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Special Education | FAQ

What are the admission requirements?
* Bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited college or university;
* passing scores from the Praxis CORE Exam (Reading 156, Writing 162, Math 150)
* two letters of recommendation;
* a well-written Statement of Purpose;
* TOEFL score of 600 paper / 100 computer for all international students whose first language is not English.

How do I apply?
Online applications can be completed through the CAS Graduate Admissions website. Please note that although our program has a rolling admission policy, the deadline to be considered for a merit fellowship is February 1.

Is there a form that needs to go with my letters of recommendation?

Each letter of recommendation should be submitted with a form which outlines directions for the recommender and a short questionnaire. This form is available in the supplemental materials section of the online application.

Where can I find information about taking the Praxis CORE Exam?

Students are required to submit passing scores on the Praxis CORE exam with their application to the program (Reading 156, Writing 162 and Math 150). Find information about test dates, locations, and preparation at www.ets.org/praxis.

Does the program have a field experience component?

All students intern at The Lab School of Washington for a full academic year. The Lab School (www.labschool.org) is an arts-based private school for students with average to above-average intelligence and moderate to severe learning disabilities. Graduate students work under a master teacher and learn how to creatively and systematically teach academic subjects and how to effectively manage groups and individuals.

What are graduates from the Special Education: Learning Disabilities program doing now?

Our graduates go on to work in many different settings related to the special education field, including:
* Public schools
* Private schools
* Independent schools
* Clinics
* Treatment centers
* Government
* Research institutions

They are working in a number of capacities, including:
* Classroom teachers
* Learning specialists
* Professors
* Adult educators
* Bilingual teachers
* Tutors
* Researchers
* Program heads
* Policy makers
* Arts coordinators
* Curriculum specialists
* Educational game designers

Can I start taking classes and then decide to apply later?
Students may take classes in non-degree status before enrolling into a degree program. Non-degree classes carry the same credit and cost the same amount in tuition as any degree class. Non-degree students can complete up to 12 credits before formally applying to the graduate program. Any coursework over 12 credits will not be counted towards the degree and will need to be retaken once the student has been officially accepted into the program. Contact specialed@american.edu for details about how to start as a non-degree student.

How do I plan out when to complete each course? Is there an order?

Please contact specialed@american.edu with specific questions regarding programs of study.

Is financial aid available?
Students interested in financial aid should apply through American University's financial aid office (http://admissions.american.edu/public/contentPage/contentPage.asp?navID=21&parId=5784&docID=5705). There is a limited number of merit fellowships awarded each year, and there is a place on the application where students may indicate if they'd like to be considered. Please note that although our program has a rolling admission policy, the deadline to be considered for a merit fellowship is February 1.

When are classes held?
Most classes are held from 5:30-8:00 pm on the campus of The Lab School of Washington.

What is the average number of students in the classes?
Most classes have between 8 and 15 students.

What are the requirements for graduation?

  • Passing scores on the Praxis II
  • Passing scores on the PLT
  • Completed Portfolio
  • Completed thesis or comprehensive exam

What is the cost of tuition?
Click here to view official University tuition rates.