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Master of Arts in Teaching Special Education

Angela Crespo Cozart, Program Director


Program Description

The Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) Special Education is nationally accredited by the Council for Exceptional Children and by the South Carolina Department of Education. Most coursework in this program is taught by full-time faculty members (holding terminal degrees in their fields), who have extensive teaching experience and maintain active research and service agendas. Coursework is offered in late afternoon and evening sessions Monday through Thursday for fall and spring terms and in day and evening sessions during the summer terms. Students may enroll as part-time or full-time candidates. Full-time graduate students may be eligible for graduate assistantships through the Graduate School.

The M.A.T. in Special Education is designed for individuals with undergraduate degrees in areas other than education who want to become licensed special education teachers. This multi-categorical program includes three areas of study: emotional disabilities, learning disabilities and mental disabilities. The Program of Study currently requires a minimum of 48 hours of graduate credit. If candidates have not recently taken a course in human growth and development or developmental psychology, they must take that course.

Successful completion of the M.A.T. Program of Study, including the teacher education requirements, leads to recommendation for licensure in South Carolina in the student’s area of concentration. Teacher education requirements include successful clinical practice during a full-time semester, passing the specialty Praxis exams, and other School of Education, Health, and Human Performance and South Carolina Department of Education requirements that can be found on the program’s website. Candidates should consult this website for changes in program or state requirements.

Admission Requirements

  • A completed online application with a nonrefundable application fee of $50.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework. An earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required. Applicants are required to have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.500 on a 4.000 scale. Undergraduate coursework should represent a broad liberal arts background.
  • A statement of goals stating why the candidate seeks to be part of the program and is pursuing a teaching career.
  • Two letters of recommendation. Letters should be from persons most familiar with previous academic and/or work experience and should indicate evidence of potential for graduate studies.
  • A professional résumé
  • Results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), if English is not the primary language of the candidate
  • Official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • A statement of ability to perform essential teaching duties under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

These requirements are subject to change before the next catalog is printed. Application packages are available through the Graduate School or online. The deadline for Fall applications to the M.A.T. in Special Education for students planning to attend full-time is April 1. However, applications may still be reviewed until July 15 if there are slots left unfilled after the April 1 deadline. Potential applicants should contact the program director to determine if this is the case.

* Applicants who plan to, at least initially, complete the program on a part-time basis, may apply for admission during fall, spring or summer semesters in order to begin taking courses the following semester.

Transfer Credit Policy

An applicant or student from the M.A.T. in Special Education program can seek approval from the program director to accept up to six transfer credit hours from an accredited program. The courses proposed for transfer will be reviewed by the faculty advisors. These courses must have a grade of B or higher, and may count toward the degree requirements. Courses with a grade of “Pass” or “Satisfactory” will not be accepted.

Completion of a Program of Study

Upon admission as a regular degree student, each candidate will be assigned a faculty advisor. The candidate should make an appointment with the advisor to complete an official Program of Study form. The Program of Study is not official until it is signed by the student, advisor, and program director and has been filed with the Graduate School. The candidate may not enroll in more than six hours of coursework without an official Program of Study. After coursework has commenced, needed changes in the Program of Study may be made in consultation with the candidate’s advisor and approved by the program director and department chair.

The recommended Program of Study for the M.A.T in Special Education follows. Consult the program’s website or an advisor for the recommended sequence of coursework, as many courses are offered only once a year but have specific prerequisites.