Credit Hours: 33

Learn More about the MAT: Special Education Program

The Special Education MAT program is a 33-credit hour program available for individuals who hold an existing, approved degree in any field.  This program leads to certification in Georgia in grades p-12 and gives the student a Masters degree at the same time. Students must be able to complete the year-long internship required for program completion within the state of Georgia. 

The General Curriculum track prepares M.A.T. teacher candidates to teach students with mild disabilities who receive instruction using the general education curriculum and who participate in general statewide assessments. Specific categories of mild disabilities include learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, other health impairments, and mild intellectual disability. Teacher candidates are also prepared to teach students in special education preschool settings (ages 3-5 years).

The Adapted Curriculum track prepares M.A.T. teacher candidates to teach students who have moderate or severe disabilities who may participate in an alternative assessment. Specific categories of moderate to severe disabilities may include autism, moderate or severe intellectual disabilities, or multiple disabilities. Teacher candidates are also prepared to teach students in special education preschool settings (ages 3-5 years).

For more information, please see the Academic Catalog.

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This degree is housed in the College of Education, Department of Learning and Teaching for Special Education. Upon completion of this program, the candidate will meet the requirements to teach in grades p-12 in Georgia while also completing the requirements for a master's degree.

Career Opportunities

Link to Additional Career Information: External Resource

Program Location


Method of Delivery

In the Special Education MAT, depending on a student's previous undergraduate coursework completed, the student may be required to take up to 5 additional courses to meet a concentration requirement in reading, math, science, social studies, or language arts.  These courses may or may not be online. 


The University of West Georgia is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Credit and transfer

Total semester hours required: 33
A transfer credit evaluation will be completed by the UWG Transfer Team ( Course application to a program is subject to review by the department.

Graduate students may be able to reduce their cost through prior learning, previous degrees earned at UWG, or transfer credits. We have created a tool to help students estimate their tuition costs.

Our online courses are as affordable as you will find among accredited schools. Students will pay for 33 hours of tuition plus a $150 internship supervision fee and current University fees.

This program is offered entirely online. Though a student may choose to sign-up for a face-to-face elective or core course, one can earn this degree completely online.

Save money

UWG is often ranked as one of the most affordable accredited university of its kind, regardless of the method of delivery chosen. In addition, online courses and programs can mean a huge cost-savings in many non-evident ways: No more high gas charges. No childcare needed. The flexibility can allow one to maintain a job while attending school. Regardless of state residency, out-of-state non-resident students are not charged non-resident tuition for online course credit hours.


  • Total tuition costs and fees may vary, depending on the instructional method of the courses in which the student chooses to enroll.
  • The more courses a student takes in a single term, the more they will typically save in fees and total cost.
  • Face-to-Face or partially online courses are charged at the general tuition rate and all mandatory campus fees, based on the student's residency (non-residents are charged at a higher rate).
  • Fully or entirely online course tuition rates and fees my vary depending on the program. Students enrolled in exclusively online courses do not pay non-Resident rates.
  • Together this means that GA residents pay about the same if they take all face-to-face or partially online courses as they do if they take only fully online courses exclusively; while non-residents save money by taking fully online courses.
  • One word of caution: If a student takes a combination of face-to-face and online courses in a single term, they will pay both all mandatory campus fees and the higher eTuition rate.
  • For the cost information, as well as payment deadlines, see the Student Accounts and Billing Services website

There are a variety of financial assistance options for students, including scholarships and work study programs. Visit the Office of Financial Aid's website for more information.


The program requires 33 hours of coursework if the student has all the necessary prerequisites for admission.  It involves both classroom and clinical experiences.  Many of the courses are delivered online.  Others are offered at times that accommodate working professionals. The Special Education MAT is housed in the Department of Literacy and Special Education.

Always consult with an advisor before selecting courses.


Program Sheet

An examination of laws and official policies influencing practice in special education, particularly those applicable to service providers. Includes coverage of federal and Georgia rules, as well as recommendations, policies, and practices related to IEPs and ITPs. Also includes attention to relevant codes of ethics for teachers.

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The course covers all aspects of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and examines the characteristics and nature of all exceptionalities with a targeted emphasis on students with mild disabilities receiving instruction in the general education setting, working toward the state-adopted curriculum content standards, and participating in the general achievement standards assessment. Additionally, the course equips students with an understanding of the history, philosophy, and psychology of teaching students with exceptionalities, including instructional best practices and the basic principles of teaching reading to students with disabilities in compliance with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission's new Foundations of Reading, Literacy, and Language rule (505-3-.03).The course meets the state requirement for a course in the Identification and Education of Exceptional Children by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission and satisfies Georgia House Bill 671. Students must earn a grade of "B" or better in SPED 6715 or department approved alternative to fulfill the special education requirement of Georgia House Bill No. 671 and be recommended for educator certification in Georgia. The grade requirement of "B" or better is effective 07/01/2019.

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Theoretical formulation and practical applications of behavioral techniques, especially as they apply to management and control of behavior in the school.

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This course focuses on matching learner characteristics and needs to appropriate research-based learning strategies, including the science of reading, and enabling teachers to use research-based content enhancement routines to facilitate learning, particularly for students with mild disabilities who are included in the general curriculum. Emphasis will be placed on planning, teaching, and assessing strategy usage as well as planning, implementing, and assessing content enhancement routines. This course embeds a required semester-long supervised practicum where students will apply the methods in an adapted classroom setting.

