Program Overview

The Master of Arts in Education: Special Education Degree from Azusa Pacific University is designed to prepare individuals for working with persons with differing educational needs. It is important to note that completing this program does not in itself lead to a California teaching credential. Students that wish to earn said credential must seek additional preparation. This degree program is intended for candidates who seek instruction in classroom interventions, bilingual special education strategies, emotional disturbances, and autism spectrum disorders, among other issues and aspects of special education.

This program may be completed entirely online and is designed for working professionals who want more job opportunities in disabilities advocacy, private school administration, and community college instruction. Graduates should also be able to pursue more education at the doctoral level. Additionally, attorneys that wish to specialize in special education law are encouraged to enroll in the program.

Students move forward in the program with the same small group of peers with whom they began the program. Those that seek on-site education are given the opportunity to pursue a Master's in Special Education at the main campus of APU. Candidates for this degree should be interested in becoming competent and compassionate instructors to persons with disabilities.

Once enrolled, students must select an area of emphasis to better focus their studies. They offered an emphasis in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Bilinigual Special Education Strategies, Classroom Interventions, Emotional Disturbance, or Research Specialist. In order to complete this program, those enrolled must earn a total of 42 to 45 credits, with additional credits being required for those seeking the emphasis in Emotional Disturbance. 15 credits go towards core coursework, 15 to a set of required advanced courses, and 12 to 15 to the area of emphasis.

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Master

    Delivery Format: 100% Online

    Accelerated Degree:

    Accreditation & Licensing

    Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

    Azusa Pacific University receives accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). In addition, the School of Education receives accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), making APU one of only three private schools in California with this distinction. Further, the credential programs are accredited by California’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).


    Applicants must possess a Bachelor’s Degree from a regionally accredited college or university and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

    School Overview

    University College of Azusa Pacific University supports a wide range of distance education programs, including master’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, associate’s degrees, and post-graduate certificates. University College (also known as Azusa Pacific University College) is a result to the merger of Azusa Pacific Online University and the School of Adult and Professional Studies. University College is a four-year, primarily associate’s, private not-for-profit school, with its main location in Glendora, California. Azusa Pacific University approved the formation of this independent institution with an intended goal of providing more flexible learning options for nontraditional students, including online and evening class sessions. Following the Christian-centered principles of Azusa Pacific University, University College’s purpose statement is: “We create for people a new hope for the future by investing in lives through learning pathways that are Christ-centered, flexible, and accessible.”

    Azusa Pacific University, the parent school of University College, is a four-year, private Christian-based higher educational institution, located in the San Gabriel Valley community of Azusa, California. The institution first opened in 1899, as the Training School for Christian Workers. The school has continued to grow and now operates as one of the largest Christian universities within the United States. Azusa Pacific University supports over 100 associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs.

    University College follows a trimester calendar with year-round classes that offer accelerated programming. Each traditional 16-week semester is divided into two 8-week sessions allowing for greater flexibility. Online coursework is asynchronous and hosted on the Moodle learning management platform.


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