Best 30 Special Education Degree Programs in 2021 - Best Value Schools

Best 30 Special Education Degree Programs in 2021

Staff Writers by: Staff Writers

1. University of Florida

The University of Florida often ranks highly on such lists due to its high quality of education and low tuition, and this list is no exception. Its Bachelor’s in Unified Elementary/Special Education is a five-year program. Students can choose to specialize in Elementary or Special Education during their fifth year and earn a Master’s in the field.

  • Tuition per year: $6,381 in-state; $28,659 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 87% 

2. California State University – Long Beach

California State University – Long Beach is one of the leading campuses in this large university system. Its Master’s in Special Education prepares students to teach pupils with a wide range of challenges. Undergraduate students can also pursue a Special Education credential as part of their degree.

  • Tuition per year: $6,834 in-state; $18,714 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 68% 

3. Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University offers the leading special education degree program in North Carolina. Students can pursue a Bachelor’s in Special Education: Adapted Curriculum K-12. App State also offers a Master’s in Special Education that allows students to specialize further.

  • Tuition per year: $7,409 in-state; $22,216 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 70%

4. University of North Carolina – Charlotte

The University of North Carolina – Charlotte may not be the best-known university in the system, but it does offer the highest-ranked Bachelor’s in Special Education. Students can pursue a license in adapted curriculum (which allows them to teach severely disabled students) or general curriculum (which allows them to teach mildly disabled students). UNC – Charlotte also offers master’s and doctoral programs in the field.

  • Tuition per year: $6,905 in-state; $20,339 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 56% 

5. CIty University of New York – Queens

The City University of New York – Queens offers the top-ranked special education degree program in the state. Its Master of Science in Education allows students to specialize in various age groups from birth to age 21. These programs prepare students for licensure in New York State.

  • Tuition per year: $7,538 in-state; $15,488 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 61%

6. City University of New York – Hunter College

Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY) offers a leading special education program. Hunter offers a Master’s in Special Education degree with specializations in Early Childhood Education, Childhood Education, and various types of disabilities. Hunter also offers many different certifications in the field.

  • Tuition per year: $7,382 in-state; $15,332 non-resident
  • Gradution rate: 57%

7. City University of New York – Brooklyn

Brooklyn College is the third institution from the City University of New York in our list. It offers a Master’s in Special Education that allow students to specialize in Birth to Second Grade, First Grade to Sixth Grade, and Seventh to Twelth grade. These programs only accept new students in the fall semester.

  • Tuition per year: $7,440 in-state; $15,390 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 57%

8. University of North Carolina – Greensboro

The University of North Carolina – Greensboro offers a top special education program. This program includes Bachelor’s in Special Education with a dual major in Elementary Education and Special Education. This program prepares students to teach pupils with disabilities and those without disabilities.

  • Tuition per year: $7,403 in-state; $22,562 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 54%

9.  State University of New York – Oneonta

The State University of New York – Oneonta, commonly known as SUNY Oneonta, has a top-notch special education program. Its Master’s in Special Education program offers specializations in Early Childhood, Childhood, and Special Education Generalist (7th-12th grades). Students must complete six credits of student teaching in special education classrooms.

  • Tuition per year: $8,740 in-state; $18,650 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 72%

10. City University of New York – City College

City University of New York – City College is the oldest institution in the CUNY system, and it has one of the longest-running special education programs.Students can earn a Master’s in Special Education with specializations available in Teacher of Students with Disabilities in Childhood Education (1st-6th grades) or Teacher of Students with Disabilities in Adolescent Education (7th-12th grades).This program is geared toward students who already have a teaching license, though there are options for those who don’t.

  • Tuition per year: $7,340 in-state; $15,290 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 46% 

11. Iowa State University

Iowa State University offers the top special education program in the state. The school offers a Master’s in Special Education that prepares students to teach special-ed pupils of all ages. Students must complete a creative project before graduation.

  • Tuition per year: $9,320 in-state; $24,508 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 75%

12. State University of New York – Oswego

The State University of New York – Oswego continues the trend of New York public institutions on our list. SUNY Oswego offers a Master’s degree in Special Education with a concentration in Childhood Education for students who already have a special education certification and are looking to further their educations. The school also offers a program for Childhood Education-certified teachers who are looking for a certification in Special Education.

  • Tuition per year: $8,717 in-state; $18,627 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 66%

13. State University of New York – Fredonia

The State University of New York – Fredonia is another New York public university with a strong special education program. Its Bachelor’s in Inclusive Education allows students to earn both a certification in Childhood Education and a certification in Students with Disabilities. Students must complete four field experiences to graduate.

  • Tuition per year: $8,717 in-state; $18,627 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 62%

14. State University of New York – Binghamton

The State University of New York – Binghamton is well-known for its graduate special education programs. Its Master’s in Special Education allows licensed teachers to specialize in Early Childhood Special Education, Early Childhood and Childhood Special Education, Childhood Special Education, and Adolescence Special Education. The school also offers a graduate Master’s in Education with a concentration in Special Education for students without teaching certifications.

  • Tuition per year: $10,201 in-state; $27,791 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 82%

15. Northwest Missouri State University

Northwest Missouri State University may not be the most prestigious institution on this list, but it does offer a leading special education degree program. Its Bachelor of Science in Education offers a concentration in Special Education. This degree certifies students to teach special education pupils in kindergarten through twelth grade.

  • Tuition per year: $8,238 in-state; $14,020 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 49%

Are you looking for a great special education degree program? You can find the right program on our site.

