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MA in Education (Special Education)

The master’s degree programs in special education prepare teachers to design and implement curricula for individuals with disabilities in a variety of settings. At the masters level, the purpose of our program is to prepare teachers to provide exemplary, evidence-based services for individuals with disabilities. This program includes a thesis.


  1. Flexible enrollment—attend-part time or full-time
  2. Get a degree in two years
  3. Focus on applied research and evidence-based instruction
  4. Funding opportunities available


You may choose to specialize in one of three areas:

General Curriculum

An emphasis in general curriculum is for those interested in working with students with mild disabilities who are primarily following the general curriculum. The special education students who are most frequently served in these settings include those with behavior disorders, learning disabilities, mild intellectual disabilities, other health impaired, and some students with autism or Asperger’s.

Adapted Curriculum/Autism

This emphasis is for students interested in working with those who have moderate to severe autism and developmental disabilities. Training in this emphasis prepares you to work in an adapted curriculum, which means it does not follow the typical general curriculum used in most classrooms.

Birth Through Kindergarten

The birth through kindergarten/preschool emphasis prepares professionals to work with children birth through age 5 both with and without disabilities. Training in this program prepares you for inclusive early learning, preschool, pre-k and kindergarten programs, along with early intervention (0-3) and preschool intervention (3-5) programs.

How to Apply

Part 1: Apply to the University of Georgia

The Graduate School handles admission for all graduate programs at the University of Georgia, including those in the College of Education. The Graduate School website contains important details about the application process, orientation, and many other useful links to guide you through the process of attending UGA at the graduate level.

Start A Graduate School Application

Part 2: Apply to the M.A. in Education (Special Education)

Students who meet all of the following requirements are eligible to apply:

  • Professional preparation
    Earned, or will have earned, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution before the date of enrollment at the University of Georgia.
  • GPA
    Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 for all courses taken.
    Foreign applicants will also need to score a minimum of 20 points each on the Speaking and Writing sections of the TOEFL with an overall minimum score of 80. Test scores must be within 5 years from the date of application.

In the Graduate School application, students should upload the following items:

  1. Statement of purpose
    Please submit a two page, single-spaced statement of purpose, outlining your teaching philosophy, experience and career goals, as well as answering the following questions:
    • What types of disabilities do you have experience with and envision yourself working with?
    • In what setting would you like to work (e.g., school, clinic, home-based)?
    • What is your primary age/grade of interest?
  2. Résumé/vita

This program takes a holistic approach to admissions and does not require standardized testing scores to be submitted, e.g. no GRE or MAT scores are required.

Admissions decisions will be based on the faculty’s evaluation of undergraduate and graduate GPA, quality of the essay, letters of recommendation, resumé, and TOEFL scores (where relevant).

Deadline to Apply

  • January 1 (Summer and Fall)
  • November 1 (Spring)

Login to existing application

Additional Resources

Please use our online form if you have any questions for the department. Please be as specific as possible so that we may quickly assist you.

Faculty and Advisors

The College’s programs are taught by dedicated faculty who are experts in a range of areas and are passionate about helping students succeed both in their programs and professionally.

Meet the Faculty

Most graduate students at UGA are not assigned to a faculty advisor until after admittance. A close working relationship with your advisor is paramount to progressing through your program of study.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Almost all in-state students begin their studies at UGA paying limited tuition or fees. Please note that these amounts are subject to change and are meant to give prospective students an idea of the costs associated with a degree at the University of Georgia College of Education.

Students may qualify for a variety of assistantships, scholarships, and other financial awards to help offset the cost of tuition, housing, and other expenses.

Tuition Rates   Browse Financial Aid

Student Life

Students have many opportunities to participate in research at all levels. Many participate in research projects, and others volunteer at local organizations such as Extra Special People , or join student organizations such as Special Olympics at UGA or AutismUGA.

The program has a student chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children, which promotes the advancement and education of people with exceptionalities. The local chapter includes undergraduate and graduate students and is a great way to connect with others who hold your same interests and stay informed about legislative issues for students with special needs.

See for yourself how much UGA College of Education has to offer! Schedule a tour of campus to learn more about the UGA student experience.

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