Special Education Master’s Degrees

We’ve compiled detailed profiles of over 750 universities across the US that offer Master’s-level programs in the Special Education Field. You have two options for viewing them: you can click on a state name below to see a list of profiles for schools in that state (with links to each school’s Special Education department), or below, after the list of states, you can see profiles of all of the Online Master’s in Special Education programs we could find. Good luck!

Below you'll find a list of all of the online Master's in Special Education programs available from US universities.

Full List of Online Master's in Special Education Programs

Alabama

Auburn University at Montgomery

Montgomery, Alabama

Students interested in earning their master's degree in special education as an education specialist in grades K-6 or 6-12 can complete the program online through Auburn University at Montgomery. Students can access AUM's online classes at any time that is convenient to them, anywhere they have Internet access. The program is designed for working professionals and others who cannot commit to the rigid schedule required for on-campus classes. The online interface allows students to share notes to help with community learning. The program requires at least 30 credit hours with six required classes taken on the AA level. Students take two electives in an area of specialization and complete two three-credit-hour practicums.

Auburn University

Auburn University, Alabama

Students seeking a M.Ed. in Collaborative Teacher Special Education or an M.Ed. in Early/Elementary Special Education from Auburn University have the option to take the program online. Both degrees are offered as a traditional master's, for students who have an initial teaching license, and as an alternative master's, for students who do not have a teaching license and must complete their student-teaching assignment as part of their master's program. Courses are typically offered asynchronously so that students do not have to be online at a specific time to attend a class. U.S. News and World Report's 2015 listing of Best Online Graduate Education Programs ranked Auburn's distance learning program #8.

Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville, Alabama

Jacksonville State University has a Master of Science in Education in collaborative education that is open to teachers with initial licensure. Students may earn their degree in Collaborative Special Education K-6 or 6-12. The programs are offered fully online. Students must complete 34 to 37 credit hours of coursework, with 30 of the credits focused specifically on special education. Students are required to complete two internships, one in Disabilities of Learning and Behavior and the other in Severe Disorders. JSU also offers an Alternative Fifth Year Program that allows students with a bachelor's degree in a subject other than education to earn an M.S.Ed. and Class A teacher certification in collaborative education.

University of South Alabama

Mobile, Alabama

The University of South Alabama offers a traditional Master of Education in Special Education for individuals who already hold a teaching license and an alternative M.Ed. in Special Education that leads to initial teacher licensure. By completing either program, candidates are eligible for the Class A K-6 or 6-12 Collaborative Teacher Certificate. The traditional program requires students to complete 30 credits of coursework, including a practicum and comprehensive exam. The alternative program requires candidates to complete 42 credits, including practicums and an internship. Students can complete either program with classes entirely online. Some classes are also offered on campus or in a blended format.

University of West Alabama

Livingston, Alabama

The University of West Alabama offers its Master of Education programs in special education in an online format. These programs are open to teachers with initial licensure who want certification as Special Education Collaborative Teacher K-6 or 6-12. These programs are also open to career changers who want to join the teaching profession or teachers who want to change their area of teaching under the Alternative Class A program. Participants in the Alternative Class A program must complete internships and field experiences, and they will be expected to attend on-campus seminars or class meetings as part of those experiences.

Arizona

Arizona State University

Tempe, Arizona

Arizona State has an online program that leads to a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Autism Spectrum Disorders. The program trains teacher to work with both children and adults on the autism spectrum. In the online program, classes are accelerated and last only 7.5 weeks. The university recommends students spend six hours a week per credit hour on classwork, so a student taking one three-credit course should expect to spend about 18 hours a week working on that class. Students may enroll at several points during the year as the online program offers six start dates annually. The program requires 30 credit hours.

Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, Arizona

Teachers certified to teach special education can deepen their knowledge through online master's programs offered by Grand Canyon University. Special educators can earn a Master of Education in Special Education or specialize further by earning a Master of Arts in Autism Spectrum Disorders. The M.Ed. requires 38 credit hours and the M.A. requires 32 credit hours. Students who are not currently licensed to teach can also earn an M.Ed. in Special Education online through Grand Canyon University. The teacher preparation program requires students to complete 47 credit hours, including student teaching in a K-12 classroom that has at least three of the five disability categories represented.

Northern Arizona University

Flagstaff, Arizona

Northern Arizona University's M.Ed. in Special Education without certification is a 30-credit blended degree program that can be completed through online and in-person learning. Students are required to complete 12 credits of core coursework and 18 credits in one of three emphasis areas: cross-categorical/high incidence, disability studies or early childhood. Students in the blended M.Ed. program are required to choose an emphasis area, however completing an internship or field experience is optional. Any in-person course requirements for the blended M.Ed. in Special Education are completed at the Yuma campus.

University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

The University of Arizona offers an online Master of Arts in Special Education with programs in behavioral support, deaf and hard of hearing, and disabilities. The behavioral support program requires 36 credits of coursework, including the 18 credits required to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst exam. The deaf and hard of hearing concentration requires the completion of a professional core of courses that lead to certification through the Council on Education of the Deaf (CED). The disabilities program is a 36-credit program that offers concentrations in challenging behavior, autism spectrum disorder, sensory impairments and gifted students. Students in the program complete 30 credits of core courses and six specialization courses.

University of Phoenix

Tempe, Arizona

Individuals whose undergraduate degree is in an area other than education can earn a Master of Arts in Education/Special Education and qualify for initial teacher licensure through the University of Phoenix's online master's program. The program focuses on mild disabilities in grades K-12 and requires students to compile at least 100 hours of field experiences. Candidates must also complete a student teaching assignment in a cross-categorical setting. The number of credit hours required to earn the degree and qualify for initial certification varies by state. Some states, including Alabama and Iowa, might not grant an initial license to graduates of this program.

Arkansas

Arkansas State University

Jonesboro, Arkansas

Students enrolled in the online Master of Science in Education: Special Education - Instructional Specialist K-12 program can complete their coursework in as few as 16 months. Students are required to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, with each online course taking seven weeks. Classes are tightly integrated and focus on application-based curriculum, as recommended by professional organizations and accrediting associations such as the Council for Exceptional Children. Students are required to complete a seven-week internship in a special education setting, developing and implementing a project. By earning this degree, students will be able to obtain Arkansas licensure as a special education teacher in grades K-12.

Henderson State University

Arkadelphia, Arkansas

Henderson State University offers a fully online Master of Education in Special Education for licensed teachers. Classes are all offered online, and online class meetings are scheduled every semester. By completing the degree program, candidates can qualify for licensure to teach special education (K-12). Students take classes in subjects such as behavior management, assessment, and special education law. They also take classes dealing specifically with autism spectrum disorders, mild to moderate disabilities, and severe to profound disabilities. Candidates also complete practicum in teaching students with disabilities. Candidates must also compile a portfolio that aligns with Council for Exceptional Children standards.

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

The University of Arkansas offers an online Master of Education in Special Education that includes a general special education concentration with or without certification, as well as concentrations in autism spectrum disorders and applied behavior analysis. All three programs can be completed entirely online, except for a practicum course which takes place in public schools. Students may also choose to supplement their online learning with some on-campus courses, which take place in the summer and in the evenings during the fall and spring semesters. Students who choose the general special education concentration with certification are eligible for Special Education Instructional Specialist (Grades K-12) licensure. Students in the autism spectrum disorders concentration receive a certificate in autism spectrum disorders, while those in the applied behavior analysis are prepared for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst examination.

The University of Central Arkansas offers an online Master of Science in Education in Special Education that gives students the option to complete the requirements for Special Education teaching licensure in Arkansas. The program requires 30 credits of coursework and can be completed in two years. Required courses cover subjects such as behavior management, educational assessment, and research in special education, as well as how to develop programming for K-12 students with mild and significant disabilities. Classes are offered online in synchronous and asynchronous formats, but students are required to attend one on-campus session during the course of their studies to take a comprehensive exam. Students also have the option to attend face-to-face sessions that help them complete their portfolios.

California

Alliant International University

San Diego, California

Alliant University offers an online Master of Arts in Education with a teaching emphasis that can be earned simultaneously with the university's Preliminary Education Specialist Teaching Credential (Mild-Moderate Disabilities). Students in the Educational Specialist program need to take only six additional credit hours to earn the master's degree. The master's program is entirely online, with students accessing classes through the internet. The special education teaching credential program requires on-site Saturday seminars in San Francisco, as well as student or intern teaching placement. Admission to the program is granted in the fall or spring, with priority admission granted to students who want to start the teaching internship when they begin the program.

Ashford University

San Diego, California

Ashford University offers an online Master of Arts in Education and students may choose to specialize in Special Education. The program requires students to complete eight core courses, for 24 credit hours, plus an additional 12 credit hours in courses related to special education. Earning an online degree from Ashford University does not lead to immediate teacher licensure in any state. Before enrolling in the program, perspective students should check the rules in their state to see what requirements they must complete, such as a practicum or student-teaching experience, and see if the state offers an alternative method of certification. Many states do not have an alternative route to certification, so Ashford grads will not be able to be certified teachers in those states. The online program is not accredited by major teacher education accrediting agencies, which could also be a barrier to obtaining licensure in some states.

Azusa Pacific University

Azusa, California

Azusa Pacific University's online Master of Arts in Education: Special Education is designed for people who do not seek a California teaching credential, such as someone who plans to see a doctorate in special education, a private school administrator, or a disabilities advocate. The program is also appropriate for lawyers who practice special education law or government employees who monitor and enforce special education laws. The program, which emphasizes autism spectrum disorders, is flexible and requires students to complete 42 academic units. The school advises students should not take more than two classes (six academic units) per term.

Biola University

La Mirada, California

Biola University has fully online programs leading to a Master of Education with a concentration in special education and a Master of Arts in Teaching with a concentration in special education. The M.A.T. program, which is opened to licensed teachers, is a 30-unit program that can be completed in 18 months. The M.Ed. program is also designed for working teachers, who can complete the online program in two to three years while working full time. The M.A.T. program requires students to complete 38 units. Students in either program can qualify for a special education certification by taking required classes in the special education concentration area.

Brandman University

Irvine, California

Students seeking a Master of Arts in Special Education can take Brandman University's program entirely online. The program allows students to choose one or more areas of emphasis from Advanced Methodology, Early Childhood Special Education, Autism, or Behavior Analysis. Online classes offer the same quality of education as Brandman's on-campus classes while providing students with the flexibility to access classes at the time and location that is convenient to them. The M.A. in Special Education requires students to take 18 credit hours in core classes and 12 to 18 hours in an area of emphasis. Students must complete an action research project.

CSU Fullerton offers a Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in special education that is delivered completely online. The M.A. program builds upon the work teachers performed while earning their Education Specialist Preliminary and Clear Credentials. In the master's program, the focus is on giving graduate students deeper knowledge in the areas of curriculum design, instructional and assessment strategies, integration of technology, and reflective practice. Students must complete 30 academic units, including a culminating experience, to earn their M.A.Ed. Fullerton's graduate programs in education are accredited by the National Council for on the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

National University

La Jolla, California

National University offers its Master of Science in Special Education for California teachers in an online format. Students may obtain a California Teaching Credential in Special Education while completing their master's degree. To earn the M.S., candidates must complete 16 or 17 courses. Twelve of the courses are in core required areas such as exceptionalities, language development methods, behavior management, and a capstone research project. The rest of the courses are in an area of specialty the candidates chooses: Deaf and Hard of Hearing; Mild to Moderate Disabilities; Moderate to Severe Disabilities. The university is accredited by the National Council on the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Pacific Oaks College

Pasadena, California

Pacific Oaks College offers an online Master of Arts in Education that includes the Preliminary Education Specialist Credential but is only open to California residents. The online program is structured in the same way as the on-campus program, with students completing 58 credits of coursework, including a practicum and student teaching experience. The online program, however, is an accelerated, cohort program that may be completed in as little as one and a half years. Courses in the program are offered in seven-week sessions and include interactive online lectures offered through PowerPoint or GoToMeeting, instant messaging and social networking tools and a 24/7 technical support line.

University of San Diego

San Diego, California

The University of San Diego offers an online program leading to a Master of Education: Inclusive Learning - Special Education and Universal Design. The program, which is designed for special education and general education teachers, requires applicants have at least two years of teaching experience. Candidates must complete 10 courses, including five foundational courses and five specialized courses in topics such as designing learning environments for all and responding to the needs of diverse learners. Candidates must also complete an action research project. Students can complete the program in 20 months. The program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Colorado

The Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education with licensure as an Early Childhood Special Education Specialist offered by the University of Colorado-Denver can be completed entirely online. The online M.A. program requires the completion of 48 credits for those seeking a master's degree and initial licensure in early childhood special education and 39 credits for those seeking a master's degree and added endorsement in early childhood special education. Licensure requirements include the completion of six credits of practicum experiences divided between the infant/toddler, preschool and primary levels. Students in the online M.A. must attend on-campus sessions during the summer that last three to five days.

