Aug 12, 2022  
Graduate Catalog | 2018-2019 
Graduate Catalog | 2018-2019 Previous Edition

Special Education, M.A.T.

The Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program is designed for individuals who do not already hold a bachelor’s degree and/or professional teaching license in Special Education. The M.A.T. program is a 39 credit hour program composed of two phases, the Graduate Certificate phase (Phase I) and the Master’s degree completion phase (Phase II). Completion of Phase I of the M.A.T. leads to the North Carolina Standard Professional 1 (SP1) Professional Educator’s License in Special Education. Phase I requires 27 credit hours of coursework, including the graduate internship experience. Upon completion of Phase I, qualified candidates may apply for Phase II to complete the remaining requirements for the Master’s degree and qualify for the North Carolina Standard Professional 2 (SP2) Professional Educator’s License. For more information on the M.A.T., please visit

All courses for both phases of the M.A.T. must be completed within six years. Coursework within Phase I/Graduate Certificate must be completed within four years.

General Requirements for Admission to the Graduate School

Please refer to admission information in The Graduate School  section.

Admission Requirements

Graduate Certificate in Teaching (M.A.T. Phase I Initial licensure only)

  1. An undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited four-year institution
  2. A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (For alternative ways to demonstrate academic competence, contact the Office of Teacher Education Advising and Licensure (TEAL))
  3. Three recommendations from persons knowledgeable of the applicant’s interaction with children or youth
  4. A statement of purpose
  5. A clear criminal background check
  6. Apply online at

M.A.T. (Phase II) Program

  1. Completion of the Graduate Certificate in Teaching
  2. A minimum graduate GPA of 3.5 in the Graduate Certificate in Teaching
  3. Students with a GPA below 3.5 in the Graduate Certificate may be considered for admission to the M.A.T. program with scores above the 30th percentile on either the GRE or Millers Analogies Test
  4. One recommendation from a full-time faculty member who has taught the applicant in the Graduate Certificate in Teaching program
  5. A statement of purpose
  6. Apply online at

Additional Admission Requirements

In addition to the required application materials, candidates must be currently employed as a teacher, teacher assistant, or have taught within the last two years. Candidates must submit proof of employment along with the required application materials.

Degree Requirements: General Curriculum

Degree Requirements: Adapted Curriculum

Clinical Field Experiences

Most courses require students to develop their knowledge, skills, and dispositions in public school settings. These experiences broaden their ability to help all students learn, including children with exceptionalities and students from diverse ethnic/racial, linguistic, gender, and socioeconomic groups. During clinical experiences, students apply research and/or evidence-based practices gained in coursework, analyze P-12 student learning, and develop the ability to positively impact all learners. All students are expected to complete clinical experiences in at least two significantly different settings.

Candidates who are lateral entry teachers and teacher assistants must move beyond their own classrooms and schools for at least two clinical experiences. Alternative settings must be approved by the instructor and may include schools on different schedules, after-school afterschool and summer programs, Saturday programs, and private and charter schools. A limited number of clinical experiences may be approved in significantly different classrooms within their school of employment. Employed candidates are encouraged to seek assistance and support from their administrators.

Capstone Experiences

The capstone experience for the M.A.T. will be fulfilled by completing the SPED 6691  evidence project (Data-based Decision Project).


Upon acceptance into the program, all students are assigned an advisor. Students are expected to meet with their advisor each semester to discuss their coursework.


Upon successful completion of the M.A.T. Phase I/Graduate Certificate, students are recommended for the North Carolina Standard Professional 1 (SP1) Professional Educator’s License. For this initial license, students are required to complete an electronic licensure portfolio that is created during coursework and the internship. Upon successful completion of the M.A.T. Phase II, students are recommended for the North Carolina Standard Professional 2 (SP2) Professional Educator’s License. For the Professional 2 license, students are required to complete an advanced electronic licensure portfolio during coursework.


The instructor of SPED 6691  and one other assigned faculty, serving as a second reviewer, serve as members of the candidate’s culminating committee in completion of the capstone evidence project (Data-based Decision Project).

Program Accreditation/Approval

All teacher education programs at UNC Charlotte are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The M.A.T. in Special Education has been approved by the North Carolina State Board of Education.

Total = 39 Credit Hours