Online Special Education Master's Programs & PhD Programs

Online Special Gifted Education Graduate Programs: Overview

Whether you’re a current educator looking to practice inclusive teaching methods or someone looking to jumpstart their career in the educational field, earning a special gifted education graduate degree online could be a great choice for you! Choosing special gifted education graduate programs online could be a stepping stone to better assisting students with behavioral, emotional, physical, and mental disabilities, or gifted needs in your classroom. By pursuing this course of study online, you could have the unique chance to undertake this coursework from the comfort of your own home. Commutes are non-existent when going to class only requires turning on your computer!

Special & Gifted Education Graduate Degrees online

What Online Special Gifted Education Graduate Program Could be Perfect for Me?

Attending an online special education graduate program could be a perfect choice for students who want to balance their education with their current career. Online programs typically offer convenient course scheduling at the masters, doctorate, and graduate certificate levels.  The flexible academic routine could allow students to log into their courses as time permits, whether that’s after grading papers, during a lunch break, or on the weekend. This could be perfect for current educators who may find it difficult to enroll in structured, on-campus programs due to their own busy schedule. Even though you may be taking your classes online, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you lose access to the physical campus experience though. Universities may make facilities, such as libraries, available to their cyber students. This might mean you could still connect with valuable research to aid in your studies from the comfort of your living room.

Popular Schools with Online Special & Gifted Education Degrees 

ProgramInstitutionDegree Awarded
Gifted Education Certificate ProgramMillersville UniversityN/A
Certificate-Autism Spectrum and Related DisabilitiesYoungstown State UniversityN/A
Certificate of Graduate Study - Education in Inclusion EducationUniversity of New EnglandN/A
Master of Education in Special EducationBrenau UniversityMEd
Education Specialist - Special EducationNorthcentral UniversityPhD
Master of Education, Special Education Collaborative Teacher K-6University of West AlabamaN/A
Master of Education in Special Education InterventionWinthrop UniversityMEd
M.Ed. in Master of Education in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education (ITL)Grand Canyon UniversityMEd
MA in Education and Human Development in Interdisciplinary Secondary Transition ServicesThe George Washington UniversityMA
MS in Education - Special Education (Non-Licensure; Grades K-12)Walden UniversityMS
MS - Special Education TeachingCapella UniversityMS
Master of Arts in Teaching: Special EducationLiberty University OnlineAM

Keep reading below for more information on potential graduate programs you could pursue online and find out which one might help you achieve your goals!

Online Special Gifted Education Masters Programs

Online special gifted education masters programs not only touch on a wide array of possible student disabilities but also examine methods to enrich curriculums to better serve and address gifted and special learning capabilities. Topics of study may vary by institution, but might include subjects such as assistive technology, behavioral theory, and literacy development. Admission requirements reflect this challenging coursework, and schools may ask students to submit a 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Supplemental material such as letters of recommendation, statement of intent, and professional résumés may also be requested. Check with your intended masters program for a complete list of application requirements.

For students who are new to the education field, it may be important to determine if your chosen masters program also offers a licensure track. Preparing to earn a teaching certificate or license as part of your graduate studies may help jumpstart a career as an educator immediately post-graduation. Many programs incorporate key concepts that are tested in the licensure examinations into their curriculum, making it a great study tool.

Taking into consideration online special and gifted educations masters programs curriculum, potential licensure examinations, and graduation requirements, students pursuing coursework fulltime could expect to earn a degree in 2 years of study. Of course programs vary, so contact your preferred school directly for more information on curriculum and graduation requirements.

Online Special Gifted Education Doctoral Programs

When researching potential online special gifted education doctoral programs, you could find that many emphasize new research into techniques and methods to better serve high risk and accelerated students. Additionally, they may also include practical application opportunities such as working in an actual classroom or performing research studies. This could help you better grasp real-world challenges involved with education, as well as develop an understanding of contemporary solutions. Outside of research studies, curriculum could include topics such as atypical learning theory, cognitive psychology, autism support delivery systems, curriculum development and implementation, and professional teacher development. This coursework may help you prepare to pursue a leadership role in education, conduct research or teach at the post secondary level.