The University of Northern Colorado delivers the classwork for many of its Master of Arts in Special Education degree options in an online format. Online programs are available for concentrations in Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Special Education Generalist, Early Childhood Special Education, and Intervention Specialist (with both the Applied Behavior Analysis Emphasis and the Academic Coaching and Leadership Emphasis tracks available online). The Visual Impairment program is also delivered entirely online while the Orientation and Mobility program has one on-campus requirement of four weeks during one summer. The length of time required to complete the M.A. program depends in part upon whether an applicant is already a licensed teacher.

Connecticut

University of Hartford

West Hartford, Connecticut

The University of Hartford offers an online Master of Education in Special Education that provides advanced, professional knowledge in special education but does not lead to certification. The curriculum includes a minimum of 30 credits of coursework that can be completed in a two-year sequence. Coursework covers subjects such as classroom management, integrating technology, assessment, research and curricular strategies. Students with no educational background in special education are required to take one additional course: EDH 510: Theoretical Foundations of Children and Adults with Special Needs. Two integrated research courses serve as the program's capstone project and require students to apply action-based research to a real-world classroom over the course of two semesters.

Delaware

Wilmington University

New Castle, Delaware

Wilmington University has an online Master of Education in Education Studies that allows students to concentrate in Special Education K-12. The program is similar to the Master of Education in Special Education, but it does not include any of the clinical coursework such as practicums or student teaching. The Master of Education in Education Studies degree is designed for those who want to work with children and youth in positions that do not require state licensure/certification. Students who decide they do want to seek licensure can transfer into a licensure program. To earn the degree, candidates must complete 36 credits in core classes and 18 credits in electives.

District of Columbia

George Washington University

Washington, District of Columbia

George Washington University offers its Master of Arts in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners program in an online format. The program, designed for teachers with initial licensure, leads to K-12 certification in ESOL, special education and bilingual special education. The program requires students to complete 45 credit hours of coursework and fieldwork experiences. This master's program, one of only eight such programs in the U.S., prepares teachers to work with culturally and linguistically diverse students and to distinguish between students with a disability and those who are acquiring a second language. The program is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Florida

Florida Gulf Coast University

Fort Myers, Florida

Florida Gulf Coast University offers a completely online program leading to a Master of Education in Special Education. The program - which covers mild, moderate and severe disabilities - is appropriate both for those who teach in general education classrooms and those who already teach special education. Students progress through the program in a cohort and earn their degree in two years or less. To earn their degree, students must earn 36 credit hours and complete a culminating demonstration of learning and competence, which could include passing comprehensive exams, compiling a portfolio, or completing a special practicum or research project.

Florida International University offers a fully online Master of Science in Special Education with a concentration in autism for teachers who are already certified to teach special education or who have passed the Exceptional Education teacher certification exam in Florida. Students can complete the online M.S. in Special Education in one year and earn their autism endorsement. The program is presented in an accelerated format that consists of six eight-week terms. Students complete two three-credit courses during each term, so they can earn all 36 credit hours in a year. Students may begin the program in the summer or fall semester.

Florida State University

Tallahassee, Florida

Florida State University has online options for students interested in a Master of Science in Special Education Studies or a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction with a major in special education. The Special Education Studies program, which allows students to earn an endorsement in an area such as severe disabilities or high incidence disabilities, is delivered completely online. The C&I program is delivered mostly online with classes students can access at their convenience. Both programs are designed for certified teachers, neither leads to initial certification. Students must complete 33 credit hours to earn either degree.

Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Nova Southeastern University offers a Master of Science in Education with a specialization in early childhood special education that can be completed entirely online. The online M.S.Ed. program has the same curriculum as the on-campus program; both programs include 37 credits of coursework that focuses on language and literacy development for young children with disabilities. However, through the online program, students submit their assignments and interact with classmates and their professors virtually. Features of NSU's electronic campus include faculty and student discussion forums, real-time electronic classrooms with graphics and audio, access to the electronic library and databases, and a directory for posting assignments and resources to the internet.

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo, Florida

Saint Leo University offers an online Master of Education with a concentration in exceptional student education, which is designed primarily for Florida teachers who hold initial teaching licensure. Like the on-campus program, the online M.Ed. provides three tracks of study to accommodate the needs of teachers looking to attain initial teaching licensure and Exceptional Student Education (K12) licensure with Reading and ESOL endorsements, only Exceptional Student Education (K12) licensure with Reading and ESOL endorsements or just a master's degree. The 36-credit program allows students to complete all program coursework online but does require on-site practicums at K-12 schools in their communities.

The University of West Florida

Pensacola, Florida

The University of West Florida offers a Master of Arts in Exceptional Student Education that can be completed entirely online. Students in the program are required to choose one of four cognate areas: special education, applied behavior analysis, PreK disabilities or exceptional and alternative educational studies. The program curriculum requires 36 to 39 credits of coursework, including 21 credits of core courses and 15 to 18 credits of cognate courses. The 21-credit core curriculum is comprised of 12 credits of Department of Teacher Education and Educational Leadership core courses and a nine-credit educational investigative sequence. The M.A. program is designed for teachers who have or are seeking professional certification and does not lead to initial certification.

The University of Central Florida offers an online Master of Education in Exceptional Student Education that is designed for teachers who are already certified in exceptional student education. Teachers in the program are prepared to work with disabled students in K-12 classrooms through 33 credits of coursework that includes a three-credit graduate research course and 24 credits of electives. Students are also required to complete a six-credit thesis, a six-credit research report or two additional electives approved by an advisor. Additionally, a culminating comprehensive exam is required at the end of the program. The University of Central Florida is not authorized to provide online instruction to students in Minnesota, so students from this state are not eligible for the online M.Ed. program.

University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

The University of Florida offers the Teach Well Online Master's program for those looking to study special education at the graduate level. The Teach Well program is designed for licensed teachers and does not require any face-to-face meetings. The curriculum consists of 36 credits of coursework that can be completed in two full years by completing two courses per semester. The program offers a general track of study, an autism focus track and an education and health care transition (EdHCT) track. Students in all three tracks are required to complete 12 credits of Teach Well core courses. Florida students in the autism focus track can use their courses toward an Autism endorsement, and students in the education and health care transition track are eligible to graduate with an EdHCT certificate.

University of North Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

The University of North Florida's Master of Education in Special Education: Autism Track is available in a completely online format. Classes in this program are offered in an accelerated, eight-week format, and students may only enter the program starting with Fall Module 1. The program is open to students who are already licensed to teach and would like to apply for an autism endorsement. Candidates must complete 36 credit hours of classwork, including six credits in core education classes, 12 credits in special education core requirements, and 18 credits in electives concentrating on autism spectrum disorders. A practicum is included.

The University of South Florida offers online programs for professionals interested in special education. The Master of Arts in Exceptional Student Education allows teachers to gain special education endorsements. The program requires 36 credit hours, with 27 credits in core classes and nine credits in an area of specialization: Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Behavior Disorders, or Exceptional Student Education. USF also offers an online Master of Arts in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Severe Intellectual Disabilities that leads to endorsement in Autism and Severe Disabilities. The program is offered online in a cohort format with cohorts starting the program in the spring. An M.A. in Gifted Education is also available online.

Candidates seeking a Master of Arts in Exceptional Student Education from the University of South Florida's St. Petersburg campus can pursue several of the available tracks in an online format. The Severe/Profound, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Gifted, and ESOL tracks are all offered online. The M.A. program requires students to complete 36 credits, with 18 credits in required core courses, including a practicum. The rest of the credits are earned in the track the student is seeking endorsement in. Students must complete all requirements for the M.A. within five years. Students may enter the program in the fall, spring or summer semester.

Georgia

Armstrong State's online Master of Education in Special Education allows students to complete the program in less than two years, taking two classes in spring and fall semester. Classes are entirely online so students can view a class at a time that suits their schedule. The program, for individuals who already have a teaching certificate, focuses on moderate to severe disabilities and emphasizes autism spectrum disorders. The program requires 33 credit hours, and four of the online courses in the program allow students to receive the Special Education Transition Specialist Endorsement on their teaching certificates. This is the only state-approved program in Georgia leading to that endorsement. Teachers who earn the M.Ed. in Special Education will have their teaching certificate upgraded to a T-5 level.

Columbus State University

Columbus, Georgia

Columbus State University offers a Master of Education in Special Education General Curriculum degree that students can earn completely online. The program is open to students who already have a teaching certificate and requires them to complete 36 credit hours of coursework. The program includes seven credit hours in professional core classes, six credit hours in information literacy and technology, and 23 credit hours of classes in the special education concentration. A practicum in mild to moderate disabilities is included in the required hours. Students must pass an exit exam to earn the M.Ed.

Georgia Southern University

Statesboro, Georgia

George Southern University offers fully online master's programs in special education for students seeking teacher preparation and for teachers who are certified to teach special education. Current teachers can concentrate in Moderate-Severe Disabilities-Adaptive Curriculum or Mild Disabilities-General Curriculum, depending upon which area they are currently certified in. The M.Ed. in Special Education is a 36-credit hour program. Students who want to earn initial licensure can earn the Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education, a fully online program. M.A.T. students concentrate in Mild Disabilities-General Curriculum and complete 45 to 51 credit hours. Candidates are required to student teach, and several classes include clinical placements.

Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw, Georgia

Experienced teachers can earn a Master of Education in Special Education: General Curriculum completely online in six semesters through Kennesaw State University. The program is set up in a cohort format, with a new cohort starting the program each summer. The 36-credit-hour program prepares candidates to teach students with disabilities in inclusive settings in PreK-12 schools. Candidates can use the elective classes in the program to study the area that most interests them: autism, preschool special education, reading, or ESOL. Some classes are synchronous and others are asynchronous, but no on-campus time is required. Candidates can complete field experiences at the school where they work.

Valdosta State University

Valdosta, Georgia

Valdosta State University delivers its Master of Arts in Teaching programs in a fully online format. Candidates may seek an M.A.T. in General Curriculum, Adapted Curriculum, or Hard of Hearing. Candidates for the General or Adapted Curriculum programs must be employed as teachers with a non-renewable, non-professional certificate and must spend a minimum of 20 hours each week in a classroom setting with students with disabilities appropriate to their selected area of certification. Candidates must complete 36 credit hours of coursework and complete a capstone project to earn the degree and recommendation for initial certification in special education.

Hawaii

The University of Hawaii at Manoa offers several online learning options for students interested in earning a master's degree in special education. A grant-funded Master of Education in Special Education is available through Project Ho?olako. This program is designed for students who hold a Hawaii teaching license and who have two years of experience teaching children with severe behavioral and learning needs, including those with autism spectrum disorder. Students in the program receive a stipend that covers the required 33 credits of coursework, plus other financial support. All courses are offered online, with some online synchronous class sessions each semester. Some semesters may include two face-to-face Saturday meetings. A more traditional online M.Ed. in Special Education is also available in an interdisciplinary track of study, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst track and a literacy specialist track.

Idaho

Boise State University

Boise, Idaho

Boise State University offers an online Master in Teaching in Special Education that allows participants to earn their master's degree in teaching and initial certification over four academic semesters. The program is offered fully online and enables a graduate to apply for initial licensure in special education K-12 in Illinois. Students seeking licensure in another state should check to see if the program meets that state's requirements. The program requires students to complete 37 credit hours of classes, including a seminar in special education. Like on-campus classes, Boise State's Internet courses have mandatory participation deadlines and requirements.

Idaho State University

Pocatello, Idaho

Students pursuing a Master of Education in Deaf Education through Idaho State University may complete the 33-credit-hour program online. All the required courses in education of the deaf and hard-of-hearing are offered online, as are the required general education classes, and students will find many acceptable graduate-level elective classes offered online as well, according to the College of Education. The program is designed to lead to certification in teaching students who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, and the admissions process gives preference to candidates who have an undergraduate background in special education and who know American Sign Language.

University of Idaho

Moscow, Idaho

The University of Idaho offers an online Master of Education in Special Education with four tracks of study: a B.S.Ed./M.Ed. program, a master's only program, a master's plus certification in special education, and a master's plus a special education program area. The B.S.Ed./M.Ed. program allows students to earn a bachelor's degree in elementary or secondary education and a master's degree in special education in five years, as well as dual general and special education teaching certification. The master's only track is designed for students who hold an undergraduate degree in special education but want to expand their knowledge in this field. Students in this program can select a focus area or work toward a Consulting Teacher endorsement. The master's plus certification in special education track is designed for students who are new to the field and are seeking initial certification.

