For teachers wanting to transition to Special Education, or those without a teaching background interested in this field, a master’s degree in Special Education can be an excellent way to open the door to a new career. These degree programs prepare students to work as special education teachers, consultants, or for nonprofit work with children and young adults who have various types of disabilities. Below is a list of schools that offer an online graduate degree in Special Education taking solely cost into consideration — the cheapest online master’s-level programs in Special Education. Program tuition does not include fees — please check with the institution for a list of complete costs. costs. Our data was taken from the university websites.
#1. Western Governor’s University
An online, private institution based out of Salt Lake City, Utah, Western Governor’s University serves over 50,000 students. They offer a Master of Science in Special Education (K-12) aimed at licensed teachers who already have a bachelor’s degree in education. Persons pursuing this degree will learn to effectively teach students who have mild to moderate cross-categorical disabilities. Courses in this program include special education, instructional design, and research fundamentals. Completion of a teacher work sample is also a requirement. This degree is completed in an average of 2.5 years and requires 31 credit hours, though some students complete it in as little as one year. Students in this program can expect to spend 15 or more hours per week on their classes. There is no GRE required for admission into this program.
Accreditation: Western Governor’s University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Program Tuition: $8,670
#2. Eastern New Mexico University
Eastern New Mexico University is a state school located in Portales, New Mexico that enrolls more than 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Their Master of Education with Emphasis in Special Education Pedagogy is designed for educators who are seeking a license in Special Education. They offer two areas of emphasis: General Education and Early Childhood Special Education. 36 credit hours are required for completion of this degree program, including courses in educational research, theories of learning and motivation, assessment, and special education law. Those who earn with degree will be qualified to work as a Level III Special Education teacher, as a case manager with companies who work with special needs individuals, as an educational consultant, as a parental advocate, or as a liaison.
Accreditation: Eastern New Mexico University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Tuition: $9,025
#3. University of Texas of the Permain Basin
A state university located in Odessa, the University of Texas of the Permain Basin enrolls approximately 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students. They offer an online Master of Arts in Special Education that can be completed in as little as one year if pursued full-time. Persons enrolled in this degree program will learn how to better work with students who have developmental and learning disabilities by engaging in coursework that addresses cultural diversity, ontological development, classroom practices, behavioral theory, research design, and current trends in the field. Completion of this degree will qualify graduates to serve as special education teachers in elementary, middle, and high school levels or in supervisory positions. With six start dates, this is an incredibly flexible program offered entirely online. A teaching certificate is not a requirement for this program, and applicants with a 3.0 or higher undergraduate GPA do not need to submit GRE scores.
Accreditation: The University of Texas of the Permain Basin is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $9,396
#4. University of Wyoming
Located in Laramie, the University of Wyoming is a public institution that serves over 12,000 students. They offer a Master in Education with an option in Special Education for persons who already have a Wyoming teaching certificate. This degree program prepares its students for K-12 teaching positions serving students with special needs. Students can choose between a 33 credit hour non-thesis project track and a 41 credit hour thesis option. Classes are delivered via video-conferencing, intensive weekends, online, or a combination.Persons pursuing this degree will complete coursework in Those who complete this degree will be eligible to apply for the Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board for official K-12 Special Education endorsement. Applicants must have a minimum of 3.25 undergraduate GPA, but no GRE is required. Application deadlines are June 15 and September 15.
Accreditation: The University of Wyoming is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Tuition: $9,702
#5. West Texas A&M University
A public university located in Canyon, West Texas A&M enrolls roughly 10,000 students in its undergraduate and graduate programs. Their Master in Education in Curriculum and Instruction with Emphasis in Special Education requires 36 credit hours for completion. Those who do not have a background in Special Education are encouraged to apply but must take 9 additional credit hours to fulfill their requirements. Upon completion of this degree, West Texas A&M hopes that its graduate will be able to use valid and reliable assessment, have knowledge of curricula to improve programs and services, be equipped to improve general and special education programs, guide professional practice, provide leadership to create and meet goals, and collaborate with others while maintaining an ethical practice. Students in this degree program will engage in coursework that includes theories of learning disabilities and emotional/behavioral disorders, remediation techniques, classroom management, assistive technology, legal issues, and mental testing. A comprehensive examination is a graduation requirement. Persons applying to this program must have a classroom teaching certificate and a 2.75 undergraduate GPA.
