Jun 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog year.

Special Education (for Certified Teachers) [MAT]

Location(s): Online

Revised Program [Fall 2023]

The Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education (for Certified Teachers) through the Special Education & Communication Sciences and Disorders Department is for current teachers who desire a master’s degree with special education endorsement (choice of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Cognitive Impairment, Emotional Impairment, Learning Disabilities, or Physical/Other Health Impairment). The program encompasses the range and depth required to accommodate contemporary education programs and service delivery systems.

This program is for teachers with a teaching certificate seeking a firstsecondthird, or fourth special education endorsement. Please note that teachers seeking a first endorsement in special education who already have a Master’s degree must still apply to this program to complete the Michigan Department of Education requirements for the initial endorsement. 

The Special Education (for Non-Certified Teachers) [MAT]  is available for individuals seeking initial certification and special education endorsement. 

Program Admission

Admit Terms and Deadlines

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, with six available starting points (Summer A, Summer B, Fall A, Fall B, Winter A, or Winter B). See Application Deadlines.

Online Education Eligibility

  • The U.S. Federal Government limits the number of online courses international students may enroll in while living in the United States. For this reason, we cannot admit students on F1 or J1 VISAs to fully online programs. Please check with International Admissions to confirm eligibility before applying.
  • All applicants, please review Online Education for Out-of-State Students to confirm your eligibility to enroll in an online program based in Michigan.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

For full admission, applicants must have 1) Earned a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution, 2) a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 in the last half of the undergraduate program. Conditional admission may be available to applicants not meeting minimum admission requirements.

Program Requirements

Applicants must also meet the following program requirements:

  • Satisfy one of the following requirements:
    • If seeking a first special education endorsement, a copy of the applicant’s current teaching certificate is required with the application.
    • If seeking a secondthird, or fourth special education endorsement, a copy of the applicant’s current teaching certificate showing the initial special education endorsement is required with the application. 
  • Submit the names and contact information of two references who know the candidate’s professional ability, capability, disposition, etc.


Your application will be submitted using GradCAS, a Centralized Application Service (CAS) hosted by Liaison. After reviewing the admission requirements, please review the application instructions  and select the appropriate application. 

Domestic Applicants Domestic applicants are required to submit only the transcript from the institution granting their bachelor’s degree if either of the following criteria is met: 1) Lists 30 or more credit hours with an overall GPA of 3.0 or over OR 2) Lists 60 or more credit hours with an overall GPA between 2.7 and 2.99. Within the application, follow the instructions to submit an official transcript. The University may ask applicants to submit additional transcripts after applying.

International Applicants Before applying, applicants must review the international application/process deadlines at emich.edu/international as they may differ from general program requirements.

For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.


If not previously taken, students must complete SPGN 510 Introduction to Inclusive Education and Disability Studies  (3 hrs) before beginning coursework. This course does not count toward the graduate degree.

Department Information

Special Education & Communication Sciences and Disorders 128 Porter, 734.487.3300

David Winters, PhD, Department Head

Jennifer Desiderio, EdS, Graduate Coordinator

Advisor Information

Please contact the department for advisor information.

Degree Requirements: 30-33 hours

All students take the same core courses, but additional coursework and exit courses depend on each student’s path (initial or additional special education endorsement).  In addition, students select one special education concentration (ASD, CI, EI, LD, or POHI) to represent the endorsement they seek. A minimum grade of “B” is required in all courses.

To be recommended for endorsement to the Michigan Department of Education, students must pass all classes with a “B” or higher, complete all concentration courses, pass the MTTC in their special education endorsement area, and complete one internship or practicum experience (as applicable).

Required Courses: 19-21 hours

Additional Courses: 6 hours

Students will complete one of the following groups.

Exit Requirement: 4-6 hours

Students will complete one of the following groups.

Endorsement Concentration: 11-12 hours

Select one concentration from the following options.

Critical Graduation Information

Each graduate student is responsible for fulfilling the requirements or equivalents of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.

Master’s degree requirements must be completed within six (6) years of first enrollment in the master’s degree program.

In the event a student does not complete the master’s degree requirements within six years of the date of their original registration, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their degree in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.

The following are minimum requirements for all master’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University. Some programs require more than the minimum in one or more areas below.

  • A master’s degree must require a minimum of 30 credit hours.
  • No more than six credits of independent study courses and no more than 12 credit hours of special topics and independent study courses combined may be applied to a graduate degree.  
  • Residency Requirement:
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 36 or fewer required hours, at least 24 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere). 
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 37 or more required hours, at least 30 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. Minimum degree hours must still be met for graduation. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere).
    • Residency and enrollment in multiple programs: Students enrolled in multiple master’s/specialist degree programs must have 24 unique credit hours in each degree program.
  • Only credits from one completed graduate certificate may be applied to a master’s or specialist degree in a relevant field of study, as determined by the Graduate School and with the approval of the degree-granting academic department, and be included in the residency hours above.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all graduate-level courses taken at EMU and in their program of study to remain in good academic standing and be eligible for graduation. Students do not need to be registered for classes during the semester of graduation.
  • The Graduate School does not permit the use of undergraduate courses (499 and below) to meet degree requirements on graduate programs of study.
  • Some master’s programs require a thesis; others require a special project or internship; others require students to pass a final exam. See the Graduate School website for Thesis and Dissertation Manuals, all forms, and information about research and human subject approval. Every completed thesis or dissertation must be submitted to Digital Commons. Any form of graduate student work submitted to Digital Commons must first be approved by a faculty advisor and the Graduate School.