The MA in special education prepares students to design and implement curricula, services and research across school, clinical, home and/or community settings. The program culminates in a thesis.

The mission of the special education program is to prepare highly skilled teachers and teacher-educators, as well as to provide leadership to the field of special education at local, state, national and international levels for the purpose of assisting individuals with disabilities in acquiring greater independence in an increasingly diverse, technological, and literacy-intensive global community. Philosophically, research-based theory and practice are the foundation of our preparation of teachers and teacher-educators, as well as related-service and leadership personnel. Special education is also committed to the preparation of personnel who celebrate and foster inclusion, diversity, and multiculturalism.

Degree Awarded: MA

Degree Code: 2437

Master (M.Ed. and M.A.) degree programs in special education prepare teachers to have advanced competencies in the areas of assessment, positive behavioral supports and specialized instructional methods. Competency in these areas is obtained through didactic and field experiences. Students may major in behavioral disorders, early childhood special education, learning disabilities, or mental retardation. All programs are approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission for State Teaching Certification and use the Council for Exceptional Children’s (CEC) standards for special education teachers.

The educational specialist program in special education is a post master degree program. It provides a competency based approach to advanced study for those preparing for leadership positions in applied settings. Although the Ed.S. degree may become the final degree for many individuals, obtaining this degree does not preclude the Ed.S. graduate from later becoming a candidate for the Ph.D. degree. Coursework and resident credit used to satisfy the Ed.S. degree, however, cannot be used to satisfy the requirements of a doctoral degree. Students may seek certification in behavior disorders, learning disabilities, mental retardation, special education administration, or early childhood special education.

The doctoral program in special education is available to a limited number of students who show promise of becoming leaders in the field of special education. It emphasizes a competency-based approach that is product-based. Doctoral students are prepared for college instruction, research, and school and/or clinical practice. Programs are planned to develop a mastery of the comprehensive field of each profession respectively and to encourage a breadth of understanding of related disciplines.

School/College: College of Education

Aderhold Hall
Athens, GA 30602-7101


Academic Department: Communication Sciences and Special Education

Aderhold Hall
Athens, GA 30602-7152

Graduate Coordinator: Thomas Clees


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