Doctoral Programs

The Graduate College of Education at SF State offers two doctoral programs, one a Joint Ph.D. Program in Special Education and the other an Ed.D. Program with dual focus in P-12 education and post-secondary education systems. Each of the programs provides unique opportunities and focus for candidates who seek advanced doctoral study at the doctoral level.

The Joint Ph.D. Program in Special Education is offered jointly by the Department of Special Education in the GCOE at SF State and the Graduate College of Education at the University of California at Berkeley. Candidates in the Joint Ph.D. Program are often practitioners in special education and related fields who seek leadership positions in the field. Experiences of students in the Joint Ph.D. program include opportunities to combine theory and applied practice in their research contributions to advance the field, working with mentors from SF State and UC Berkeley. Graduates of the Joint Ph.D. Program assume leadership positions as university faculty, researchers, administrators and supervisors in professional preparation programs for individuals with disabilities across the life span and settings in schools and communities.

The Ed.D. Educational Leadership Program is offered within the Graduate College of Education and is designed to prepare leaders in educational systems for young children through secondary education and in post-secondary education at two-year and four-year colleges. Candidates who enter the Ed.D. Program are often experienced educators who seek leadership positions as administrators, program developers, professional development directors, researchers and faculty to advance education programs for children, youth and adults in schools and communities. The Ed.D. Program at SF State is focused on social justice to ensure that graduates become leaders to improve educational systems to become leaders to improve educational systems to advance equity and access to education for all. Ed.D. students work closely with faculty mentors to complete dissertation work that make real, practical, and immediate impact to improve equity and social justice for students at all grade levels and from all backgrounds.

Doctoral Programs

The following Doctoral programs are available at SF State:

San Francisco State University (Graduate College Of Education) and the University Of California, Berkeley (Graduate School Of Education) jointly offer a PH.D. program in Special Education.

 Learn more about the Joint Doctoral program

The San Francisco State Ed.D. program is focused on both P-12 and higher education. Our accelerated three-year timeline and weekend class schedule make this an excellent program for practitioners currently working in the field and looking to take their career to the next level.

 Learn more about the Ed.D. Educational Leadership program

Masters & Graduate Certificate Programs

The GCOE at SF State offers several options for master’s degrees and graduate certificates.

Master’s degrees include the Master of Arts in Education (MA), Master of Arts in Special Education and the Master of Science (MS) in Communicative Disorders. The MA Degrees in Education include concentrations in three Departments, Elementary Education, Secondary Education, and Equity, Leadership Studies and Instructional Technologies, which are further described in each area, below. The MA in Special Education includes five specialization areas that include Early Childhood Special Education, Mild to Moderate Disabilities, Moderate to Severe Disabilities, Visual Impairment, and Orientation and Mobility. The MS in Communicative Disorders prepares future Speech-Language Pathologists to meet national certification, state licensure and credentialing requirements.

Graduate Certificates at SF State provide post-baccalaureate candidates specialized training in their respective fields and can be completed as stand-alone programs or in combination with master’s degrees. Graduate Certificates are offered in Special Education and Communicative Disorders in the areas of Early Childhood Special Education, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). In the ELSIT, the Instructional Technologies Program offers the Training Systems Development Graduate Certificate.


Credential Programs

The Graduate College of Education coordinates all credential programs offered at SF State, both within the GCOE and through other colleges. Within the GCOE, a range of educator preparation programs are offered that include preliminary credentials for teachers in elementary (Multiple Subjects), high school (Secondary), special education (Education Specialist) with traditional and intern teacher program options. Additional program options for teachers include the Bilingual Authorization in Spanish and Chinese language. In addition, services credentials are offered in Speech-Language Pathology Services, Orientation and Mobility, and Reading Literacy and Language Specializations. Other Added Authorizations in Early Childhood Special Education and Orthopedic Impairment are also available in Special Education. Preparation for school principals is also provided through the Administrative Services Credential.

Outside of the GCOE, the Personnel Pupil Services Credentials are offered in Psychology in the College of Science and Engineering; Social Work and Counseling in the College of Health and Social Sciences. Authorization in Adapted Physical Education is also offered in the College of Health and Social Sciences.

A TEACH Grant can help you pay for college if you plan to become a teacher in a high-need field in a low-income area.

 Watch in Spanish | versión en español

Teaching and Services Credentials

The Graduate College of Education at SF State is fully accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) through 2021-2022 to offer the following credential programs.

Undergraduate Programs

The SF State Graduate College of Education offers the following undergraduate programs:

Communicative Disorders BS

Students in the Bachelor of Science in Communicative Disorders will be prepared to enter graduate programs in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology. In addition, the BS in CD is an excellent foundation and pathway to graduate programs for a number of education, human service and health professions. The undergraduate sequence or a program equivalence is a prerequisite to the Master of Science in Communicative Disorders, also offered in the GCOE. Related fields open to the BS graduate in CD include employment as a teacher’s assistant, classroom aide, child development worker, and Speech-Language Pathology Assistant with additional intern experience beyond the undergraduate degree.

  • Classified standing as an undergraduate student at SFSU
  • Declare CD major either as an entering student or through a change of major
  • Prior to beginning major coursework, complete 60 units of university coursework
  • Complete one college course in each of the following four areas: Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, and Statistics
  • Complete a Linguistics course regarding language structure
  • Demonstrate a minimum GPA of 2.0

The CD Undergraduate Program is transitioning from a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree to a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree starting in Fall 2017. In the Bachelor of Arts degree, there are 12 core courses required for the major, constituting 36 units. In the Bachelor of Science degree, there are 13 core courses required for the major, constituting 39 units. The final cohort of BA students are expected to graduate in Spring 2018. All students entering the CD major in or after Fall 2017 will graduate with a BS degree.

