Discover Degree Options & Potential Careers in Special Education


Schools need experienced and dedicated educators to work with students who have learning, mental, emotional or physical disabilities. Completing an online master's degree in special education provides the advanced skills and knowledge needed to excel as a special education teacher, counselor or curriculum developer. This guide provides information on enrolling and succeeding in an online master's degree in special education.

1 University of South Florida-Main Campus

Students who complete the master of arts in special education degree program at the University of South Florida-Main Campus will be ESE certified after they graduate. The program prepares teachers to develop the pedagogical and clinical skills needed to serve children with exceptionalities as well as their families. Web-based learning, non-traditional scheduling and accelerated instruction make it possible for students to complete the program while working full time. The College of Education maintains several centers and institutes for graduate students to use during their time at the school, including the Institute for School Reform and the Center for Migrant Education.

2 University of North Dakota

The master of education degree at the University of North Dakota can be completed 100 percent online by distance learners. The program begins three times a year, and takes at least one-and-a-half years to complete. All classes are offered in the asynchronous format, which provides extra flexibility by not requiring students to be online at a specific time. Students will receive assignments on a weekly basis, and they will also complete several projects. All examinations are non proctored. The program prepares teachers to diagnose exceptionalities in children and plan curriculum accordingly. Graduates will be prepared to work in hospitals, schools, and human service agencies.

3 St John's University-New York

St. John's University-New York offers graduate students a master of science in education degree with a special focus on childhood and childhood special education. Graduates will be prepared to identify variations in human development while diagnosing and intervening on a case-by-case basis. Students will also learn how socioeconomics, personal health, culture and environment affect learning and development variations, especially where abuse is present. Upon completion, graduates will be prepared to create healthy, nurturing environments for students with disabilities ranging from mild to profound. Coursework and instruction combines both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

4 Niagara University

The master of science in education degree, which can be completed completely online, concentrates on special education for either grades 1-6 or 7-12. Both tracks are 40-hour programs that lead to either an initial or professional certificate. All applicants must hold an approved teaching certificate, and can use the degree to achieve professional certification in the state of New York. The program instills teachers with the skills required to work with special education students from a variety of ethnic, racial, social and cultural backgrounds. Distance learners can complete the course of study in two years.

5 Carlow University

Graduate students who complete the MEd in special education at Carlow University will have the option of pursuing a PA certification. The certification can either be K-8, 7-12 or both. In order to be accepted into the program, prospective students must be certified as teachers in another area. The 33-credit program takes five semesters to complete. Students can complete the flexible degree either on campus, online or through a hybrid combination of traditional instruction and distance learning. Students are not required to submit GRE or GMAT results, and classes begin in the fall, spring and summer.

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