Credit Hours: 33

Learn More about the MAT: Special Education - Adapted Curriculum 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 grades p-12 and gives the student a Masters degree at the same time. 

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.

  • Overview

    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.

    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.

  • Cost

    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.

  • Courses


    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

    • MEDT-6401 - Instructional Technology

      An overview of communication and technology as it relates to teaching and learning. This course includes the design, production and utilization of materials and operation of audiovisual equipment and microcomputers. This course will meet the Georgia Technology certification requirement.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • SPED-6701 - Characteristics and Needs of Students with Severe Disabilities

      A study of the characteristics and needs of persons with severe disabilities with a focus on P-12 students who have severe disabilities. Topics include etiology, definition, typical versus exceptional child development, identification, age- and level-related characteristics, associated conditions, family/community issues, service needs and options, and resources. “Best” teaching practices for these learners will be examined.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • SPED-6705 - Comprehensive Exam for the Master of Arts in Teaching: Special Education

      A comprehensive final examination is administered during the fall, spring, or summer semester immediately preceding graduation to all candidates seeking a Master of Arts in Teaching: Special Education degree. The exam will be proctored either at the UWG campus in a computer lab or through the proctoring services of Distance Education. This course should be taken during the last semester in the program.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • SPED-6706 - Special Education in the Regular Classroom

      Study of characteristics, identification, and support needs of exceptional children and youth. Includes basic teaching strategies and supportive techniques/resources for meeting needs of pupils with special needs in the regular classroom. Designed for non-special education majors. Students must earn a grade of "B" or better in SPED 6706 or department approved alternative to meet 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 for courses completed on or after that date.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • SPED-6709 - Regulations and Requirements in Special Education

      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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    • SPED-6751 - Behavioral Strategies for Students with Severe Disabilities

      An examination of behavioral strategies, particularly those used to teach youngsters with severe disabilities in school programs. Topics to be addressed include related ethical issues, applied behavior analysis, functional behavioral assessment, behavior intervention plans, data collection and analysis, and positive behavioral interventions and support.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • SPED-6776 - Curriculum & Instructional Strategies for Students with Severe Disabilities

      An examination and investigation of appropriate curriculum content and instructional strategies for use with learners who have severe disabilities. Both functional and academic skills domains will be covered. Children of preschool and elementary age will be the focus of this class, although much of the content applies across the lifespan.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • SPED-6777 - Curriculum & Instructional Strategies for Students with Severe Disabilities

      A study of transition services and curriculum and instruction at the secondary level for students with disabilities. This course emphasizes the educator's role in preparation for and implementation of the transition of the students with disabilities from secondary school to adult living. Relevant academics, community-based instruction, work experiences, vocational assessment, preparation, life skills, and interagency collaboration are addressed.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • SPED-6792 - Practicum I: Special Education

      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.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • SPED-6793 - Practicum II: Special Education

      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.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • SPED-7720 - Assessment of Students with Severe Disabilities

      A comprehensive study of diagnosis and assessment in special education, emphasizing tests and measurements, formal and informal assessment, test administration, and use of diagnostic results in educational intervention. The course includes a focus on assessment of students identified as having severe disabilities, those for whom Adapted Curriculum teacher certification is needed.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • SPED-7732 - Collaboration and Inclusion in Programs for Students with Severe Disabilities

      This course addresses teaming relationships and inclusion services, especially as they are relevant for educational programs for preschool and schoolage youngsters with severe disabilities. Collaborative relationships with related services and medical personnel, paraeducators, family members, and representatives of community agencies will be addressed. Considerations for effective service delivery within inclusive school and community settings will be an additional focus of the class, as will examination of cultural diversity variables impacting collaboration and inclusion for this group of learners.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

  • Faculty
  • Admissions

    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 a 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.
    • Passing GACE Program Admission Test scores (formerly called GACE Basic Skills) or ACT/SAT/GRE exemption scores
      • Exemptions:
      • ACT score of 43 or higher (English + Math)
      • SAT exemptions on score reports dated PRIOR to 7/1/19: minimum combined Critical Reading/Verbal and Mathematics score of 1000 OR Evidence Based Reading/Writing and Mathematics (from new SAT administered March 2016 forward) score of 1000
      • SAT exemptions on score reports dated ON or AFTER 7/1/19: minimum combined Evidence Based Reading/Writing and Mathematics score of 1080
      • GRE score of 297 (Verbal + Quantitative) (1030 if prior to 8/1/2011) 
    • Passing GACE Content scores are not required for special education admission
    • Submit proof of GACE Ethics for Educators (test # 350)

    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

    Dr. Trina Wood
    Coordinator for Special Education MAT 
    Phone: 678-839-6164

    Bethany Schmelzer
    Phone: 678-839-5539

  • Dates

    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

  • Objectives
    • 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.