Illinois

Concordia University-Chicago

River Forest, Illinois

Certified teachers with an early childhood certificate or endorsement or those with the Learning Behavior Specialist 1 endorsement (pre-kindergarten to age 21) can earn an online Master of Arts in Early Childhood Special Education from Concordia University Chicago. The program requires students to complete 30 credit hours and takes two years. Many of the required classes - including those in methods, assessments, language development, and family relationships - also apply toward the Illinois endorsement in Special Education. Some of the classes require practicums, which are typically 20 hours of field experience. Students must complete a capstone project to earn the M.A.

Greenville College

Greenville, Illinois

Greenville College delivers its Master of Arts in Education in Special Education program mostly online. The college estimates 90 percent of coursework is presented online, with limited face-to-face meetings and field experiences required for licensed teachers to receive special education endorsement in Illinois. Foundational courses are presented fully online, with other classes using a hybrid format that combines online learning with face-to-face meetings. Classes meet in Centralia, Godfrey, Greenville and Lincoln, depending upon student enrollment. Students can complete the program in about 18 months, taking one class every eight weeks during the school year. Hybrid capstone classes are offered in the summer.

National Louis University

Chicago, Illinois

National Louis University has an online Masters of Education program that allows licensed teachers to earn their M.Ed. and gain specialized endorsements in a completely online format. Among the endorsements available are Special Education and Early Childhood Special Education. The university requires students to choose two endorsement areas, so a candidate could gain endorsement in special education and choose another endorsement from: ESL; ESL/Bilingual Education; Reading; or Middle Level Mathematics. Applicants must have a valid teaching license to enter the program. The amount of coursework required to earn the degree and endorsements depends upon the specialized endorsements a candidate is pursuing.

Northeastern University offers a Master of Science in Special Education Learning Behavior Specialist II program in an online and hybrid format. The program, open to teachers who are certified to teach special education, leads to a master's degree and eligibility for Illinois state endorsement as a Curriculum Adaptation Specialist and Behavior Intervention Specialist. LBS-2 programs are offered online with content classes requiring three in-person meetings that are scheduled on Saturdays. The program requires candidates to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, including a practicum and capstone program. Students must also submit a portfolio and pass state content exams to earn the endorsements.

Roosevelt University

Chicago, Illinois

Roosevelt University offers a Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning with a concentration in Second Language Special Education that can be completed entirely online or through a combination of online and on-campus learning. Students who are already licensed teachers can enroll in the 30-credit program, which leads to both Bilingual/ESL and LBS I endorsements. Teachers can enter the program during any semester and can take a part-time or full-time course load. An accelerated track of study also exists for those looking to complete the program in as few as three semesters. Students who choose to take some face-to-face courses can do so at Roosevelt's Chicago campus.

The University of Illinois at Chicago offers a Master of Education in Special Education with three strands of study: a strand for students only seeking a master's degree (strand A), a strand for teachers with Learning Behavior Specialist (LBS) I endorsement seeking LBS II endorsement and a master's degree (strand B), and a strand for those seeking LBS I endorsement and a master's degree (strand C). The M.Ed. alone requires 35 to 36 credits of coursework, including three core courses, nine credits of electives and one course from each of the following categories: political and social context, characteristics of learners, promoting academic learning, promoting social and emotional learning, and assessing learner's needs. Students are also required to complete a classroom-based-inquiry internship, field teaching internship or research internship.

Indiana

Ball State University

Muncie, Indiana

Ball State University offers a Master of Arts in Special Education in seven different focus areas. Students can take four of the programs - Applied Behavior Analysis, Autism, Director of Special Education/Exceptional Needs, and Severe Interventions - completely online. Students taking the Mild Interventions program can take all but one class online; the in-person class meets in Fishers, Indiana. The Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism programs are available in an accelerated online format that allows students to complete the program in less than 18 months. Most of the online classes are asynchronous, so students can access lectures and coursework at a time that is convenient for them.

Indiana State University

Terre Haute, Indiana

Teachers with initial licensure seeking a Master of Science in Special Education through Indiana State University can complete the fully online program in 14 months of full-time study if they begin the program in the summer semester and follow the recommended sequence of classes. Candidates are also permitted to enter as part-time students and have up to seven years to complete the required work. To earn the degree, students must complete 39 credit hours of coursework, including a capstone project in action research. Teachers who complete the program may add a special education teaching license in mild interventions to an existing teaching license.

Indiana University Bloomington

Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana University in Bloomington has two online-only programs leading to a special education master's degree. The M.S.Ed. in Special Education allows teachers with initial licensure to add a certification for intense or mild intervention while earning their master's degree. A cohort of students moves through this six-semester program together. The M.S.Ed. in Special Education for Indiana Schools Today program is an online program preparing candidates to work with students needing mild intervention. In both of these programs, students are required to select a specialty track: Autism, Behavior Strategies, Early Childhood, Instructional Strategies, or Intense Interventions.

IUPUI offers an online Special Education Master of Science in Education through IUOnline. The Special Education for Indiana Schools program requires students to complete 36 credit hours to earn the M.S. Students take core courses in research-based instruction, classroom management, collaboration, assessment, instructional strategies and working with families. Candidates also select an area of interest and take four courses in that specialty: Autism, Behavior Strategies, Early Childhood, Instructional Strategies, or Intense Interventions. To earn the degree, candidates must complete a capstone project or thesis. The classes in this program align with the special education professional standards established by the Council for Exceptional Children.

Indiana Wesleyan University

Marion, Indiana

Indiana Wesleyan University offers a Master of Education in Special Education program that allows licensed teachers to earn their master's degree completely online. Applicants should have at least one year of professional experience before entering the program, which requires students to complete 33 credit hours. Students typically take one course at a time, and students may access online courses at the time that meets their schedule. Some classes have clinical experience requirements. Classes in this program focus on students who need mild to moderate interventions. The program aligns with the Council of Exceptional Children's standards.

Purdue University-Calumet Campus offers an online Master of Science in Education in Special Education that accommodates the educational needs of general education teachers looking to become special education teachers, those employed outside of the field of education who want to change careers and special education teachers who want to expand their professional knowledge. The M.S.Ed. in Special Education is a 15-month program that can be completed entirely online through 30 credits of coursework. In order to finish in 15 months, students must take three five-week courses per semester. However, students can complete the program at a slower pace if they prefer. Students take a total of 10 classes that cover subjects such as the characteristics of disability areas, intervention strategies and special education law. Students are also required to complete an internship.

Purdue University

West Lafayette, Indiana

Purdue University offers a Master of Science in Education in Special Education that can be completed online in as little as 20 months. The online M.S.Ed. has a mild intervention focus and offers tracks of study for students who are seeking a master's degree without licensure, a master's degree with initial special education licensure and a master's degree with advanced special education licensure. Those working toward a master's degree only or a master's degree with advanced licensure are required to complete 30 credits of coursework, while those seeking initial special education licensure are required to complete 34 credits of coursework.

The University of St. Francis offers a special education Master of Science in Education program in an online format. Students may choose from three tracks: mild intervention, intense intervention or non-licensure. The program is open to candidates who already possess a valid teaching license, although candidates without a teaching license can enter the program and perform coursework needed for an initial license. The university requires master's students to perform at least 20 hours of community service and to complete two professional development experiences in their area of concentration. Students who have a teaching license may be able to earn the degree in as little as two years.

Iowa

Buena Vista University

Storm Lake, Iowa

Buena Vista University has an online program leading to a Master of Education in Special Education. Students chose one of three tracks: K-8 Mild to Moderate Needs; Grades 5-12 Mild to Moderate Needs; or Severe and Multiple Disabilities. The program is designed to enhance the skills of certified teachers and does not offer initial certification. Students are required to take between 31 and 37 credit hours to complete the program. In each track, students complete a student teaching assignment or do a capstone portfolio. Students are must complete a number of required core classes along with specialized classes for their area of concentration.

Graceland University offers an online Master of Education in Special Education for teachers who are already licensed to teach special education in grades K-12. The program focuses on curricular and instructional methodologies, including behavior management, instructional strategies and assistive technology. The program also focuses on Autism Spectrum Disorders. Students move through the required 30 credit hours of classes in a cohort, following a specific sequence of courses. They complete the program in two years. Student must complete an action research practicum to earn the M.Ed. Graceland does not accept students from Maryland in its online programs.

University of Northern Iowa

Cedar Falls, Iowa

The Master of Arts in Education: Special Education Consultant program is available entirely online through the University of Northern Iowa. This M.A.Ed. emphasis is designed for highly qualified special education teachers, with completion leading to an endorsement to serve as a special education consultant. Graduates of the program can also earn a special education instructional coach certificate. Some courses are delivered using a desktop video conferencing system; those classes are scheduled on one evening a week. Other courses are delivered via an online learning system that students can access at their convenience. The program is set up in a cohort format.

Kansas

Emporia State University

Emporia, Kansas

Emporia University offers its Master of Education in Special Education/Adaptive Concentration in a fully online format. The curriculum meets the endorsement standards for two levels: Early Childhood through Late Childhood (grades K-6) and Early Adolescence through Late Adolescence (grades 6-12). The program is open to teachers who already have an initial teaching license. Students taking this concentration must complete 36 credit hours to earn their M.Ed. along with the Adaptive Endorsement. Candidates must complete a capstone project, such as an action research project, that they must give a public presentation about.

Fort Hays State University offers a fully online Master of Science in High-Incidence Special Education that qualifies graduates for a full endorsement in High-Incidence Special Education (PreK-grade 12) which can be added to a current teaching license. The 36-credit-hour program can be completed in 18 to 24 months. Most classes are offered in the spring and fall semester and some are also available during the summer. The program focuses on action research, best practices, and a case study approach to learning. Students are required to pass a comprehensive exam to earn the degree. The M.S. in High-Incidence Special Education program at Fort Hays is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Pittsburg State University

Pittsburg, Kansas

Pittsburgh State University offers two special education graduate programs that can be completed online: a Master of Science in Special Education Teaching and a Master of Arts in Teaching Special Education. The MS in Special Education Teaching is available in two emphasis areas: adaptive (mild-moderate) and functional (moderate-severe). Depending on the emphasis chosen, students will receive endorsement in adaptive or functional special education for students in grades K-6 or 6-12. The program curriculum includes 36 credits, and students can choose from a thesis or non-thesis option. The MA in Teaching Special Education is a 36-credit, online program designed for paraeducators with at least one year of experience who want to receive licensure to teach grades 6-12 in an adaptive classroom.

University of Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas

The University of Kansas offers online Master of Science in Education degrees in special education and secondary special education transition. The M.S.Ed. in Special Education offers a track of study for teachers seeking additional licensure and a track of study for those who are not seeking licensure. The online special education master's program prepares students to teach children with mild-to-moderate, high-incidence disabilities, such as learning disabilities, behavior disorders, intellectual disabilities, and autism. The 33-credit program can be completed in two years by taking 11 eight-week courses. The 30-credit M.S.Ed. in Secondary Special Education and Transition prepares students to help young people with disabilities transition into adult life. Students can complete this program in two years by taking 10 eight-week courses.

Kentucky

Campbellsville University

Campbellsville, Kentucky

Campbellsville University's Master of Arts in Special Education leading to initial certification and the Teacher Leader Master of Arts in Special Education are available in online programs. The M.A. leading to initial certification is a 60-credit-hour program. The foundation courses in this program do require face-to-face time. The Teacher Leader M.A. requires students to complete 30 credit hours of coursework and can be completed in as little as two years. Teacher Leader candidates must complete six credit hours of practicum in action research to earn their M.A. Campbellsville University is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation for Teacher Education.

Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, Kentucky

Eastern Kentucky University has totally online Master of Arts in Education/Special Education programs that allow students to specialize in Deaf and Hard of Hearing; Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education; or Learning and Behavior Disorders. The programs are designed for teachers who already have initial teacher certification and want to add another certification or Teacher Leader Endorsement. Credit hours required to complete the programs range from 30 to 42, depending upon which additional certifications a student pursues. The programs in Deaf and Hard of Hearing and LBD cover students in grades PreK-12. All the programs are offered in a 100 percent interactive online format.

Georgetown College

Georgetown, Kentucky

Georgetown College has fully online master's programs that lead to certification in Learning Behavior Disorders (PreK-12), Moderate to Severe Disabilities (PreK-12), or a combined certification in LBD and Moderate to Severe Disabilities. Programs are available both for currently licensed teachers and for students seeking initial licensure. Classes are set up in a seven-week format, and students complete one online class every seven weeks. Students move through the program as a cohort. Licensed teachers may be able to complete the master's degree in as little as 18 months. Those seeking licensure must complete several field components and can complete the master's degree with a single endorsement in two about years.