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This course assists in preparing educators to enter educational settings ready to operate within the new paradigm of differentiation of instruction and collaboration within school. There is a strong focus on respecting the roles various persons play, whether it is professional, family member or student, and how these roles support each other in the process of designing effective programs for students, particularly those with disabilities. Much of the discussion will center on inclusive settings, including the application of the science of reading.

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Supervised practicum in an approved setting in which students identified as having disabilities appropriate to type of special education certification. Course includes seminars and outside readings/assignments as well as in-program activities. Course is designed to be taken toward/at the end of the student s program.

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Supervised practicum in an approved setting in which students identified as having disabilities appropriate to area of certification in Special Education are being served. Course includes seminars and outside readings/assignments as well as in-program activities. Course is designed to be taken toward/at the end of the student s program. SPED 6767 or SPED 6777 should be completed or taken concurrently with this course.

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A comprehensive study of appropriate assessments for special education eligibility determination of students with mild learning, emotional and/or behavioral disabilities. The course emphasizes test and measurements, formal and informal assessment, test administration, and use of diagnostic results in educational intervention.

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This course is designed to prepare educators to navigate the intricate intersection of collaboration and educational technology in diverse educational settings. Through the modeling of technology integration techniques and instructional design principles, students will develop effective collaboration strategies to create cooperative and inclusive learning spaces. This course equips future educators with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in an evolving educational landscape where collaboration and technology play integral roles in pedagogical success. This course meets the state s ISTE educator standards requirement.

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Morris Council, III Ph.D.

Morris Council, III Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Assistant Department Chair

Michelle Frazier Trotman Scott, Ph.D.

Michelle Frazier Trotman Scott, Ph.D.

Director Of Graduate Affairs and Professor of Special Education

Education Center
Room 175
Katy Green, Ph.D.

Katy Green, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Interim Department Chair

Education Annex
Room 212
John Ponder, Ph.D.

John Ponder, Ph.D.

Department Chair, Associate Professor

Lauren Hart Rollins, Ph.D.

Lauren Hart Rollins, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor/Special Education Graduate Program Coordinator

Education Annex
Room 222
James Schwab, Ph.D.

James Schwab, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Curriculum Instruction Assessment Lead

Trina Fortner Wood, Ed.D.

Trina Fortner Wood, Ed.D.

Lecturer, Assistant Department Chair

Guidelines for Admittance

  • All graduate applicants must complete the online Grad Application. A one-time application fee of $40 is required.
  • Applicants should also review the Graduate Studies Website for individual program specific requirements and tasks that must be completed prior to admission. See Graduate Studies Application Process.
  • International applicants are subject to additional requirements and application deadlines. See Procedures for International Students.
  • Official transcripts from all regionally or nationally accredited institution are required and should be sent directly to the UWG Admissions Office.

Program Specific Admittance Guidelines

  • A 2.7 GPA is required for admission.
  • Submit proof of GACE Educator Ethics (test # 360)
  • Students must be able to complete the year-long internship within the state of Georgia. 

Application Deadlines

To guarantee that your application will be reviewed for admission for the semester you are applying, the online application, application fee, and official transcripts for all colleges or universities attended must be submitted by the deadline posted.

Graduate Program Deadlines

Admission Process Checklist

The Graduate Studies Application Process checklist is available here


Graduate Admissions
Phone: 678-839-1394
Fax: 678-839-1395

Program Questions
Dr. Morris Council
Coordinator for Special Education MAT 
Phone: 678-839-6121

Specific dates for Admissions (Undergraduate Only), Financial Aid, Fee Payment, Registration, Start/End of Term Dates, Final Exams, etc. are available in THE SCOOP.

Specific Graduate Admissions Deadlines are available via the Graduate School

  • Candidates understand how exceptionalities can interact with development and learning and use this knowledge to provide meaningful and challenging learning experiences for individuals with exceptionalities (CEC Standard 1 - Learner Development and Individual Learning Differences).
  • Candidates create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments so that individuals with exceptionalities become active and effective learners and develop emotional well-being, positive social interactions, and self determination (CEC Standard 2 - Learning Environments).
  • Candidates use knowledge of general and specialized curricula to individualize learning for individuals with exceptionalities (CEC Standard 3 - Curricular Content Knowledge).
  • Candidates use multiple methods of assessment and data-source in making educational decisions (CEC Standard 4 - Assessment).
  • Candidates select, adapt, and use a repertoire of evidence-based instructional strategies to advance learning of individuals with exceptionalities (CEC Standard 5 - Instructional Planning and Strategies).
  • Candidates use foundational knowledge of the field and their professional Ethical Principles and Practice Standards to inform special education practice, to engage in lifelong learning, and to advance the profession (CEC Standard 6 - Professional Learning and Ethical Practice).
  • Candidates collaborate with families, other educators, related service providers, individuals with exceptionalities, and personnel from community agencies in culturally responsive ways to address the needs of individuals with exceptionalities across a range of learning experiences (CEC Standard 7 - Collaboration).
  • Candidates demonstrate knowledge and skills related to effective instruction of learners with disabilities.
  • Candidates demonstrate appropriate professional dispositions.