Special Education MA classroom
Special Education with Credential, MA

Scholarships & Aid

Special Education Interns

All students enrolled in the Special Education MA program are eligible to work full-time in a Bay Area school district and be paid a full-time teacher’s salary while they go through the program.

For more information, please contact Aisha Ortega in the Department of Learning and Instruction.

The Golden State Teacher Grant program (GSTG)

The Golden State Teacher Grant program (GSTG) is for students who are currently enrolled in a teacher preparation program to earn a preliminary credential in a high need field and commit to teach at a priority school, in California for four years, within five years after completing a teacher preparation program.

PLEASE NOTE: To apply for the program, please go to https://gstg.csac.ca.gov/.

SFUSD Employee Discount Rate

SFUSD Employees entering the Teacher Education or Special Education programs are eligible for a discounted tuition rate if they meet the following criteria:

  1. Candidates are paraprofessionals, emergency-credentialed teachers, or long-term substitute teachers ,and wish to apply for any of our preliminary teacher credential plus MA programs (MAT, MATR, UESJ and Special ED)

  2. Candidates will continue to be employed as such (or they become interns) during their enrollment in the USF program, and

  3. Candidates plan to teach in SFUSD for at least 3 years thereafter.

For more information, contact schoolofeducation@usfca.edu.


The TEACH Grant provides up to $4,000* per year to graduate students who are completing coursework needed to begin a career in teaching. In order to be eligible for this grant a student must: 

  • Complete a FAFSA for the current academic year at www.fafsa.ed.gov
  • Download, print & submit a completed grant form by the priority due date in order to have the TEACH Grant funds reflected on your semester bill:
    • July 15 for fall semester
    • December 15 for spring semester
    • April 15 for summer semester

      Note: Deadlines above apply to continuing students. New students will receive information about applying to the TEACH Grant (and the deadline for new students) at New Student Orientation.
  • Complete entrance counseling and sign an agreement to serve;
  • Be in the process of completing coursework and other requirements necessary to begin a career in teaching.
  • Plan to enroll in 3 units or more per semester
  • Students must not already have a graduate degree
  • Students must ALSO qualify academically in ONE of the following ways:
    • If the student is a graduate student during the first payment period (a first semester student), s/he must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.25 on a 4.0 scale, or the numeric equivalent; OR
    • If the student is a graduate student beyond the first payment period (a continuing student), s/he must have a cumulative graduate GPA of at least 3.25 on a 4.0 scale, or the numeric equivalent, through the most-recently completed payment period.
  • Within eight years of completing enrollment in a credential program, TEACH Grant recipients are required to:
    • Teach full-time for a minimum of four years.
    • Teach as a highly-qualified teacher at an elementary school, secondary school or educational service agency in a low-income school district, as defined in the Teacher Cancellation Low-Income Directory.
    • Teach in a high-need field, as defined by the Department of Education’s annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing, in the majority of classes taught during each elementary and secondary academic year.
    • Report the above information to the Department of Education within 120 days after ceasing enrollment and once a year thereafter.
  • IMPORTANT: This grant may convert to an unsubsidized loan, including all applicable interest, if the above stated requirements are not met.
  • Students accepted into the Reading Certificate Program are not eligible for the TEACH Grant.
  • If you are accepted into, or enrolled in, an eligible program and would like to apply for a TEACH Grant, please complete the Teach Grant Request Form (grant application) and submit it to your program coordinator listed below by the priority due date (see above for dates).

* The actual amount of the grant is determined annually and dependent on Federal funding.

Catholic Educator Reduced Tuition rate

The USF School of Education offers a 40% reduced CST tuition rate in order to increase the number and diversity of credentialed teachers in Catholic schools.

Eligibility Criteria

This tuition rate is available for candidates who are in a teaching credential program or in a Reading Certificate program, and providing a needed service to Catholic schools. To qualify for the CST tuition rate, candidates must submit a Recommendation Form from a supervising teacher/staff and/or the principal/head of a Catholic school that documents how the service provided to that school supports the educational success of underserved groups of students. All forms, regardless of recommender, must be signed by the principal/head of Catholic school.

