General Information

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Special Education (MA) - Visual Impairment 
Program Description

The University of Arizona offers a graduate-level program leading to a specialization in teaching children who are visually impaired: TVI, or Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments.

Nationally recognized for excellence, this program prepares individuals to provide services in this challenging and rewarding profession. Our graduates are successfully employed in school districts, special schools, and agencies in Arizona as well as in other states across the country. Financial assistance is often available to students enrolled in this program.

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:

·         Two 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)

         Personal Statement (see instructions)

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
  1. Bachelor’s Degree: must be posted by the time student enters program
  2. GPA: 3.0 overall in baccalaureate coursework
  3. Documentation of 45 contact hours with children with special needs in a public school classroom (optional).
  4. A minimum of three professional letters of recommendation.
  5. Ability to qualify for an Arizona IVP fingerprint clearance card to allow work with minors in public school environments.
  6. Submission of a graduate application and payment of a graduate application fee.
  7. Faculty interview
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 the UA Financial Aid Office for information about applying for financial aid.

Contact the program advisor or program faculty for funding available within the program.

Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Applicants: Fall admission February 15

                                     Spring Admission: September 1

International Applicants: Fall admission - December 1

                                        Spring Admission: June 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
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program: 3705 for Major

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

The Special Education VISP requires a minimum of 36 units to graduate with the Special Education Master’s Degree. Completion of the student teaching requirement and some additional units are required to receive recommendation for an Arizona Department of Education Teaching Certificate in the area of specialization.

Core Course Requirements

SERP 502        Behavior Principles and Disability

SERP 504        Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Exceptional Learners

SERP 556        Research Methods in Education

SERP 593        Student Teaching

Specialization Requirements

SERP 515        Assessment & Instruction: Learners with Low Incidence Disabilities

SERP 520        Low Vision and Visual Functioning

SERP 519B     Assistive Technology for People with Visual Impairments

SERP 521        Introduction to Visual Impairments and Deaf-Blindness

SERP 523A     Braille I

SERP 523B     Braille II

SERP 522        Orientation & Mobility for Teachers of Individuals with Visual Impairments

SERP 524        Methods of Teaching the Visually Impaired

SERP 593 (8 units) Internship

Electives and SEI requirements

  • LRC 516 or LCEV 508: Foundations of Structured English Immersion
  • LRC 505 or an equivalent course in reading 

SERP 400 Survey of Exceptionality (if not taken previously)

Minor Requirements
The Academic Unit has not provided this information. 
Student Handbook  
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Last revised 01 Sep 2017