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
- Washington, DCWashington, DC
Trinity Washington University
- Victoria, TXVictoria, TX
University of Houston - Victoria
The mission of the Special Education Department of the School of Education and Human Development is to provide knowledge of the legal, social and cult...
- Seattle, WASeattle, WA
The Special Education program is primarily centered upon those students with learning, mental retardation, and/or behavioral difficulties but also provides training in how to work with students with other disabilities as well.
- Seattle, WA
- 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.
- New Haven, CTNew Haven, CT
Southern Connecticut State University
- Hammond, LAHammond, LA
Southeastern Louisiana University
- 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...
- 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...
- 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...
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
The special education programs at Teachers College build upon a more than 80-year tradition of leading the field of special education in policy, practice, and research for individuals with disabilities across the age span. Students who earn M...
- New York City, NY
- Salem, MASalem, MA
Salem State College
- Saint Cloud, MNSaint Cloud, MN
St. Cloud State University
Early Childhood Special Education is a degree that has been jointly developed with the special education department.
- Saint Cloud, MN
- San Diego, CASan Diego, CA
San Diego State University
- Bethlehem, PABethlehem, PA
The graduate program is fully accredited by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and offers special education certification at the Master's level. We are strongly committed to the preparation of highly qualified educators who are not only skille...
- Rochester, MIRochester, MI
The Master of Education in Special Education program focuses on the broader concepts of exceptionality.
- Jackson, MSJackson, MS
Jackson State University
- Long Beach, CALong Beach, CA
California State University, Long Beach
This credential program provides candidates with advanced training in preparing students with disabilities to be contributing and productive members o...
- Columbia, MDColumbia, MD
Johns Hopkins University
The Master of Science (MS) in Special Education degree is designed for those who want to work with students who have disabilities, including learning disabilities, emotional disturbances, and mild intellectual disabilities.
- Baltimore, MD
- Baltimore, MDBaltimore, MD
Loyola University Maryland
Individual planning. Small classes. Careful placement. These are just some of the distinguishing features of Loyola's graduate program in special education. Designed to provide initial career certification as well as advanced professional development, t...
- Jonesboro, ARJonesboro, AR
Arkansas State University
- Albany, NYAlbany, NY
University At Albany (S.U.N.Y.)
- Carson, NMCarson, NM
California State University, Dominguez Hills
The Master of Arts in Special Education offers two options: Early Childhood and Learning/Severely Handicapped. The program is designed to provide knowledge and understanding of the foundations and theories of Special Education as well as training in the...
- Conway, ARConway, AR
University of Central Arkansas
The main purpose of the MSE program in Special Education is to prepare collaborative special education teachers skilled in providing quality instructi...