At a Glance

Program units


Average completion time

18–24 months

Cost per unit


Base cost




*Base Cost (cost per unit x program units) is provided to aid in program comparison only.

All stated financial information is subject to change. For a detailed cost estimate or more information, contact APU's Graduate Student Financial Services.


APU’s Special Education, M.A.Ed., and Mild/Moderate Disabilities Specialist Preliminary Credential prepares educators to effectively teach students with special learning needs, including specific learning or language disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, emotional difficulties, and behavioral disorders. Course content enables candidates to take what they learn and immediately apply it in the teaching environment.

The Non-Intern track is designed for those without a full-time teaching contract.

The Intern track is for candidates with current full-time teaching contracts. Candidates must see an advisor for proper placement in tracks within this credential program.

Meet the Faculty

Litzy Z. Ruiz, M.A., serves as assistant professor and assistant chair of special education credential programs in APU’s School of Education.

Get to know our program faculty.

Program Highlights

  • Each class meets just one night a week, providing added flexibility for working students as they earn their degree and credential.
  • Expert faculty offer quality instruction grounded in a Christian worldview, creating a relevant program that enables students to make a difference in their classrooms.
  • Small class sizes create a rich learning community as students progress through the program with a cohort of peers.

Learn more about the program and our faculty.

School of Education Accreditation

Azusa Pacific University receives accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). In addition, the School of Education receives accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), which is transitioning to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), making APU one of only three private schools in California with this distinction. Further, our credential programs are accredited by California’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). Our Master of Arts in Education: Educational Psychology Program is also accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). These notable accreditations set APU graduates apart from other candidates and ensure your degree will be recognized throughout the United States and internationally.

University Reputation

Azusa Pacific University continues to be recognized annually among the nation’s best colleges, landing in the most prestigious category of U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges 2014 rankings (Tier One, No. 173), and being named 1 of 124 institutions in The Princeton Review’s Best Western Colleges 2014.

Note: This information is current for the 2015-16 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.