Best Online
Special Education Master’s Programs

2017_MastersDegree.com-best-online-programs-special-educationAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, special education educators earn a median pay of $55,060 annually, however these earnings can grow considerably based on a teacher’s education level, with master’s degree holders in principal positions reporting a median annual pay of $87,760. Added to that are further reports, also from the BLS, that schools are struggling to find and hire an acceptable amount of licensed Special Education teachers.

Many online master’s programs in special education are designed to prepare current teachers for state certification in special education instruction for either elementary, secondary or middle school age groups. Educators who hold a master’s degree and additional license credentials can qualify for various career options, including: school principal, assistant principal, instructional coordinator and school counselor.

The following list is comprised of institutions that provide the best online master’s degree program in special education. Be sure to explore our ranking methodology and bookmark this list to help with your graduate program search.

Our Methodology

Our rankings methodology begins with two crucial factors:

The school's commitment to consistently rewarding degrees - We pit the number of students awarded a master's degree in the most recent academic year against total graduate student enrollment for the same year. The more degrees awarded, relative to the student population, the more the school prioritizes helping their students complete programs and obtain degrees.

The school's commitment to online graduate education - We look at the total number of master's programs offered by a school compared to the number of online master's programs offered. This tells us the school is committed to providing a quality, online program that compliments, or even goes beyond, their on-campus graduate offerings. It is also an indicator of the school's commitment to working students who need no small amount of flexibility in order to pursue an education and advance their career.

From there, we confirmed that the school offered the following services, as reported by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS):

  • Academic/Career Counseling Service
  • Employment Services for Students
  • Placement Services for Completers

These services are the essential indicator that a school understands how to bridge the gap between their online master's programs and the working world. Any school lacking in these basic services was not included in our final list.

All data referenced above is sourced from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, overseen by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Special Education Resources

  1. 1

    Georgetown College

    Location

    Georgetown, KY

    Tuition

    • $5,400 annually

    School Type

    Private (Non Profit)

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • SACS/CC

    What to Expect

    • Georgetown College provides prospective special education teachers with two master's degree options: the MA in Education with Learning and Behavioral Disorders (LBD) Certification and the Combined Master's in Education with the LBD/Moderate to Severe Disabilities (MSD) Certification and Rank I. Classes are hosted fully online, however students will need to complete fieldwork experiences at a local school approved by Georgetown.

      • To meet admissions requirements, applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 and submit test scores for the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam and the GRE.
      • The Graduate Education department notes that applicants might be eligible for tuition assistance through KY Traineeship for Special Education.

    The Online Environment

    • Georgetown College uses the Moodle learning management system to deliver online course materials to students enrolled in these graduate programs. Distance learners gain access to standard tech support five days a week, with extended after-hours assistance over the weekends. Prospective students interested in either of these online programs should contact the Graduate Admissions Office via email or phone.

  2. 2

    Campbellsville University

    Location

    Campbellsville, KY

    Tuition

    • $7,920 annually

    School Type

    Private (Non Profit)

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • SACS/CC

    What to Expect

    The Online Environment

    • Distance learners attending Campbellsville University use the Moodle learning management system to access online course materials and discussions. Moodle supports a wide range of digital interactions, such as classroom messaging, assignment submission, quizzes and discussion boards. Prospective students are encouraged to contact the Online Admissions and Academic Advising coordinators with questions regarding these distance learning graduate programs.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • These programs have been distinguished by U.S. News and World Report, earning a #70 ranking for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.
  3. 3

    Concordia University in Saint Paul

    Location

    Saint Paul, MN

    Tuition

    • $8,550 annually

    School Type

    Private (Non Profit)

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • NCACS/THLC

    What to Expect

    • Two of Concordia University's campuses offer a total of six different graduate degrees relevant to the field of special education. The Saint Paul location offers three Master of Arts in Special Education tracks with varying licensure options, while the Chicago campus offers Master of Arts degrees with specializations in either Special Education or Early Childhood Special Education.

      • All coursework can be completed fully online.
      • Prospective students need either a valid Minnesota teaching license to study online through the Saint Paul institution or a valid Illinois teaching license to attend online courses facilitated by the Chicago institution.
      • Applicants do not need GRE scores to be considered for admission.

    The Online Environment

    • Concordia University uses the Blackboard learning management system across its various campuses. This system supports virtual classroom files and interactions such as syllabi, assignments, reading materials and discussion boards. Future students are encouraged to register for virtual or face-to-face informational meetings online or by contacting the Graduate Information Offices at the Saint Paul or Chicago campuses.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • Concordia University's St. Paul institution has been ranked #55 on the U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs list.
  4. 4

    University of Alaska – Southeast

    Location

    Juneau, AK

    Tuition

    • $7,820 annually-in-state
    • $15,980 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • NCCU

    What to Expect

    • Future special education instructors can choose from two e-learning degree options at the University of Alaska: a Master of Education (MEd) in Special Education or a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Special Education. While most of the curriculum is delivered online, some courses rely heavily on audio teleconferencing.

      • To apply to either program, prospective students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, a bachelor's degree, two letters of recommendation and a writing sample.
      • Additionally, MAT applicants must pass a PRAXIS exam, while M.Ed. applicants must hold a valid teaching certificate.

    The Online Environment

    • The University of Alaska relies on the Blackboard course management system to deliver online content to students and instructors. Through this system, distance learners gain access to their syllabi, important course announcements, discussions, shared academic files and virtual web meetings. Prospective students can try the Blackboard system and check out classroom home pages and portfolios by visiting the UAS Online webpage.

  5. 5

    Mansfield University of Pennsylvania

    Location

    Mansfield, PA

    Tuition

    • $7,956 annually-in-state
    • $11,934 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • MSCHE

    What to Expect

    • Mansfield students, referred to as "Mounties," can earn a Master of Education (M.Ed.) Special Education degree through a certification or non-certification track. The coursework is offered online, however students must also complete 90 hours of fieldwork in a special education setting before graduation.

      • To meet the admissions requirements, applicants must hold a current Pennsylvania teaching certificate, an undergraduate degree and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
      • In addition to a completed admissions form, future students must submit a letter of recommendation, official transcripts and a completed Pennsylvania Criminal Record check.
      • Applicants who wish to pursue the licensure track must also provide proof of liability insurance and PRAXIS I scores.
      • Students enrolling in these programs might be eligible for departmental awards, such as the Michele A. Towers Memorial Scholarship.

