Teacher talking to student

Masters in Special Education

What is a master of arts in education – special education?

An M.A.Ed. in Special Education is a master’s program for educators who are seeking focused training to help diverse students with special needs including those with ADHD, dyslexia and other learning and behavioral disabilities.

Why pursue an M.A.Ed. in Special Education at Furman?

In intentionally small classrooms and through a mix of delivery modalities, students in the special education master’s program learn tools to improve the educational outcomes and quality of life for children and adolescents with exceptionalities. Research-based, high-leverage practices in relating to students with special needs give candidates foundational skills to become better educators, adding to a solid teaching certification.

Backed by more than 100 years of experience, Furman’s Department of Education, boasting South Carolina’s first teacher residency program, is nationally recognized. Partner with some of the most respected and caring professors and practitioners in education. Learn more about graduate studies in education and how to apply.

How will you learn?

For teachers, the Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in Learning Disabilities or Emotional/Behavioral Disorders is designed to prepare candidates to address a specific area of special education through courses and practica dealing with the nature of a particular disability. Teachers pursuing the master’s degree learn even more specialized intervention techniques and strategies to deal appropriately with children and adolescents with special needs, while respecting the dignity and worth of all students. In the final practicum, candidates apply their skills and knowledge in a real-world setting.

Careers for M.A.Ed. – Special Education graduates

Graduates of the M.A.Ed. in Special Education program secure access to new professional vocations in a high-demand field across multiple grade levels. Graduates can also look forward to an increase in salary.

Some career possibilities include:

  • Special education certified teacher, middle and/or secondary school
  • Special education certified teacher, preschool, kindergarten or elementary school
  • Early interventionist
  • Inclusionary classroom teacher PK-12
  • District-level curriculum coordinator

M.A.Ed. in Special Education courses: What will you study?

Methods and Assessments for Teaching Individuals with Exceptional Learning Needs


Social and Behavioral Interventions


Practicum in Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities


Practicum in Teaching Students With Emotional Or Behavioral Disabilities


14.4 %
U.S. students (ages 3-21) in special education, 2019-2020
South Carolina students in special education, 2019-2020
Increase in special education students in the U.S. in the last decade
Student to special education teacher ratio in the U.S. based on 2019-2020 data

What our students say

Furman mall

“This program has encouraged me to push boundaries within myself as a teacher and think more thoughtfully about the diverse students in my class. I have experienced great successes through the support of wonderful professors who encouraged me to try new things and ask questions.” – Katie Taylor ’21, M’22, 5th grade teacher, Roebuck Elementary School, Spartanburg District 6

Our faculty

Your academic advisor will help you explore your passions, define your interests and achieve your goals. You’ll tap into a widespread network of community and alumni mentors to help you on your individual educational path – and to the opportunities at the end of it. Pair theory with practice under the expert guidance of faculty who have worked in and led schools at all levels. Furman’s education faculty represent decades of study and real-world expertise. Learn more about graduate studies in education and how to apply.

  • Judy Stuart

    Associate Professor, Education; Coord., Special Education; Human Development

    Judy Stuart

    Judy Stuart

    Associate Professor, Education; Coord., Special Education; Human Development

    Phone Number: 8642943381

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  • Patricia Hensley

    Adjunct Professor

    Patricia Hensley

    Adjunct Professor

    Phone Number:

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  • FAQ

    What can you do with an M.A.Ed. in Special Education?

    Hone teaching skills to address children of all abilities, cast a wider vocational net and elevate your annual salary with a master’s in special education. Some career options include middle school or secondary school special education certified teacher, elementary school special education certified teacher, inclusionary classroom teacher PK-12, early interventionist, and district-level curriculum coordinator, among others.

    What is the average salary for those who hold an M.A.Ed. in Special Education?

    According to payscale.com, the average base salary for those who hold a master’s degree in special education is $63,000.

    In Greenville County Schools, teachers with a master’s draw an annual salary of $46,851 to $76,964 or more, based on years of experience.

    How long does it take to earn an M.A.Ed. in Special Education?

    The M.A.Ed. in Special Education at Furman is a 33-credit program, which includes a mix of online, in-person and hybrid courses. The master’s is typically completed within a year and a half to two years depending on when the candidate begins the program.

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