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 7 for fall semester admission
December 1 for spring semester admission
April 15 for summer semester admission
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 [email protected] 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.
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:
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
English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.
Reference (1) — you will need to initiate the process through the online application by entering name and email address of one reference who is a current or past supervisor. Upon submission of your application, an email will be sent to the reference requesting they complete a brief online recommendation regarding your commitment for success in an online program. Please inform your reference they must submit the form in order for your application to be complete.
Copy of a valid teaching certificate in any area of special education. Teaching certificates from states other than Pennsylvania will be reviewed for comparability.
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.)
Start Your Application
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.
- Choose "Degree Admission" for the enrollment type
- Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus
- Choose "Special Education" as the major
- Choose "Pennsylvania Educators Level 1" as the certificate
Checking Your Status
You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form.