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The MEd in Special Education is for students entering the master's program who have completed undergraduate training in a teacher education field and who have a teaching certificate. This advanced program includes the study of research methods and findings that allow students to become skilled consumers. What makes your MEd experience unique is the formal research done as part of your final applied project.

Prepare to work with children birth through age 5 both with and without disabilities. The Birth Through Kindergarten/Preschool Special Education emphasis promotes developmentally appropriate inclusive and collaborative teaching practices. Our graduates specialize in providing engaging instruction and support to young children and their families. The special education program recommends to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission that a graduate be awarded a clear renewable teaching certificate in Birth through Kindergarten and Preschool Special Education.

This program has a limited number of federally funded fellowships available through the PIPs project.

Training in this program prepares pre-service teachers to teach in inclusive early learning, preschool, prekindergarten, and kindergarten programs, along with early intervention (0-3) and preschool intervention (3-5) programs.

Program Highlights

  1. Earn certificate upgrade in special education and an early childhood education field
  2. Diverse career opportunities available in home, center, and public school settings
  3. Opportunities to have an effect on the development of young learners and their families
  4. Funding available through the PIPs Project

Deadline to Apply

April 1 (summer and fall), November 1 (spring)
Assistantship-seeking applicants: January 1

Faculty and Curriculum

The minimum 36 hours of coursework includes required courses and applied research individualized to the student's career objectives. This allows students to gain advanced knowledge and skills in various special education topic areas and across the lifespan.

Master's students are required to complete an "applied project" rather than a typical thesis. These projects consist of extensive research and writing a proposal while enrolled in an independent study course the semester prior to the project's anticipated start.

Once the proposal is approved by the student's advisor, it is implemented the following semester. The project is completed "in the field" with real students and actual strategies gleaned from the research. Completed works are presented to a graduate committee, and must be approved by a clear majority before the student is allowed to graduate.

For Birth through Kindergarten students, coursework includes:

  • Infant/toddler development and teaching methods
  • Preschool curriculum development
  • Observation and assessment techniques
  • Communication and language development
  • Teaching methods for children with developmental delays
  • Applied Behavior Analysis

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

Meet Your Advisor

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.

Find your advisor

Student Life

An emphasis is placed on providing our students with many different opportunities to participate in applied research at all levels. Many participate in research projects and others volunteer at local organizations such as Extra Special People and join student organizations such as Special Olympics at UGA or AutismUGA.

The program has a student chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children. This professional organization promotes the advancement and education of people with exceptionalities. The local chapter is made up of undergraduate and graduate students, and is supported by faculty advisors. This is a great way to connect with others who hold your same interests and to be informed about legislative issues for students with special needs.

Book a campus visit

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.

Schedule a visit


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 MEd in Special Education (Birth Through Kindergarten/Preschool 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.
  • GRE or Miller Analogies Test scores
    Minimum GRE results of 146 verbal and 146 quantitative; alternatively, applicants may choose to take the Miller Analogies Test. We require a minimum score of 402 for the Miller Analogies Test.
  • GPA
    Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.7 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?

  1. Resumé/vita


Potential students who are interested in participating in the PIPs Project, a joint effort between the Communication Sciences and Disorders program and the Special Education B-K program that provides interdisciplinary training to support young children with high intensity needs across a variety of settings, can apply for funding.

Apply for Funding

Applicants will be admitted based on the faculty's evaluation of undergraduate GPA, GRE/MAT (and TOEFL where relevant) scores, quality of essay, letters of recommendations, and resume.

Returning Applicants

Completed application due:
April 1 (summer and fall), November 1 (spring)
Assistantship-seeking applicants: January 1

Log into existing application

Program Resources

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