Special education master's degree programs cover the tools and techniques required to teach individuals with special needs, including those with cognitive, emotional, physical or behavioral disabilities. Individuals can find many of these programs at the education colleges of 4-year universities.
Top 10 Special Education Schools
These schools offer master's degree programs in special education, some of which include online programs, and which may also prepare students to become certified teachers.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Tuition and Fees 2015-2016*|
|Vanderbilt University (Peabody)||Nashville, TN||4-year, Private||$44,050|
|University of Kansas||Lawrence, KS||4-year, Public||$9,958 in-state, $22,049 out-of-state|
|University of Oregon||Eugene, OR||4-year, Public||$16,040 in-state, $25,949 out-of-state|
|University of Texas-Austin||Austin, TX||4-year, Public||$10,934 in-state, $20,762 out-of-state|
|University of Florida||Gainesville, FL||4-year, Public||$12,737 in-state, $29,302 out-of-state|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||Madison, WI||4-year, Public||$11,870 in-state, $25,196 out-of-state|
|University of Virginia (Curry)||Charlottesville, VA||4-year, Public||$17,094 in-state, $26,892 out-of-state|
|University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign||Champaign, IL||4-year, Public||$18,041 in-state, $31,231 out-of-state|
|University of Washington||Seattle, WA||4-year, Public||$16,278 in-state, $28,236 out-of-state|
|University of Minnesota-Twin Cities||Minneapolis, MN||4-year, Public||$17,289 in-state, $25,953 out-of-state|
Sources: *National Center for Educational Statistics
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School Selection Criteria
The following are important considerations to keep in mind when choosing a special education school:
- Students might want to consider whether a graduate program in special education is a Master of Science, Master of Arts or Master of Education program, since each type of program could prepare graduates for a particular career role, such as leadership.
- When choosing a master's degree program in special education, students may want to select programs that are designed to lead to state teacher certification if they aren't currently certified.
- For current teachers who are seeking a graduate degree, online programs in special education may provide the convenience to continue working while earning a degree.
Master of Arts in Special Education
Courses included in the curriculum of many Master of Arts in Special Education degree programs emphasize research in exploration of new teaching methods for learners with special needs. Many have a variety of specializations available for concentration in working with individuals who have a specific type of learning disability, which could be behavioral, mental or physical.
Master of Science in Special Education
Educational psychology, research and leadership skill courses are common in Master of Science in Special Education programs.
Master of Education in Special Education
An M.Ed. in Special Education prepares students for leadership positions in the special education field. The curriculum typically emphasizes interpersonal, evaluation and research skills, which allow program graduates to diagnose the needs of special learners and develop individual teaching plans.
Master's degree programs in special education can be found as Master of Science, Master of Arts or Master of Education programs. Students who are not qualified teachers should seek programs that lead to state certification, and students who are currently teachers may wish to find an online program to meet their scheduling needs.