Schools offer special education programs at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels, but the bachelor's degree is the most common credential for teachers seeking licensure. Although some master's programs in special education are available for those seeking licensure, these programs are often aimed at candidates who already hold general teaching or intervention specialist licenses and would like to add additional endorsements. Doctoral programs are suitable for those seeking administrative roles, teaching positions with universities or research careers. Special education teaching programs often include supervised teaching practicums and specialization options.
Ohio State University
Ohio State University (OSU), ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 56 national universities in 2011, offers special education teaching programs at its main campus in Columbus. Students can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS), Master of Arts (MA) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) through the School of Physical Activity and Educational Services.
The 4-year bachelor's program is designed for students pursuing licensure as early childhood, mild-to-moderate or moderate-to-intensive intervention specialists. Coursework includes topics in behavior analysis, inclusive teaching methods and instructional planning.
Licensed teachers can pursue the master's degree program to add additional endorsements and can choose from specializations in early childhood, mild-to-moderate, moderate-to-intensive intervention studies and behavioral analysis. In addition to coursework, students in this program complete 200 hours of professional experience in special education settings. Students earning a PhD focus on applied behavior analysis, such as experiment design and behavioral interventions. They also participate in collegiate teaching practicums and independent research projects.
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University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the 83rd-best public school in the nation. Its College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in special education.
The 4-year bachelor's program prepares students for licensure as intervention specialists for students with mild, moderate or intensive disabilities. Concentration areas in language arts and mathematics or language arts and natural science are available. In addition to completing coursework, students take part in seminars and complete teaching internships.
Offered in an online format for licensed teachers and an on-campus format for those seeking initial licensure, the Master of Education (MEd) in Special Education program includes courses in autism spectrum disorders, curriculum planning and special education law, as well as a final research project. Graduate students can also pursue a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Special Education, which takes three to four years and includes coursework, research and a higher education mentorship experience.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School||School Type & Setting||Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Ohio State University||4-year, public; large city|| BS in Special Education,
MA in Special Education,
PhD in Special Education
|$10,037 (in-state), $27,365 (out-of-state)*|
|University of Cincinnati||4-year, public; large city|| BS in Special Education,
MEd in Special Education,
EdD in Special Education
|$11,000 (in-state), $26,334 (out-of-state)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator