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Best 15 Online Master’s in Special Education in 2021

March 26, 2021 | Staff Writers

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Why Choose an Online Master’s in Special Education

A master’s degree in special education is the perfect way to improve your teaching skills. It also gives you the opportunity to explore new theories in education and to apply what you learn in your classroom.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that a bachelor’s degree will give special education teachers a median pay of $61,030, and a masters is sure to add to that. This field already has 443,700 positions, and it is expected to grow by 3% between 2019 and 2029. That will add an additional 14,300 jobs in that time.

Choosing an Online Master’s in Special Education

When selecting a school providing an online master’s in special education, it’s important to find one that has accreditation and that has the support needed for teachers to work around their busy schedules. An online master’s program should be flexible. Some will be hybrid, while others offer complete courses online.

Below are our top choices for schools with an online master’s in special education. Don’t see a program you like here? Let us know. We’ll look at your requirements and help match you with a program to suit your needs.

The Best 15 Schools with an Online Master’s in Special Education

1. Georgia College and State University

Georgia College and State University offers a 45-credit-hour program in Special Education Master of Arts in Teaching. The program lasts up to two years and is taught synchronously with the on-campus courses.

  • Tuition (in-state): $5,292
  • Enrollment: 7,031

2. Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University offers a Master of Education in Special Education. This program has several concentrations including for deafblindness, orientation and mobility, and several others. There are 36 credit hours, and the time to complete is based on the concentration chosen.

  • Tuition (in-state): $6,788
  • Enrollment: 38,742

3. Bethel University

Bethel University offers a 41-credit-hour Special Education Master of Arts. This program has concentrations in autism spectrum disorders, developmental disabilities, academic behavioral strategist and emotional and behavioral disorders. The program is normally between 15 and 18 months long.

  • Tuition (in-state): $11,700
  • Enrollment: 4,005

4. University of Missouri

The University of Missouri offers a 33-credit-hour Master of Arts in Special Education with an Emphasis in Special Education. This program takes between two and three years and is completely online.

  • Tuition (in-state): $9,761
  • Enrollment: 16,388

5. Ball State University

Ball State University offers a Master’s Degree in Special Education. Teachers may select from concentrations such as early childhood special education, director of exceptional needs, autism and others. The program is between 27 and 30 credit hours and lasts two years.

  • Tuition (in-state): $9,328
  • Enrollment: 22,443

6. North Carolina State University at Raleigh

North Carolina State University at Raleigh offers a 1.5-year program for a Master of Education in Special Education. This program consists of only 30 credit hours, so it’s one of the faster programs available.

  • Tuition (in-state): $9,095
  • Enrollment: 36,304

7. University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota offers a Master of Science in Special Education including concentrations in intellectual disabilities, early childhood special education, visual impairment and others. The program consists of 32 credit hours and lasts around 1.5 years.

  • Tuition (in-state): $11,060
  • Enrollment: 13,581

8. University of Houston

The University of Houston offers a two-year, 30-credit program for its Master of Education in Special Populations. This has concentrations in educational diagnostician, special education leadership, gifted and talented, and special education.

  • Tuition (in-state): $8,539
  • Enrollment: 46,148

9. Saint Joseph’s University

Saint Joseph’s University offers a 36-39-credit-hour program that takes up to three years to complete. This program culminates in a Master of Science in Education with a focus on Special Education. Some concentrations available include the Wilson Reading System certification, autism spectrum disorders and applied behavior analysis.

  • Tuition (in-state): $17,802
  • Enrollment: 7,362

10. Purdue University

Purdue University offers an Online Master of Science in Education in Special Education. This program has several concentrations and consists of 31 to 45 credit hours. The program may last up to two years, depending on the concentration chosen.

  • Tuition (in-state): $9,208
  • Enrollment: 45,500

11. Florida International University

Florida International University offers a Master of Science in Special Education with an autism endorsement that consists of a year of coursework. This program has 36 credit hours and is available asynchronously.

  • Tuition (in-state): $8,912
  • Enrollment: 58,711

12. George Washington University

George Washington University offers a Master of Arts in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners. This asynchronous program consists of 33 credit hours and takes 1.5 years to complete.

  • Tuition (in-state): $31,770
  • Enrollment: 27,814

13. University of Florida

The University of Florida offers a Master of Education in Special Education. This program consists of two years of coursework and 36 credit hours.

  • Tuition (in-state): $10,770
  • Enrollment: 52,407

14. University of Washington

The University of Washington offers a two-to-three-year program for its Master of Education in Special Education. This program consists of 45 credit hours.

  • Tuition (in-state): $16,278
  • Enrollment: 47,576

15. Michigan State University

Michigan State University offers a 30-36 credit-hour program that lasts two years. This program culminates in a Master of Arts in Special Education with concentrations such as in learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and the general track.

  • Tuition (in-state): $18,858
  • Enrollment: 49,809

Ranking Methodology

The schools researched for this article are listed from our top to bottom choices based on overall tuition rates and enrollment. Those were each scored individually, and the totals were ranked from the best to worst, with schools with lower tuition and enrollment rates scoring highest.

Every effort has been made to provide accurate information here. Please keep in mind that the information included in this list cannot be guaranteed and may change at any time.

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Online Master’s in Special Education

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