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M.A.Ed. - Curriculum & Instruction - Special Education

Do you dream of making a difference in the lives of young people? Make it a reality with an M.A.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in Special Education. Our program focuses on integrating theory, research and practice so that in one year, you’ll be ready to step into the classroom with the knowledge, skills and strategies to confidently teach students with varying disabilities (e.g., learning disabilities, emotional disabilities, intellectual disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, autism spectrum disorders).

This program is designed as a full-time, 12-month (summer, fall, spring) program in which students complete all requirements as a cohort. This model provides for an intensive and rewarding experience and creates a strong network of support among students, faculty, cooperating teachers and university supervisors. Part-time options for program completion are also available.

Note: Applications for full-time study are considered with the January 15th application deadline date, and applications for part-time study are considered with the October 1 and January 15th deadline dates.


Graduate students in the Special Education complete a 37-semester hour program that includes educational foundations course work, methods courses in elementary school subject fields, and student teaching experiences. Visit the M.A.Ed. Special Education Program of Studies for course names and sequence. 

Field Experiences

Clinical experiences are a complement to and an integral component of the teacher preparation program in the School of Education. Throughout the program, preservice teachers have experiences in a variety of settings and with diverse populations at our partnering public schools. These experiences serve as a bridge between the knowledge, skills, and dispositions developed through formal course work and the practical application of those professional attributes as a teacher candidate and, subsequently, as a classroom teacher.

During the fall and spring semesters, students in our special education program spend time in the field to practice their teaching skills, interact with students, reflect on the experiences, and learn about the ecosystem of schools. These field activities prepare candidates for a five-week, immersive student teaching experience in both the fall and spring semesters. As a K-12 program, special education candidates are placed in an elementary setting one semester and in a secondary school during the other semester. The student teaching internships are intensive and critical components of our students’ preparation as a special educator.


Students who successfully complete our Special Education program will be eligible to apply for licensure in Special Education General Curriculum K-12 in the state of Virginia. Learn more about applying for licensure.

Testing Requirements

All teacher candidates must obtain passing scores on the professional teacher assessments prescribed by the Virginia Board of Education. At William & Mary, all required licensure tests are also graduation requirements; therefore, the appropriate tests must be completed regardless of a teacher candidate’s decision to apply for a teaching license. Learn more about testing requirements.

Special Education Program Contact

[[dlrame, Debbie Ramer]]
(757) 221-2329

Download Program Fast Facts (PDF)