Deadlines and Important Dates

Your degree application, including receipt of all application materials, must be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.

July 15 for fall semester admission
December 1 for spring semester admission
April 15 for summer semester admission

Admissions Help

Our admissions counselors are available to discuss with you your educational goals, financial aid options, and application deadlines. Academic questions regarding admission requirements, course content, course waivers, course sequence, internship requirements, etc. should be directed to Dr. Kathleen McKinnon at [email protected]

How to Apply

Admission Requirements

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.

All applicants must have a valid teaching certificate in one of more areas of special education (speech pathology, special education PK–12, visual impairment, or hearing impairment). Students entering the program must have at least three years of professional experience in special education. A minimum of five years of professional school experience in a special education area is required for Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) certification. Though students need only three years of experience to enter this program, they will need to have additional experience totaling five years to apply for the PDE certification. 

What You Need

Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:

Official transcripts 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 you must list Penn State as part of your academic history. If you are admitted, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.

Copy of a valid teaching certificate in any area of special education. Teaching certificates from states other than Pennsylvania will be reviewed for comparability.

Reference (1) — You will need to initiate the process through the online application by entering the name, email address, and mailing address of a current or past supervisor. Upon submission of your application, an email will be sent to the 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.

GPA and Test Scores —  Applicants are not required to submit GRE/GMAT test scores due to COVID-related closures of testing centers.

Pennsylvania Department of Education Verification of Experience Form confirming at least three years of professional experience in special education.

Note: PDE supervisory certification requires five years of professional experience.  Though applicants need only three years of experience to enter this program, they will need to have additional experience totaling five years to apply for certification from PDE.

When all application materials have been received, we will update you via email on your admission status and provide guidance about the next steps in becoming a Penn State student.

Start Your Application

Begin the Graduate School 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