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2023-2024 University Catalog
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College of Education and Human Services Graduate Degree Requirements


Applicants must meet minimum requirements for admission to graduate programs as established by the Florida Department of Education’s Division of Colleges and Universities and the University of North Florida. Individual programs in the College have established admissions criteria beyond the minimum requirements. All applicants seeking admission to master’s programs in the College should meet with an academic advisor prior to admission. Contact the Office of Academic Support and Information Services at (904) 620-3934 for additional information.

Component Cores

Master’s programs range from a minimum of 30 hours to 60 hours (exclusive of prerequisites). Most master’s students are required to take two core courses regardless of program of study pursued. Specific master’s degree programs may require additional core courses for all students in the given program. Each student will be expected to demonstrate satisfactory performance on all elements of the core and major requirements.

Although minimum requirements for the degree programs have been established, actual requirements differ in each of the program areas. Wherever possible, flexibility has been maintained. Individual programs of study are developed in terms of the student’s competency level and career goals.

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Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership Admission Requirements

Minimum criteria for admission to the program are the following:

  • a master’s degree earned from a regionally accredited institution;
  • three years of successful teaching, administration, or related work in training and development
  • demonstrated leadership or leadership potential;
  • demonstrated academic ability and potential to complete the course work and a doctoral dissertation successfully;
  • successful interview with and recommendation of the Doctoral Admissions Committee.

Applicants will be asked to submit transcripts of previous college work, including evidence of completion of a master's degree; writing samples; and acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Students are expected to receive a score of 153 on the verbal portion of the GRE and a 144 on the quantitative portion of the GRE. . International applicants must also submit a TOEFL score if they do not hold an academic degree from an English-speaking institution as well as a foreign credential evaluation from an approved NACES agency. Note: All applications, transcripts, test scores, and supporting documents must be sent directly to The Graduate School, University of North Florida, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224.

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Master of Education Admission Requirements

In addition to the University requirements for graduate admissions, the following items must be submitted to The Graduate School for consideration for admission to Master of Education programs:

  1. For Professional Education in Elementary Education and for the Educational Leadership program with a concentration in School Leadership leading to Florida administrator certification, a professional Florida Teaching Certificate or its equivalent is required. Individuals not holding a professional certificate may be admitted into initial certification programs in Special Education/Exceptional Student Education K-12, Counselor Education/School Counseling K-12 providing the required prerequisites are taken as part of the degree process. Generally, persons holding temporary certificates do not meet this requirement; however, consideration may be given to students who are already teaching and working toward professional certification through a combination of teaching and course work.
  2. Teacher certification is not required for students seeking the Disability Services, Applied Behavior Analysis, and ASL/English Interpreting in Special Education; or Advanced Teaching and Learning, Higher Education Administration, Technology, Training and Development in Educational Leadership and Athletic Administration.
  3. Acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) may be required depending upon the program. Acceptable scores may vary with each department. Consult the specific program for required GRE scores. Students who are admitted to the Special Education, Exceptional Student Education initial teacher certification programs must present passing scores on all parts of the General Knowledge (GK) test.
  4. For all M.Ed. programs, three letters of recommendation citing academic and professional potential is required. Some programs may have additional requirements and/or use pre-established recommendation forms.

Students who fail to meet the College of Education and Human Services or special program/department requirements for admission may request a review of their qualifications by a program/department review committee and the dean of the College. Such requests must be in writing and include supporting evidence. These students may apply for consideration under the UNF/College exceptions policy. Contact the Office of Academic Support and Information Services for more information.

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Prerequisites for Master's Degree Majors


Elementary Education

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in last 60 semester hours of baccalaureate degree.
  • A valid teaching certificate or its equivalent is required in the Literacy concentration.


Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

The Master of Arts in Teaching is a teacher prep inspired program that allows students to earn a MAT degree in under 18 months. It is designed for individuals who possess a baccalaureate degree and desire to teach secondary English, History, Math, Foreign Language, or Biology/Chemistry/Physics. There may be opportunities for financial aid and in some cases, full tuition coverage for College of Arts and Sciences graduates with degrees in STEM-related fields

Students will complete school placements within Duval County Public Schools throughout the school year; thus, students will complete clinical, field experience hours all year long along with coursework. Courses within the program will be in the summer B schedule with the sequence culminating in summer A the following year: Summer B – Fall – Spring – Summer A.


Two letters of recommendation are required.

Special Education

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in last 60 semester hours of baccalaureate degree
  • Appropriate experience as determined by the program faculty
  • Appropriate ASL/English Interpreting prerequisites
  • Passing scores on all parts of the General Knowledge (GK) test for all initial certification programs

Counselor Education: School Counseling Concentration

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Minimum GPA or 3.0 in last 60 semester hours of baccalaureate degree.
  • GRE scores of 153 on the verbal portion and 144 on the quantitative portion of the test.
  • Passing scores on all four parts of General Knowledge (GK) test if non-teacher educator.

Educational Leadership: School Leadership for Florida Administrator Certification

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in last 60 semester hours of baccalaureate degree
  • Valid Florida Professional Teaching Certificate for school leadership concentration


Students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in a non-education field of study may pursue teacher certification by completing “Teacher-Certification-Only” (TCO). All TCO coursework must be taken at the graduate level (i.e., 5000 and 6000 level courses) unless graduate-level courses are not offered. Enrollment of TCO students in undergraduate courses requires approval of an advisor and/or the appropriate department chair. TCO students must meet all criteria for admission to the College’s undergraduate teacher education programs. TCO completion does not lead to the awarding of a degree. Students interested in TCO should contact the College’s Office of Academic Support and Information Services for more information.

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Course Work Requirement

A minimum of 30 credits must be included in a master’s degree program. No less than 60 percent of the total graduate hours must be at the 6000-level. At least fifty percent of the course work must be taken in the College of Education and Human Services. All requirements for the degree must be completed within six years after being admitted to the program.

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Residency Requirement

Course work taken on campus, online through a UNF distance learning program or class, or through an off-campus cohort program is considered in-residence study for degree purposes, assuming the student is a fully admitted graduate student. At least 24 hours must be completed in residency.

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Fingerprinting Requirement

Fingerprinting is required for students enrolled in the School Counseling master's degree and the initial certification ESE K-12 programs and any other program if a student completes a practicum in a school setting. Florida state law requires that all persons engaging in any type of work with children at schools must be fingerprinted and cleared through official school district procedures. Students are advised that noncompliance with fingerprinting requirements or failure to receive clearance will result in the inability to complete course and program requirements. Contact the Office of Academic Support and Information Services at (904) 620-3934 for information regarding fingerprinting procedures.

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