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Master of Arts in Special Education -
Written English Proficiency Requirement

Effective July 1, 2010

Each graduate student must demonstrate the ability to write English correctly and effectively. To assure that each graduate student has the required proficiency in written English, two distinct assessments are made by the major department: Level One and Level Two.

The Level One requirement must be met prior to admission.

I. Applicants will be required to submit evidence of one of the following as part of their application for admission to our M.S. in Communicative Disorders and M.A. in Special Education:

  • score of at least 3.5/6.0 on the GRE Analytical Writing Test or GMAT Analytic Writing Assessment;
  • score of at least 4.5/6.0 on the essay test of the paper-based [PBT] TOEFL (a minimum score of 24/30 on the Writing section of the Internet-based test [iBT] TOEFL);
  • score of at least 6.5/9.0 on the IELTS writing test, or a concordant score on the Pearson Test of English.
  • a passing status score of at least 220 on the CSET Writing Skills Test.
  • NOTE: Applicants who took the former Graduate Essay Test (GET) and scored 5 or above may submit that test result to meet the Level I requirement.

II. Applicants who do not meet this requirement will be denied admission, or, if all other areas of the application are strong, a faculty member may choose to file a petition with Graduate Studies to request conditional admission. If conditional admission is granted, the student will need to pass one of the tests listed above, or complete an English Writing course from an approved list that will be maintained by the department prior to filing for Advancement to Candidacy.

LEVEL II
Level II is measured by successful completion of Options I, II, or III for culminating experience requirements that include one of the following: master's written comprehensive examination, creative work project, field study, or thesis.

I. Communicative Disorders Master of Science students will be required to complete the following currently approved Culminating Experience:

Plan A (6 units):

  • C D 882, Internship in Communicative Disorders; and Master's Comprehensive Written Examination

II. Special Education Master of Arts students will be required to complete one of the following currently approved Culminating Experiences:

Option I (3 units):

  • SPED 894 Creative Work in Special Education (3 units); or
  • SPED 895 Field Study (3); or
  • SPED 898 Master’s Thesis (3), and Oral Defense of Thesis

Option II (3 units):

  • SPED 881 Advanced Research Seminar in Special Education (3); and Master’s Comprehensive Written Examination

Option III (6 units):

  • Two Elective Graduate Seminars, which will reflect critical analysis of literature and application of research; and Master's Comprehensive Written Examination

Click here for information on how to sign-up for the master's written comprehensive exam.


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Department of Special Education, 1600 Holloway Avenue, Burk Hall 156,
San Francisco, CA 94132 (415) 338-1161.