Admission Requirements:
Master of Education in Special Education

When you choose UTRGV's master's degree online, success follows

An applicant who meets the following criteria is eligible for clear admission to a graduate degree program:

  • Has submitted all required documents.
  • Has been awarded a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.

Graduate School Required Documents

Official Transcripts

Official college transcripts are to be sent to the Graduate Studies office directly from all the institutions attended. If the applicant attended UTRGV at any time, those official transcripts will be handled by the Graduate Studies office; however, the applicant is responsible for requesting official transcripts to be sent directly from all other institution(s).

Important: Please request that your official transcripts be mailed directly to the address listed below. It is important that you include the office name and room number to ensure proper delivery.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Graduate College
Marialice Shary Shivers Bldg. 1.158
1201 W. University Drive
Edinburg, Texas 78539

Admission to the Program

  • Graduate School Application submitted online
  • $50 Application Fee
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher
    • If applicant does not meet minimum undergraduate GPA criterion, GRE general test with minimum scores of 150 Verbal, 141 Quantitative, and 4.0 Analytical are required for conditional admission. GRE test scores are valid for 5 years.
  • Two (2) Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal statement detailing professional goals and reasons for pursuing the graduate degree.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Demonstrated knowledge of special education or knowledge of individual differences through:
    • State Certification in Special Education;
    • 3 Hours of undergraduate coursework in special education with a grade of 'B' or better; or
    • Coursework in a related field such as psychology, early childhood education, or speech pathology.

Additional requirements for domestic applicants who attended foreign universities:

  • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. View additional information
  • English translation of educational records.
  • Transcript Evaluation by the Foreign Credentials Service of America
  • (FCSA). View additional information
  • Original transcripts should be sent to:
    The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    Office of Graduate Studies
    Marialice Shary Shivers Bldg. 116
    1201 W. University Drive
    Edinburg, Texas 78539

An initial teaching certificate is not required to enter this program.

Admission to the program is determined by the M.Ed. Committee using all required admission documents, but a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate bachelor's degree coursework in the United States is the general minimum criteria for unconditional admission. Students whose native language is not English or who studied at a university outside the U.S., please review Section VII for more requirements.

GPA Appeals Process

If your GPA falls between a 2.75 and 2.99, you may be eligible to appeal the admissions decision. Please follow the steps below to request an appeal.

  • Obtains or holds a GPA between 2.75 and 2.99 GPA:
    • Must take graduate-level admissions test required by the program and earn the minimum required score to be admitted conditionally
  • Obtains a GPA below 2.75:
    • Must write a letter of appeal to the program coordinator
    • Must also register to take the graduate-level admissions test

Check Program Availability in Your State

Higher Education Act of 1965 include changes in regulation for State Authorization that may impact online, distance, and correspondence education providers. Please review Check Program Availability in Your State for more details.

English Proficiency Exam/Evaluation of Educational Records

  1. Additional requirements for domestic applicants who attended foreign universities:
    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. View additional information
    • English translation of educational records.
    • Transcript Evaluation by the Foreign Credentials Service of America (FCSA). View additional information
  2. Additional requirements for international applicants:
    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. View additional information
    • English translation of educational records.
    • Transcript Evaluation by the Foreign Credentials Service of America (FCSA). View additional information
    • Immigration documents, including a current copy of your valid passport. View additional information

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