Programs of Study

Three paths for earning your Special Education Credential

If you are Entering the Teaching Profession

1. Master of Arts in Teaching students can add the Special Education Credential to their program. Students will complete an additional 15 units of coursework, including an additional term of Guided Practice.

If you are an Experienced Teacher with a Teaching Credential

2. Master of Education in Teacher Leadership students can add the Special Education Credential to their program. Students must hold a valid teaching credential. Students pursuing a Master of Education with a concentration in Elementary STEM, Secondary STEM or Secondary Humanities must complete 12 units of additional coursework. Students pursuing a Master’s of Education in Differing Abilities must complete 6 units of additional coursework:

3. Certificate in Special Education – Educators who are not enrolled in a USC Rossier Online graduate program but wish to pursue a Special Education Credential can do so if they hold a California teaching credential. This credential program requires 15 units of coursework.


What are Mild/Moderate Disabilities?

  • difficulties imposing structure on learning tasks
  • delays in intellectual development
  • emotional disturbances
  • behaviors characterized by under achievement, failure expectancy, and social competence deficits.
  • impulsive, easily distracted, inattentive
  • difficulty generalizing skills and predicting events or consequences of behavior.

A Successful Special Education Teacher:

  • creates, develops, and implements individualized adaptations and accommodations in a wide variety of settings
  • facilitates student access to the core curriculum and specialized curricula
  • is adept at implementing learning and transition strategies
  • is skilled in the use of current and adaptive technologies.