This reduced rate is available for students who are providing needed service in one of two ways, namely, as:

A paid teacher, teacher aide, staff, or coach in a Catholic school. Candidates who are regularly employed at a Catholic school are eligible for the CST tuition rate each semester of concurrent enrollment in teacher training and employment in a Catholic school.

A volunteer making a substantial commitment of time working in a needed role within a Catholic school. To be eligible for the CST tuition rate, it is expected that the volunteer commitment be at least 3 hours a week of on-site, school-related work at a Catholic school during each semester of tuition reduction. Candidates must have the volunteer opportunity secured before the first semester begins and are required to begin the volunteer position before Census Date of the semester. This allows candidates to have the opportunity to begin volunteering when they begin the program.

Application Process

Candidates applying for the CST tuition rate must submit the CST Rate Recommendation Form to the School of Education, from a supervising teacher/staff and the school principal/head of the school detailing either the candidate’s employment or volunteer involvement in the school and recommendation to receive the tuition rate. The forms should be sent in advance of candidates starting the program and no later than September 1st for fall, February 1st for spring, and June 1st for summer sessions.

Please note that for candidates who are determining their loan packages with the USF Financial Aid office we advise you to submit the CST Rate Recommendation Form no later than 10 days before the start of the semester.

The form includes:

  • a statement of the intended work or service the candidate will be doing that is responsive to needs in the school;
  • the time commitment of work or service that meets minimal expectations (at least 3 hours a week of on-site, school-related work throughout the semester);
  • expected impact work or service will have on the educational success of underserved groups of students (i.e. student demographics such as racial/ethnic breakdown, free or reduced lunch, etc.;
  • and rationale for recommending the specific candidate.


  • Intercession - January 17
  • Spring - February 1
  • Summer - June 1
  • Fall - September 1

Renewal Process

To continue qualifying for the CST tuition rate in succeeding semesters, candidates must submit a CST Renewal Recommendation Form from a supervising teacher/staff and/or the principal/head of the Catholic school where they have been working or volunteering recommending continuation of the tuition rate. The renewal form must verify the work or service and time commitment completed in the previous semester; the impact the candidate’s work or service has had on the educational success of underserved groups of students; and a description of the work or service to be done, as well as time commitment (at least 3 hours a week of on-site, school-related work) for the upcoming semester. The renewal forms should be sent no later than September 1st for fall, February 1st for spring, and June 1st for summer sessions. Bills for the upcoming semester will show the CST discounted tuition rate. If, by the deadlines posted above, candidates have not submitted a CST Renewal Form, they will be billed at the full tuition rate.

All forms for the Catholic Educator Reduced Tuition Rate should be submitted to CST Rate Recommendations & Renewals.

Please direct any questions regarding the process to: Quyen Tran, Project Manager for Academic Affairs at cstrate@usfca.edu or 415-422-2081.

State Resources and Federal Resources

The following programs are administered by various agencies in the State of California and around the United States. Please consult each program's website for further information.

Cal Grant Program
If you are currently an undergraduate student with a Cal Grant A or B and plan to enroll in a teacher credential program, you may be eligible to renew your Cal Grant award for an additional year. The additional year of payment is provided to students who are seeking an initial teaching credential and cannot be used for other graduate level courses of study.

Perkins Loan Forgiveness
You qualify for cancellation (discharge) of up to 100 percent of a Federal Perkins Loan if: you have served full-time in a public or nonprofit elementary or secondary school system as a teacher in a school serving students from low-income families; or you are a special-education teacher, including teachers of infants, toddlers, children, or youth with disabilities; or you are a teacher in the fields of mathematics, science, foreign languages, or bilingual education, or in any other field of expertise determined by a state education agency to have a shortage of qualified teachers in that state.

Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession. Under this program, individuals who teach full-time for five consecutive, complete academic years in certain elementary and secondary schools that serve low-income families and meet other qualifications may be eligible for forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 in principal and interest on their Federal Family Education Loan and/or Direct Loan program loans.

Teach Grant
The TEACH Grant provides up to $4,000 per year to graduate students who are completing course work needed to begin a career in teaching.