Kentucky State University

Frankfort, Kentucky

Kentucky State University has an online Master of Arts program that allows students to receive an initial teaching license and certification in Learning and Behavior Disorders (PreK-12). The program also allows teachers with initial licensure to add on certification in Learning and Behavior Disorders. The M.A. program combines accelerated coursework with field experiences. Classes are offered in eight-week sessions, with two sessions per semester. Students complete 200 hours of field experiences before starting a practicum/student teaching experience in a public school classroom with students with learning and behavior disorders. The amount of student teaching required depends on how much teaching experience each candidate has had.

University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg, Kentucky

The University of the Cumberlands offers an online Master of Arts in Teaching that allows career changers to earn an initial teaching degree and certification in Special Education-Learning and Behavior Disorders (PreK-12). Students must complete 42 credit hours of coursework, with three clinical experiences including student teaching. Courses include Teaching Math to Learners with Disabilities, Classroom and Behavior Management for Individuals with Disabilities, Special Education Evaluation, Working with Parents, and Issues and Trends in Special Education. Most online courses are offered in an eight-week format, and students must be logged in and at their computer at a specific time, usually one night a week per course.

Western Kentucky University

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Western Kentucky University has an online Master of Arts in Education in special education that is part of its M.A.Ed. Teacher Leader program. Two tracks are available: Moderate and Severe Disabilities Advanced Preparation and Learning and Behavior Disorders. The LBD program offers advanced preparation for teachers with certification in any area other than Exceptional Education LBD and a second program for teachers who already have LBD certification. The programs all include Professional Learning Communities in which students interact with other graduate students from various content areas and grade levels. The M.A.Ed.programs require candidates to complete 30 to 36 credit hours.

Louisiana

Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers an online Master of Education degree in special education with concentrations in gifted education, mild to moderate elementary, mild to moderate middle/secondary and early intervention. The 36-credit M.Ed. program is designed for students who are already certified teachers. The curriculum includes 12 credits of educational foundation courses and 21 credits of coursework in a concentration area. The gifted education concentration prepares teachers to work with academically gifted students through specialized coursework and a practicum. The curricula for the mild to moderate elementary, mild to moderate middle/secondary and early intervention concentrations are guided by the principles and standards outlined by the Council for Exceptional Children and all concentration areas include practica except for the mild to moderate middle/secondary concentration.

University of Louisiana-Monroe

Monroe, Louisiana

The University of Louisiana-Monroe offers an online Master of Arts in Teaching degree with dual certification options in Special Education (Mild/Moderate Disabilities) and Elementary Education, or Special Education (Mild/Moderate Disabilities) and Secondary Education. The M.A.T. degree is offered through the Teachers Earning Alternative Certification Here (TEACH) Project, which is a federally-funded program that aims to increase the amount of certified teachers in Louisiana. Program coursework is offered entirely online and can be completed in as few as 14 months. Students are required to complete an internship that includes a field experience and must participate in monthly professional development workshops, which can be attended online.

Maine

University of New England

Biddeford, Maine

The University of New England offers a Master of Science in Education with a concentration in inclusion education. The 30-credit program is designed for professional teachers and can be completed entirely online. The curriculum requires the completion of 15 credits of inclusion education courses, including a three-credit research course and a three-credit portfolio. The inclusion education coursework teaches students about topics such as inclusive technology, special education law, assessment, collaboration, motivational theory, differentiation theory and class management. Students are also required to complete a practicum and, in order to be admitted, must be employed in an educational setting or have access to a setting where program concepts can be applied.

Maryland

Frostburg State University

Frostburg, Maryland

Students can complete Frostburg State University's Master of Education in Special Education entirely online. The program allows teachers with an initial license to gain certification in general special education for grades 1-8 or 6-12. The program requires students to complete 39 credit hours, including nine credits in required core education classes and 24 credits in special education courses. Students must also complete a capstone project which can be either a research paper or a project. Special education specialization courses are offered only online, as are some suggested electives. The required core courses and some electives are online and also available in a face-to-face format.

Kaplan University

Hagerstown, Maryland

Kaplan University offers a fully online Master of Science in Education that allows licensed teachers to pursue an emphasis in Teaching Students in Special Needs. To earn the degree, students must complete 46 credits, with 34 credits in core classes in subjects such as classroom management, assessment, and action research. Students pursing the special education emphasis earn 12 credits in classes covering inclusive classrooms, learning disabilities and behavior disorders. Multiple start dates are available, and students have flexibility on when they access classwork. Students can complete the program in 16 months if they take one course per term. The program is not open to students in Arkansas or Kentucky.

Massachusetts

Endicott College

Beverly, Massachusetts

The Master of Education in Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis offered by Endicott University is available in a mostly online format. The 39-credit-hour program prepares teachers who already have an initial license for certification to teach students with autism spectrum disorders. It also includes courses in applied behavior analysis that fulfill the educational requirements for the certification offered by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. The online classes include lectures, quizzes and assignments, and students are able to interact with classmates through online forums where they can hold discussions or post questions.

Fitchburg State University

Fitchburg, Massachusetts

Fitchburg State University's online Master of Education program allows students with a teaching license to earn licensure as a special education reading specialist or as a teacher of students with severe disabilities. Another online special education M.Ed. programs allows a licensed teacher to become a dyslexia specialist and gain Wilson Language Training Level I and Level II certification. Fitchburg also offers flexible, individualized M.Ed. options for licensed teachers who already are certified to teach special education, which can include BCBA certification. Classes are delivered online although students may occasionally be required to attend face-to-face meetings on Saturdays.

Lesley University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Certified teachers who wish to gain advanced knowledge of special education can earn an individually designed Master of Education degree through Lesley University. The program does not lead to licensure, but students can count courses required for various add-on endorsements to partially fulfill requirements for the M.Ed. The flexible, online program requires students to complete two required courses and nine electives. Students may choose from concentrations such as special education or autism, or they may work with an adviser to develop an individual plan, choosing relevant courses from across the university. Students also have the option of taking face-to-face classes offered at Lesley.

Northeastern University

Boston, Massachusetts

Northeastern University offers a Master of Education in Special Education that can be completed entirely online. The online M.Ed. program has the same admission requirements as the on-campus program; prospective students are required to have initial teaching licensure in primary or secondary education and are not required to take the GRE or GMAT for admission. The online program curriculum is also identical to the on-campus program, with students completing 45 credits of coursework in education, special education and elective areas. Online courses are provided in an asynchronous format that allows students to fit them into their existing schedules.

Michigan

Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan

Michigan State offers an entirely online Master of Arts in Education that allows students to concentrate in special education. The program is open to professionals seeking advanced study in education and requires an online portfolio but no thesis. Students develop their concentration area through selecting electives. The program is not designed to meet requirements for special education endorsement. To earn the M.A.Ed., candidates must complete 30 credit hours of coursework, including at least 18 credits in one area of concentration or nine credits each in two areas of concentration. The program is not open to applicants who are residents of Kentucky or Maryland.

Northern Michigan University

Marquette, Michigan

Northern Michigan University offers an online Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in learning disabilities for teachers with at least one year of teaching experience. The M.A.Ed. curriculum consists of three tiers of coursework. The first tier requires 12 to 15 credits of coursework in educational research, special education, learning disabilities and reading disabilities. The second tier requires 14 to 17 credits in classroom management, assessment and the teaching of core subjects for students with learning disabilities. The third tier requires the completion of a three-credit internship and one-credit seminar. Additionally, students are required to complete a capstone project in the form of a thesis or a seminar in educational research.

Oakland University

Rochester Hills, Michigan

Oakland University offers a fully online Master of Education in Special Education with an endorsement in autism spectrum disorders. The online M.Ed. in Special Education follows the same curriculum format as the on-campus program, with students completing 25 credits of core requirements and 15 credits of ASD concentration courses. Students will also complete a practicum or adviser-approved elective. Students in the online program, however, will fulfill all program requirements virtually, except for the ASD practicum, which must be performed in an approved classroom setting. Online class formats at Oakland University vary on a class by class basis, with some classes offered synchronously and some offered asynchronously.

Spring Arbor University

Spring Arbor, Michigan

Spring Arbor University offers an online Master of Arts in Special Education with concentrations in learning disabilities and autism. The program is designed for students who are already certified general education teachers. The 36- to 37-credit curriculum includes four foundation courses and eight courses in a concentration area. Core courses cover subjects such as issues, collaboration, law and human development in the field of special education. Students in both the learning disabilities concentration and the autism concentration are required to complete student teaching and a seminar. The program is offered entirely online and can be completed in 30 months. After completing the program, students are eligible for endorsement in their chosen concentration area.

University of Michigan-Dearborn

Dearborn, Michigan

The University of Michigan-Dearborn offers an online Master of Education in Special Education that includes Specialist in Mild Disabilities certification. The program does not require a teaching certificate for admittance, and all courses are offered online, with no on-campus requirements. Additionally, students who complete the program do not receive any endorsement, but do receive an Inclusion Specialist certificate, which prepares them to teach children with disabilities in a general education classroom. The program curriculum requires 30 credits of coursework that covers topics such as classroom management, emotional impairments, special education law, learning disabilities and assessment.

Minnesota

Augsburg College

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Students interested in special education from an American Indian perspective may pursue a licensure program in Special Education: EBD/LD from Augsburg University. The Naadamaadiwin Tribal Special Education Cohort is a hybrid program taught mostly online, with in-person weekend meetings at the beginning and end of the semester. Some classes in the program can also be applied toward the Master of Arts in Education that Augsburg offers. Students typically need nine credit hours to earn the MAE after completing the tribal special education program. The program is offered in collaboration with the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and students usually do their student teaching in Duluth or the Twin Cities.

Bemidji State University

Bemidji, Minnesota

Students enrolled in Bemidji State University's online Master of Special Education program can complete the degree in as few as six semesters. The program requires students to complete 39 credit hours of coursework and is designed for individuals who already have their initial teaching license. Students must take 24 hours of required core classes, a sequence of two methods courses, and three research courses. Students with a standard Minnesota teaching license will have to complete four additional credit hours to earn both the M.S.E. and a special education teaching license. Students are allowed to start the program in the fall, spring or summer semester.

Capella University

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Capella University's online Master in Special Education is designed for students who already have an initial teaching license. The program is on the quarter system, with a three-week break between each quarter. Students must complete 58 credits to earn the degree, including 24 credits in required foundation courses, 22 credits in specialization courses, and 12 credits in learning disabled endorsement courses. Most students take one or two online classes per quarter. Capella has a program that gives students academic credit for learning gained through professional certification programs and other sources. Capella's Professional Education Unit has been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Concordia University-Saint Paul

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Concordia University St. Paul has a Master of Arts in Education in Special Education that allows teachers with an initial license to seek licensure in autism spectrum disorders, emotional/behavioral disorders, or in specific learning disabilities. Depending upon the specialty, students are required to complete between 30 and 36 credit hours to earn the M.A., although students might have to take prerequisite courses first. The programs are all delivered in an online cohort format that requires a weekly, one-hour synchronous audio/visual chat. The program is set up so that the cohort finishes one three-credit-hour course every seven weeks.

Hamline University

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Students seeking a Master of Arts in Education with a specialization in autism spectrum disorders may complete the program completely online through Hamline University. The program requires students to complete 34 credits, including 24 credits in foundational classes and 10 elective credits. The program requires a capstone practicum and project. Students seeking an additional license in autism spectrum disorders in Minnesota may apply classes for that program toward their required electives for the M.A.Ed. Students may begin the program in the fall or summer semester. Students typically complete the master's program in 18 to 24 months.

Minnesota State University at Moorhead offers an online Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction program that allows candidates to choose special education as their area of emphasis. To enter the program, students must have completed at least one year of teaching. The program requires students to complete at least 32 credits. The 19 core credits come from classes that cover educational foundations, curriculum theory, instructional best practices, and educational research. Students also complete 13 credits in their area of emphasis; special education majors take classes on behavior and learning problems, inclusive teaching practices, career/transitional education for secondary students, and special education policy. Candidates must also complete an action research project and pass a comprehensive exam.

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota offers an online Master of Arts in Special Education that includes tracks of study leading to initial licensure, additional licensure and a master's degree only. Similar to the on-campus program, students in the online program can choose to receive additional licensure in specific learning disability (LD), emotional or behavioral disorders (EDB) and/or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Students working toward an M.A. degree without initial or additional licensure are required to complete 36 to 48 credits of coursework, including 24 credits of special education core courses. Students working toward an M.A. with additional licensure are required to complete 39 to 52 credits, including a three-credit practicum, while the M.A. with initial licensure requires 60 to 73 credits, including a six-credit student teaching experience.

