elementary teacher reading a story in class

What does it cost?

Check out our cost calculator or visit student financial services for information on estimated costs.

How long will it take?

Total hours for certification: 33 semester hours.

Where will I take classes?
Atlanta Campus

Application Deadlines View Admissions Requirements

  • Fall: Does Not Admit
  • Spring: Does Not Admit
  • Summer: March 1

Special Education Initial Certification, General Curriculum Pre-Kindergarten Through 12th Grade

Talk to the department
Sanquinette Vaughn
[email protected]

The Georgia State Special Education Initial Certification is a program for those who hold a bachelor’s degree and are seeking initial teacher certification. You must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or demonstrate an exemption and have completed the Georgia Educator Ethics – Program Entry (350) Assessment and have acquired tort liability insurance.

Prior to admissions, we recommend that you refer to financial aid regarding possible funding options.

Education programs leading to professional licensure or certification (nursing, education, social work, counseling, accounting, allied health professions, etc.) may require additional approval from separate licensing boards, depending on the state. Students who live or plan to live outside Georgia and are considering a professional program should contact the appropriate board in their state of residency prior to beginning a course of study. To help students find the best-known contact information for the appropriate state licensing board and for a list of Georgia State program contacts, visit the Student Consumer Information website.

Program Details

Admissions Requirements

When applying to the Special Education – General Curriculum P-12, Non-Degree program, you will need to submit several documents for review.

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee of $50
  • Goals Statement (upload with the application). The statement should adhere to the guidelines below and must address all outlined topics. The goals statement will be assessed on the following: the quality and clarity of your writing, fully covering all topics, and your disposition toward students with disabilities. Guidelines: one-two pages in length, 12 font size, one-inch margins on each side, single-spaced:
    • Describe your experience working with students with disabilities, and what draws you to becoming a teacher.
    • Describe how your strengths, skills, interests, and experiences will contribute to the profession of education.
    • Describe how the professional and academic goals you hope to accomplish by completing this program of study will benefit the students with whom you intend to work.
  • Resume (upload with the application)
  • Two Letters of Recommendation (identify your references on the application)
  • Official Transcript: minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA required for admission
    • submit official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended either electronically to [email protected] or by mailing directly to Georgia State University | Office of Graduate Admissions | P.O. Box 4018 Atlanta, GA 30302
  • To meet certification requirements in Georgia, you will also need to complete the Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment prior to program admission. Visit the Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment or information and how to register for the assessment.

Program of Study

The sequence of required certification courses are as follows:

EPY 2050 Human Growth and Development (3)
EXC 4020 Characteristics and Instructional Strategies for Students with Disabilities (3)
EXC 4650 Opening School Experience (0)
EXC 6560 Educational Evaluation of Students with Disabilities (3)
EXC 6570 Individual and Classroom Management (3)
EXC 6580 Instructional Methods for Students with Behavior Learning Disabilities (3)
EXC 6590 Functional and Social Methods for Students with Behavior Learning Disabilities (3)
EXC 6661 Practicum I: Special Education General Curriculum: Consultative (3)
EXC 6671 Partnerships and Practicum II: Special Education General Curriculum: Consultative (3)
EXC 7190 Alternative Approaches to Literacy Instruction for Students with Disabilities (3)
EDRD 6600 Introduction to Material and Methods of Reading Instruction (3)
EDRD 7650 Individual Literacy Assessment and Instruction (3)

Total hours for certification: 33 semester hours



Graduates will be prepared to work with children and youth with special needs. Graduates are provided coursework and practicum experiences resulting in knowledge of characteristics, curriculum, instructional strategies and classroom management procedures.

Students will learn to work with students in a variety of settings such as:

  • separate specialized schools
  • typical school settings
  • alternative school settings (for example, residential and juvenile justice)
  • cognitive and behavioral specialty agencies


Program Coordinator
Lauren Boden
[email protected]

Learning Sciences
[email protected]

Mailing Address & Office Location
Learning Sciences
College of Education & Human Development, Suite 750
30 Pryor St. SW
Atlanta, GA 30303

College of Education Logo30 Pryor Street SW
Atlanta, GA 30303

The information shared provides an overview of Georgia State’s offerings. For details on admissions requirements, tuition, courses and more, refer to the university catalogs.