Program Contact

Jessica Hunt
Associate Professor, Mathematics Education and Special Education

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

Special Education

The NC State University MAT degree program in special education prepares candidates to teach in K-12 schools in the U.S. Graduates earn both an initial NC teaching license in Special Education: General Curriculum and a Master’s degree. In the MAT curriculum graduate students expand their knowledge of pedagogy and are exposed to ways in which to integrate practice with theory, as well as to experience today’s culturally diverse and technology-enhanced classrooms. The MAT program in special education is designed for those who hold a Bachelor’s degree but do not hold a valid NC teaching license. In addition, in order to be eligible for admittance, applicants must already have at least 6 college-level credit hours (with a grade of “B” or better) in each of the following content areas: English, Social Studies, Math, and Science.  Candidates lacking in these content area courses can complete them at another college or university or as a NDS (non-degree student) at NC State prior to admission.

Important Dates
June 1, 2020
Application deadline for Fall

Program Description

The MAT program at NC State University follows a mixed instructional model that includes courses that are online, face-to-face on campus, a mix of online and face-to-face (i.e., hybrid), as well as Distance Education off campus (i.e., in schools not far from the NC State campus in Raleigh). A total of 33 credit hours are required to complete the MAT degree program in special education (see below). Students are allowed to enroll in either part- or full-time status and begin studies in the spring, fall, or summer academic terms.

In order to satisfactorily complete the MAT program all students must pass the edTPA assessment protocol, which “is a performance-based, subject-specific assessment and support system used by teacher preparation programs throughout the U.S. to emphasize, measure, and support the skills and knowledge that all teachers need from Day 1 in the classroom” (see Similarly, in order to receive initial teaching licensure in NC Exceptional Children: General Curriculum, all MAT special education graduates must pass the state of NC Foundations of Reading test, as well as the General Curriculum test administered by the NCDPI (see

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from a college or university that holds regional accreditation from a recognized accrediting agency (e.g., Southern Association of Colleges and Schools—SACS)
  • 3.00 GPA or higher in prior college work, as required by the Graduate School
  • For International Students: Minimum passing score of 100 on the TOEFL, and an official, course-by-course evaluation from an accredited foreign credential evaluation service required for applicants with non-U.S. degrees. Please note that the MAT degree is a Distance Education program, so students on university-sponsored visas are not eligible for this program. Please contact the Office of International Services with any questions (see
  • Up to 12 credit hours with a grade of “B” or better can be transferred into the MAT degree program (either from NDS studies at NC State or from partner institutions). See the NCSU Graduate School policies at

Course of Study

MAT participants can undertake this program full-time or part-time. Depending on the content area, the program is approximately 33 credit hours, including a full-semester student teaching experience.


Course descriptions can be found in the NC State University catalog at .

MAT Core Courses (15 credits required of all MAT students): 

  • ED 507—Principles of Developing and Interpreting Assessment (2 hrs.)
  • ED 508—Exploring Diversity in Classroom and Community (3 hrs.)
  • ED 570—Classroom Action Research (1 hr.)
  • ED 571—Inquiry and Professional Development (1 hr.)
  • ECI 579—Organization and Behavioral Management of Inclusive Classrooms

(3 hrs.)*

  • ED 572—Teacher Leadership (1 hr.)
  • ED 569—Teaching Internship: MAT (4 hrs.)

Special Education Area Required Courses:

  • ECI 571—Methods & Materials in Learning Disabilities (3 hrs.)
  • ECI 576—Teaching Functional and Life Skills to Students with Disabilities

(3 hrs.)

  • ECI 581—Educational Diagnosis and Prescription For Children With

Exceptionalities (3 hrs.)

  • ECI 584—Intervention for Behavior Problems of Students with Disabilities

(3 hrs.)

  • ECI 585—Education of Exceptional Children (3 hrs.)
  • ECI 681—Seminar in Special Education Literacy (3 hrs.)

Note: In rare cases the advisor may substitute or add one or more other special education courses dependent upon the individual student circumstances.

* ECI 579 Organization and Behavioral Management of Inclusive Classrooms is a required course for all MAT students regardless of specialization area. Special education MAT students, however, take the cross-listed course, ECI 579/573–Organization and Behavioral Management of Inclusive Classrooms/Applied Behavior Analysis for Teachers.

Additional Info

CAEP_LogoCost will vary based on your plan of study. The 15 core MAT classes are all Distance Education (DE) and will have DE tuition. The specialty courses are on campus, online or a hybrid. Students typically enroll in 9-10 hours per semester and classes are paid on a per-semester basis. This does not include additional content courses, if they are needed.

Example total program estimate: (North Carolina Residents) for MAT in Special Education 2014-2015: $13,050 (for all 33 hours)

Visit the NC State’s Graduate Distance Education Tuition rates page for detailed information about tuition and fees.