Admission to the Combined Master of Education and Master of Science Degrees in Special Education and Instructional I Teacher Certification

International applicants: Before applying, please review this information.

Application Requirements for Degree and Nondegree Admission 

For admission to the Graduate School, applicants must hold either a bachelor's degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution or a postsecondary degree that is equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree earned from an officially recognized degree-granting international institution.

Nondegree Admission

A maximum of 9 credits taken as a nondegree student can be transferred into the Special Education master's degree program. For nondegree admission, you need to

  • meet requirements of the special education program.
  • complete an online application and pay the nonrefundable application fee.  Learn more about how to apply.  If you have questions, call 610-648-3242.

*Please note: U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. who hold an international bachelor's degree, must submit official transcripts and your diploma for evaluation to be approved for nondegree enrollment. International applicants on visas are not eligible for nondegree enrollment.

Degree Admission

For admission, you need a baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution with credit conditions substantially equivalent to those required by Penn State.

Admission is granted jointly by the Penn State Graduate School and the academic program at Penn State Great Valley. The admissions committee reviews applications and makes decisions based on the quality of an applicant's credentials relative to other applicants.

To apply, please submit the following:

  • A completed Online Graduate School application
    • under major sought, enter Special Education
    • under degree sought, enter M ED
    • employment history, located near the end of the application, will help in your evaluation.
  • Have achieved a minimum junior/senior grade-point average of 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0).
  • A completed graduate applicant survey.
  • Scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) for applicants whose native language is not English (minimum score of 550 required).
  • Non-refundable application fee, payable by credit card online or by check or money order payable to The Pennsylvania State University.
  • Two official transcripts from each college or university you have attended (Penn State transcripts may be unofficial). 
  • Personal Data Sheet with a personal statement.
  • Three recommendations reports with Recommendation Waiver forms from individuals familiar with your academic work (e.g., former professors) and/or teaching skills (e.g., principal or supervisor). 
  • A copy of your Teaching Certificate, if applicable.

Please send all supporting documentation to Penn State Great Valley, Admissions Office, 30 E. Swedesford Road, Malvern, PA 19355 by the suggested deadlines. Applications will be reviewed after your application portfolio is complete.

Application Deadline

Rolling admission. Applications are reviewed throughout the year.

Concurrent Programs

Penn State offers an opportunity to pursue 2 masters degree programs on a concurrent basis.

International Students

For application requirements in all visa categories, click here.