"Special Education" written in marker

Advanced Graduate Specialist (A.G.S.), Special Education

The Advanced Graduate Specialist (A.G.S.) certificate in Special Education is designed to promote professional competence in an area of concentration in the field of special education. This program is available to students planning to take extended graduate work beyond the master's level, within any of the major areas indicated for the master's programs. The certificate is awarded by the College of Education at the completion of all requirements; this is not a degree program.

The candidate for the AGS certificate must have a master's degree or its equivalent earned at the University of Maryland or another accredited institution. The minimum number of graduate hours for the AGS certificate is 60 including applicable credits from the Master's program. The core of the program should be made up of special education courses and other work within the College of Education or other colleges in the University of Maryland. The program can be part or full time, but continuous registration is required. 

For more information visit the graduate admission requirements webpage. Select an area of interest from the various offerings in the College of Education to determine the admission requirements and deadlines.  If you are unsure of your area of interest you may request information by submitting an Inquiry Form.  

AGS Deadlines:
*Fall Domestic: June 15

Admission Procedures

  1. Review the EDSP admission requirements for MA, MEd, and AGS graduate students in the Special Education Master's Degree Programs Handbook.
  2. Contact faculty members associated with concentration area if you have specific questions or wish to discuss an area in more detail
  3. Complete the Enrollment Rx graduate online application (Please select ALL Areas of Interests to ensure your application will be directed to the appropriate program for review). In your goal statement, specify your research interests and professional goals. You may request a specific faculty advisor if appropriate.
  4. All application materials must be received before the Special Education Program's Graduate Admission Committee Reviews the applicant's materials. This includes your Basic Test scores for MEd degree or GRE/MAT scores for MA degree.
  5. The Graduate Admission Committee recommends admit or reject. The final decision is made by the graduate school. Provisional acceptance may be recommended for a limited number of applicants.

Please refer to the Guide to Applying  for instructions on how to apply for graduate admission. If you have questions or concerns, we ask you to first review our list of Frequently Asked Questions.  For questions about the application process, or to check on the completion of your application please contact:

Judy Foster, Coordinator of Graduate Admissions
Office of Student Services, College of Education
(301) 405-2359              

After you apply for graduate admission you may check your application status by logging into the Enrollment Rx graduate online application using your user name and password.  Graduate faculty in the Academic Department you applied to will review your completed application for graduate admission.  Questions regarding application reviews and decision recommendations should be directed to Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education (CHSE).  Please contact:

Carol Scott, Coordinator of Graduate Studies
Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education
(301) 405-8384

Please contact the Office of Student Services, ed-advising@umd.edu, or (301) 405-2364.

Academic advisement for graduate students is provided by the graduate faculty in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education (CHSE).   For advising information, please contact the Coordinator of Graduate Studies, Carol Scott at (301) 405-8384 or cscott18@umd.edu.

Visit the College of Education Scholarship opportunities webpage. 

Visit the Graduate School Fellowship and Graduate Assistantship web page for additional funding opportunities 

For information about other student financial aid, review the Office of the Student Financial Aid website.

The Advanced Graduate Specialist (AGS) program is designed to promote a high level of professional competence in the field of special and enhances a student’s professional portfolio of education coursework beyond the Master’s degree. The AGS is not a degree program, but a certificate awarded by the College of Education. The candidate for the AGS must have a master's degree earned either at the University of Maryland or at another accredited institution. The minimum number of graduate credit hours for the AGS is 60, which includes 30 applicable credits from the student’s Master's program. The core of the program consists of special education courses and other coursework within the University.

AGS Program Requirements for Students and Advisors

1. Continuous Registration and Time Line: Registration and advising is required every semester (including the summer session if graduating). The MEd degree must be completed in five years.

2. Required Coursework (as of 1/22/15): The following coursework is required:

• Two of the following research methods courses:

       EDMS 645 Quantitative Research Methods I

                     EDSP 670 Single Subject Research in Special Education

                     EDSP 671 Qualitative Methodologies in Special Education

• One of the following:

                     EDSP 673 Evaluating Evidence-Based Practices in Special Education

                     EDSP 625 Seminar on Severe Disabilities

• EDSP 600 Issues and Trends in Educating Individuals with Disabilities

3. Submit AGS Program of Approval: A Program of Approval is developed with the advisor and must include 400 level or above coursework (graduate credit is NOT given for coursework below the 400 level). The form is found at this website. 

4. Transfer Credit: Up to six credits of graduate coursework may be transferred into the master’s program with the advisor’s approval. If applicable, complete the Transfer or Inclusion of Credit Form, available on the Graduate School webpage. Please click here to access it. 

5. GPA: Maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in courses approved for graduation. Any “D” or “F” grade on record may be repeated with the second grade counting toward the cumulative GPA. If the course is repeated, the first course registration remains on the transcript. If courses with “D” or “F” grades are not repeated, they will be computed in the grade point average the same as an “F” (zero quality points). In such cases, however, the “D” and “F” grades will not be counted as a part of graduation requirements and additional coursework must be taken.

6. Comprehensive Examination: Three hours of written examinations are required. Procedures are presented above.

7. Submit Application for Graduation: Published deadlines each semester for submitting the Application for Graduation are found in Important Dates for All Graduating Graduate Students found at: 

 Apply for graduation at the following website: 

 Note: Students must be registered the semester of graduation.

8. Additional AGS Graduation Forms: The student is responsible for submitting the Advanced Graduate Specialist (A.G.S.) Certification of Completion form found here.

Dr. Kelli Cummings, Program Director (kellic@umd.edu)
Carol Scott, Coordinator (cscott18@umd.edu)


Academic deadlines are provided by the Office of the Registrar for the academic year. Students should refer to the deadlines listed in Important Dates  prior to the beginning of the degree completion semester.  

Students should check with their Department or Program for any deadlines it may have.  Please contact:

Carol Scott, Coordinator of Graduate Studies
Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education
(301) 405-8384


Visit the Department of Counseling, High Education and Special Education program handbooks and forms page.

The Graduate Student Life Handbook provides information on academics, campus resources, finances, health, job opportunities, and information on how to get involved as a graduate student. 


Graduate students in the College of Education are responsible for meeting University and the Graduate School policy, and for meeting Program requirements.   The Graduate Catalog  is the official listing of Policies governing graduate education at the University of Maryland.  The schedule adjustment policy is available from the Office of the Registrar and provides information on adding and dropping courses, penalties, and refund schedules.


Graduate students are required to submit various forms at specific points in the program and as part of the degree clearance process.  Please refer to Steps Toward Graduation to determine the steps and forms that are required.    The forms for use by graduate students are available here