United States Campus Masters in Special Education
Many education graduate schools offer on campus special education masters programs. If you are interested in assessing students with special needs such as autism or behavior disorders, enrolling in a masters special education program may prepare you to assess, develop and implement individual education plans (IEPs). Working towards your masters degree in special education through a residential program may be a good way to soak up the hands-on learning amongst like-minded professionals. Find out which special education masters program aligns with your goals.
Essentials of Campus Special Education Masters Programs
Campus special education masters programs may be available for both current and aspiring educators. Special Education (SpEd) is a branch of education that is dedicated to adapting teaching methods and providing support for students with physical, cognitive, emotional or behavioral disabilities. A masters degree in special education may be required in some states as part of teacher certification and licensure, and some teachers may need to pursue a masters degree in order to maintain a current license.[i]
DID YOU KNOW? In a survey, when asked about their education level, 22% of Special Education Teachers reported having earned their master’s degree[ii].
What are Potential Prerequisites for a Masters Degree in Special Education?
Prospective applicants in special education masters programs may have earned a Bachelors in Education degree from an accredited college. Some programs may be suitable for students who come from outside the world of education, or licensed teachers who may have earned a bachelors degree in education and are seeking certification to teach special needs students or to earn a Learning Behavior Specialist (LBS1) endorsement. Since there are no standard prerequisites for masters in special education programs, it is up to each
student to contact the admissions personnel at a prospective graduate school to research their requirements.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Masters Degree in Special Education?
Program lengths may vary between universities, but on average, earning a masters degree in special education might take approximately 1 to 2-years of full-time study. Some programs may involve field experiences, a thesis or pursuing initial licensure in the state within which you intend to teach.
What Should I Look for in an On Campus Special Education Masters Program?
Choosing an on campus special education master s program likely means perhaps you prefer in-person learning, might enjoy sitting in on live lectures, or the social setting that may be provided through interaction. You may have a budget, and size prospective universities up based on cost, financing or other personal measures. Other factors that may help you find an accredited masters in special education program might include:
- What types of masters degrees in special education are available
- Whether there is a specific concentration area offered at one college that appeals to you such as learning disabilities, or instructional programming for special needs preschoolers (as examples)
- Accreditation (institution, programmatic)
- Location of Campus (city, state or country)
Campus Special Education Masters Programs: M.A., M.S., M.A.T., M.Ed.
Navigating the variety of on campus special education masters programs may seem complicated, so a good starting point is what type of education you already have and what your career ambitions are. For instance, are you transitioning from another discipline, interested in administration and leadership, or do you prefer a research approach to a special education degree, perhaps to potentially shape education reform or policy? Knowing what type of special education masters program option you are looking for from a graduate special education school may be useful in narrowing down choices for prospective universities. Choices may range from: master of arts, master of arts in teaching, master of education and master of science in special education degree programs. You may also be able to choose an emphasis area such as applied behavior analysis (ABA) or autism.
- The Master of Arts in teaching (MAT) in special education may focus on teaching students how to implement pedagogical theory into their classrooms. The MAT might be considered the degree that teaches ‘how to be a teacher’. Prospective applicants usually have a bachelor’s degree but it may not be in education.
- The Master of Education (MEd) in special education may focus on expanding a current teacher’s skills beyond the classroom (e.g. leadership, curriculum specialist). Prospective applicants usually have a bachelors in education and state license. In some states, a practitioner degree such as the Master of Education may be required for entry-level teachers seeking their license.
- The Master of Science in special education may focus on educational research or leadership and may take a scientific approach to teaching that incorporates measurement and evaluation.
- The Master of Arts in special education is a research degree; prospective students may wish to conduct research in the field of special education. The MA may also prepare students to pursue a doctorate in education, and typically requires a thesis.
What is CAEP Accreditation?
CAEP – the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation is considered a teaching program specific accreditor. As of 2016, the NCATE and TEAC merged into CAEP[iii].Admission into an CAEP-accredited special education program commonly requires candidates to hold a Bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an accredited institution.
Where Do You Want To Earn Your Special Education Masters Degree?
