Can I do this program if I am not currently certified or have an undergrad degree in education?

Yes. Additional undergraduate courses for initial certification may be required.

Is this degree program completely online?

All classes are online. There are required field experiences, which we can help you set up. Some students are able to complete these at their current place of employment.

Can I just get certification in special education?


Is it too late to apply?

No. The program offers rolling admissions. Apply online any time.

How do I know if this is the right program for me? 

If you are interested in furthering your career and seeking the in-depth knowledge that is necessary for working with students with exceptional needs, then this may be the right path for you!

In what settings do special education teachers work? 

Many will assume positions as classroom or online teachers, behavior specialists, curriculum planners and team teachers. 

Is this program just for teachers? 

No. This program is designed for individuals who:

  • Do not intend to teach but would like a master’s degree in special education.
  • Already hold certification in special education but want to complete a master’s degree.
  • Hold certification in another Pennsylvania Department of Education approved certificate area and would like to complete certification in special education and a master’s degree. 

How many courses do I have to take to complete the M.A. in Special Education?

The course of study contains 10 courses (or 30 credits) for completion of a Master of Arts degree. Additionally, the courses are designed to be one part of meeting teacher certification requirements for those who are seeking special education certification in Pennsylvania. Participants seeking special education certification may need additional coursework and testing to meet the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s teacher certification requirements.

What if I am seeking Special Education Pre K-8 or 7-12 teacher certification in Pennsylvania? 

You can do that while earning your master's. Please refer to the Admission Requirements page for more details.

What if I don’t intend to teach in Pennsylvania? 

Seton Hill's teacher certification program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for certification preparation. If you plan to teach in another state, check the regulations in your state. Many states have reciprocal agreements with Pennsylvania.

What are the program’s prerequisites?

Please refer to the Admission Requirements page.

What is the current test for Pennsylvanian Special Education certification?

The Pennsylvania Educator Certification Test (PECT).

Do you require a GRE or GMAT?


Who are the course instructors?

Our instructors are highly trained professors with classroom teaching experience. We have a mix of full-time university faculty and current practitioners in the field.

When are the courses offered? 

Courses are offered online. Each course has embedded field experiences/practicum. Course and academic schedules can be found on the Registrar section of our site.

Where are the classroom field experiences/practicum sites?

Each course is designed to deliver the course content online. Students are encouraged to identify and locate possible sites, using the criteria provided by the university course instructor for an individual course. Students may request to work at sites where they are currently employed if the site meets the criteria provided by the course instructor. The course instructor, using guidelines provided by the program director, will give the final approval of sites and site supervisors.

What is the typical class size?

The average class size is 10-15. The max size is 24.

How long does it take to complete the program? 

Students can choose to complete the program on either a full-time or part-time basis. Courses run in eight-week sessions, so you can graduate in approximately a year as a full-time student (with two courses per eight-week session) or in less than two years part-time, taking one course per eight-week session. 

What if I took a graduate course from another university?

You are permitted to transfer in up to two graduate courses taken at another university, with approval from Seton Hill’s Special Education Program Director.

How will Seton Hill support me during my coursework?

During your degree, we offer one-to-one personalized support from an academic advisor, keeping you on track for graduation, even at a distance. We also can provide you with support “live” online, via phone or email. If you live close by, we also offer support in-person. We strive to meet today’s teacher’s needs while they balance careers, families, and school. These are just a few of the ways we support our graduate students.

How will Seton Hill support me after graduation?

Our Career and Professional Development Center will assist you with everything from finding job openings to writing the resume that will get you noticed. The Center is available to you as a current student and also after you graduate. Additionally, we have a strong network of Education Program alumni who actively support current students and fellow alumni.

Are there any opportunities for funding?

 Information on financial support opportunities can be found on the Graduate Program Tuition and Financial Aid section of our site.

Once I submit my application, how long does it take to hear if I’ve been accepted?

Once the application is submitted in full, the program director will review it and you should hear back with a decision within a week. 

To contact the Office of Graduate Admissions, fill out the online Request for Information form. Ready to apply? Apply online now for free! You may also call Graduate Admissions at (724) 838-4208 or email us at