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College of Education

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Special Education, M.Ed.

This 33-credit program will provide the knowledge and skills to prepare you to become an effective teacher of students with disabilities. Those selecting the Multi-categorical concentration will complete the program 100% online. International students admitted to the Multi-categorical concentration would be expected to complete this program from their home country. The Severe and Multiple concentration has online and on-campus courses. It is not a concentration that is appropriate for international student enrollment.

The M.Ed. in Special Education is for current educators seeking to add special education certification to their teaching certificate. The program is also ideal for current special education teachers seeking to gain additional expertise in special education. 

The goals of the program emphasize preparing special education teachers who respect the diverse characteristics and needs of individuals with disabilities and their families by upholding professional ethical principles, practice standards, and professional policies, as designated by the Council for Exceptional Children. The curriculum meets the accreditation standards set by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the state of South Carolina’s requirements for add-on certification for current teachers.

What kinds of work will I be able to do?

Upon completing this program, currently certified teachers will be able to apply for an add-on SC certification in special education to teach K-12 students with disabilities in the chosen area of specialization. Special Education teachers are in great demand and our graduates are highly sought after for teaching positions across the state. If you choose to add on additional certification areas or endorsements, a range of other professional positions may become available to you, such as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst or Secondary Transition Specialist.


Will I be able to specialize?

Yes. You will select Multi-categorical Special Education or Severe and Multiple Disabilities as your area of concentration.

In the Multi-categorical concentration, you will develop the expertise to work with students with various disabilities, including students with mild intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, and emotional behavior disorders. The M.Ed. with this concentration is a 100% online program. This concentration leads to the S.C. Multi-categorical Special Education add-on certification.

In the Severe and Multiple Disabilities concentration, you will develop the expertise to work with students with high support needs, including students with autism, multiple disabilities, those requiring behavioral supports, and students requiring specialized equipment. Many of the courses for the degree with this concentration are taught online, but this is not a fully online concentration. This concentration leads to the S.C. Severe Disabilities Special Education add-on certification.



Online Option (Multi-categorical Concentration Only)

  • South Carolina certified teachers pay a reduced tuition rate*.
  • Out-of-state students admitted to the online Multi-categorical concentration pay the regular South Carolina resident tuition rate.
Tuition Rates South Carolina Certified Teachers All Other Applicants
Per Credit Hour – Online Option $515* $572.75
Estimated Total Program Tuition including Fees – Online Option $18,874* $20,763

See Specially Priced Online Degree Programs information on the fee schedule and the Graduate One Rate estimated cost to attend based on averages across all university programs.


On-Campus Option (Severe & Multiple Concentration Only)

  • South Carolina certified teachers pay a reduced tuition rate*.
  • Out-of-state students admitted to the on-campus Severe & Multiple concentration pay regular non-resident tuition rate or applicable tuition depending on funding offer.

*This rate applies for SC resident certified teachers completing fewer than 12 hours per semester.

Fees and rates are subject to change and are effective for the 2023-2024 Academic Year. 

Financial Aid

Most students in this program receive assistance through loans and other forms of aid. Complete your FAFSA to be considered for these aid programs. 


Typical Coursework

The program The program can typically be completed in as few as 17 months. 

Professional Core Courses (12 semester hours)
The professional core is designed to help you build a foundation and understanding in areas important to all special education teachers. You will learn classroom management issues and strategies; instruction methods in teaching reading for at-risk learners; principles of applied behavior analysis, and special education assessment methods.

You will put into practice all that you have learned by working with a coaching teacher and university supervisor as complete a school practicum in your concentration area.

Concentration Courses (21 semester hours)
These courses will introduce you to knowledge and skill components unique to your concentration area. 

The Multi-categorical concentration covers many topics including: personal, social and educational implications of a mild to moderate multi-categorical disability; theories and applications of procedures for teaching children with mild to moderate multi-categorical disabilities; communication and collaboration skills and strategies for creating and maintaining effective partnerships with a variety of stakeholders involved in educating students with disabilities; and materials and methods for learners with disabilities.

The Severe and Multiple Disabilities concentration includes: instruction for teaching students with significant disabilities; design, development, adaptation, and implementation of curriculum, language and communication instruction for students with significant disabilities; nature and causes of intellectual disabilities; and the nature and characteristics of autism.


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