    The Online Environment

    • Mansfield students use the Desire2Learn (D2L) platform to access online course materials and discussions. This learning management system allows students to participate in a virtual classroom environment that includes forum discussions, quizzes and a file dropbox for turning in assignments. Prospective students interested in these distance learning graduate programs can learn more by contacting the Department of Education and Special Education chairperson.

  6. 6

    National University

    Location

    La Jolla, CA

    Tuition

    • $10,368 annually

    School Type

    Private (Non Profit)

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • WASC/SCUC

    What to Expect

    • This academic institution provides future educators with a total of six online graduate degree options. Students can choose from a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program with specializations in Autism or Special Education, or a Master of Science in Special Education program with one of four specializations: General Special Education, Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, Mild/Moderate Disabilities and Moderate/Severe Disabilities.

      • The MS in Special Education can be obtained by California residents only due to state teaching credential, student teaching and internship requirements.
      • The coursework for these programs is offered completely online.
      • To meet graduate admissions requirements, students must have a bachelor's degree and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.

    The Online Environment

    • National University uses the eCollege platform to provide students with a virtual classroom. This system supports multiple computer and mobile device platforms, including: iOS, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Mac OS X. Interested applicants are invited to test the eCollege platform by taking a demo course. eCollege features several noteworthy learning tools, like the Class Live Pro chat system, message boards, interactive 3D multimedia, eTextbooks, wikis, blogs and flash cards. Future students can learn more about these graduate programs by contacting the Department Chair of Special Education.

  7. 7

    Graceland University

    Location

    Lamoni, IA

    Tuition

    • $6,510 annually

    School Type

    Private (Non Profit)

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • NCACS/THLC

    What to Expect

    • Graceland University provides aspiring teachers with a Master of Education in Mild/Moderate Special Education degree program with a completely online curriculum. Upon completion, graduates will be eligible for Special Education licensure in the states of Iowa and Missouri. This program generally takes two years to complete.

      To meet the requirements for admission, applicants must already have:

      • A bachelor's degree in education
      • A current teaching license
      • One year of experience in teaching
      • Two reference letters
      • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
      • Completion of an undergraduate course in special education

    The Online Environment

    • This academic institution utilizes the eCollege learning management system, which provides students and instructors with access to an online student orientation, virtual classroom environments and IT support. Prospective students are invited to take a demo course to see what distance learning is like. Future students should also reach out to the Master of Education to learn more about this distance program.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • The graduate programs for teachers at Graceland University have been honored with the #11 rank on the U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs list.

    • The ease with which the university delivers the courses makes it very convenient for a working professional with a family, such as myself, to complete the program. The courses are laid out in a way that allows the student to have a full understanding of the expectations and be able to have constant access to the professor through a variety of communication methods.

      Bonnie Crowell, Master of Education in Mild/Moderate Special Education
  8. 8

    Marian University

    Location

    Fond Du Lac, WI

    Tuition

    • $4,410 annually

    School Type

    Private (Non Profit)

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • NCACS/THLC

    What to Expect

    • The Master of Arts in Education (MAE) Special Education program features courses held online, along with a field experience requirement conducted in a special education setting. Due to licensure requirements, some states restrict their distance-based students from enrolling in Marian online, including Arkansas, Alabama and Iowa (currently pending).

      • To apply, prospective students must already have a valid Wisconsin teaching license or must be able to obtain one before the field experience portion of the program, but not necessarily prior to enrolling.
      • To learn more about the application requirements for this graduate program, students must contact a Marian University admission officer.
      • Upon completion of this degree program, graduates will gain licensure in Specific Learning Disabilities and Special Education for Cross Categorical.

    The Online Environment

    • This Catholic university uses the MyMarian platform to deliver class materials and facilitate discussions online. Courses are accessible on an asynchronous schedule, giving students the freedom to log on at any time during the day or night to complete coursework. To learn more about this graduate degree program, prospective students should contact the Marian University Office of Adult and Graduate Admission.

  9. 9

    Pittsburg State University

    Location

    Pittsburg, KS

    Tuition

    • $5,430 annually-in-state
    • $14,590 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • NCACS/THLC

    What to Expect

    • Students pursuing a graduate degree in special education can choose from two Master of Science in Special Education Teaching tracks: Adaptive Special Education for PreK-12 students or Functional and Adaptive Special Education for K-6, 6-12. The curriculums for these cohort programs are delivered fully online.

      • To apply, prospective students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a valid teaching license.
      • Admitted students will have the option to pursue their MS degree with either a thesis or research problem capstone.
      • Since these are cohort programs, courses must be completed in a very specific order.

      Currently, PSU does not have authorization to offer online degree programs to students residing in Washington, Utah, Arkansas, Minnesota, Indiana, Alabama, West Virginia and Alaska.

    The Online Environment

    • This academic institution uses the Canvas learning management system to provide students with a virtual classroom environment. This platform supports forum discussions, quizzes, academic emails, grade viewing and shared classroom files. Students may demo the Canvas system here. Prospective applicants should contact the Graduate and Continuing Studies Office to learn more about these online Master of Science degree options.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • The Department of Teaching and Leadership at PSU has received a #75 ranking from the U.S. News and World Report in the Best Online Graduate Education Programs category.

    • I chose Pittsburg State University to obtain my Master's degree in Special Education because the program was made affordable to me as an out-of-state resident through a special continuing education rate. As a first year teacher, I have learned the essential tools and skills that have proven to be useful within my classroom!

      Laura Miller, MS in Special Education

    • I chose the PSU — KC Metro Center for the online courses, structured course sequence, and positive and timely communication I received from the PSU — KC Metro Center Staff.

      Brian Tadlock, MS in Special Education
  10. 10

    Fontbonne University

    Location

    Saint Louis, MO

    Tuition

    • $11,646 annually

    School Type

    Private (Non Profit)

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • NCACS/THLC

    What to Expect

    • The Master of Science in Special Education: Paraprofessional Pathways degree at Fontbonne features online coursework along with a clinical requirement that must occur at a local school site. This format is ideal for students who are currently working as teachers, since the clinical experience portion may be completed at an individual's place of employment.

      • To meet the admission requirements, applicants must have a bachelor's degree and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
      • In addition to a completed application form, future students must also submit three letters of recommendation, a personal statement and official transcripts.

      This degree program is only available to residents of Illinois and Missouri.

    The Online Environment

    • This academic institution relies on the Blackboard learning management system to provide students with an online classroom experience. This platform allows students to access shared classroom documents, submit assignments, view grades and take exams online. Prospective students are encouraged to fill out a "Meet with the Program Director" form to learn more about this graduate degree program. Students participating in online degree programs gain access to a variety of remote student services, including career counseling and personal counseling.

