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College of Education


Initial Instruction (M.T. and M.A.T.)

Special Education, M.A.T.

The 60-credit-hour special education M.A.T. program is designed for career changers or those deciding to become teachers after graduation from college in an area other than education. Qualified students may or may not have taken education courses as undergraduates, but have an interest in working with students with disabilities.

The program, which includes 12 hours of student teaching, normally takes two years to complete. Candidates must complete requirements for the S.C. State Department of Education and appropriate accrediting agencies to receive Initial Certification in Special Education. Students take a comprehensive examination in their area of certification. A grade of C+ or lower on any 12 hours of graduate work at the university will disqualify a student for a graduate degree.

Application deadline

Oct. 15 (for spring or summer admission) or March 15 (for summer or fall admission)


Admission requirements for The Graduate School

  • a baccalaureate degree (or the international equivalent) from an accredited college or university
  • standardized test scores (consult the program to which you are applying for particular test requirements)
  • official transcripts
  • two or more letters of recommendation
  • application
  • application fee
  • English proficiency requirement*
  • other supporting materials**

* An applicant whose native language is not English is required to submit a satisfactory score on the TOEFL or IELTS exam. For more information, please visit the International Applicants section on The Graduate School site.

** Many programs require personal statements, resumes, writing samples, audio files (recitals, auditions), art portfolios and/or licensure. Please consult your program for further requirements.


Program-specific admission requirements (in addition to above)

  • Once all requirements are met and verified by the Office of Special Education, you will interview with the Programs in Special Education Admissions Committee and participate in an extemporaneous writing sample, which is conducted without preparation on your part.
  • Two admissions committee members will evaluate the total academic profile submitted to The Graduate School and the special education program. A 100-point scale will be used to rate your letters of recommendation, GPA, test scores, writing sample and interview, and your averaged ratings must meet or exceed 75 points to be admitted to the program. Specifically, a GPA of 2.50 to 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) is equivalent to 75 points, and an 800 (verbal and quantitative combined) on the GRE or 388 (scaled score) on the Miller Analogies Test is equivalent to 75 points.
  • The profile of typical students admitted into the M.A.T. in Special Education program for the past three years is as follows: GPA of 2.80 or above; GRE score of at least 425/500; Miller Analogies Test score of at least 400.

For more details about the program, please visit the academic bulletin.