Walden University

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Walden University offers two online master's programs in special education. The Master of Arts in Teaching is a teacher preparation program that can lead to licensure to teach K-12 special education in Minnesota. The Master of Science in Education is for licensed teachers, and special education is one of the specializations available. The teacher preparation program requires candidates to complete 46 credits, including demonstration teaching and an action research project. Walden offers a Virtual Field Experience feature, which uses streaming media to allow candidates to observe classrooms. The M.S.Ed. is a 30-credit program, with 18 credits in required courses and 12 credits in the area of specialization.

Mississippi

Delta State University

Cleveland, Mississippi

Delta State's Master of Education in Special Education is a completely online program that prepares teachers with initial certification to teach students with mild to moderate disabilities in an inclusive classroom. The program requires students to complete 30 to 33 credit hours of coursework and covers all grades from kindergarten to 12th grade. Students must take two required core courses and eight courses in the major field of study. M.Ed. candidates can take additional coursework to qualify for an endorsement in severe/profound disabilities. All students in the program must complete an internship in an inclusive special education setting.

Jackson State University

Jackson, Mississippi

The Master of Science in Education in special education is available as a fully online program through Jackson State University. The program is open to teachers with an A certification in Mississippi or the equivalent. The program concentrates on teaching students with mild to moderate disabilities and includes classes in intellectual disabilities, behavioral disorders and learning disabilities. Students are required to perform a practicum in supervised teaching of children with mild to moderate disabilities. To earn the M.S.Ed. degree, students must complete at least 36 credit hours of coursework and pass a comprehensive examination. JSU is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

University of Southern Mississippi

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi offers a fully online Master of Education in Special Education that allows candidates to concentrate in Mild/Moderate Disabilities, Emotional/Behavior Disorders, or Severe/Low Incidence Disabilities. Each of those areas of concentration can lead to additional Mississippi licensure in that area. The program is open to licensed teachers. To complete the program, candidates must earn at least 33 credits, including a practicum. The curriculum includes four educational core classes, a research class, and 15 credits in electives. Students are also required to compile a comprehensive portfolio. The M.Ed. in Special Education with an emphasis on Gifted Education is available in a partially online format.

William Carey University

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

William Carey University has an online Master of Education program that leads to a degree in Mild to Moderate Disabilities K-12. To earn the degree, candidates must complete 30 credit hours, including courses in behavior disorders, intellectual disabilities, specific learning disabilities, and varying exceptionalities. The program allows teachers with initial licensure to gain an endorsement in Mild to Moderate Disabilities K-12. The M.Ed. program is structured so that candidates can continue to teach full time while working on the degree. William Carey University is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education/Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

Missouri

Drury University

Springfield, Missouri

Drury University offers a Master of Education in Exceptional Children and Youth for teachers who already have initial certification or for professionals who work with exceptional children and do not need teaching credentials. The program is offered almost completely online, with the exception of one course that requires students to be present for lab activities. The program requires candidates to complete 36 credit hours, and students may tailor the program to an area of interest by focusing their projects on that area and taking an elective course in gifted education, reading, specialized mathematics methods, or behavior analysis.

Fontbonne University

Saint Louis, Missouri

Fontbonne University has a totally online Master of Arts in Education program called Paraprofessional Pathways that enables paraprofessionals or teacher assistants to earn a master's degree and receive K-12 mild/moderate cross-categorical certification. Students complete 32 credits to earn the master's degree and take additional coursework to qualify for the special education certification. In the online program, students take two 16-week courses in the fall and spring and two 10-week courses in the summer. Students can complete clinical experiences on the job, and Fontbonne offers a discount for students who are employed in a school. The program is only available to residents of certain areas within Missouri and Illinois.

Missouri Baptist University

Saint Louis, Missouri

Teachers interested in gaining certification in special education can meet that goal by completing an online Master of Arts in Teaching through Missouri Baptist University. Certifications available include Early Childhood/Elementary/Special Education; Early Childhood Special Education; Elementary Special Education; and Special Education: Cross-Categorical Disabilities Mild to Moderate. Classes typically meet once a week for eight weeks, and classes are offered all year long. Licensed teachers must complete 36 credit hours to earn the M.A.T. The M.A.T. program is also open to individuals who are seeking initial teacher licensure; they must complete additional coursework and field experiences to meet state requirements for initial licensure.

Missouri State University's special education master's degree with an emphasis in Blindness and Low Vision can be completed entirely online. The degree is designed to prepare teachers to serve as residential, itinerant or resource teachers to the visually impaired. Students can complete the program in two to three years. Classes include a course in Braille reading and writing, anatomy and physiology of the eye, assessments and methods of teaching the visually impaired, and a practicum. Candidates also prepare a thesis. The program is accredited by National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and approved by the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind.

University of Missouri-Columbia

Columbia, Missouri

The University of Missouri-Columbia offers an online Master of Education in Special Education with emphasis areas in autism, early childhood special education and autism, and early childhood special education. All three programs require 30 credits of coursework and can be completed 100% online. Students in each program are required to complete 21 emphasis-specific credits and pass a comprehensive exam before graduation. Coursework for students in all three areas of emphasis covers subjects such as implementing research-based intervention strategies, employing appropriate assessment methods and using positive behavioral supports. The online M.Ed. degrees in special education do not lead to initial or secondary certification.

Montana

Licensed teachers seeking initial endorsement in special education or advanced studies in special education can earn their Master of Science in Special Education completely online. Teachers with initial licensure who wish to earn a special education endorsement follow the Generalist track, which requires candidates to complete 39 credit hours of coursework, including six credits in student teaching. Teachers who studied special education as undergraduates or who already have a special education endorsement can follow the Advanced Studies track. The Advanced Studies track requires students to complete 33 credit hours of coursework, including an internship. A thesis is optional for the Advanced Studies candidate.

Nebraska

Chadron State College

Chadron, Nebraska

Chadron State offers two online master's programs in special education, and both are designed for individuals who already have a teaching certificate. The Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction in K-12 Special Education leads to an endorsement in special education. The program requires 15 credit hours in core courses, 24 credit hours of special education courses, and an additional 12 hours of special education classes to complete the endorsement. The college also offers a Master of Education in Educational Administration with a focus area in Special Education Curriculum Supervisor PK-12. The program requires students to complete 42 credit hours.

Concordia University-Seward

Seward, Nebraska

Concordia University Nebraska offers a fully online version of its Master of Education in Early Childhood Special Education. Candidates must complete 36 credit hours to earn the M.Ed. and eligibility for a Nebraska early childhood special education teaching certification for those candidates who hold a valid Nebraska teaching certificate. Each course includes about 10 hours of direct contact with young children, including children with special developmental and/or learning needs, which helps candidates to meet the requirements for special education certification. Students move through the program with a cohort of colleagues and complete the M.Ed. program in about two years.

The University of Nebraska at Kearney offers an online Master of Arts in Education in Special Education with concentrations in general special education (K-6 or 7-12), gifted, behavioral interventionist, inclusive collaboration specialist and assistive technology specialist. The University also offers an online Master of Arts in Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in special education. The M.A.Ed. in Special Education with a gifted concentration can be completed through a thesis or non-thesis track of study, both of which require 12 credits of department core courses and 24 credits of specialization courses. The other three concentrations are Advanced Practitioner programs designed for students who already hold a teaching certificate and special education endorsement. In addition to 12 credits of department core courses, these programs require six credits of special education core courses and 18 credits in the area of specialization.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Lincoln, Nebraska

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers online Master of Arts and Master of Education degrees in special education with concentrations in visual impairment, mild-moderate disabilities, early childhood special education and deaf education. Students who choose the visual impairment concentration complete three visual impairment core courses and then complete electives in a supporting area such as autism spectrum disorders, deaf education, early childhood special education or mild/moderate disabilities. Visual impairment students must complete a total of 33 credits of endorsement classes plus an additional three-credit course to earn the master's degree. Similarly, students in the early childhood special education and deaf education concentrations complete 30 credits of endorsement courses and an additional six credits to complete the master's degree. Students in the mild/moderate disabilities concentration complete 25 to 44 credits for endorsement and two additional courses for the master's degree.

New Hampshire

Franklin Pierce University

Rindge, New Hampshire

Franklin Pierce University offers a completely online Master of Education program in special education that can also result in certification to teach general special education in grades K-12. The program is open to students who have a teaching license and to those who want to become teachers. Those seeking initial certification are required to complete an internship at a local school. Classes are offered online in an asynchronous format that allows students to view the lessons at a convenient time. The university has four 12-week semesters a year. The M.Ed. requires 41 credits, and the master's and certification require 50 credits.

Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, New Hampshire

Southern New Hampshire University offers both its Master of Education in Special Education and its Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in special education in an online format. Both programs can be completed in as few as 15 months by taking two classes each ten-week term and both follow the same curriculum format as their on-campus counterparts. Courses for these online programs are provided in an asynchronous format. Since it provides initial licensure, the online M.Ed. in Special Education is only available to New Hampshire residents. The online M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, however, only provides additional licensure and is therefore available to students from any state. Students who are seeking certification in states other than New Hampshire should, however, check their state's licensure requirements to make sure the program fulfills these requirements.

New Jersey

Monmouth University

West Long Branch, New Jersey

Teachers pursuing a Master of Science in Education in Monmouth University's Special Education: Autism track can complete the program entirely online. The program requires candidates to complete 30 credit hours of coursework. Twelve of the credits are in required core classes, including issues and trends in special education, technology and students with disabilities, and advanced literacy instruction. The remaining 18 credit hours focus specifically on students with autism spectrum disorders and include courses in the characteristics of autism, communication and social competence skills, and assessment and interventions. The program aligns with the standards of the Council for Exceptional Children.

Rowan University

Glassboro, New Jersey

Rowan University offers an online Master of Arts in Special Education with three tracks of study: a graduate endorsement track for students who don't already hold special education endorsement, an autism spectrum disorders track for licensed special educators who want to teach students with autism spectrum disorders and a learning disabilities track for licensed special educators who want to study the most current research and instruction methods for effectively teaching students with learning disabilities. The program curriculum ranges between 30 and 36 credits, with students in all three tracks completing 18 credits of core courses. Students in the graduate endorsement track must complete an additional 18 credit hours, while students in the autism spectrum and learning disabilities track must complete an additional 12 and 15 credits, respectively.

New Mexico

Eastern New Mexico University has several online master's programs in special education. One program offers an alternative route to licensure for students who do not have an undergraduate degree in education. Students working toward alternative licensure may use 12 hours of master's level coursework completed for licensure toward their Master of Special Education. Currently licensed teachers pursuing the Master of Special Education may choose a general emphasis or an early childhood emphasis. Candidates also choose between a thesis option, which requires 30 credits, and a non-thesis option, which requires 36 credits. The program includes 12 hours of required core courses with the balance of classes focusing on the area of concentration.

University of the Southwest

Hobbs, New Mexico

The University of the Southwest offers a Master of Science in Education with a specialization in Special Education that can be earned entirely online. The program is open to professional teachers and does not lead to teacher licensure. Candidates can access the online classes at any time or location, and tools are available so that they can communicate with professors and classmates. The university does not charge out-of-state tuition or technology fees. The M.S.Ed. program requires students to complete at least 36 credit hours, with most of the classes covering topics in the specialization area. Students must pass a comprehensive exam to earn the degree.

Western New Mexico University

Silver City, New Mexico

Western New Mexico University delivers the classes for its Master of Arts in Teaching programs entirely online. The M.A.T. offers two options. One option leads to initial licensure for individuals who do not have an undergraduate degree in education and the other leads to eligibility for an endorsement or additional licensure in special education for teachers who are already licensed. Online classes are offered in an asynchronous format that allows students to log in to the class at the time and place of their choosing. The university provides 24/7 online tech support and online tutoring. It is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

New York

Dominican College of Blauvelt

Orangeburg, New York

Dominican College offers an online Master of Education program in Teachers of Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired (TVI). The program prepares teachers who have initial certification to work with students in grades Pre-K-12 using a wide range of assistive technology, devices for braille literacy instruction and low vision magnification accommodations. The online format provides flexibility and increases the convenience of the master's program. Students seeking the M.S. Education along with the New York State TVI certification must complete 36 credit hours of coursework, which can be done in about 24 months.

Hofstra University

Hempstead, New York

Hofstra University offers a completely online Master of Science in Education called Special Education: International Perspectives. This 31-credit-hour program covers Special Education curriculum across developmental levels (early childhood, elementary, adolescent and adult) and a range of disabilities. Students take 16 credits in inclusive education, 12 credits in the nature and needs of disability, and three credits in research classes. Courses last for seven weeks, allowing students to complete up to four courses in one semester. The program is designed for professionals who work with students with disabilities, but it does not lead to New York State certification in Special Education.