16. University of Nebraska – Omaha

The University of Nebraska – Omaha has a special education program with a large number of degree options. Its Bachelor’s in Education offers the following concentrations: Dual Endorsement with Elementary Education/Special Education K-6, Dual Endorsement with Content Area Education of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing 7-12, Special Education K-6, Special Education 7-12, Dual Endorsement with Elementary Education/Education of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Dual Endorsement with Secondary Content Area/Special Education 7-12, and American Sign Language 7-12. There is also a Special Education Supervisor endorsement available.

  • Tuition per year: $7,980 in-state; $21,244 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 44%

17. Minnesota State University – Mankato

Minnesota State University – Mankato is one of several institutions from the state with an excellent special education program. It offers a Bachelor’s in Special Education with a concentration in Academic and Behavioral Strategist Studies. This unique program prepares students to teach and design curriculum for special education students.

  • Tuition per year: $8,438 in-state; $16,730 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 52%

18. Towson University

Towson University is a public institution in Maryland with a leading special education program. Its Bachelor’s in Special Education is a cohort program, which means that students keep the same classmates throughout their studies. This program offers tracks in Elementary/Middle Education or Secondary/Adult Education.

  • Tuition per year: $10,198 in-state; $24,334 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 76%

19. University of Colorado – Colorado Springs

The University of Colorado – Colorado Springs offers one of the most unique and innovative programs on this list. Its Bachelor’s in Inclusive Early Childhood Education leads to a state license in Early Childhood Special Education. The institution also offers several other undergraduate and graduate degrees in the field.

  • Tuition per year: $8,524 in-state; $20,620 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 46%

20. Saint Cloud State University

Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota has a top-notch special education program. It’s Bachelor’s in Special Education prepares students to instruct pupils with a variety of different disorders. SCSU also offers a Master’s in Special Education.

  • Tuition per year: $8,656 in-state; $16,948 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 46%

21. State University of New York – Buffalo

The State University of New York – Buffalo is yet another SUNY institution with a well-regarded special education program. Its Bachelor of Science in Education offers a dual specialization in Childhood Education and Childhood Special Education. SUNY Buffalo also offers several graduate programs in the field.

  • Tuition per year: $10,524 in-state; $28,194 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 73% 

22. Winona State University

Winona State University in Minnesota has one of the top special education programs in the state. Its Bachelor’s in Special Education leads to state licensure in Developmental Disabilities – Mild/Moderate/Severe/Profound, K-12, and Learning Disabilities, K-12. Students have the opportunity to study abroad in Jamaica.

  • Tuition per year: $9,666 in-state; $15,766 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 59%

23. Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University may be best-known for its STEM programs, but it also has an excellent special education department. It offers a 124-credit Bachelor’s in Special Education. This program requires students to complete several field experience blocks before graduation.

  • Tuition per year: $12,153 in-state; $38,602 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 80% 

24. University of North Texas

The University of North Texas may have just been edged out by its in-state rival, but it still offers an excellent special education program. UNT offers a Master’s in Special Education with concentrations in Autism Intervention, Educational Diagnostics, High Incidence Disabilities, and Instructional Model to Prepare Adept Certified Teachers in Special Education (IMPACT). Students must complete extensive field experience before graduation.

  • Tuition per year: $11,044 in-state; $21,172 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 64%

25. Michigan State University

Michigan State University is a leader a number of fields, including special education. The Bachelor’s in Special Education leads to an endorsement in both Childhood Education and Special Education. Students must complete an internship before graduating.

  • Tuition per year: $14,460 in-state; $39,766 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 78%

26. University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota has a cutting-edge special education program. Its Bachelor’s in Special Education leads to licensure as an Academic and Behavioral Strategist. This license allows teachers to instruct special needs students from kindergarten to the twelth grade.

  • Tuition per year: $15,027 in-state; $33,325 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 78% 

27. University of Minnesota – Duluth

The University of Minnesota – Duluth has a top special education program. Its Bachelor’s in Integrated Elementary and Special Education leads to licensure as a kindergarten to sixth grade teacher and as a kindergarten through twelth grade special education teacher. There is also an Early Childhood Special Education program that prepares students to work with children from birth to age six.

  • Tuition per year: $13,680 in-state; $18,880 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 60%

28. Wayne State College

Wayne State College in Nebraska has one of the leading special education programs in the state. Its Bachelor’s in Special Education offers an endorsement in K-12 Special Education. Students must complete extensive field experience before graduation.

  • Tuition per year: $7,202 in-state; $12,602 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 48%

29. Saint Joseph’s College 

Saint Joseph’s College in Brooklyn offers a top graduate special education program. Its Master’s in Adolescent Special Education offers an annotation in Severe and Multiple Disabilities. Saint Joseph’s also offers a Master’s in Infant/Toddler Early Childhood Special Education.

  • Tuition per year: $29,190
  • Graduation rate: 65% 

30. McDaniel College

McDaniel College is known for its graduate special education program. It offers a Master’s in Special Education is designed for licensed teachers who want to move into this speciality. Students must complete a portfolio, a practicum, and an internship to graduate.

  • Tuition per year: $44,540
  • Graduation rate: 67%

Special Education Degree Programs Ranking Methodology

We used a proprietary formula to rank the schools on this list. Our formula runs off of two statistics: yearly tuition rate and graduation rate. Many public institutions charge different tuition rates to in-state and non-resident students. If this was true of any particular school, we only looked at that school’s in-state tuition rate. Our formula takes this tuition rate and adds a multiplier that is equivalent to the percentage of enrolled students who did not end up graduating. This is an example: State University 1 has a yearly tuition rate of $20,000 and a graduation rate of 60%. State University 1 would have a rating of 28,000 (20,000 x 140%). The lower a school’s rating, the better its ranking will be.

Representatives of the schools on this list can contact us if they have any questions or corrections that they need to make.

Students looking for the best special education degree programs can find the right school through our site.

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