Frequently Asked Questions

Following are answers to frequently asked questions about the Master of Education in Special Education program. Refer to Augustana's M.Ed in Special Education Program Handbook for other questions you may have.

Q. Why should I consider a Master of Education in Special Education from Augustana?

A. The decision to obtain your master’s degree is a significant investment in your future. In addition to enhancing your abilities to create positive learning environments for students, in most cases, a master’s degree correlates to increased compensation and in the case of the M.Ed. in SPED, may lead to additional areas of certification.  Because the program is offered online, adult students can complete their degree requirements and maintain their busy lifestyles. The online delivery also makes it possible for teachers in rural areas to further their education.  Additionally, the program’s cohort model lends support to students. Master’s candidates proceed through the program in cohorts of up to 18 students, lending support and offering varied perspectives and knowledge to the experience.

Q. Do I need an undergraduate degree in education?

A. All candidates in the Master of Education in Special Education must have earned a bachelor's degree in education or a related field.  In addition, applicants should hold a current teaching license or be alternatively certified to teach.  Applicants without an initial teaching license are encouraged to apply.

Q. How long does it take to complete the program?

A. The program is taken over a 13 to 16-month period, depending on what term you begin courses. Courses are taken in a sequential manner, meaning the courses should be taken in the order offered.

Q. How many course credits are required for graduation?

A. There are 30 course credits required for graduation – 12 credits are taken in core classes and the remaining credits are determined by your enrollment in the K12 Program.

Q. Can I transfer other courses into the program?

A. A maximum of nine semester hours (K12) of graduate credit earned at other accredited institutions may be transferred to Augustana and applied to a student's graduate program as elective only providing that:

  • an official transcript is provided
  • the credit is approved by the Program Director
  • the credits have not been utilized in earning an undergraduate degree
  • a grade of B- or better was earned for the credits
  • the credits are not outdated (more than seven years old)

Q. How much does the program cost?

A. The cost is determined by cohort. Students entering the program in a particular term will have the same rate of tuition throughout the program.  Please visit the Tuition and Transfer Credits page for the cost of the program for your assigned cohort.

Q. Is financial aid available?

A. Yes, financial aid is available to qualified students for core and specialization courses, not electives. Please refer to our financial aid specific FAQs and contact Augustana’s Office of Financial Aid at 605.274.5216 or with further questions.

Q. What are the admission requirements?

A. To be considered for admission to the program, please submit an application, along with the following items to the Augustana Office of Graduate Education, 2001 S. Summit Ave., Sioux Falls, S.D. 57197:

  • Official transcripts showing proof of your completed baccalaureate degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B) or better, sent directly from your undergraduate institution to Augustana University, Office of Graduate Education.*
  • A copy of your current teaching license.
  • Names of two references with contact information so that recommendation forms can be sent.
  • A 400-500 word essay is required; specific instructions are included in the application.
  • A non-refundable application fee of $60.
  • Electronic transcripts can be sent to

Q. How do I apply?

A. Request official transcripts from your undergraduate institution and any graduate work taken be sent directly to the Augustana Office of Graduate Education, 2001 S. Summit Ave., Sioux Falls, S.D. 57197.

Submit your application along with the following items:

  • An indication of applicant’s completion of the program leading to licensure.
  • Two references testifying to the applicant’s character and ability to complete graduate work must be received. The recommendation forms will be sent to references.
  • A 400-500 word typed essay is required; specific instructions are included in the application.
  • A non-refundable application fee of $60.

Q. What is the application deadline?

A. Applications are reviewed each month for the next available cohort, so please submit applications as soon as possible.

Spring and Fall Cohorts (1 cohort of 18 in K12)

Q. When do classes begin?

A. Courses for the Spring semester typically begin in February.  There are two consecutive seven week terms in the spring semester.  In the summer there is only one seven week term.  In the fall semester there are two consecutive seven week terms.  

Q. Will there be support for library services?

A. Augustana has a strong collection in place to support graduate students’ studies. As part of registration, all graduate candidates receive an Augustana ID (virtual) with a library barcode to ensure remote access to library resources. Research support will be provided by librarians via phone, chat, email, and texting. Interlibrary loan services are available to supplement research needs. Library staff will assist with technology support inquiries and facilitate referrals to the ITS Help Desk and/or Instructional Technologist.

Q. What does the course load look like?

A. View the anticipated sequence of courses within the program.

Q. What are the degree requirements for the Master of Education in Special Education?

A. Degree Requirements for the Master of Education in Special Education include a minimum of thirty (30) credit hours. View the required courses that make up the program.


Q. Who can I contact if I need more information or have questions?

A. Contact Dr. Laurie Daily, 605.274.5211 or, Director of the program. For additional information see the Graduate Catalog.