Deadlines and Important Dates
Your degree application, including receipt of all application materials, must be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.
August 15 for fall semester admission
December 15 for spring semester admission
April 15 for summer semester admission
Our admission counselors are available to discuss with you your educational goals, financial aid options, and application deadlines.
Academic questions, such as course waivers, sequence, internship requirements, etc., should be directed to Dr. James McAfee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any other questions, please send an email to email@example.com or call 800-252-3592 (toll free within the United States) or 814-865-5403 (local and international).
For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.
This program is designed specifically for Pennsylvania special education professionals seeking certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Students in Iowa are ineligible to apply for this program. All other out-of-state prospective students must contact Dr. James McAfee at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to applying.
All applicants must have a valid teaching certificate in one of more areas of special education (speech pathology, mentally and physically handicapped, visual impairment, or hearing impairment). Students entering the program must have at least three years professional experience in special education. A minimum of five years' professional school experience in a special education area is required for Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) certification.
Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee.
You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:
- A copy of an unofficial transcript from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State, but must list Penn State as part of your academic history. If you accept an offer, the Graduate School will notify you that official/original transcripts must be sent from the originating institutions to: Graduate School, 114 Kern Building, University Park, PA 16802
- Copy of a valid teaching certificate in any area of special education. Teaching certificates from states other than Pennsylvania will be reviewed for comparability.
- One letter of recommendation from a current or past supervisor. You will need to initiate the process through the online application by entering names and email addresses of references. Upon submission of your application, an email will be sent to each recommender requesting they complete a brief online recommendation regarding your commitment for success in an online program. Please inform all recommenders they must submit the form in order for your application to be complete.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education Verification of Experience Form (Note: Although students need only three years of experience to enter the program, students must have a total of five years of professional experience to apply for certification from PDE.)
English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. All international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS), with some exceptions. Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page
How to Apply
You can begin your online application at any time. Your progress within the online application system will be saved as you go, allowing you to return at any point as you gather additional information and required materials. When all materials have been received, we will notify you about your status and provide guidance about the next steps in the admissions process.
IMPORTANT – be sure to choose the following options from the drop down menus as you begin your application. Although this program is not a degree program, it is found under the Degree Admission menu on the graduate application.
- Choose "DEGREE ADMISSION" for the enrollment type
- Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus
- Choose "SPECIAL EDUCATION" as the major
- Choose "PENNSYLVANIA EDUCATORS LEVEL1 CERTIFICATION" as the degree