    • I am proud of my degree, my school and my students. The insight I gained while enrolled at Fontbonne has helped me tremendously in the classroom and generally in my career.

      John Viser, Master of Arts in Teaching – Special Education, Paraprofessional Pathways
  11. 11

    Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

    Location

    Slippery Rock, PA

    Tuition

    • $7,956 annually-in-state
    • $11,934 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • MSCHE

    What to Expect

    • This academic institution offers a total of five possible online degree programs for teachers pursuing careers in special education. There are two Master of Education in Elementary Education tracks: Reading Specialist K-12 or Reading Specialist with Instructional Coaching Literacy Endorsement K-12. Slippery Rock also offers a Master of Education in Special Education with concentrations in Birth through Grade 8, Grade 7-12 and Autism. All of the coursework for these programs is provided online.

      • To apply, students must have a valid teaching certificate, however applicants do not need to submit GRE or MAT scores.

    The Online Environment

    • SRU uses the Desire2Learn platform to provide students with a virtual learning environment. The MySRU system allows students to manage their accounts, register for classes, view important announcements and check their academic email accounts. Applicants interested in these online graduate programs can learn more by contacting the College of Education.

  12. 12

    Purdue University

    Location

    Hammond, IN

    Tuition

    • $5,225 annually-in-state
    • $11,508 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • NCACS/THLC

    What to Expect

    • The Hammond and West Lafayette campuses of Purdue University have teamed up to provide an online Master of Science in Education: Special Education degree program. Students who are just pursuing the master's degree can complete this program fully online. However, students who are also pursuing Indiana state licensure must complete a practicum and fieldwork in a special education setting.

      • The program can be completed in as few as 20 months.
      • To apply, prospective students must submit official transcripts, a personal statement, three letters of recommendation and GRE scores.

    The Online Environment

    • Purdue uses the Blackboard learning management system to provide distance learners with online classroom experiences. This platform allows students and instructors to interact via blog posts, virtual exams, ePortfolios and discussion boards. Students are encouraged to dedicate about 15 to 20 hours per week to each online course. New students can even attend a virtual open house to learn more about Purdue and the special education program.

      Interested applicants can fill out the Request Info form to learn more.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • According to U.S. News & World Report the online graduate programs in education at Purdue rank 54th in the country.
    • U.S. News & World Report also ranks Purdue University 69th among global universities.
  13. 13

    Kennesaw State University

    Location

    Kennesaw, GA

    Tuition

    • $6,386 annually-in-state
    • $23,062 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • SACS/CC

    What to Expect

    • The Bagwell College of Education at KSU provides special education professionals with two online graduate degree options: a Master of Arts in Teaching - Special Education (MAT) and a Master of Education in Special Education (M.Ed.). The coursework for both of these master's programs can be completed fully online within two years, with the field experience requirement held at a student's school of employment. The MAT program can also be completed in a hybrid or on-campus format.

      • To apply to the MAT program, prospective students must pass a background check and the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) exam.
      • Applicants may also submit ACT, GRE, or SAT scores that meet exemption minimums.
      • M.Ed applicants must hold a valid teaching certificate.
      • Graduate students enrolled in the Bagwell College of Education may be qualified to receive tuition assistance, such as the L.M. Awtrey Jr. Scholarship Fund, the Leitalift Foundation Scholarship or the Milton M. Ratner Scholarship.

    The Online Environment

    • KSU's learning management system is Desire2Learn, which allows students to access shared classroom content, discussion boards, an assignment dropbox, grades, quizzes and surveys. Future students are encouraged to contact the Graduate Admissions department with questions regarding these online special education programs.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • Kennesaw State was distinguished as having one Top 100 best online graduate programs in education by U.S. News & World Report.
  14. 14

    Columbus State University

    Location

    Columbus, GA

    Tuition

    • $5,012 annually-in-state
    • $12,792 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • SACS/CC

    What to Expect

    • CSU's College of Education and Health Professions offers a Master of Education in Special Education - General Curriculum that can be completed fully online. To apply, students must already hold a T-4 teaching certificate, an undergraduate degree and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75. Applicants also need to pass a criminal background check prior to enrollment.

      • To graduate, students must take at least 18 credit hours in courses numbered 6000 or higher and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 throughout the program.
      • The maximum amount of time to complete this program is seven years.
      • Before graduation, all students must take an exit exam.

    The Online Environment

    • The schedule of online classes mirrors the traditional schedule for campus-based courses at CSU. Distance learning programs are provided in partnership with the Southern Regional Education Board's Electronic Campus, which allows multiple states to pool academic resources for students. The virtual classroom platform is Desire2Learn, which allows students and instructors to connect online through message boards, shared documents and quizzes.

      Future M.Ed. students are encouraged to contact the Graduate School admissions team to learn more about this program.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • The online programs offered by the Department of Teacher Education at CSU have been ranked #67 on the U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs list.
  15. 15

    Arkansas State University

    Location

    Jonesboro, AR

    Tuition

    • $4,284 annually-in-state
    • $8,568 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • NCACS/THLC

    What to Expect

    • Educators who attend ASU have the option to specialize in teaching various age groups, such as Preschool-Grade 4 or Grades 4-12 by enrolling in the online Master of Science in Education for Special Education - Instructional Specialist program.

      • Both of these programs can be completed within 20 months.
      • To meet the admissions requirements, students must hold a bachelor's degree, have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 and hold a current teaching certificate.

      This institution will be discontinuing admissions to these degree programs after the Fall 2015 semester due to Arkansas teaching license changes. Enrolled students will have until Fall 2017 to graduate from these programs.

    The Online Environment

    • ASU uses the Blackboard learning management system, which supports classroom chat sessions, shared course material files, discussion boards and quizzes. Distance learners have access to tech support 24/7. Students are expected to send all of their assignments through the Live Text system so that there is a record of each submission.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • This academic institution's education curriculum ranked #41 on the U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs list.
  16. 16

    Lamar University

    Location

    Beaumont, TX

    Tuition

    • $5,544 annually-in-state
    • $11,916 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • SACS/CC

    What to Expect

    • Prospective special education teachers have three online Master of Education in Special Education routes to explore at Lamar University: General, Autism and Gifted. To apply for admission at the College of Education and Human Development, students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, a bachelor's degree and two years of teaching experience.

      • Students who meet the minimum GPA requirements do not need to submit GRE scores.
      • The coursework for these programs can be completed entirely online.

