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Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.): Special Education

General Curriculum: K–12 with Licensure

The School of Education through Liberty University Online offers numerous graduate programs at the master’s level. The Master of Arts in Teaching is designed for the candidate who does not have prior teaching experience. This is the perfect program for the individual interested in earning his/her teaching licensure in special education with a focus in general curriculum.

Courses allow the candidate to specialize in one of four licensure specializations, and the candidate must choose a specialization. Student teaching requirements will also be completed in the specialized licensure field. Licensure in the state of Virginia requires that the candidate meets all of the necessary criteria.

Certain prerequisites may be required by Liberty University’s School of Education for those seeking to become candidates in the master's program, specifically from candidates with a non-educational undergraduate background or who meets the equivalent of an academic major in a liberal arts area.

Reciprocity with other states may be available. For state approval information, visit


General Information

  • Optional Intensives: EDUC 504, 622, and 623
  • Field Experiences: EDUC 500, 521, 524, 525, 530, 554, 622, 623, and 59X
  • 3.0 GPA

Gate Information

  • Gate 1: Admission into Liberty University
  • Gate 2: Program Status Check
    • Verbal and Math Assessment testing requirements (passing scores required prior to applying for Gate 2)
      • VCLA
      • Praxis Core Mathematics (or SAT/ACT/GRE exemption scores)
      • Praxis Core Reading (or SAT/ACT/GRE exemption scores)
      • Praxis Core Writing (effective 12/1/2019)
  • Gate 3: Program Admission & Student Teaching Application
    • Licensure tests
      • Praxis Core Mathematics (or SAT/ACT/GRE exemption scores)
      • Praxis Core Reading (or SAT/ACT/GRE exemption scores; effective for 2/1/2019 Gate 3 deadline)
      • Praxis Core Writing (effective for 2/1/2020 Gate 3 deadline)
      • VCLA
      • RVE
      • Praxis Subject Assessment (Special Education)
  • Gate 4: Licensure Application

Framework and Dispositions

The mission of the School of Education at Liberty University is to develop competent professionals with a biblical worldview for Christian, public, and private schools. The faculty of the School of Education has delineated the dispositions that must be observable in each candidate of our programs at all levels:

  • Displays a sense of social responsibility
  • Demonstrates commitment/work ethic
  • Demonstrates reflective practice
  • Displays personal integrity
  • Displays professionalism

Program Information

Degree Completion Plan

Course Sequencing Guide

Transfer Credit

Candidates may request to transfer up to 12 graduate credit hours into the M.A.T./M.E.D. program. Capstones and most courses that require field experience are not eligible to be transferred. Courses must not be older than 5 years.

Background Check

The School of Education strives to produce educators who model high standards before their peers. In keeping with this mission, candidates will complete a variety of field experiences in the K–12 school system as part of his/her program. Background checks have become a requirement in our partnerships with the school system. Out of respect for this, we require all candidates to complete a background check through CastleBranch.


During your time in the M.A.T. program, you will have the option to complete several residential intensives on our beautiful campus in Lynchburg, Virginia. We are confident that your academic journey will be enhanced by this experience as you engage with Liberty University faculty and staff, explore our expanding 7,000-acre campus, and build relationships with your classmates.

Field Experience

Early and ongoing field experiences are crucial for initial and advanced licensure preparation. The continuum of field experiences required in Liberty University’s program includes practicums in PreK–12 settings and culminates in either student teaching or internship during the final semester.

For Kentucky candidates: prior to Gate 3 acceptance, each candidate shall complete a minimum of 200 clock hours of field experiences in a variety of primary through grade 12 (P-12) school settings.


The Gate system is designed as a set of checkpoints to ensure that candidates have completed the necessary requirements to successfully complete the program. The Gate system is an important part of maintaining a quality program as required by our licensing and accrediting bodies.

Licensure Information

Candidates who are interested in a teaching or advanced state license must complete a Virginia Department of Education approved program. To be eligible for verification forms for other states, the licensure office must verify that the candidate has completed one of our approved licensure programs. Programs that lead to licensure will involve coursework, licensure tests, and student teaching or internship.

Adding a content endorsement (elementary and/or secondary) is strongly recommended. A content endorsement is required in some states for special education license or to be considered highly qualified. Contact your academic advisor for more information.

Candidates teaching in Virginia who already holds a teaching license may add an additional endorsement to the license by passing additional Praxis Subject Assessment exams. This testing option does not apply to candidates who are seeking an elementary education endorsement.

To apply for a Virginia license, candidates must submit proof of a social security number (SSN). If the candidate does not have an SSN, the candidate must apply for an SSN.

Student Teaching

Student teaching requires a Full Semester (15 weeks) commitment to the classroom (all day, every day) in the last semester of the degree program. It is the culmination of all coursework and pre-professional experience. All Teacher Competency Assessments must be met during the student teaching placement. Therefore, it is important to prepare thoroughly and decrease outside responsibilities during this semester.

  • Per Kentucky EPSB regulations, Kentucky candidates are not permitted to be employed in the school in which they are completing student teaching. 

Teacher Competency Assessment (TCA)

The Teacher Competency Assessments are evaluations completed by the Cooperating Teachers/On-Site Mentor as an assessment of the Student Teacher’s overall performance. Student Teachers will be responsible for meeting all of the competencies outlined in the assessment for their endorsement area(s).

Handbook and Forms

Approved by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). This degree is also a Virginia state-approved program for initial licensure. Our program is designed to support edTPA.

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