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Special Education

The Special Education program provides candidates with curricular and instructional expertise to meet the needs of a broad range of diverse students, with inclusive and specialized support to enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families. Programs lead to the Preliminary Education Specialist Credential in Mild-Moderate Support Needs or Extensive Support Needs, and to the Master of Science degree in Special Education. The credential programs are field-based enabling candidates to apply coursework content to school and community programs.


MS in Educational Specialist and Educational Specialist Credential Information

Program Overview

West Contra Costa Residency Program
Castro Valley Unified Teacher Residency Program


Frequently Asked Questions

The Education Specialist Credential/MS in Special Education is a 4 or 5 semester program. Candidates who hold a general education credential do not complete the summer courses and complete the program in 4 semesters. Candidates without a prior credential take the summer courses and complete the program in 5 semesters.

Admission requirements may be found at website also has information regarding ways to meet the Subject Matter Competency and Basic Skills requirements.

This site contains links to the Department and the University Applications. Both applications are required to complete the application process.

The Department application period will open the first week in January 2024.  The University application period will open February 1, 2024. The application deadline for summer 2024 entry is April 1, 2024.  The application deadline for fall 2024 entry is June 1. 2024.

You do not need to submit additional transcripts if you graduated from CSU East Bay.

The Education Specialist Credential/MS in Special Education programs at CSUEB prepare candidates to be teachers and education leaders within their communities. Coursework and fieldwork experiences incorporate the use of research based and culturally relevant practices. Classes are online in synchronous and asynchronous formats. Synchronous sessions begin after 4 pm. Whenever possible fieldwork supervision takes place face-face with a university supervisor.  Distance fieldwork supervision is carried out through GoReact, Zoom and other collaborative platforms.

Sources for financial aid may be found at the Financial Aid webpage at

Candidates may remain in their positions of employment for the first year of the program.  Candidates will need to make arrangements to complete field based activities.

During the second year of the program candidates must complete fieldwork as a student teacher or a teacher of record.  Candidates may not complete fieldwork as a paraprofessional or in an instructional support position.

The master’s degree is embedded in the credential program.  Upon completing the credential program, candidates have completed the master’s degree.

Candidates who do not hold a clear general or special education credential must complete the CalTPA assessment.  Candidate’s complete seminars focusing on the content and requirements of the CalTPA.  Candidates practice responses to the assessment prompts. Candidates complete the Cal TPA in the second year (fall/spring) of the program.

The cost for the CalTPA is $150.00 for each cycle for a total of $300.00.  Currently the fee has been lifted and candidates do not pay to complete the assessment.  

The online format of the program enables candidates to participate from any location.  Faculty understand the challenges of balancing work, family and graduate school responsibilities. It is important that candidates communicate special situations to their course instructors.

Our faculty are committed to the success of all program participants.  Candidates with documented disabilities should contact Accessibility Services for information and to make an appointment before the semester begins. Candidats share the identified accommodations with their course instructors during the first two weeks of the semester.

Program faculty may be contacted for additional information:

Dr. Linda Smetana

Dr. Meaghan McCollow ESN specialist

Dr. Sara McDaniel MMSN specialist


Contact Us

Credential Student Service Center
  • California State University, East Bay
  • 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd, AE 235
  • Hayward, CA 94542