2023 Best Online Master's Degrees in Special Education
Children of all ages and adults with learning and developmental disabilities rely on the compassion and skills of qualified instructors to help them succeed in school and beyond. To meet this need, we’ve compiled a list of the best online master’s programs in special education by salary score to help you build advanced skills and satisfy your job goals. While a bachelor’s degree in special education can help you start your career, a master’s degree can take it to the next level. Similarly, you may be interested in exploring an online master’s degree in speech pathology, which would enable you to continue building on the skills gained throughout your undergraduate degree program.
Online Special Education Master's Degrees You May Be Interested In
2023 Best Online Master's Degrees in Special Education
|Rank||School||Salary Score||Median Starting Salary|
|# 1||St. John's University||$68,426|
|# 2||California State University - Fullerton||98||$66,000|
|# 3||University of Washington - Seattle||97||$65,284|
|# 4||National University||95||$62,820|
|# 5||Fordham University||94||$62,173|
|# 6||Bank Street College of Education||93||$61,952|
|# 7||Touro College||91||$60,927|
|# 8||University of Hawaii at Manoa||89||$60,025|
|# 9||The George Washington University||86||$58,749|
|# 10||Washington State University||84||$58,369|
2023 Online Colleges Offering Master's Degrees
#1 St. John's University
St. John’s University is a private, nonprofit, Catholic faith-based institution offering an online Master of Science in Education - Teaching Children with Disabilities in Childhood Education (1-6) for students holding current New York State teaching certification. Students must complete 33 semester credit hours and a 150-hour practicum to graduate, which may take two years of full-time attendance.
St. John’s delivers online course content and instruction via the Blackboard learning management system (LMS). Distance learners use Blackboard to participate in classes within the Teaching Children with Disabilities curricula, such as Curriculum Adaptation and Modification Planning for Exceptional Students, Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis and Positive Behavior Supports in K-12, and Educational Assessment of Individuals with Exceptionalities. Students must also pass a comprehensive exam to graduate.
#2 California State University - Fullerton
California State University - Fullerton (CSUF) is a public institution offering an online Master of Science in Special Education. This 21-month program requires completing 30 semester credit hours to graduate. Students generally take two or three courses in each of the four semesters, and there is also a summer session. They can concentrate on Individuals with Mild/Moderate Disabilities or Individuals with Moderate/Severe Disabilities.
CSUF uses Canvas as its chosen LMS for asynchronous and synchronous online curriculum delivery. Distance learners in the special education master’s program enroll in courses such as Positive Behavior Support, Current Trends/Issues in Special Education, Research Methods and Statistics, and Advanced Proficiency in Educational Technologies. Students can also choose to complete a thesis, project, or comprehensive exam.
#3 University of Washington - Seattle
The University of Washington - Seattle (UW) is a public institution offering an online Master of Education in Special Education - Applied Behavior Analysis. Students complete 45 quarter credit hours to graduate, which takes approximately two years of full-time attendance. Credit hours include completing the coursework requirements to sit for tor the Board Certified Behavior Analysts exam. Classes are sequential and require starting the program at the beginning of the school year.
UW distance learners in this program participate synchronously in classes via Canvas. Classes are scheduled late in the afternoons to accommodate most schedules. Students participate in courses such as History and Philosophy of ABA, Designing Comprehensive Behavioral Interventions, Behavior Analysts in Schools, and Supervision in ABA. Completing a comprehensive exam and practicum is also required.
#4 National University
National University (NU) is a private, nonprofit institution offering an online Master of Arts in Education - Special Education with accelerated four-week courses enabling students to start at any time throughout the year. Graduating in this emphasis area requires completing 45 quarter credit hours, which may take full-time students less than two years.
NU delivers online coursework and instruction via the Brightspace LMS. Students in the special education program can choose from classes such as Effective Classroom and Behavior Management, Assessment and Intervention, Transition/Community Resources, and Collaborative Partners. They must also complete experiential learning and a research project to graduate. However, some may be eligible to choose a guided study option instead.
#5 Fordham University
Fordham University is a private, nonprofit, Catholic faith-based institution offering an online Master of Science in Teaching - Childhood Special Education for those seeking initial teaching certification for grades 1-6. Students must complete 45 quarter credit hours to graduate, which takes a little over two years of full-time attendance. Those interested in teaching younger children may opt for Fordham’s online Master of Science in Teaching - Early Childhood Special Education.
Fordham provides distance learners with Blackboard so they can complete coursework 100% online. Courses in the childhood special education program include Children’s Literature In a Multicultural Society, Literacy Across The Curriculum In Inclusive Classrooms, and Integrating Technology Into Elementary Education. To graduate, students must also take Reflective Practice and Field Experience In an Inclusive Childhood Classroom.
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