Undergraduates enter the program in their junior year, usually after having completed most or all of the general education requirements for a Bachelor's degree. Students who have questions regarding general education requirements need to contact a general education advisor in the Undergraduate Advising Center. All undergraduate students must complete 120 units to graduate from the university. Undergraduate students may (upon advisement) take up to 6 units of CD graduate coursework, beyond the 120 units required for graduation, during their final semester as an undergraduate. For specific requirements to enter the CD major, contact the CD program office at (415) 338-1001 or to make an appointment with a CD advisor to go over the what you need to know before declaring the CD major.

Education Minor

The Graduate College of Education offers Undergraduate pathways to careers in Education.

The EDUC Minor prepares undergraduate students to explore and to prepare for careers as professional educators at the post-baccalaureate level. Courses are designed to include foundations of education roles in a variety of settings that include working with young children; students in elementary school and high school; and adults. Hands-on experience is a component of each course in the EDUC Minor and enables students to complete fieldwork requirements to enter credential programs following completion of the Bachelor's Degree. Students may satisfy both a minor and complementary studies requirements through the 12-credit EDUC Minor. Assistance and advising to complete requirements for application and admission to credential programs is provided to all EDUC Minor students.

  • The EDUC Minor consists of 12 units. Students may complete a maximum of 6 lower division units and are required to complete a minimum of 6 upper division units. A minimum 2.0 grade point average is required in the minor.

Spring 2018 Classes Offered at San Francisco State:

Topical Area: Education in American Society

EDUC/S ED 200: Introduction to Teaching and Education (D-1) / Online
EDUC/S ED 200: Introduction to Teaching and Education (D-1) / W 1:00 - 3:45pm
EDUC/S ED 300: Education and Society (UD-D, SJ) / T 1:00 - 3:45pm

Topical Area: Teaching in Action

EDUC 250: Teaching and Learning Beyond the Classroom (D-1) / T 1:10 - 3:55pm
EDUC 250: Teaching and Learning Beyond the Classroom (D-1) / MW 9:10 - 10:30am

Topical Area: Equity and Social Justice in Education

C D 300: Human Communicative Disorders (UD-D) / M 7:00 - 9:45pm
SPED 330: Introduction to Disability (UD-D) / M 6:00 - 9:00pm
SPED 330: Introduction to Disability (UD-D) / W 1:10 - 3:55pm
SPED 330: Introduction to Disability (UD-D) / Th 9:10 - 11:55am
SPED 330: Introduction to Disability (UD-D) / Th 1:10 - 3:55pm

Topical Area: Professional Educators and Communities

EDUC/E ED 450: Art and Learning (E-1, UD-C, SJ) / F 9:10 - 11:55am + 1:00 - 2:50pm
EDUC/E ED 450: Art and Learning (E-1, UD-C, SJ) / M 1:10 - 3:55pm + W 1:10 - 3:00pm
EDUC/E ED 450: Art and Learning (E-1, UD-C, SJ) / W 3:30 - 6:30pm + 6:35 - 8:50pm
EDUC/E ED 639: Bilingual Education in the U.S. (UD-D) / W 1:10 - 3:55pm
EDUC/E ED 681: Teaching Language and Literature for Children and Adolescents (UD-C) / Th 4:10 - 6:55pm
E ED 655: Hands on Undergraduate Science Education Experience / T 9:10 - 11:55am

To declare the minor or for advising, please visit The Education Advising Community Hub (TEACH) in Burk Hall 311 or send an e-mail to

Special Education Minor

Provides undergraduate students with an overview of the field of special education.

An interdisciplinary program of required and elective courses ensures that students are exposed to a variety of courses pertaining to disability in our society. The purpose of this minor is to provide undergraduate students with an overview of the field of special education. An interdisciplinary program of required and elective courses ensures that students are exposed to a variety of courses pertaining to disability in our society.

  • Must be enrolled in an undergraduate program at SF State
  • Must be able to complete the required 18 units

Competencies attained by students completing this minor are of both a theoretical and practical nature and stimulate student interest in occupations serving individuals with disabilities. Direct contacts with individuals with disabilities are designed to help students determine if working in the area of special education is a career choice.

Metro College Success Program

The Metro College Success Program (Metro) was developed to support the next generation of leaders in urban communities. Each Metro Academy is a 'school within a school' to give you an educational home in your first two years of college. Metro gives you personalized support for college success through in-class academic support and tutoring.

  • Incoming SF State freshmen students or SF State first year students
  • Enrolled as a fulltime student
  • Must commit to 1-2 required Metro classes per semester

Adjusting to college can be challenging. Learning in a small, supportive community of students and faculty can help you thrive throughout your first two years. Metro’s goal is to help you graduate in a timely manner and gain the skills you need to succeed in college and find a meaningful career.

Students take two courses each semester that share themes such as social justice, education equity, community health, or ethnic studies. Metro courses satisfy general education requirements for all majors at SF State, so you can go on to complete your bachelor’s degree in any major.

Metro students receive tutoring, advising, and support. Metro students also develop strong academic skills. They learn to write and speak with confidence and power, master mathematical concepts, and think critically about real-world issues.

GCOE alum appointed as SFUSD superintendent

GCOE alum appointed as SFUSD superintendent

Veteran educator Vincent Matthews has been tapped as the next superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.

Matthews, a San Francisco native and graduate of the SFUSD who began his teaching career in the Bayview, has been the state-appointed superintendent of the Inglewood Unified School District since October 2015.