Doctoral programs are often intense programs that demand high student academic performance. This course of study and demanding curriculum may account for the equally intensive application requirements. Students may be asked to submit a 3.0 graduate GPA, in addition to GRE scores. It’s important to note that these programs may also require graduate coursework as a prerequisite. This could make a doctoral program perfect for students who have already obtained a masters degree. As you could imagine from the detailed curriculum, doctoral programs are often lengthier than other graduate degree programs and may require the completion and presentation of a dissertation for graduation. Therefore students could expect to complete a program within 5 years, on average. Again, check with your intended school as program lengths vary.

Online Special Gifted Education Graduate Certificate Programs

There may be many choices for potential online special gifted education graduate certificate programs, each focused on specific aspects of supportive education such as hearing impairment assistance and accelerated learning support. Pursuing any of these certificate programs’ coursework could be a great way to advance your own classroom techniques and better serve your students. For example, you could develop a firmer grasp of how to assist gifted students by assigning more appropriate or challenging activities. Or, you could aid students on the autism spectrum by catering curriculum to their specific needs. Using these skills and knowledge to create a more welcoming environment could potentially be a great way to foster all students’ learning and boost their participation in the classroom! When considering the concise nature of the coursework, students could expect to earn a graduate certificate program in 1 to 1.5 years.

Schools often make their programs’ application requirements accessible for a wide range of students, making it a great opportunity for current educators who are looking to hone their teaching capabilities but not take on lengthy master’s degree timeline. Certificate programs often do not request excessive supplemental application materials – such as GRE examinations – that could take up valuable time. Also, these programs typically require a lower GPA for admission, with many only requiring students to submit a 2.5 undergraduate GPA.

Potential Benefits of Special Gifted Education Graduate Programs Online

For many, the number one benefit of pursuing an online special gifted education graduate program is the ability to better help students. Your potential new skills and knowledge could be used to foster a more inclusive classroom for students with varying learning needs. Curriculum might include tactics to cope with behavioral issues, construct unique courses that cater to differing learning capabilities, and mitigate distractors or obstacles faced by students. With these methods, you could foster a productive environment for students that may otherwise be left behind.

In addition to aiding your students, the skills and knowledge you could learn from an online special education graduate program may help you pursue a variety of professional teaching positions. Or potentially enhance your career. This is not limited to the gifted and special needs classrooms, though. You could pursue a career path in a general academic classroom, or focus on a particular level of academia, such as preschool, elementary, or secondary education. While these career paths typically require a bachelor’s degree in education for an entry level position or teaching licensure, a graduate degree could help set you apart or even maintain licensure in certain states.[i]

Teaching professions are projected to see potential growth in available occupations of 6% from 2014 to 2024.[i] This might make now a great time to enter this shifting and changing field. Availability of these positions is often tied directly to schools’ immediate need for special education assistance, as well as federal funding. Therefore, certain regions may see more potential openings than others. Relocating could be a viable way to search for potential careers post-graduation. 

Top States for Employment: Special Education Teachers, Secondary School
StateEmploymentAnnual Mean Wage
New York16,560$77,060

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Top Salary Metro Areas in the United States: Special Education Teachers, Secondary School
Metro AreaAnnual Mean SalaryEmployment
Danbury, CT$93,970100
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$93,880Not Reported
Fresno, CA$89,330160
Waterbury, CT$88,87060
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA$87,9104,020

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Due to the nature of these positions, teachers may be placed in stressful situations throughout the school year that other educators might not encounter. As a special needs teacher, you could have to work with students suffering from behavioral, emotion, and mental disabilities that may require additional attention throughout the day. These tasks could be in addition to normal teaching tasks such as lesson planning, grading, and administrative work. Therefore, special education teachers earned a median annual salary of $56,800 in 2015.[ii]  However, this estimation does not include fluctuations in compensation that are dependent on the level of education taught (i.e. preschool, elementary, etc.).

Sources: [i] | [ii]

Top 32 Online Graduate Schools with Online Special Education Graduate Programs 

  • Online Teaching Degrees - Recognized in all 50 States
  • Tuition around $4,000 a term - about half the cost of most other online universities
  • Programs start monthly - Apply free this week!
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