Do you want to earn your masters degree in special education at a local university? Are you interested in an out of state program? Find campus special education masters programs by a preferred location. Use our easy navigation to search by city, state or country. It may be helpful to inform yourself of the legislation for teachers in the state where you intend to teach. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some states permit special education teachers to transfer their licenses from another state, while other states require even an experienced teacher to pass their state’s licensing requirements.[iv]
Take the Next Step
Review our directory of sponsored graduate schools offering campus special education masters degree. Search by location or browse the listings. Each university and education school may offer unique student services and facilities as well as courses and concentrations. We recommend you contact the providers directly through the ‘request info’ setting to get an accurate read on what they offer and when to apply.
sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm |[ii] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-2052.00 |[iii] http://www.caepnet.org/ |[iv] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm
- San Diego, CASan Diego, CA
San Diego State University
- Orangeburg, SCOrangeburg, SC
South Carolina State University
- Lubbock, TXLubbock, TX
Texas Tech University
The special education program emphasizes generic special education at both the master's and the doctor's level. Graduate work at the master's level may include sufficient course work in one area of exceptionality to produce an endorsement on the basic p...
- Elkins Park, PAElkins Park, PA
Salus University College of Education and Rehabilitation offers a Master of Education degree program and a certificate program for Teachers of Children with Visual and Multiple Disabilities. These competency-based programs offer coursework and practica...
- New Haven, CTNew Haven, CT
Southern Connecticut State University
- New Paltz, NYNew Paltz, NY
State University Of New York At New Paltz (S.U.N.Y.)
New Paltz is a public university and can not provide Scholarships and/or Financial aid to non New York residents.The program focuses on preparing teac...
- Castleton, VTCastleton, VT
Castleton State College
With the Assistance of a faculty advisor, a student plans a graduate program. Programs allow opportunities for initial licensure, Vermont teacher endorsements, and advanced studies for practicing teachers.
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
Special Education is a synthesis of a multidisciplinary body of knowledge relevant to the understanding, education, and treatment of persons with handicapping conditions. Touro's Special Education program is dedicated to serving the needs of schools in...
- New York City, NY
- Salem, MASalem, MA
Salem State College
- East Stroudsburg, PAEast Stroudsburg, PA
East Stroudsburg University
- Greeley, COGreeley, CO
University of Northern Colorado
The graduate programs in the School of Special Education prepare special education professionals for positions of leadership in public and private schools, colleges, universities, agencies, businesses, and governmental entities. The major emphases are i...
- Orono, MEOrono, ME
University of Maine
Graduate programs in Special Education at the University of Maine prepare educators to support students and youth with disabilities in attaining their highest levels of achievement. Programs and experiences are designed to prepare professionals who: Mee...
- Mount Pleasant, MIMount Pleasant, MI
Central Michigan University
- Denver, CODenver, CO
University of Colorado Denver
Graduate teacher licensure summer and fall admission each year to begin a program in either May or August.
- Cheyney, PACheyney, PA
- Pittsburgh, PAPittsburgh, PA
University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus
Education of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students Specialization; Early Intervention for Children with Disabilities Specializa...
- Rochester, NYRochester, NY
University of Rochester
- Azusa, CAAzusa, CA
Azusa Pacific University
This program helps educators deepen their understanding of special needs students and the challenges they face. With a strong C...
- Anchorage, KYAnchorage, KY
University of Alaska Anchorage
We offer distance leveling classes in Speech-Language Pathology.
- Boca Raton, FLBoca Raton, FL
The Donald and Helen Ross College of Education offers a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Exceptional Student Education with ESOL...
- Amherst, MAAmherst, MA
University of Massachusetts - Amherst
- Dahlonega, GADahlonega, GA
North Georgia College & State University
Students pursuing the M.Ed. Degree may specialize in special education (intellectual disabilities, behavior disorders, learning...
- Greensboro, NCGreensboro, NC
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
There are two master's degree options. The Master of Education in Cross-Categorical and the Master of Education in Interdiscipl...
- Albany, LAAlbany, LA
Sage College of Albany