Aug 14, 2022  
Graduate Catalog | 2020-2021 
Graduate Catalog | 2020-2021 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 35-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 21 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.

All courses for both phases of the M.A.T. must be completed within seven years. Coursework within Phase I/Graduate Certificate must be completed within five 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 college or university accredited by an accepted accrediting body
  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

Phase I: Graduate Certificate (21 credit hours)


Select one of the following concentrations and its requirements:

Internship/Student Teaching (3-6 credit hours)

An internship is required for Graduate Certificate students. The graduate-level internship is the culminating experience of the Graduate Certificate program, offering students the opportunity to demonstrate their readiness for the North Carolina Standard Professional 1 (SP1) Professional Educator’s License.  Students are assigned to an appropriate classroom for a full-time semester-long experience under the supervision of the classroom teacher and University faculty.  This internship can be done in a student’s place of employment or the University can find placement for the student.  Residency teachers and teacher assistants must contact the Office of School and Community Partnerships to determine the appropriateness of their classroom for the internship experience and licensure requirements. This contact should take place at least one semester before the internship.

Select one of the following:

Phase II: Completion of the M.A.T. (14 credit hours)

Concentration Courses (5 credit hours)

Select one of the following concentrations and its requirements based on the concentration completed during Phase I:

Capstone Experience (1 credit hour)

The capstone experience for the M.A.T. is fulfilled by completing the evidence project (Data-Based Decision Project) in SPED 6691 .  Candidates must be employed as a teacher during the semester of taking SPED 6691  or have completed at least one year of successful employment within the two years prior to enrolling in SPED 6691 .

Degree Total = 35 Credit Hours

Clinical Field Experiences

Most courses require candidates to develop their knowledge, skills, and dispositions in public school settings. These experiences broaden their ability to help all students learn, including children/youth with exceptionalities and students from diverse ethnic/racial, linguistic, gender, and socioeconomic groups. During clinical experiences, candidates 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 candidates are expected to complete clinical experiences in at least two significantly different settings.

Candidates who are residency 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, afterschool, 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.


Upon acceptance into the program, all candidates are assigned an advisor.  Candidates 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, candidates are recommended for the North Carolina Standard Professional 1 (SP1) Professional Educator’s License.  Upon successful completion of the M.A.T. Phase II, candidates are recommended for the North Carolina Standard Professional 2 (SP2) Professional Educator’s License.

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.