    The Online Environment

    • LU Online uses the Blackboard learning management system to deliver coursework and facilitate student discussions. Students attend a virtual online orientation before classes begin. Courses consist of lecture videos, digital assignment submissions, forum discussions, email correspondence and quizzes.

      Prospective students can contact the Program Coordinator for Special Education to learn more about these three online degree options.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • LU Online has been ranked #55 for providing one of the Best Online Graduate Education Programs, according to U.S. News and World Report.
  17. 17

    Asbury University

    Location

    Wilmore, KY

    Tuition

    • $11,596 annually
    • $446 per-credit-hour-online

    School Type

    Private (Non Profit)

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • SACS/CC

    What to Expect

    • A school grounded in evangelical Christianity, Asbury provides faith-based, morally-guided instruction. The education program specifically seeks to foster a learning community where teachers discover not only how to educate children, but how to encourage their moral and spiritual growth. The School of Education at AU oversees four online master's degree programs with a special education focus.

      • Applicants who do not already have teaching certification can earn a master's in Learning & Behavior Disorders with a P-12 Alternative Certification.
      • Applicants who already have a teaching certificate can enroll in areas like P-12 or 8-12 Learning & Behavior Disorders or Moderate/Severe Disabilities.
      • Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, PRAXIS or GRE scores and an undergraduate degree to be considered for admission.
      • Most of these programs can be completed within 7-8 semesters. All of these programs adhere to guidelines set forth by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board.
      • Students pursuing Special Education certification may qualify for a funding grant provided by the WHAS Crusade for Children.

    The Online Environment

    • Asbury University uses the unique Discovery learning management system to facilitate online classes. The Discovery platform supports live online audio chat sessions, discussion boards and shared course material posts. Online courses use a blend of synchronous and asynchronous schedules; students will sometimes need to meet online at specific times of the day.

      Future students who wish to explore these special education graduate programs should contact the Graduate Education Program.

  18. 17

    Ball State University

    Location

    Muncie, IN

    Tuition

    • $7,918 annually-in-state
    • $19,600 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • NCACS/THLC

    What to Expect

    • Those enrolled in the Master of Arts in Special Education can select from six focus areas that are held either 100% online or in a hybrid format. These specializations include Autism, Mild Interventions and Director of Special Education/Exceptional Needs.

      • To apply for admission to the Teachers College, prospective students must have a bachelor's degree and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75.
      • Applicants may substitute GRE scores if they do not meet the GPA requirements.

    The Online Environment

    • BSU uses the Blackboard learning management system to provide students with an immersive, virtual college environment. Live and on-demand video presentations, slideshows and lectures are provided through the Mediasite system; future students can preview a Mediasite recording to familiarize themselves with the system. Course interactions are facilitated by email, shared files, live chat sessions and discussion boards.

      Unlike most distance learning programs, BSU's online courses are held on a synchronous, or "fixed-time," basis, which means that students are expected to sign on at specific times of the day to view live lectures.

      Applicants interested in these online special education options should contact Online and Distance Education department.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • The programs provided by the BSU Teachers College have been ranked #11 on the U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs list.
  19. 18

    Saint Joseph’s University

    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Tuition

    • $14,200 annually

    School Type

    Private (Non Profit)

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • MSCHE

    What to Expect

    • This Catholic university offers several online graduate, special education degree tracks for educators who wish to teach specific age groups. Those pursuing the Master of Science in Education Degree for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Certification have the option of focusing on the N-12 or PreK-8 or 7-12 grade groups. Saint Joseph's also offers an online Master of Science in Special Education for PreK-8 or 7-12 grade groups.

      • To fulfill the admissions requirements, prospective students must submit a completed application form, letters of recommendation, official transcripts, background clearance paperwork and a statement of intent.

    The Online Environment

    • A significant portion of coursework at SJU is held on a synchronous schedule; students will need to sign on at certain times of the day or evening to complete class tasks. Enrolled students have access to 24/7 technical support. This college uses the Blackboard learning management system to provide students and instructors with access to shared course materials, calendars, discussion boards and quizzes.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • Saint Joseph's University has been distinguished with a Top 100 ranking on the U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs list.

    • When I first started the program, I was a little apprehensive about never being face-to-face with an actual professor or teacher… and it has been nothing like that. There is always email access to a teacher and that flexibility within that so when I have a question at 10:30 at night, nine times out of ten I get an immediate response.

      Julianne Patrick, MS Special Education
  20. 20

    Southern Arkansas University

    Location

    Magnolia, AR

    Tuition

    • $4,572 annually-in-state
    • $6,660 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • NCACS/THLC

    What to Expect

    • Southern Arkansas University provides education professionals with two possible focus areas for the hybrid Master of Education in Special Education program: Early Childhood Instructional Specialist for P-4 or Instructional Specialist for 4-12.

      • To meet the requirements for either program, applicants must already hold a valid teaching license, pass an admissions interview and submit a personal letter of intent along with a complete application form.
      • Both of these programs can be completed within two years.

    The Online Environment

    • The online portion of these hybrid graduate degree programs are administered through the Blackboard learning management system, which allows students and instructors to collaborate through live web conferences, classroom discussion boards, academic email, coursework videos and assignment submissions. Prospective students can try out the virtual learning system by attending a Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing Online Orientation. Applicants who wish to learn more about these special education programs are encouraged to fill out a Graduate Studies contact form online.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • Southern Arkansas University has received a #136 rank on the U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs list.
  21. 21

    The University of West Alabama

    Location

    Livingston, AL

    Tuition

    • $7,608 annually-in-state
    • $15,216 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • SACS/CC

    What to Expect

    • Students interested in attending the University of West Alabama may choose to enroll in one of two online, graduate-level, special education programs: Special Education Collaborative Teacher K-6 Certification or Special Education Collaborative Teacher 6-12 Certification. These programs are meant for applicants who have already received bachelor's teaching certification.

      • To be considered for admission, prospective students must submit a copy of their teaching certificates, official transcripts and MAT or GRE test scores.
      • Applicants entering education degree programs may qualify for funding opportunities, such as the Julia Tutwiler Scholarship Fund or the Allyrae Wallace Educational Trust.

    The Online Environment

    • UWA uses several digital tools to deliver online coursework and facilitate discussion between instructors and distance learners. The Blackboard learning management system is the student hub for forum discussions, web conferences and shared classroom materials. Proctored exams are monitored through the Securexam system, while course assignments are submitted through the turnitin system.

      Those who wish to learn more about these graduate programs can contact the online admissions team via email.