Mercy College

Dobbs Ferry, New York

Mercy College offers an online master's program that allows students to earn a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education: Birth-Grade 2, leading to initial certification, with additional certification in Childhood Education, Grades 1-6 and Students with Disabilities. The program requires students to complete 48 credit hours, including a student teaching experience. Candidates with initial teaching certification and at least three years of experience can complete the program to achieve professional certification in Early Childhood and additional certification in Students with Disabilities and Childhood Education, Grades 1-6. Online classes allow candidates to interact with the instructor and one another between class meetings.

Niagara University

Niagara University, New York

Teachers with initial certification in an approved area can earn a Master of Science in Special Education through an online program at Niagara University. The program allows graduates to earn initial/professional certification in teaching students with disabilities in grades 1-6 or 7-12. The program requires students to complete 40 credit hours of coursework, including 15 credits in foundational courses and 18 credits in advanced courses. Students must also complete a practicum that entails 100 hours of teaching students with disabilities in a supervised setting. Candidates may be able to perform fieldwork in the school where they are employed. Students can complete the program in as few as four semesters.

Roberts Wesleyan College

Rochester, New York

Roberts Wesleyan College offers a Master of Education in Special Education that can be completed entirely online in 24 months. The online program offers three tracks of study: a professional certification track, an initial certification track and an initial certification track with a concentration in multiple and severe disabilities. The professional certification track is a 33-credit program that is designed for teachers with base certification in special education, while the initial certification track is a 36-credit program designed for teachers with base certification in general education. The initial certification track requires 50 hours of field experience. The initial certification track with a concentration in multiple and severe disabilities is also designed for teachers with general certification but requires 39 credits and 75 hours of field experience.

Touro College

New York, New York

Touro College's Master of Science degrees in early childhood education and special education (birth-grade 2), childhood education and special education (grade 1-6), and teaching students with disabilities (grade 7-12) can all be completed in an online format. Program requirements can be met entirely online, except for the field experience and practicum courses, which must be completed in school classrooms. The program curriculum remains the same as the curriculum for on-campus programs, with students completing 36 to 42 credits of coursework. Courses are offered in an asynchronous format that allows students to fit coursework into their existing schedules.

North Carolina

Elon University

Elon, North Carolina

Elon University's Master of Education in Special Education combines online classes during the school year with three summers of classwork delivered on Elon's campus (on-campus housing is available for students who do not live nearby). The program, for certified teachers, requires 26 months but allows candidates to continue to work full time and arrange classes around their work schedule. Elon's program also helps teachers with at least three years of experience to prepare for National Board Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification. As part of their online classwork, students will design and carry out an action research project.

North Carolina Central University

Durham, North Carolina

Through its distance learning program, North Carolina Central University offers a Master of Education in Special Education and a Master of Arts in Teaching that focus on visual impairment. The M.A.T. program leads to teacher licensure. The programs are designed to prepare candidates to teach the visually impaired or to become Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists. The program combines on-campus weekend and summer meetings with online classes during the school year. All candidates must complete a 350-hour internship in their specialty area. Coursework aligns with the standards of the Council of Exceptional Children and the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals.

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Greensboro, North Carolina

The University of North Carolina Greenville has a fully online program leading to a Master of Education in Birth-Kindergarten Interdisciplinary Studies in Education and Development. The program is available with an emphasis on Early Childhood Leadership & Advanced Teaching Licensure and is open to individuals who hold an initial B-K teaching license or an initial teaching license in another field of education. The degree requires students to complete at least 37 semester hours of coursework. Teachers who do not have B-K licensure will have to student teach. This degree is a fully online synchronous program with classes meeting using web cameras and microphones. Classes meet in the evenings.

Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, North Carolina

Western Carolina University offers online master's programs in special education both for licensed teachers and for those seeking licensure. Teachers with an A Level license can earn a Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis on Mild to Moderate Disabilities, Severe to Profound Disabilities, or Gifted Creative and Innovative Education. The program requires 30 to 33 credit hours of coursework, but candidates whose background is not in special education might need to take prerequisites. The Master of Arts in Teaching program is a teacher preparation degree that leads to licensure to teach special education. Candidates select an emphasis in either General Curriculum or Adapted Curriculum.

North Dakota

Minot State University

Minot, North Dakota

Minot State University offers its Master of Science in Special Education program in an online format. Some classes in the program require students to connect at a specific day and time but they may do so from any location. Students in the program may choose one or more areas of emphasis: Deaf or Hard of Hearing; Specific Learning Disabilities, Early Childhood Special Education, Developmental Disabilities/Autism Spectrum Disorder, or Special Education Strategist. Depending upon area of emphasis and experience, students must complete 38 to 52 credit hours to earn the degree. The university requires a summer residency for assessment/clinical training as part of the M.S.

University of Mary

Bismarck, North Dakota

The University of Mary offers a Master of Education in Autism Spectrum Disorder that is only available online. The program curriculum includes six core courses and six emphasis area courses. Students are also able to choose from a master's thesis or a professional portfolio as their capstone project. Students in the M.Ed. program can complete all coursework online except for the practicum, which needs to be completed in a school, but can be done at a distance. Students who choose the thesis for their capstone project are required to complete some on-campus requirements. Emphasis area coursework teaches students about behavior management, special education law, interventions and communication strategies as they relate to students with autism spectrum disorders.

University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, North Dakota

The University of North Dakota's Master of Science in Special Education is available in a fully online format that students can complete in as little as a year and a half. Classes are offered asynchronously. Students pay in-state tuition regardless of where they live. The program requires students to complete at least 32 credit hours of coursework and allows them to choose an area of specialization: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Early Childhood Special Education, Emotional Disturbance, Intellectual Disabilities, Gifted/Talented, Learning Disabilities, Visual Impairment, Special Education Strategist or General Special Education. The program is open to teachers with initial licensure who want to work with special education students and to individuals in non-teaching professions.

Ohio

Miami University in Ohio offers a Master of Education in Special Education that allows career changers to earn initial teacher certification and experienced teachers to earn a credential in special education. The program is delivered in an online hybrid format that combines web-based asynchronous classes with live, synchronous sessions at Miami University's Voice of America Learning Center in West Chester, Ohio. Live sessions are held three Saturdays each semester. Students pursuing their initial license must complete 60 credit hours and a semester-long student teaching assignment. Licensed teachers complete 36 to 42 credit hours. All students who earn the M.Ed. are eligible for an Ohio K-12 Mild-Moderate Intervention Specialist teaching license.

Notre Dame College

Cleveland, Ohio

Notre Dame College offers an online Master of Education degree with a course of study that leads to mild to moderate intervention specialist licensure. The online M.Ed. program follows the same curriculum guidelines as the on-campus program, with students completing common core and research coursework required for all Master of Education degrees. Students then complete an additional 30 to 33 credit hours to become licensed K-12 mild to moderate intervention specialists. All of the program courses are delivered online in an accelerated format. Although all program courses are offered online, students will be required to come to campus at some point during their study.

University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, Ohio

The University of Cincinnati offers an online Master of Education in Special Education with licensure options for students seeking initial or secondary teaching licensure. The initial licensure option is designed for students who don't hold a teaching license in any subject and want to earn an initial Ohio K-12 Intervention Specialist license, while the secondary teaching license option is designed for students who hold a teaching license and want to earn the Ohio K-12 Intervention Specialist (Mild to Moderate) licensure. The M.Ed. program can be completed on a full or part-time basis and requires the completion of 12 core credits. M.Ed. students are also required to choose between groupings of courses in autism spectrum disorders, advanced studies in education or transition to work. Although all M.Ed. courses can be completed online, students seeking licensure may have to complete certain licensure courses on-campus.

University of Toledo

Toledo, Ohio

The University of Toledo has an online Master of Education in Special Education program that allows candidates to select a focus area: general special education, early childhood special education, or behavior disorders. The online master's program can be linked to teacher certification requirements in Ohio and Michigan. Candidates who are already teachers may be able to choose an endorsement, including preschool special needs, transition to work, and the Ohio reading endorsement. Online students have access to services including a library, tutoring and tech support. The online special education program is not open to residents of Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Wisconsin or Washington, D.C.

Oregon

Concordia University Portland offers four online special education master's program. The Master of Education in Special Education can lead to an Oregon Special Education Added Endorsement; there is also a non-endorsement version of the program. Students must have an initial teaching license to enter the endorsement program. Concordia also has a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: The Inclusive Classroom program designed for general education teachers who want to effectively teach students with disabilities and those mainstreamed or fully included in general education classrooms. The Inclusive Classroom degree does not result in a licensure to teach special education. The M.Ed. in Advanced Study in Special Education is for licensed, experienced special education teachers.

Eastern Oregon University

La Grande, Oregon

Eastern Oregon University offers an online master's program that allows students to focus on special education. The Master of Science program is for students who have an initial teaching license. The program requires 19 credits of core classes, which include a research project. Students also must complete 15 credits of coursework in their area of focus and 11 credits in electives. Candidates who are seeking a special education endorsement may apply credits earned in the endorsement program to satisfy the focus area and elective requirements of the M.S. program. Many students pursue the M.S. on a part-time basis and complete it in about three years.

George Fox University

Newberg, Oregon

Licensed teachers can earn a Master of Education with a concentration in special education through George Fox University's online M.Ed. program. Students who complete the degree will be qualified for an endorsement in special education. The program requires students to complete 15 credits of required core classes and another 25 credits in courses dedicated to special education. Most classes are offered online, although some special education classes may have an on-campus requirement. Students may start the online program at the beginning of the fall, spring, or summer semester, and they might be able to transfer credit in special education classes from other universities.

Western Oregon University

Monmouth, Oregon

Students seeking a special education Master of Science in Education can take Western Oregon University's program in an online format. Students have two options. The Early Intervention program prepares teachers to work with special needs children from birth to age 8. The program is open to individuals regardless of whether they have a teaching license. The K-12 Special Education option allows currently licensed teachers to gain endorsement to teach special education at the Early Childhood/Elementary or Middle School/High School level. Career changers can earn initial licensure through the 45-credit program. The online program is not open to residents of Alabama or Maryland, and residents of other states may face some restrictions.

Pennsylvania

Carlow University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Carlow University offers a completely online program leading to a Master of Education in Special Education and a Pennsylvania special education certification for PreK-8 or grades 7-12. The program is open to individuals who are already certified to teach in Pennsylvania. Students must complete 33 credit hours of classes, including courses in mild to moderate disabilities, severe and profound disabilities, and autism spectrum disorders. Students must also complete a special education internship, working onsite with students who have a range of disabilities. Interns work with a mentor teacher and are required to attend a biweekly seminar at Carlow University.

Chatham University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Chatham University offers a fully online Master of Education program with a concentration in special education for individuals who do not seek Pennsylvania Department of Education certification in special education. The 33-credit-hour program includes classes on inclusion, differentiated reading and writing, assessment and adaptation, and behavior management. Teachers with an initial license who want to become certified in special education can take some classes in the M.Ed. in Special Education program online, but they are required to attend some classes necessary for certification on campus.

Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Clarion, Pennsylvania

For teachers who are already certified to teach special education, Clarion University provides a fully online program that leads to a Master of Science in Special Education degree. The program requires students to complete 33 credit hours of coursework, and most of the courses are offered in a seven-week class format. The program provides for six credit hours of required classes in core competencies, 21 credit hours of specialization courses, including practicums, and three to nine credit hours in electives. Aside from requiring applicants to have special education certification, there are no specific prerequisites for this program.

Drexel University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Drexel University delivers classes for its master of Education in Special Education entirely online. The program is for teachers with an initial license who want to be certified in special education in grades PreK-8 or 7-12. Students select an area of concentration: Autism Spectrum Disorders; Collaborative Special Education Law and Process; Multisensory Reading Instruction Level 1; Technologies for Special Education; or a customized program of study if they already have special education certification. Classes are arranged in 10-week quarters, and students can complete all the classes in 21 months. Students must earn 49.5 credits, including 31.5 credits required for special education certification, 12 credits in concentration courses, and six credits in action research.

Eastern University

Saint Davids, Pennsylvania

Eastern University offers a fully online Master of Education in Special Education that is open to certified teachers. Teachers with Pre K-4, Elementary or Middle Level Certification follow the Elementary Special Education track while teachers with Secondary Education 7-12 Subject Certification follow the Secondary Special Education track. The M.Ed. program requires students to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, including several classes that require candidates to perform observation or field work. Courses include autism spectrum disorders; emotional and behavioral disorders; and evaluation and assessment. Students who complete the program are eligible for special education certification. Eastern University's curriculum emphasizes a Christian philosophy.

