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Special Education Graduate Programs

The Special Education program offers the following graduate degree programs:

  • Master of Science in Teacher Education (MS), Special Education Concentration
    1. Masters’ Degree (Track 1)- those with Special Education Transitional License or hold a current TN teaching license
    2. Masters’ Degree (Track 2)- Students seeking initial (apprentice) licensure
  • Specialist in Education (EdS), Special Education Concentration
  • Doctorate Degree (PhD), Special Education, Deaf Education & Interpreter Education Concentration

The University of Tennessee’s Special Education Graduate Programs provide advanced professional development to individuals who want to teach children with disabilities from birth through high school, as well as an initial (apprentice) Special Education licensure option for teachers who are teaching on a Transitional License, or teachers already TN certified in another field and seeking an additional licensure endorsement in Special Education.

Program Overview

Students gain advanced knowledge, skills, and competencies of best practices in teaching, evidence-based strategies, student learning, classroom management, transition, and serving special needs students in a variety of settings. The program stresses field-based learning and experiences while offering ample opportunities to participate in teaching, research, and service. Basic requirements include a core of courses and field-based competencies common to all areas of special education including high incidence disabilities, low incidence disabilities, early childhood education, and general education. Field experiences are a key component of your individual program of studies. Emphasizing service delivery, classroom techniques and advanced professional skills, the Special Education Graduate Program aims to produce effective, more than certified, teachers capable of providing excellent services to students with disabilities.

The curriculum emphasizes collaboration and sensitivity to prepare educators for working with and supporting parents and co-educators. Open to students from a variety of academic backgrounds and careers, the Special Education Graduate Programs blend theory, research, and practice to support the immediate professional needs of teachers in all stages of their careers. The program’s practitioner orientation and personal approach serve a critical market need by training future leaders in special education. Partnerships with schools create numerous opportunities for students seeking field experience and professional development. UT’s close ties to school systems and state agencies provide training as well as affiliations with prospective employers. Aligned with new performance-based standards set forth by the Tennessee Department of Education and the Council for Exceptional Children, the program promotes a high level of mastery of skills necessary for effective teaching and school leadership.

Admissions Info

For a complete description of Graduate admission and application information, please see the TPTE Graduate Admissions.

To view the course of study

Please follow this link to the UT Graduate Catalog.

  1. Select the appropriate catalog from the dropdown menu on the right.
  2. Select the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.
  3. Scroll to TPTE and select “Display Programs for this Department.”
  4. Click on the appropriate program to see the credit requirements and admission procedures for each program.