  22. 22

    Greenville College

    Location

    Greenville, IL

    Tuition

    • $7,524 annually

    School Type

    Private (Non Profit)

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • NCACS/THLC

    What to Expect

    • The Master of Arts in Education - Special Education degree program at Greenville College can be completed in a hybrid format or completely online. Students who pursue the hybrid version of this program can attend campus-based classes in Lincoln, Godfrey, Centralia or Greenville.

      • This degree program can be completed within 18 months.
      • To meet the admissions requirements, students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, a bachelor's degree and a teaching certificate.

    The Online Environment

    • This Christian college uses the Desire2Learn course management system to facilitate online instruction. Students must sign on at specific times of the day to participate in the synchronous courses of the MAE Special Education program. Generally, classes are approximately 60 to 90 minutes each evening. The Desire2Learn system supports live web conferences, and grad students must have a microphone compatible with their computers to chat with peers and instructors.

      Prospective students are encouraged to contact the admissions staff via email or phone.

  23. 23

    Western Kentucky University

    Location

    Bowling Green, KY

    Tuition

    • $9,800 annually-in-state
    • $12,800 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • SACS/CC

    What to Expect

    • The School of Teacher Education at WKU offers an online Master of Arts in Education (MAE) in Special Education with two concentration options: Moderate and Severe Disabilities and Learning and Behavior Disorders.

      • To apply, prospective students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75, a bachelor's degree, and the qualifications to earn a teaching certificate.
      • Students entering this program might be qualified to earn graduate scholarships such as the WHAS Crusade for Children Scholarship or the Teacher Traineeship award.

    The Online Environment

    • This academic institution uses the Blackboard learning management system to provide students with access to online coursework. Applicants are invited to try out this system by signing into a demo course with guest credentials. Before classes begin, WKU walks distance learners through important academic processes during an online orientation session.

      Prospective students are encouraged to contact The Graduate School with questions regarding the online special education courses.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • #138 on the U.S News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs
    • #176 on the U.S News and World Report's Best Education Schools
  24. 24

    University of Mary

    Location

    Bismarck, ND

    Tuition

    • $12,120 annually

    School Type

    Private (Non Profit)

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • NCACS/THLC

    What to Expect

    • Aspiring special education teachers can earn a Master of Education in Special Education Strategist degree online from the University of Mary. To meet the admission requirements, applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, current teacher licensure in North Dakota, experience as a teacher and two letters of recommendation.

      • The online degree tracks at the University of Mary can be completed within 20 months.
      • The maximum amount of time graduate students have to complete this degree program is seven years.
      • Students have the option to complete either a thesis or a portfolio as a capstone project before graduation.

    The Online Environment

    • This university uses the Canvas learning management system to deliver course content and facilitate class discussions online. This platform supports mobile devices and desktop computers, making it extremely portable and convenient. Through Canvas, students have access to audio and video classroom multimedia, discussion forums and chat tools.

      Students interested in the Special Education Strategist Degree are encouraged to contact the School of Education and Behavioral Sciences.

  25. 25

    Roberts Wesleyan College

    Location

    Rochester, NY

    Tuition

    • $12,816 annually

    School Type

    Private (Non Profit)

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • MSCHE

    What to Expect

    • The Master of Education in Special Education at RWC can be completed fully online. Graduate students have three concentrations to choose from: Professional Certification, Initial Certification or Multiple and Severe Disabilities. The latter track requires students to participate in a fieldwork experience at a school location.

      • This graduate degree program can be completed within 24 months.
      • Prospective students must submit two recommendation letters, a writing sample, a resume and transcripts reflecting a GPA of 2.75 or higher along with completed application paperwork.
      • Future education graduate students who demonstrate financial need or are RWC alumni might qualify for scholarships and are encouraged to contact the financial aid office for an application.

    The Online Environment

    • Courses are held asynchronously, giving students the flexibility to sign on whenever they choose to. This is a cohort program, which means students progress through the curriculum with the same class group throughout their education. This format allows graduates the opportunity to develop closer peer relationships with their cohort, which will set them up with a strong post-education network, which is often what's needed to land an ideal teaching position.

      Applicants who are interested in learning more about this graduate degree program should contact the Teacher Education Department.

  26. 26

    Central Washington University

    Location

    Ellensburg, WA

    Tuition

    • $8,874 annually-in-state
    • $19,851 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • NCCU

    What to Expect

    • The Master of Education: Special Education provided by CWU can be completed online with the exception of EDSE 684, the Internship in Professional Affiliated Disciplines, which is completed at an approved school. Students have the option of selecting a thesis, studio project or public recital as a capstone project before graduation.

      • This is an online cohort program; students begin and complete their studies with the same peer group.
      • Applicants are expected to have at least one year of teaching experience, a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and an undergraduate degree.
      • Graduates will not be certified in P-12 special education by the state of Washington.

    The Online Environment

    • This academic institution uses the Canvas learning management system to deliver online course materials to graduate students. This platform supports online media sharing, chat sessions, discussion boards, grade viewing, ePortfolios, digital assignments and quizzes.

      Prospective online students who have never tried distance learning before are encouraged to take a survey titled "Is Online Learning Right for Me?" to become familiar with the format expectations.

  27. 27

    University of Houston in Victoria

    Location

    Victoria, TX

    Tuition

    • $4,534 annually-in-state
    • $10,906 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • SACS/CC

    What to Expect

    • The Master of Education in Special Education degree program at UH can be earned completely online. To meet the admission requirements at the School of Education and Human Development, applicants must have:

      • Previous teaching experience
      • Two letters of recommendation
      • Have passed the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA)

      Prior to graduation, students must successfully complete a Master Comprehensive Exam, which allows scholars to demonstrate their mastery of knowledge earned throughout the program.

    The Online Environment

    • This academic institution uses the Blackboard learning management system, which allows instructors to share course materials, quizzes, forum discussions, class wikis and assignments with students online. UH course schedules include a blend of synchronous and asynchronous meetings; students sometimes need to sign on at specific times of the day to participate in online classes.

      Applicants who wish to learn more about the M.Ed in Special Education should contact the School of Education and Human Development.

  28. 28

    Jacksonville State University

    Location

    Jacksonville, AL

    Tuition

    • $8,376 annually-in-state
    • $16,752 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • SACS/CC

    What to Expect

    • Graduate students attending Jacksonville State University have two possible online Master of Science in Education Special Education options: Collaborative K-6 and Collaborative 6-12. These programs are structured for students who have already earned a bachelor's teaching certification.

      • To apply, prospective students must submit GRE, GMAT or MAT scores along with official transcripts.
      • Applicants pursuing these degrees might be eligible for several departmental funding opportunities, such as the Killebrew Estate gift or the Special Education Services fund.

