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Teaching Special Education Degree Programs in Tennessee

Tennessee has roughly 25 schools that offer special education teaching programs. Get some information about the degree programs and some quick facts for two of these schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

Special education teaching programs are most often found at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. Bachelor's and master's programs in education can both prepare students for initial teacher licensure in their state and are available with special education concentrations for different grade levels and types of disabilities. Such programs include a period of student teaching to allow students to gain experience working with diverse learners.

Licensed teachers can also choose from non-licensure master's and doctoral programs in fields such as instruction and curriculum leadership and teacher education. Often offering a special education concentration, these programs are suitable for those interested in advancing to an educational leadership role and for those who need continuing education to stay licensed.


University of Memphis

Serving over 20,000 students each year, the University of Memphis offers special education teaching programs that are recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children. The Instruction and Curriculum Leadership (ICL) Department at the College of Education offers bachelor's and master's special education programs.

The Bachelor of Science in Education - Teaching All Learners (TAL) program leads to Tennessee licensure in K-6 schools, K-12 schools and modified (mild and moderate disabilities) classrooms. B.S.Ed. students also have the option of completing a 5-year program that leads to licensure in comprehensive (moderate and severe disabilities) classrooms in K-12 schools. Graduate students can choose between Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and Master of Science (MS) programs in instruction and curriculum leadership.

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

U.S. News and World Report ranked University of Tennessee - Knoxville 62nd out of the top 100 education schools in the United States in 2016. Its College of Education, Health and Human Sciences offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees that lead to licensure as special education teachers in Tennessee.

The school's BS in Education program features three special education specialties, including educational interpreting, education of the deaf and hard of hearing, and early childhood special education. Graduates can receive Tennessee licensure to teach in K-12 schools and facilities that support children with disabilities.

Available with non-licensure and licensure options, the MS in Teacher Education program features specializations in early childhood education and education of the deaf and hard of hearing. Study is also available in modified, comprehensive and early childhood special education. The 30-credit Specialist in Education (Ed.S.) program is offered in the concentration of modified, comprehensive and early childhood special education. This program is for professional educators and features both thesis and non-thesis options.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School School Type & Setting Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)
University of Memphis 4-year, public; large city BS in Education - Teaching All Learners,
MAT in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership,
MS in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership
$9,317 (in-state),
$21,029 (out-of-state)*
University of Tennessee - Knoxville 4-year, public; midsize city BS in Education,
MS in Teacher Education,
Ed.S. in Teacher Education
$13,006 (in-state),
$31,426 (out-of-state)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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