to complete the Mild-Moderate MA and earn teacher certification in one year. These options provide a faster path to graduation and can significantly reduce the cost of obtaining your MA and special education teacher certification. All students who desire teacher certification must complete half-day supervised teaching experiences during two semesters.

UA Undergraduate + One Option

If you are a current UA College of Education undergraduate, you can earn your Mild-Moderate MA and teacher certification in one year. Students in this option apply to take online Graduate coursework during the Fall and Spring semesters of their Senior year. Program requirements can then be completed through Graduate Summer online coursework and full-time Fall and Spring coursework. The program includes half-day supervised teaching experiences during the Fall and Spring semesters.

One-Year Mild-Moderate MA Option

If you have a Bachelor’s degree from the UA or another accredited university, you can complete the Mild-Moderate MA and earn your special education teacher certification in one year. Students who pursue this option will complete a challenging Summer of online coursework (5 Summer courses). Program requirements are then completed during full-time online and on-campus Fall and Spring coursework. The program includes half-day supervised teaching experiences during the Fall and Spring semesters.

Teacher Certification Information

The Graduate Program in Mild-Moderate Disabilities is designed to meet the requirements for Arizona teacher certification in the area of mild-moderate special education. In addition to receiving a Master’s Degree in Special Education, graduates are eligible for an “institutional recommendation” from the UA that facilitates the process of receiving an Arizona teaching certificate. For more information about completing the certification process, refer to the Certification FAQ.

Advisor: Dr. Carl Liaupsin (



Department/Academic Unit(s)

Dept of Disability & Psychoeducational Studies -

The Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies is committed to research about and teaching of students with disabilities and special abilities. The department’s research, teaching, and service address current issues in special education, rehabilitation, school psychology, and deaf studies.

The Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies (DPS) is dedicated to advancing human and economic development through the empowerment and effective inclusion of culturally diverse individuals with disabilities and special abilities of all ages. This is accomplished by conducting research to further knowledge and understanding of abilities, disabilities, adaptations, interventions, and support systems; preparing professionals to educate and facilitate the development of individuals with disabilities and special abilities; and providing leadership at the local, state, national, and international levels. To accomplish our mission, the department offers nationally recognized undergraduate, master's, educational specialist, and doctoral-level degrees to prepare teachers, counselors, specialists, administrators, school psychologists, school counselors, and researchers and educators in special education, rehabilitation, school psychology, gifted education, sign language and deaf studies, and educational interpreting.

The Graduate College requires an Application for Admission submitted online, along with an application fee.

The department requires the following documents to be submitted through your online application:

·      One Official Transcripts of all previous college work from each college or university previously attended being sent Attention: Cecilia Carlon at the College of Education at P.O. Box 210069, Tucson, AZ 85721-0069.  You are also welcome to bring official copies to Room 414 at the College of Education.

·          International students must provide a TOEFL score of minimum 79, and scores cannot be older than two years. The institutional code for the University of Arizona is 4832.

·         Three letters of recommendation from persons who have direct knowledge of your academic and/or professional performance and potential for graduate study. These letters should be recent. It is preferable to have letters of recommendation that are specific to admission to our program and your recommenders will be able to upload letters through this venue. (Look for instructions below)

Your application will be considered once you have submitted all required documentation. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed and will be automatically denied. Once your application has been submitted, you may check the status of your application at any time by logging in to this account and opening this application. Please do not call the department regarding the status of your application. You will be notified via email as soon as a decision has been reached.



College of Education  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Cecilia Carlon
Graduate Program Coordinator
Cecilia Carlon
Director of Graduate Studies
Carl J Liaupsin
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Lauren Joiner
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Official transcripts showing a grade point average of “B” or better (3.0 on a 4.0 scale).
  • A two-page personal statement describing your experience working with children or youth who have disabilities and how you expect the Mild-Moderate MA program to improve your impact with children or youth with disabilities.
  • Evidence of previous teaching experience. If you do not hold a teaching certificate, we require evidence of experience working with children or youth with disabilities.
  • Three professional letters of recommendation. We prefer letters from persons who can attest to your ability to do graduate level work and interact effectively with children and youth.
  • An interview with a faculty member. Your interview will provide you with valuable information about the program and give you an opportunity to ask questions about the program. Your interview may be conducted in person, by phone, or via teleconferencing.
Standardized Tests

GRE scores not required

International Students Only
Minimum TOEFL: 79 (IBT) 550 (PB) or
Minimum IELTS: Composite score of 7 (no subject area below a 6)

Please review our English Proficiency Requirement list to verify your need to submit an English proficiency test.

Financial Aid

Contact your advisor or program faculty for information by visiting the department web site at

Admissions Deadlines

Admissions Deadlines Domestic Applicants:

  • Traditional and Part-Time Mild-Moderate MA
    • Deadline for Fall Entry: March 15
    • Deadline for Spring Entry: September 15
  • One Year Mild-Mild Moderate MA Option
    • Deadline for Summer Entry: May 15
  • UA Undergraduate + One MA Option
    • Contact your undergraduate advisor during your Junior or Senior year to arrange coursework. 

International Applicants:

  • Traditional and Part-Time Mild-Moderate MA
    • Deadline for Fall Entry: December 1
    • Deadline for Spring Entry: June 1
  • One Year Mild-Mild Moderate MA Option
    • Deadline for Summer Entry: December 1




International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements


  • Core Coursework
    • SERP 500: Introduction to Special Education (3)
    • SERP 502: Behavior Principles and Disability (3)
    • SERP 503: Special Education Law and Policy (3)
    • SERP 504: Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Special Education (3)
    • SERP 556: Research Methods in Education (3)
    • SERP 593: Internship (9 units)
  • Specialization Coursework
    • SERP 507a: Academic Assessment: Mild-Moderate Disabilities (3)
    • SERP 511a: Basic Academic Skills for Mild-Moderate Disabilities (3)
    • SERP 534: Language Development for the Exceptional Child (3)
    • SERP 597E: Consultation and Collaboration in Special Education (3)

 (*Note: You and your advisor will plan the order in which you take courses, any additional required or optional coursework, and the length of your program).

Minor Requirements

There are no minor requirements for this degree

Student Handbook  
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Last revised 23 Oct 2017