    The Online Environment

    • JSU uses the Blackboard learning management system to provide distance learners with an online academic environment. This platform enables students to manage classroom schedules, view grades, take quizzes, access shared learning materials and attend collaborative web conferences.

      Prospective students who wish to explore the MSE Special Education program should reach out to the Educational Technology and Support staff.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • Jacksonville State University has been ranked #96 on the U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs list.
  29. 29

    Florida Gulf Coast University

    Location

    Fort Myers, FL

    Tuition

    • $7,806 annually-in-state
    • $29,001 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • SACS/CC

    What to Expect

    • The Master of Education in Special Education degree program can be earned completely online from the College of Education at Florida Gulf Coast University. It is delivered in a cohort format, so that students can study continuously with the same group of peers throughout the graduate program.

      • To be considered for admission, applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a bachelor's degree.
      • Prospective grad students must also submit three letters of recommendation, official transcripts and GRE or MAT exam scores along with a completed application.
      • Graduate students may qualify for departmental funding opportunities, like the William and Lillian S. Hudson Fund or the James Madison Fellowship Foundation Scholarship.
      • This program takes approximately two years to complete.

    The Online Environment

    • This academic institution uses the Canvas learning management system, a comprehensive platform that supports multiple desktop and mobile device operating systems. Canvas enables students and teachers to connect through discussion boards, web conferences, shared academic materials, chat sessions and virtual quizzes.

      Prospective students are invited to try the Canvas system by signing onto a demo course. To learn more about the online M.Ed. program, applicants should contact the College of Education.

  30. 30

    University of Michigan

    Location

    Dearborn, MI

    Tuition

    • $10,200 annually-in-state
    • $19,288 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • NCACS/THLC

    What to Expect

    • The versatile Master of Education in Special Education can be tailored to meet students' future career goals with focus areas geared toward instruction, school administration or social work. The Emotional Impairment Endorsement and the Learning Disabilities Endorsement tracks are taught in a hybrid format, combining online instruction with campus-based courses in the summer and evenings. The Inclusion Specialist Certificate track can be earned fully online.

      • To meet the program eligibility requirements, prospective students must submit copies of official transcripts, a resume, GRE or GMAT scores and a statement of purpose.
      • Students entering this program might be qualified for scholarship opportunities, such as the King-Chavez-Parks Initiative Future Faculty Fellowship Program.

    The Online Environment

    • This academic institution uses the Canvas learning management system to provide students with an online classroom experience. Applicants who want to get a better idea of how the online learning system at Dearborn works can check out the collection of Canvas demo videos. The Canvas platform allows students to keep track of course calendars, submit assignments, take quizzes and discuss topics with their peers and instructors on forum threads.

      Prospective students can learn more about the M.Ed. program by contacting the College of Education, Health, and Human Services.

  31. 31

    University of Louisiana at Monroe

    Location

    Monroe, LA

    Tuition

    • $5,046 annually-in-state
    • $15,693 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • SACS/CC

    What to Expect

    • ULM provides two online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree programs for those interested in exploring careers in special education and mild/moderate disabilities: Grades 1-5 or Grades 6-12. These programs are meant for bachelor's degree holders who are pursuing teacher certification in the state of Louisiana. While classes are held online, students are expected to complete an on-site internship at a school location.

      • Students can earn the MAT degree within 14 months ― three years is the maximum amount of time permitted to complete the program.
      • To qualify for admission, applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, pass the PRAXIS and submit MAT scores.

    The Online Environment

    • The eULM online courses are provided through the Moodle learning management system, which enables students to view digital course materials, submit assignments, take tests, watch multimedia and participate in forum discussions. Students may also use the My Homework Application to manage assignment schedules.

      Applicants who wish to learn more about the online MAT degree programs should contact the program coordinator.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • The University of Louisiana at Monroe is ranked #103 on the U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs list.
  32. 32

    Norfolk State University

    Location

    Norfolk, VA

    Tuition

    • $4,950 annually-in-state
    • $21,280 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • SACS/CC

    What to Expect

    • The Early Childhood/Elementary and Special Education Department at NSU offers a unique Master of Arts in Pre-Elementary Education with Licensure in Special Education Early-Childhood Birth - Age 5 program. The classes are hosted fully online, however students are expected to complete a 100-hour fieldwork experience at an approved school site.

      • Students entering this program may be eligible to earn graduate scholarships from the Severe Disabilities Consortium or the Vision Impairment Consortium.
      • To apply to this MA program, prospective graduate students must have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.7.

    The Online Environment

    • This institution's online interface, MyNSU, uses the Blackboard learning management system. NSU blends synchronous and asynchronous learning schedules, so students are expected to sign into some classes at specific times to participate. The university makes it clear that MyNSU manages a number of the school's services, including Colleage, Spartan Self Service, NSU Webmail and Blackboard. All of the school's university announcements, news, events and departmental updates ― a comprehensive service.

      Applicants who wish to learn more about the MA and licensure program should contact the NSU School of Education.

  33. 33

    Missouri State University

    Location

    Springfield, MO

    Tuition

    • $5,928 annually-in-state
    • $11,856 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • NCACS/THLC

    What to Expect

    • MSU's Counseling, Leadership, and Special Education department offers a unique accelerated Master in Special Education with an emphasis on Blindness and Low Vision. The courses in this unique degree area are provided online.

      • To meet the admissions requirements, applicants must submit official transcripts with proof of a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, a letter of intent, three letters of recommendation and an FBI background check (if they are not a Missouri resident).
      • The College of Education rewards up to 60 different scholarships each year, so prospective graduate students should consider applying to funding opportunities like the Rosalie Covert Scholarship or the William E. Albertson Memorial Scholarship.

    The Online Environment

    • MSU uses the Blackboard learning management system to provide students with a virtual classroom environment. Distance learners gain access to a number of remote student services, such as career counseling, academic advising and IT support. Blackboard enables students to interact with course material and classmates through group forum discussions, blog entries, digital classroom calendars and online tests.

      Those who wish to pursue this emphasis area should contact the Blindness and Low Vision program coordinator.

  34. 34

    University of Alaska Anchorage

    Location

    Anchorage, AK

    Tuition

    • $7,820 annually-in-state
    • $15,980 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • NCCU

    What to Expect

    • Prospective students considering UAA have two possible online graduate degrees to choose from: the Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Early Childhood Special Education or the M.Ed. in Special Education. Both of these degree options can be completed 100% online.