Accreditation: West Texas A&M University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $9,726
#6. Fort Hays State University
Fort Hays State University is a public university located in Hays, Kansas. It enrolls approximately 11,200 students each year, 6,000 of whom participate in the virtual college. They offer a Master of Science in Special Education that requires 36 credit hours for completion. This program seeks to prepare teachers as exceptional professionals in Special Education. Persons pursuing this degree can choose between Gifted and High-Incidence Special Education. These programs are accredited by the National Council on Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Kansas State Department of Education. There is no GRE required for admission.
Accreditation: The Virtual College at Fort Hays State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Tuition: $9,818
#7. Arkansas State University
A public research university enrolling almost 10,000 students, Arkansas State University is located in Jonesboro. Their Master of Science in Education – Special Education requires 36 credit hours and can be completed in as little as 16 months. Persons in this degree program will learn better serve students with learning, developmental, and behavioral exceptionalities as well as consult with general education teachers regarding the best interest of these students. Application-based coursework includes contemporary issues in special education, characteristics of individuals with disabilities, philosophies of education, diagnosis and assessment, behavior interventions and support, and special education law. There is no GRE required for admission, but applicants must hold a current teaching certificate. Persons who complete with degree program will be eligible to obtain Arkansas licensure as a K-12 special education teacher.
Accreditation: Arkansas State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Tuition: $10,368
#8. Minot State University
Minot State University is a regional, public institution located in Minot, North Dakota that serves over 3,300 undergraduate and graduate students. They offer a Master of Science in Special Education with five areas of emphasis to choose from: Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Specific Learning Disabilities, Early Childhood Special Education, Special Education Strategist, or Developmental Disabilities/Autism Spectrum Disorder. This degree program consists of core coursework and a capstone thesis. MSU hopes that students will receive an exemplary learning experience and will become reflective decision makers and educators to those with disabilities. Student outcomes include being able to describe historical, philosophical, and legal foundations of special education, know the characteristics of learners whether or not they have disabilities, be able to utilize appropriate assessment tools, choose instructional content, manage the learning environment, demonstrate ethical practice, and be able to communicate and collaborate well with others. Courses are offered via a combination of asynchronous and synchronous classes. This program is open to students within and outside of North Dakota, but it is the students’ responsibility to verify state requirements for non-residents.
Accreditation: Minot State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Tuition: $10,871
#9. University of North Dakota
The University of North Dakota is a public institution that enrolls over 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Their Master of Science in Special Education requires a minimum of 32 credits and can be completed in as little as a year and a half. Persons pursuing this degree will learn to diagnose exceptionalities for children and young adults, know which educational approach to use, and develop instruction in collaboration with other professionals who serve students with disabilities. This program offers nine areas of interest from which to choose: Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Early Childhood Special Education, Emotional Disturbance, General Special Education, Gifted/Talented, Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Special Education Strategist, and Visual Impairment. This program is designed for certified teachers preparing to work more with students who have disabilities, as well as non-certified persons who work in related professions. All classes are offered fully online and are asynchronous. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 is required, but the GRE is not necessary.
Accreditation: The University of North Dakota is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Tuition: $11,524
#10. Fitchburg State University
Located in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, Fitchburg State University is a public institution enrolling approximately 7,000 graduate and undergraduate students. They offer a Master of Education in Special Education with four specializations to choose from: Dyslexia Specialist, Reading Specialist, Moderate Disabilities, and Severe Disabilities. Some of these specializations are designed for persons with a teaching license, and some are not. This degree can be completed in as few as two years or as many as six. Students will participate in coursework that includes educational research, dynamic perspectives in education, consultation and collaboration strategies, and implementation of best practices. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and the GRE is not required.
Accreditation: Fitchburg State University is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Tuition: $12,441