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San Diego State University


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I start a Special Education credential program as an undergraduate?
You can complete all of the prerequisite courses as an undergraduate. Program admission occurs after completion of the Bachelor's degree.
When can I enter a Special Education credential program?
Students apply by March 1st and are admitted in May for the following Fall. Students can complete prerequisites in the Spring or summer prior to entering the program.
How long does it take to complete a Special Education credential?
It depends on the program sequence that you select. After prerequisites, there are two options.
  • 2 semesters with a heavy academic and practicum load beginning in Fall semester.
  • 4 semesters with approximately 10 units for two academic years beginning in a Fall semester.
Can I begin a Special Education credential program in the summer?
No, but you can take prerequisite courses in the summer.
Do I have to have a credential before beginning the M.A. program?
You cannot teach in the public schools in California without a teaching credential. If you are an international student or are seeking the Autism specialization with the embedded course work to be a Board Certified Behavior Analyst then you do not need a teaching credential.
How can I learn more about the Special Education programs?
Review this website. Review the current SDSU Graduate Bulletin. Attend a Group Advising Meeting. Meet with a Faculty Advisor in your area of interest.
Do I need to know what area of Special Education I want to specialize in before I begin the program?
Most of the prerequisites are required for all credential programs, but you should decide which credential to pursue early in the prerequisite series.
What is a Clear Education Specialist Credential?
Special Education credentials in California have two levels. Completion of a Preliminary credential program authorizes the holder to teach in the area of their training. The Clear Education Specialist Credential program provides advanced coursework as well as support from the employing district. It must be completed within 5 years of beginning the program.