2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    Apr 19, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Exceptional Student Education K-12 MA

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College: Community Innovation and Education Degree: MA
Department: School of Teacher Education Option: Nonthesis
Program Websites: https://ccie.ucf.edu/teachered/exceptional-student-education/
Graduate Program Handbook

Program Description

The Master of Arts in Exceptional Student Education K-12 program is for non-education majors or previously certified teachers in another content area.

Graduates must be eligible for certification by the successful completion of the degree program in the area of exceptional student education (ESE) and must pass the Florida certification exams. Graduates will also receive Reading and ESOL endorsements upon successful completion of the program, if not currently endorsed. For additional information, contact esegrad@ucf.edu

This is a state-approved, initial teacher preparation program designed in compliance with Florida Statutes and State Board of Education Rule 6A-5.066. Degree requirements are subject to change based on state mandates. Students enrolled in this program should remain in close contact with their adviser to keep informed of any program changes implemented to comply with new state requirements.

Passing scores on ALL three applicable sections of the Florida Teacher Certification Examination (FTCE) are required prior to graduation. See www.fldoe.org for available test dates, test sites, and possible score conversions. The exams include:

  • FTCE General Knowledge Test (GKT) (GRE may be used per DOE guidelines)
  • FTCE Professional Education Test (P.Ed.)
  • FTCE Subject Area Exam for Exceptional Student Education K-12

The Exceptional Student Education K-12 MA program has potential ties to professional licensure or certification in the field. For more information on how this program may prepare you in that regard, please visit https://apq.ucf.edu/files/Licensure-Disclosure-CCIE-Exceptional-Student-Ed-MA-June2020.pdf.


The Master of Arts (MA) in Exceptional Student Education K-12 program requires a minimum of 39 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree including 9 credit hours of required core courses, 21 credit hours of specialization courses, and 9 credit hours of Internship and Reading Practicum. Individual learning projects, including research skills and action research, are embedded in the specialization courses and completed in authentic settings. In addition, a culminating Comprehensive Exam will be completed to demonstrate mastery of research, knowledge, skills, and dispositions of standards from accrediting educational agencies. Students entering the MA program without prior related courses and/or appropriate teacher certifications may need to complete courses in the MA Foundation Core/Co-requisite area as prescribed by Florida State Statutes for initial teacher preparation (ITP).

All teacher education candidates are required to complete Via™ by Watermark requirements before being certified for graduation. Via™ by Watermark access is required for the portfolio. See https://ccie.ucf.edu/explore-via/

Total Credit Hours Required: 39 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree

Foundation Core/Co-requisites

These foundation core/co-requisite courses are prescribed by Florida State Statutes for initial teacher preparation (ITP). Students entering the Exceptional Student Education MA program without prior related courses and/or appropriate teacher certifications may need to complete courses in the Foundation Core/Co-requisite area.

If a student has successfully completed equivalent courses in the Foundation Core/Co-requisite area, as prescribed by Florida State Statutes for initial teacher preparation, then course waivers can be requested (see adviser).

Required Courses: 30 Credit Hours

Internship and Practicum: 9 Credit Hours

Additional Graduation Requirements

  • Pass all applicable sections of the Florida Teacher Certification Examination. See http://www.fl.nesinc.com/ or www.fldoe.org for additional information about test dates and resources.
  • Pass Comprehensive Exam.
  • Complete a LiveText Professional Portfolio.
  • Complete a TESOL Portfolio.
  • Compliance with all university and graduate student policies.

NOTE: Effective January 1, 2015, only examination results earned by educators within 10 years prior to the date of application for a new Florida Educator’s Certificate with the Florida Department of Education may be acceptable for certification eligibility requirements (SBR 6A-4.002).

Independent Learning

The Exceptional Student Education K-12 MA program requires the completion of an Action Research Project, Internship, and Reading Practicum. These independent learning activities take place in authentic settings where students must apply, reflect upon and refine their knowledge, skills and dispositions acquired in the program.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions  section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements , applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • A copy of current ESOL endorsement, IF applicable.
  • A copy of current Reading Endorsement, IF applicable.
  • A copy of current professional teaching certificate, IF applicable.
  • Passing score on all four parts of the Florida Teacher Certification Examination/General Knowledge Test (FTCE/GKT) OR a competitive score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score. This program does not require GRE for admission, but in accordance with Florida Statute 1004.4 and State Board of Education Rule 6A-5.066, admission to this graduate-level, state-approved initial teacher preparation program requires demonstrating mastery of general knowledge.
  • UPDATE:  In order to demonstrate mastery of general knowledge, Graduate Record Exam test administrations conducted on or after July 1, 2015, may be used as an acceptable means of demonstrating a mastery of general knowledge. A minimum passing score on a GRE subtest in an applicable general knowledge content area, as defined in the table below, will satisfy the requirement of demonstrating a mastery of general knowledge for the applicable general knowledge content area.
    GK Writing Subtest (Essay)

    GRE Analytical Writing

    A combined score of 4 out of 6

    GK English Language Subtest Skills

    GRE Verbal Reasoning

    A scaled score of 151

    GK Reading Subtest

    GRE Verbal Reasoning

    A scaled score of 151

    GK Mathematics Subtest

    GRE Quantitative Reasoning

    A scaled score of 147

    Applicants applying to this program who have attended a college/university outside the United States must provide a course-by-course credential evaluation with GPA calculation. Credential evaluations are accepted from World Education Services (WES) or Josef Silny and Associates, Inc. only.

    Students may not switch from an MA program to an MEd program, or vice versa, without going through the university’s admission process.

Application Deadlines

Exceptional Student Education K-12 MA *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 15 Jul 1 Dec1 Apr 1
International Applicants Jan 15 Jan 15 Jul 1 Nov 1
*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information  section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.

Contact Info

Graduate Program

Mary Little PhD
Telephone: 407-823-3275
ED 315J

Graduate Admissions

Christina Dabrowski
Telephone: 407-823-2766
Millican Hall 230
Online Application
Graduate Admissions

Mailing Address

UCF College of Graduate Studies
Millican Hall 230
PO Box 160112
Orlando, FL 32816-0112

Institution Codes
GRE: 5233
TOEFL: 5233
ETS PPI: 5233

Graduate Fellowships

Grad Fellowships
Telephone: 407-823-0127

Graduate Financial Aid

UCF Student Financial Assistance
Millican Hall 120
Telephone: 407-823-2827
Appointment Line: 407-823-5285
Fax: 407-823-5241

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