      • To apply, future students must submit official transcripts demonstrating a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, a personal goal statement, three letters of recommendation and a resume showing at least one year of teaching experience.
      • Before graduation, students either compile a portfolio or take a final examination to demonstrate the achievement of Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) standards.

    The Online Environment

    • All campus locations within the University of Alaska network use the Blackboard learning management system. This platform enables students to meet through web conferences, discuss classwork on discussion boards, contribute to classroom wikis and submit assignments to instructors.

      Distance learners gain access to a wide range of remote student services, such as career counseling, technical support and graduation advising.

  35. 35

    Florida International University

    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    • $8,652 annually-in-state
    • $20,174 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • SACS/CC

    What to Expect

    • The Master of Science in Special Education with a specialization in Autism Endorsement can be earned completely online at FIU. The entire program can be completed within 12 months. To meet the admissions requirements, applicants must have a bachelor's degree and a valid teaching certificate in Special Education. Prospective students can substitute the certification with a letter of eligibility and a passing score on the Exceptional Education exam.

      • Those enrolled in the program may qualify for some of the many scholarship opportunities provided by the College of Education, such as the FIU Academic Merit Scholarship or the College of Education Partnerships.

    The Online Environment

    • This college uses the Blackboard learning management system to provide students with an online classroom experience. Prospective students are invited to familiarize themselves with online classes by taking a practice course before applying. Students will also become familiar with other digital services, like Turnitin and ProctorU, tools that help prevent plagiarism and ensure exam fairness.

      Those who wish to explore the MS in Special Education program should contact FIU Online.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • Florida International University is ranked #145 the U.S. News and World Report's list of Best Online Graduate Education Programs.
  36. 36

    University of Central Arkansas

    Location

    Conway, AR

    Tuition

    • $4,247 annually-in-state
    • $8,495 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • NCACS/THLC

    What to Expect

    • Prospective special education professionals can earn this Master of Science in Special Education by taking courses online and completing a practicum experience in a special education setting. To meet the admissions requirements, applicants must have a valid Arkansas teaching license and pass a Praxis II exam.

      • UCA graduate students entering this program may qualify for funding opportunities such as the Teacher Opportunity Program or the Student Teacher Education Program.
      • This program complies with the standards for the Arkansas Collaborative Instructional Specialist Ages 0-8 and Ages 4-12 licensure requirements.

    The Online Environment

    • The University of Central Arkansas uses the Blackboard learning management system to deliver online course content to graduate students. Applicants can become more familiar with this platform by watching tutorial screencasts.

      Blackboard supports student and teacher interactions through blogs, discussion boards, virtual new student orientations and digital portfolios. UCA also relies on Google Apps for Education to provide students with academic email service.

      Applicants who wish to learn more about this online graduate program should contact the MS in Special Education program coordinator.

  37. 37

    The University of Alabama

    Location

    Tuscaloosa, AL

    Tuition

    • $9,450 annually-in-state
    • $23,950 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • SACS/CC

    What to Expect

    • The Bama by Distance program, along with the Gadsden Center, provides educators with three hybrid-format graduate degree programs in the field of special education: two MA in Special Education Collaborative programs (K-6 and 6-12) and an Alternative MA in Special Education - Gifted and Talented Program. It is important to note that all of these programs are held through a mixed format of traditional classroom instruction at the Gadsden Center, video conferencing and online interactions.

      • Students might be eligible to earn departmental scholarship funds, such as the Floyd M. Zeigler and Julia Zeigler Sutton endowed scholarship or the Irene Merriwether Jones Memorial endowed scholarship.

    The Online Environment

    • This academic institution uses the Blackboard learning management system to facilitate online dialogue and class participation. Applicants can test drive this platform by signing into Blackboard as a guest user and previewing the demo course. Some courses are also delivered using the Academic Outreach online system, an Intercampus Interactive Telecommunications System (IITS) and weekend campus meetings.

      Applicants interested in pursuing the hybrid MA in Special Education degree options should contact the Gadsden Center.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • The U.S News and World Report has ranked the University of Alabama #83 on its list of Best Education Schools.

    • Through this program I have learned that giftedness crosses many domains. [...] The professors were able to use Facetime with me while I was in Singapore. We communicated a lot through email, and the projects were completed through Blackboard. For many of the assignments I used screencasting which was very helpful.

      Kelly Wright, MA in Special Education Gifted and Talented Program
  38. 38

    Southeastern Louisiana University

    Location

    Hammond, LA

    Tuition

    • $5,047 annually-in-state
    • $17,066 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • SACS/CC

    What to Expect

    • This academic institution provides graduate students with the opportunity to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching Special Education - Early Intervention: Birth-5. Upon completion, graduates will be eligible for early intervention certification in the state of Louisiana. This program is delivered in a blended format that is "50%-99% online."

      • To apply, prospective students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 and submit GRE and PRAXIS I test scores to be considered for the program.
      • Incoming students might be qualified to compete for departmental scholarship funds provided by the School of Education.

    The Online Environment

    • Southeastern Louisiana University uses the Moodle learning management system to provide teachers and students with an online learning environment. Moodle courses allow students to connect with classmates through wikis, class notifications, discussion boards and shared academic files.

      Those interested in pursuing the MAT in Special Education hybrid degree program are encouraged to contact the program coordinator.

  39. 39

    Emporia State University

    Location

    Emporia, KS

    Tuition

    • $5,280 annually-in-state
    • $16,440 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • NCACS/THLC

    What to Expect

    • Educators who enroll at ESU may select one of two possible online Master of Science in Special Education degree specializations: Adaptive or Gifted, Talented & Creative. To be considered for the program, applicants must have a bachelor's degree, a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a valid Kansas teaching license or license eligibility. Along with a complete application, prospective students must submit official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, three disposition assessments and ID verification.

    The Online Environment

    • This college is in the process of switching from Blackboard to the Canvas learning management system, so students currently have access to support across both of these learning platforms. Mobile versions of Canvas can be downloaded in Android and iOS app stores for a portable learning experience.

      Applicants interested in the Gifted, Talented & Creative Program should contact the Gifted Program Coordinator, while those seeking the Adaptive degree should contact the Department of Special Education.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • Emporia State University has received a #103 rank from U.S. News and World Report on their Best Online Graduate Education Programs list.
  40. 40

    Eastern Kentucky University

    Location

    Richmond, KY

    Tuition

    • $8,190 annually-in-state
    • $14,040 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • SACS/CC, ACCET

    What to Expect

    • EKU offers three Master of Arts in Special Education degree concentrations: Early Childhood Education, Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Learning and Behavior Disorders; the coursework for all of these programs can be completed fully online.

