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Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT): Special Education

MAT Special Education

Special Education

Do you want to make a difference in the lives of students with disabilities?

Have you considered working toward a degree in special education, but you have an undergraduate degree in something other than education?

Have you considered a teaching career, but you don’t have the required teaching certificate?

Consider enrolling in Clemson University’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree in special education.

View The Student Handbook

Specialty Concentrations

The purpose of the MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) in special education is to prepare well qualified teachers who demonstrate knowledge and skills in identifying and implementing research-based practices to improve academic and social outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Candidates who complete the MAT will demonstrate competence across the Council for Exceptional Children Professional and Ethical Principles and Special Education Standards for Professional Practice in teaching and assessment. View The Student Handbook

Graduates of the MAT in special education will:

  • Use evidence, instructional data, research and professional knowledge to inform practice.
  • Identify and use evidence-based practices that are effective in meeting the specific needs of individuals with exceptionalities.
  • Use assessments to accurately measure the learning progress of individuals with exceptionalities, and individualize instruction variables in response to assessment results.
  • Use behavior change practices that are evidence-based and appropriate for individuals with exceptionalities.
  • Advocate for and use positive behavior supports to enhance academic and social outcomes for individuals with disabilities.
  • Create safe, effective and culturally responsive learning environments which contribute to learning for all students, especially those with disabilities.

Applications for the special education Master of Arts in Teaching program are considered for summer entrance dates only. The program application deadline is April 1. To be considered for admission, individuals must complete the online Graduate School application. Every required document in support of your application must be on file by the deadline date for consideration.

Required Documents:

  • Competitive GRE (Graduate Record Exam) or MAT (Miller Analogies Test) scores
  • Unofficial transcripts with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (Official transcripts will be required if recommended for admission)
  • Current résumé or vita
  • Personal statement – a writing sample that addresses knowledge, accomplishments and future career goals
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official TOEFL/IELTS scores for international students

An interview, in person or virtually, that reflects strong communication skills, knowledge and enthusiasm for teaching and learning is also a required portion of the admission requirements.

First Summer of the Program

EDF 8010(3 credit hours): Human Growth the Development
EDSP 8100(3 credit hours): Characteristics of Individuals with Learning Disabilities
EDSP 8210(3 credit hours): Educational Assessment of Individuals with Disabilities
EDSP 8770(3 credit hours): Introduction to Exceptionalities

Fall Semester

EDSP 8550 (3 credit hours): Intensive Academic Interventions for Individuals with Disabilities
EDSP 8200 (3 credit hours): Language Arts Instruction for Individuals with Disabilities
EDSP 8220 (3 credit hours): Teaching Mathematics to Individuals with Disabilities
EDSP 8560 (3 credit hours): Intensive Behavioral Interventions for Individuals with Disabilities
EDSP 8120 (3 credit hours): Practicum in Learning Disabilities
EDSP 8121 (0 credit hours): Practicum in Learning Disabilities Laboratory

Spring Semester

EDSP 8580 (6 credit hours): Directed Teaching in Special Education
EDSP 8570 (3 credit hours): Integrating Knowledge and Skills to Develop Preservice Special Educators’ Instructional Expertise
EDSP 8800(3 credit hours): Methods for Conducting Research with Individuals with Disabilities for Beginning Researchers 

Second Summer of the Program

EDSP 8530 (3 hours): Legal and Policy Issues in Special Education
EDLT 8140 (3 hours): Reading and Writing Instruction and Assessment for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

In addition to completion of coursework, all candidates for the MAT in special education must complete the PRAXIS II: Principles of Learning and Teaching and PRAXIS II Specialty Exams.

Program graduates meet the requirements to earn initial teaching licensure in special education (learning disabilities) in elementary and secondary settings.

For job-seeking Clemson graduates with an MAT in special education, 100 percent received job offers before graduation.

Starting salary for a teacher with a master’s degree is almost $5,000 more than a teacher with a bachelor’s degree (in Upstate South Carolina school districts).

Clemson graduates are highly trained and competent special education teachers.

South Carolina residents enrolled in the MAT in special education are eligible to submit for the South Carolina Teacher Loan or the Career Changers Loan.

Students in the MAT in special education are eligible to submit for the Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant program.

For more information, please fill out this form or visit the Clemson University Graduate School website. For questions regarding the program, please contact Catherine Griffith at or 864-704-9937. If you need assistance with admissions, please contact Alison Search.

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