Gwynedd Mercy College

Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania

Gwynedd Mercy University offers a fully online Master of Science in Special Education for teachers who already have initial licensure in Pennsylvania. Teachers who complete the program are eligible for special education certification (PreK-8) in Pennsylvania. With an additional 12 credit hours focusing on autism spectrum disorders, students can also be eligible for an autism endorsement in Pennsylvania. The M.S. in Special Education program requires candidates to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, including classes in educational research, special education law, behavior management, diversity issues, and action research.

Mansfield University of Pennsylvania

Mansfield, Pennsylvania

Students pursuing the Master of Education in Special Education offered online by Mansfield University may follow a track leading to certification to teach special needs students or follow a non-certification track. To enter the certification track, an applicant must have initial teaching licensure. Candidates in this program must complete 36 credits, including six credits of clinical experience over two semesters. Students who complete the certification program meet Pennsylvania requirements for certification to teach special education (PreK-8). Mansfield's non-certification M.Ed. track is open to professionals who want to understand the field of special education and requires students to complete 33 credit hours.

Messiah College

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

Messiah College offers online Master of Education programs that lead to certification to teach special education in PreK-8 or grades 7-12 for teachers with an instructional certificate in an area such as K-12, elementary, secondary, or middle school. In the online program, classes are offered in an eight-week format during the fall and spring semesters. In the summer, classes are offered online in eight-week sessions or on campus in intensive, weeklong sessions. Most classes are available online. The program requires 21 credits in core education classes and 18 credits in special education. Candidates may choose between preparing a thesis or another capstone project.

Millersville University of Pennsylvania

Millersville, Pennsylvania

Millersville University offers a fully online Master of Education in Special Education that allows students to concentrate in either Limited Supports or Extensive Supports. The program is open to teachers with initial licensure and gives them to option to seek certification in PreK-8 or grades 7-12, depending upon current licensure. To earn the degree, students must complete 12 credit hours in core professional courses, 12 credits in courses for the concentration, six credits in knowledge core classes, and a thesis or action research project. A special education supervisory option is also available and requires students to perform an applied supervision in a special education setting.

Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

University Park, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania State University offers an online Master of Education in Special Education with specializations in academic and behavioral supports, applied behavior analysis and autism. The program requires 32 to 33 credits of coursework and can be completed in one calendar year of full-time study or two calendar years of part-time study. Students in all specialization areas complete six credits of core curriculum, a three-credit capstone course and 23 to 24 credits in their specialization. The program does not lead to certification in special education but can be used to help with certification renewal for those who already hold certification.

Point Park University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Point Park University's Master of Education in Special Education can be completed entirely online through a 36-credit curriculum that is identical to the on-campus program. The online special education M.Ed. is a cohort program that can be completed in about two years by taking one three-credit course every eight weeks. Online students are not required to attend any face-to-face meetings; all course requirements can be completed electronically except for the practicum experience. Like on-campus students, online students have the option to choose between special education certification in PreK- grade 8 or grades 7-12. However, their certification eligibility is dependent on the teaching license they currently hold.

Saint Joseph's University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Saint Joseph's University offers an online Master of Science in Special Education that allows teachers with initial certification in early childhood development, elementary education or secondary education to attain certification in special education for grades PreK-8 or 7-12. The special education M.S. program requires 36 credits of special education core courses and allows students to choose a concentration in autism spectrum disorders or the Wilson Reading System. Students who choose the autism spectrum disorders concentration complete four concentration courses that lead to Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialist endorsement. Students who choose the Wilson Reading System concentration also complete four concentration courses that result in Wilson Reading Certification.

Seton Hill University

Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Seton Hill University offers an online Master of Arts in Special Education program in which students can choose to earn Pennsylvania PreK-8 or 7-12 special education teacher certification with their master's degree. Students looking to earn special education certification are required to have a Pennsylvania teaching certificate. All M.A. students must complete 30 credits of coursework that covers subjects such as low incidence disabilities, high incidence disabilities, autism, behavioral issues, curriculum development, the use of instructional and assistive technology, and legal issues. Students are also required to complete field and practicum experiences at their place of employment or another appropriate educational site in their local area. Full-time students can finish the program in one year by taking two courses per eight-week session.

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania offers an online Master of Education in Special Education with concentrations in autism, birth to grade 8, grades 7-12 and school supervision. All four concentrations require 36 credits of coursework, including a three-credit practicum. The autism concentration is designed for those holding an undergraduate degree in special education or others working with autistic children in social service settings. The birth to grade 8 and grades 7-12 concentrations are designed to be fifth year of study programs for those completing undergraduate degrees in special or general education. The school supervision concentration is a cohort program that leads to Pennsylvania certification in School Supervision, preparing students to become supervisors of special education.

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania

West Chester University delivers an online Master of Education in Special Education program that allows students to concentrate in high incidence special education, low incidence special education, or universal design for learning and assistive technology. The program is open to licensed teachers. The 33-credit-hour program includes six credits in professional core classes, 15 credits in special education classes and 12 credits in the area of concentration. Candidates must produce a final research paper to earn the degree. Online instruction is delivered primarily asynchronously, so students can access class materials at their convenience. Students communicate with professors and classmates through email, chat sessions and videoconferencing.

South Carolina

Southern Wesleyan University

Central, South Carolina

Southern Wesleyan University offers an online Master of Education in Classroom Leadership that allows students to choose an emphasis content area in learning disabilities or early childhood special education. The M.Ed. program requires 36 credits of coursework, including 30 credits of core courses and six credits of electives. Electives can be used in an emphasis content area that leads to endorsement in that area. The core curriculum also includes 12 credits of practicum requirements. Students entering the program are required to have a professional teaching license in any state and one year of teaching experience. The program takes approximately 18 months to complete, with courses offered in seven-week sessions.

Tennessee

Carson-Newman University

Jefferson City, Tennessee

Carson-Newman University's online program leading to a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in special education can prepare certified teachers for a Special Education K-12 endorsement. Online classes require students to log in regularly to participate in discussions and group activities. During fall and spring semesters, students take a three-credit course every eight weeks. During the summer, students can complete up to four courses, with some lasting four weeks and others eight. Carson-Newman estimates students can complete the program in about five semesters. The university also offers the program in a blended format, where students take some face-to-face classes and some online classes.

East Tennessee State University

Johnson City, Tennessee

East Tennessee State University has a mostly online Master of Education program with an emphasis in Early Childhood Special Education. While the program is intended for teachers with initial licensure, those who do not yet qualify for a license may be admitted provisionally while they complete required coursework. While most classwork will be completed online, students are required to attend face-to-face meetings twice a semester at ETSU's Sevierville and/or Strawberry Plains locations. Students who complete the program will be eligible for special education early childhood education (birth to age 8) licensure or add-on endorsement.

Texas

Houston Baptist College allows students to earn a completely online Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Special Education. Students do not need to be licensed teachers to enter the program, which does not lead to any teaching credentials or additional certifications. Students in the program take 18 credit hours of classes in core subjects such as school reform, curriculum development, teaching methodology, research, and technology integration. The remaining 18 credit hours are electives, which a student concentrating in Special Education would use to take courses in special education.

Lamar University

Beaumont, Texas

Lamar University offers its Master of Education in Special Education in a fully online format. Students can complete the program in as little as 18 months, and students are allowed to start the program at multiple times throughout the year. Students may concentrate in general special education or in autism spectrum disorders. To earn the M.Ed., students must complete 36 credit hours of coursework, or 30 hours of coursework and a thesis. They also must pass a comprehensive exam. The programs are open to students with a valid teaching license, and Lamar leaves it up to candidates to determine if completing the program will lead to add-on endorsements.

LeTourneau University

Longview, Texas

LeTourneau University offers an accelerated online Master of Education in Teaching and Learning that can lead to initial teacher licensure and certification to teach special education. The program, which is available only to students in Texas, allows students who did not study education as undergraduates to become teachers in Early Childhood-grade 6; grades 4-8; or grades 7-12. Online classes meet for periods of three to seven weeks, with students taking one class at a time. Courses begin on Monday, and most assignments are due on Sunday night. The M.Ed. requires 36 credit hours, but students seeking special education certification must take two additional courses to meet state requirements.

Midwestern State University

Wichita Falls, Texas

Students seeking the Master of Education in Special Education from Midwestern State University have the option of taking the program in a completely online format. The program is open to licensed teachers. Candidates with a background in special education can complete the 36-credit-hour program to qualify for certification as an Educational Diagnostician. Teachers who did not study special education as an undergraduate can also enter the program, although they will need to take additional coursework to qualify for the Educational Diagnostician credential. The university also offers the M.Ed. with an emphasis on dyslexia and related learning disorders, and that program is also available online.

Stephen F. Austin State University offers an online Master of Education in Special Education with tracks of study for those who are not seeking teaching certification, those who are seeking initial teaching certification and those who are seeking Educational Diagnostician certification. The non-certification track of study requires 36 credits of coursework and is designed for students who already hold Texas teacher certification in special education or general education, or who work in a state agency where teacher certification is not required. The M.Ed. with initial teaching certification is a 45-credit program that includes a student teaching experience. The M.Ed. with certification as an Educational Diagnostician requires 36 credits of coursework that teaches students about disabilities, instructional strategies, formal assessment and law.

Texas A & M University-College Station offers an online Master of Science and Master of Education in Special Education. Both degrees are offered entirely online and require 36 credits of coursework. These programs take two years to complete and include coursework related to autism, bilingual special education, program development, adolescent literacy and transitioning special needs students from school to work. Master's students also have the option to earn a certificate in applied behavior analysis, which prepares them for the Board Certified Behavior Analysis exam through 15 credits of coursework. Program courses are delivered in synchronous and asynchronous formats that are offered in fall, spring and summer.

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, Texas

Texas Tech University offers an online Master of Education in Special Education with concentrations in generic special education, educational diagnostician, deaf and hard of hearing, autism, applied behavior analysis and transition. All of these programs are offered fully online, require 36 credits of coursework and are available in thesis and non-thesis tracks of study. The M.Ed. with Educational Diagnostician certification prepares students for roles in educational assessment. Students who choose the applied behavior analysis concentration complete the coursework necessary to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst exam, while students in the deaf and hard of hearing concentration complete coursework that prepares them to take the state exam for teaching students with hearing impairment. The transition specialist concentration prepares teachers to help disabled students transition from school to employment, postsecondary education or independent living.

The University of Texas at Tyler offers an online Master of Education in Special Education that includes Educational Diagnostician certification. The M.Ed. in Special Education is a cohort program designed for certified teachers that is delivered 100% online. Students in the program are required to complete 12 courses that cover topics such as learning theory, cognitive assessment, developmental testing, legal issues, behavior disorders, learning disorders and neurological disorders. Students are also required to complete a practicum that requires 160 hours in a Texas Education Agency accredited school. During their final semester, students in the program are required to take the TExES exam to earn their Educational Diagnostician certification.

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin offers a Master of Arts in Special Education that can be completed entirely online. The 36-credit program can be completed in a s few as 24 months and is accredited by the State Board for Educator Certification, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Council for Exceptional Children. Students can choose from a generic special education track that prepares them to work with children who have mild to moderate disabilities or an autism and developmental disabilities in early childhood (AuDDEC) that prepares them to work in early intervention community-based programs in early childhood school settings. An educational diagnostician track of study is also available but requires nine credits of on-campus coursework that takes place during the summer.

The University of Texas-Pan American offers an online Master of Education in Special Education that can be completed in as little as 10 months. The online program follows the same curriculum format as the on-campus program, requiring 30 credits of coursework that teaches students about individual differences, teaching practices for high-incidence and low-incidence disabilities, and assessment and programming in special education. The program is comprised of accelerated courses are offered in eight-week terms. Like the on-campus program, the online program is open to both certified teachers and those seeking certification. Certified teachers who are admitted into the program are eligible for the TEACH Grant, which can provide up to $7,416 toward tuition.

The University of Houston-Victoria offers an online Master of Education in Special Education that is designed for general or special education teachers or others who work in organizations serving individuals with disabilities. The M.Ed. program requires 30 credits of coursework that prepares them to engage in informal assessment, functional behavior assessment, behavior intervention, programming and transition. Students also complete coursework related to special education law, applied behavior analysis and research. Additionally, students are required to complete a comprehensive exam that covers the content of one education core course and two major courses, which can only be completed after finishing 24 credits of coursework. Online courses are offered in an asynchronous format that allows students to complete their coursework at any time.

Students interested in earning a Master of Education in Special Education with a concentration in Autism Intervention can earn the degree in a year through an online program offered by the University of North Texas. Students take nine credits each semester, starting in the summer of one year and through the summer of the next. The summer terms include three sessions. The program does not lead to teacher certification, but candidates may earn teacher certification through another UNT program. The M.Ed. program, accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, is also open to social workers, case managers and other professionals.