      • To meet the Special Education application requirements, students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and submit GRE or MAT scores.
      • Since these programs will lead to certification in the state of Kentucky, it is important for prospective students to check if these credentials can be used in their own states of residence.

    The Online Environment

    • The university uses Blackboard, an online platform that allows students and instructors to access shared academic files, classroom wikis, discussion boards and quizzes. Students enrolled in EKU's distance learning programs often rely on video recordings of lectures and PowerPoint presentations to cover the materials for each course. Prospective students are invited to attend a virtual tour of the Blackboard course system.

      Applicants who are interested in taking the MA in Special Education degree programs should contact an enrollment advisor.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • Eastern Kentucky University has received a #93 rank on the U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs list.
  41. 41

    University of Northern Colorado

    Location

    Greeley, CO

    Tuition

    • $8,735 annually-in-state
    • $17,379 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • NCACS/THLC

    What to Expect

    • Educators who are considering UNC have no shortage of online graduate programs to choose from. There are four Master of Arts in Special Education focus areas: Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Gifted and Talented, Intervention Specialist and Visual Impairment.

      Future teachers also have the option of earning an interdisciplinary MA with dual licensure as a Special Education Director and Principal. While courses are delivered online, students are expected to complete an internship or practicum experience at their desired place of employment or comparable to their desired place of employment prior to graduation.

      • The admissions requirements include a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a teaching license.
      • Those who do not meet the GPA requirements have the option to submit GRE scores at a minimum of 140 Quantitative and 146 Verbal.

    The Online Environment

    • This academic institution leverages the Blackboard course management system to provide students with access to online course calendars, class announcements, shared course materials, exams and collaborative tools. Classes are held on an asynchronous schedule, giving students the flexibility to sign on at any time of the day or night to participate.

      Those interested in pursuing the online MA programs in Special Education should contact the UNC Extended Campus Enrollment Coach.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • The education degree offerings at the University of Northern Colorado have earned it a #8 rank on the U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs list and #126 on Best Education Schools.
  42. 42

    DeSales University

    Location

    Center Valley, PA

    Tuition

    • $21,000 annually

    School Type

    Private (Non Profit)

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • MSCHE

    What to Expect

    • DeSales offers a Master of Education in Special Education program which enables students to earn Instructional I or Instructional II certification. The courses are held online, however students must complete a six-week field experience before graduation.

      • Admissions operate on a rolling basis, so prospective students can apply at anytime.
      • Applicants must submit an official transcript and three letters of recommendation to be considered for the program.
      • Standardized test results are not required.

    The Online Environment

    • This college uses the Blackboard learning management system to provide students with an interactive virtual classroom featuring course calendars, discussion forums, educational multimedia and shared classroom documents. DeSales blends asynchronous and synchronous learning, so students may be expected to sign on to classroom sessions at specific times of the day to participate.

      Future students who want to learn more about the M.Ed. program are encouraged to contact the graduate admissions coordinator.

  43. 43

    Bowling Green State University

    Location

    Bowling Green, OH

    Tuition

    • $10,168 annually-in-state
    • $17,476 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • NCACS/THLC

    What to Expect

    • Bowling Green offers three possible concentrations for its online or hybrid graduate degrees in special education: Assistive Technology, Autism Spectrum or Secondary Transition.

      • To apply, students must have a bachelor's degree and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7.
      • Those applying to the Assistive Technology program must also complete the prerequisite Teaching Students with Special Needs course.

    The Online Environment

    • Online courses follow a traditional semester program, beginning and ending three times a year. Typically, classes are held asynchronously, meaning that students can sign on at any time during the day or night to participate in classes. BGSU recommends that distance learners commit 9-18 hours a week per course, depending on the credit load.

      BGSU uses the Canvas learning management system to provide students with online instruction. This platform is supported across desktop computers and mobile devices, giving students access to shared classroom materials, discussion boards, web conferences, assignment submission systems, quizzes and ePortfolios at home and on the go.

      Prospective students who wish to test drive the Canvas system can attend a 35 minute student tour online.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • Bowling Green State University's graduate degree offerings have earned it a #112 rank on the U.S. News and World Report's Best Education Schools list and a #55 on Best Online Graduate Education Programs list.
  44. 44

    Southeast Missouri State University

    Location

    Cape Girardeau, MO

    Tuition

    • $6,079 annually-in-state
    • $11,383 annually-out-of-state

    School Type

    Public

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • NCACS/THLC

    What to Expect

    • Students can earn a Master of Arts in Exceptional Child Education with a specialization in Early Childhood Special Education from SMSU. The coursework for this program is offered in a blended format, which means that students will need to visit the campus for some of their coursework.

      • Prior to graduation, students are expected to fulfill a clinical practicum experience at a school site.
      • To fulfill the student teaching requirements, graduate candidates can work with P-12 schools that have formed academic partnerships with SMSU's College of Education.

    The Online Environment

    • This college uses the Moodle learning management system to provide students and instructors with access to grades, discussion forums, classroom files, assignment systems and quizzes. Prospective students are welcome to try the Moodle platform at any time by signing into a demo class.

      Those who wish to pursue the MA in Exceptional Child Education are encouraged to contact the School of Education to learn more.

    Program & Institution Accolades

    • Southeast Missouri State University has been ranked #75 on the U.S. News and World Report's list of Best Online Graduate Education Programs.
  45. 45

    Eastern University

    Location

    Saint Davids, PA

    Tuition

    • $15,600 annually

    School Type

    Private (Non Profit)

    Contact Information

    Career Services

    • Employment Services
      for Students
    • Placement Services
      for Graduates
    • Academic/Career Counseling
      Services for Students

    Institutional Accreditation

    • MSCHE

    What to Expect

    • The Loeb School of Education at Eastern University offers teaching professionals a Master of Education in Special Education program online. Applicants must hold a pre-K-4, elementary, middle or secondary education certification before entering this graduate program.

      • To meet the admissions requirements, prospective students must submit a current resume, a 750-1000 word personal essay, official transcripts documenting a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and teaching certification copies.
      • Those who do not meet the GPA requirements can submit PRAXIS I scores as a substitute.
      • Applicants are also encouraged to fill out graduate assistantship and grant forms with the Loeb School of Education to be considered for departmental financial assistance.

    The Online Environment

    • This academic institution uses the Blackboard learning management system to provide students with access to instructional videos, grades, discussion forums and shared classroom materials.

      Interested applicants can learn more about the M.Ed. graduate program by contacting the Loeb School of Education's enrollment advisor.