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Special Education (MA)

Course Description

Program Overview

The Special Education area concerns the habilitation and education of students with exceptionalities, such as students with visual impairments, physical disabilities, emotional or behavioural disorders, learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, and students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The program also includes a focus on gifted and talented students. The master's programs focus on both research and practice. The M.A. is a research degree, appropriate preparation for doctoral studies, and incorporates a research thesis. The M. Ed. provides advanced professional preparation in areas of Special Education. Topics addressed in the master's programs include cognitive, language, and social development; learning and instructional design; and cultural and individual differences in relation to exceptional students.

UBC does not offer an undergraduate degree in special education.

The undergraduate courses in special education are open to students enrolled in the regular B.Ed. program or in one of the following post-B.Ed. special education programs: (1) Master of Education (M.Ed), (2) Master of Arts (M.A.), and (3) Diploma in Special Education. Most undergraduate courses are also available to Unclassified students.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Arts
- Specialization: Special Education
- Subject: Education
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework + Thesis required
- Faculty: Faculty of Education

Special Education

The Special Education program at UBC concerns the education of students with exceptionalities, such as students with visual impairments, developmental disabilities, emotional or behavioural disorders, learning disabilities, gifts and talents, and those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Faculty are committed to promoting practices that facilitate inclusion, empowerment, and self-determination of individuals with disabilities and other special needs in home, school, and community settings.


Our mission is to collaboratively engage a range of diversity, expertise, and research endeavors to promote or enhance the learning and well-being of individuals with exceptionalities in home, school, and community settings.

Top 5 Reasons to Apply

1. Only university in the country to offer graduate coursework in special education across all areas of exceptionality.

2. Opportunities for practical experiences with a variety of district and community partnerships:
- American Printing House for the Blind
- Autism Community Training
- BC Children’s Hospital/Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children
- Blind Beginnings
- Communication Assistance for Youth and Adults
- Pacific Autism Family Centre
- Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired
- Provincial Services for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing
- School Districts in the Lower Mainland and rural areas of BC
- Special Education Technology-BC
- Well-Being Program for Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, and Deaf-blind
- Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

3. We offer opportunities for research and funding through faculty partnerships.

4. We offer opportunities to change practice for the better through Special Education faculty initiatives.

5. Outstanding support through a world-class faculty and staff to guide you on your academic journey!

Visit the Special Education (MA) page on the University of British Columbia website for more details!

Student Profiles

International Tuition Award - No. of awards TBC

International Tuition Awards assist international graduate students with their tuition fees if they are registered full-time in research-oriented master’s and doctoral programs.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Up to $3,200 per annum


Students must hold a valid Student Authorization (Study Permit).

Application Procedure

Students do not need to apply, as all international students who are eligible are automatically considered for this scholarship. Awards are assigned on the Student Information System, and, once assigned, can be viewed by logging onto the Student Service Centre.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Academic equivalent of a four-year bachelor's degree from UBC. Applicants require completion of EPSE 312 (Introduction to the Study of Exceptional Children) or EPSE 317 (Development and Exceptionality in the Regular Classroom), EPSE 482, (Introduction to Statistics for Research in Education or equivalent, and EPSE 481 (Introduction to Research in Education or equivalent and have attained teacher certification. Applicants with equivalent academic preparation will be considered. The requirement of teacher certification may be waived where the applicant has met the University and ECPS Program requirements for admission and has adequate professional experience related to the field of Special Education.

Course Fees

Tuition per year: Canadian $6,598.41, International $8,270.58

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Recipient: University of British Columbia

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