University of St Thomas

Houston, Texas

The University of St. Thomas delivers its Master of Education in Special Education in a completely online format. The program requires students to complete 36 credit hours. Nine credits are required in core classes, while the rest of the coursework is dedicated to the area of concentration. Candidates must also complete an action research report. Candidates are required to have two years of teaching related experience before they can receive the degree; the requirement can be fulfilled before the student enters the program. Students must complete all the requirements for the degree within eight years. The university has scholarships available for students seeking the M.Ed. in Special Education.

Wayland Baptist University

Plainview, Texas

Wayland Baptist University's Master of Education in Special Education is available in a fully online format. The program allows currently licensed teachers to gain supplementary certification in early childhood-grade 12 special education. Individuals who want to enter the teaching field can gain initial teacher certification in early childhood-grade 12 special education. The program requires candidates to complete at least 36 credit hours if they are licensed and at least 39 if they are pursuing licensure. Classes include professional core classes and coursework in the special education professional emphasis. Candidates must also complete a capstone research project. The program can be completed in 18 months.

West Texas A&M offers its special education master's programs in a completely online format. The Master of Education with a major in Educational Diagnostician is open to licensed teachers who have at least two years of classroom experience. The 36-credit program aligns with the standards for diagnostic specialists recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children. Candidates must complete a comprehensive exam, and those seeking certification in Texas must complete a practicum. The online Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction has an option in Special Education that is open to licensed teachers. Candidates must complete 36 credits, including 27 in special education topics, to earn the degree.

Utah

Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, Utah

Western Governors University has a fully online Master of Science in Special Education that prepares currently licensed general education teachers to move into special education. The online program is flexible, allowing students to log into classes at a time that is convenient and work at their own pace. Western Governors University charges a flat-fee tuition for a six-month semester, and students can complete as many courses as they wish within that period. Graduate students are expected to complete at least eight credit hours per term, and most classes are three or four credit hours. Most students complete the program in two to two and a half years.

Virginia

Averett University

Danville, Virginia

Averett University has a Master of Education in Special Education K-12 both for current teachers and for career changers seeking initial certification. The Virginia Endorsement track is designed for certified teachers and is offered online as a 20-month program. In addition to taking online classes, students analyze current research in special education and pursue in-person coached field experiences in local schools. The Virginia Licensure Track is also offered online in a 20-month format, while students receive in-person coaching for their student-teaching and other field experiences. The licensure track is offered in a cohort format, which means a group of students moves together through the required courses. Classes are presented in six- to 10-week blocks, allowing for intensive study of a subject.

George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia

Licensed teachers who would like to take the Behavior Analyst Certification Board exam can prepare for it while earning a completely online Master's of Education through George Mason University. In the M.Ed. in Special Education (ABA Emphasis) program, students use the electives in the M.Ed. program to take the classes in the Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate program. The program requires between 30 and 42 credits, depending on whether a student chooses to take an optional practicum. The program can be completed in as little as 18 months, and students may enter the program in the fall or spring semester.

James Madison University

Harrisonburg, Virginia

James Madison University offers a Master of Arts in Teaching with a concentration in visual impairments through its membership in the VI Consortium, a group of five Virginia universities. The program is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in a subject other than education and leads to initial licensure. Classes are offered through a combination of online classwork, video conferencing, web conferencing and face-to-face meetings. Any in-person meetings are scheduled in the evening or summer. To earn the M.A.T., students must complete at least 30 hours of coursework and they might have to take prerequisites to meet Virginia requirements for licensure.

Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

Liberty University has an online Masters of Education in Teaching and Learning that allows students to take a cognate in K-12 special education. The program requires students to complete 36 credit hours, including nine credits in professional courses, 15 credits in advanced education core courses, and 12 credits in special education courses. Special education majors take classes in autism, behavior management, and educational assessment for special needs. Liberty's M.Ed. does not lead to licensure. The program is offered entirely online with no residency requirements. The program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Norfolk State University

Norfolk, Virginia

Norfolk State University offers an online Master of Arts in Pre-Elementary Education program that leads to licensure in Special Education Early-Childhood (Birth-Age 5). The program is designed for teachers who already have certification in Special Education K-12 or PreK-6 who want to add licensure in Special Education Early Childhood. The program requires candidates to complete 42 credit hours of coursework and a practicum that totals at least 300 hours of field work. Candidates have the choice of preparing a thesis or taking a comprehensive exam to exit the program. Norfolk State is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Old Dominion University

Norfolk, Virginia

Old Dominion University's M.Ed. program in special education with a research emphasis can be completed entirely online. Students entering the program must be licensed in the field of special education and will focus their studies on scholarly research, advanced instructional strategies and special education leadership. Additionally, after completing the program, students will have fulfilled all of the admission requirements for Old Dominion's special education PhD program. The program curriculum includes 30 credits of asynchronous and synchronous online courses and is based on the advanced program standards created by the Council for Exceptional Children. M.Ed. students are required to complete practica in their classrooms and are thus required to be currently teaching students with disabilities.

Regent University

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Regent University offers an online Master of Education in Special Education that meets the needs of both students seeking K-12 teaching licensure with special education endorsement and practicing special education teachers looking to advance their professional knowledge. The M.Ed. program requires a minimum of 42 credits that cover topics such as the characteristics of students with disabilities, special education law and ethics, behavior management, social skills training, language acquisition, instructional methods and assessment. The program is delivered entirely online through accelerated eight-week courses. Depending on the coursework chosen, students who complete the program are eligible to receive initial teaching licensure, a licensure upgrade, a reading specialist endorsement or a certificate in autism spectrum disorder in addition to their master's degree.

Virginia Commonwealth University offers a completely online Master of Education in Special Education with a General Education concentration. The program covers high incidence disabilities such as learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and other health impairments. Students must complete 37 credit hours of coursework, and candidates may pursue their studies on a full-time or part-time basis. A three-credit externship is required. The program is open to special educators holding a valid conditional or provisional teaching license who are working with students with high incidence disabilities. Graduates are eligible for a five-year renewable license with an endorsement in special education: general curriculum.

Washington

Central Washington University

Ellensburg, Washington

Central Washington University's online Master of Education in Special Education program is open to individuals with a valid teaching certificate who have at least one year experience teaching or who get an exemption from the special education faculty. Students are required to complete 45 credit hours with some core classes offered in conjunction with the Master of Education in Literacy program. Students are required to complete an internship and to produce a master's thesis or research project to earn the degree. The program does not result in endorsement by the State of Washington in P-12 special education.

City University of Seattle

Seattle, Washington

City University of Seattle offers a Master of Education in Special Education that allows current teachers to earn a first-time Washington State special education endorsement, helping them transition into a special education role. The program allows students to use their current classroom for onsite internship opportunities and complete the rest of their classes completely online. Students typically complete the program in nine quarters, but the university says some students complete it in as little as seven quarters while others take up to four years to finish all the courses. The online program allows students to choose when and where to do class assignments.

Eastern Washington University

Cheney, Washington

Edinboro University has online programs leading to a Master of Education in Special Education. One program is for teachers who have initial teaching certification and allows them to earn special education certification in grades Pre K-8 or 7-12. The program requires students to complete 36 credit hours. The second program is for teachers who are already certified to teach special education and allows these individuals to strengthen their skills and specialize in either autism spectrum disorders or behavior management. That program requires students to complete 30 credit hours. Both programs require a one-week residency on campus during the first summer the student is in the program.

The University of Washington has an online option for the Master of Education in Special Education with the Applied Behavior Analyst sequence. The ABA sequence and optional intensive practicum can be completed over one or two years. With an additional year of coursework, candidates can earn the M.Ed. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board requires applicants for certification have a master's degree in education, psychology, or behavior analysis. Online classes for this program are held in real time in the late afternoons. The intensive practicum requires 750 hours of direct and indirect work with individuals with developmental disabilities. Educators might be able to complete the practicum through their current job.

Washington State University

Pullman, Washington

Washington State University offers its Master of Education in Special Education program in an entirely online format. Certified teachers who complete the degree are eligible for the Washington State Special Education Teaching Endorsement. To earn the degree, candidates must complete 37 credit hours of coursework, including foundational classes, methods courses and research courses. The M.Ed. program focuses on classroom application of concepts. Washington State's online program, called the Global Campus, has a multimedia team to help ensure online coursework is engaging, and virtual mentors are available to help students who encounter problems. Students can access classwork at their convenience.

West Virginia

American Public University System

Charles Town, West Virginia

American Public University offers a Master of Education in Teaching with a concentration in special education. The program is designed for licensed teachers who are seeking a graduate degree; the program does not lead to licensure. The program requires teachers to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, including 24 hours of core requirements, nine hours of concentration requirements, and a three-credit capstone project in action research. All 12 required courses are offered online and are designed for teachers of grades K-12. Students who complete the program will be able to collaborate with others in the research, design, implementation and evaluation of effective programs of instruction for students with disabilities.

Concord University

Athens, West Virginia

Concord University offers an online Master of Education in Special Education for students who already have a teaching certificate. The program allows students to become certified to teach special education in grades K-6 or grades 5-adult or to earn a multi-categorical certification. Students are required to earn 36 credit hours, including 15 hours in professional education core classes and 21 hours in special education curriculum and instruction. All M.Ed. candidates must complete field placement hours and internships/practicums in each content specialization. Concord's program has been recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children and the school is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Fairmont State University

Fairmont, West Virginia

Fairmont State University has online master's degree programs leading to certification in Multi-Categorical Special Education both for teachers with initial certification and for individuals who would like to begin a teaching career but who did not study education as an undergraduate. Licensed teachers can earn special education certification and a Master of Education in Special Education by completing 36 credit hours, 12 more than are required just for certification. Those new to teaching begin by taking 12 credit hours of prerequisite courses, then complete the 36 credit hours for the special education certification and master's degree.

West Virginia University

Morgantown, West Virginia

West Virginia University delivers its Master of Arts in Special Education program in an entirely online format. Students can specialize in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education, Gifted Education, Low Vision/Blindness, Multicategorical Special Education, or Severe/Multiple Disabilities. The program is open to licensed teachers around the United States, and candidates may seek certification in the subject area of concentration. Classes for all the programs are delivered entirely online, with sessions alternating between real time and on-demand presentations. Field and practicum experiences are arranged in a qualified school or agency in the student's home community with local supervision and online oversight by university faculty.

Wisconsin

Concordia University-Wisconsin

Mequon, Wisconsin

Concordia University Wisconsin offers an online master's program in Special Education Learning Disabilities. The program is open to teachers who have an initial license. The 36-credit program consists of nine eight-week classes, and students can complete the program in 18 months. In many cases, candidates are able to complete the student teaching assignment in their regular classroom. Students who complete the program are eligible for a special education endorsement. As a capstone project, students are required to devise and write an action research report.

Marian University

Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin

Marian University in Wisconsin has an online Master of Arts in Education that can lead to licensure in special education in cross-categorical or specific learning disabilities. There are options for currently licensed teachers seeking to add the special education endorsement and for career changers who want an alternative pathway to licensure. Current teachers complete 29 credit hours. Individuals seeking licensure complete 33 credits to earn certification and another five credits to earn the M.A.Ed. Classes are offered completely online. Students who take two courses every 11 weeks can complete licensure in five semesters and earn the master's degree in seven semesters.

University of Wisconsin-Stout

Menomonie, Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin Stout offers a fully online Master of Science in Education program that allows certified teachers to earn an Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialist Certificate as part of the degree. The degree program requires candidates to complete at least 30 credit hours of coursework and features a strong research core with an emphasis on action research. Candidates use their electives to pursue the autism certificate. Candidates can earn their master's degree in about two years by taking two classes each fall, spring and summer term. Candidates may enter the program in the fall or spring semester.

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Whitewater, Wisconsin

Licensed teachers can purse the Master of Science in Special Education in an entirely online format through the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. The M.S. in Special Education is a professional development program that allows teachers to pursue advanced knowledge in the field and possibly add a certification to their teaching license. Certification areas that can be earned with the master's degree include Autism Specialist, Transition Specialist or Applied Behavior Analysis. To earn the professional development degree, candidates must complete 36 credit hours, including 24 credits in core courses and 12 credits in the area of specialization. Some certification sequences require more than 12 credits.

Wyoming

University of Wyoming

Laramie, Wyoming

The University of Wyoming delivers the content for its special education Master of Arts in Education using distance learning methods including online classes, videoconferencing and intensive weekends. The program is open to licensed teachers who become eligible for a teaching endorsement in K-12 Special Education when they earn the M.A. For a culminating activity, candidates may write a thesis, write a topical paper or create a relevant educational product. The thesis option requires 41 credits, and the paper or product options require 34 credits. Students may start the program in the spring or fall semester. Several scholarships are available for students in the program.