United States Campus Special Education Graduate Programs | Graduate School Special Ed.
Many accredited universities and colleges offer special education graduate programs in residential, or campus-based, formats, with doctoral specializations, graduate certificates, teacher education and licensure options within special education master programs. These degree programs provide current and aspiring professionals with the focused knowledges, skills and dispositions that can be assets when it comes to meeting the needs of various populations such as those who are hearing or visually impaired, have autism or behavioral disabilities. Whether you are seeking initial licensure or returning to college for a graduate-level special education degree, attending classes in person is worth considering!
Look Inside Special Education Graduate Programs
Residential, or campus special education graduate programs offer you the opportunity to join a community of educators as you prepare for potential career paths that could include teaching, research, curriculum development and school administration[i]. At the graduate level, earning a special education degree could involve:
- Inclusion methods
- Collaborative practices
- Pedagogical theory
- Learning to use assistive technology
- Classroom management strategies
- Identification of different physical, mental, emotional disabilities
Choosing a Campus-Based Special Education Graduate Program
Choosing campus special education graduate programs means different things to each student. You may have a Bachelor’s degree and are a licensed educator, are coming from a related background such as human services or early childhood education, or you are a current special education teachers interested in advanced topics and research. Apart from your educational background and your career aspirations, some of the typical determinants of which graduate school you apply to
may revolve around a few common concerns; location, academics, campus offerings and accreditation standards are our focus here.
DID YOU KNOW? 9% of High School Special Education Teachers have a Master’s degree, 19% a post baccalaureate certificate.[ii]
Potential Perks of Residential Special Education Graduate Programs
Choosing to earn your masters or doctorate degree in person places you in a potentially supportive learning environment with the opportunity to interact with classmates and develop working relationships with knowledgeable professors and advisors. Often, to accommodate the needs of working students, classes are held on weekends and evenings, and community-based opportunities may be used in addition to coursework to promote experiential learning. Campus special education graduate programs may be a great way for you to network with peers, expand your professional opportunites and learn some of the important communication skills that are inherent to working with disabilities.
Find a Graduate School for Special Education by Location
For some students, finding a graduate school for special education may mean looking for a local or in-state program, for others it may mean looking further from home or abroad. Use our location settings to seek out campus special education graduate schools in a specific city, specific state, or look into a study abroad. Browse through all available Masters in Special Education at graduate schools in California or Boston. Or look for all Doctor of Education degree programs in San Francisco. Just take note that since requirements for teacher certification vary by state, you may want to check with your state education board to see whether you can transfer your licenses from out of state.
Find a Special Education Graduate Program by Degree
Special education graduate programs are offered as graduate certificates, master’s degrees and doctorate degrees. You definitely want to look for a residential program where you can take the courses that interest you, since these vary by institution, and where you could be encouraged to research topics that fascinate you under the guidance of faculty you respect.
Campus Graduate Certificates in Special Education
Graduate Certificates in Special Education may be tailored for both general education classroom teachers and special education teachers who wish to add onto their existing skills and knowledge base. Some are short term and could entail about 18 credits, while others may be longer as program lengths and curriculums vary between graduate schools. Credits from shorter programs can sometimes be used as transfer credits to a Master’s degree. Longer certificate programs may be specific ‘endorsement’ or certification programs. Endorsements are credentials on teaching certificates that indicate one is qualified to teach a specific subject.
Campus Special Education Masters Programs
Special Education Masters programs are offered as Master of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Education and Master of Teaching in Special Education. Since not all special education graduate schools offer all the different tracks, you need to look for one that fits with your academic goals. You may be looking for initial certification, or you may be looking for a master’s degree program that highlights a concentration area for you. For instance, do you want to focus on teaching grades K-12? Are you looking for a program that focuses on theory or scholarly research? Are you interested in learning specific skills such as education of the deaf and hearing impaired? Review curriculums, program lengths and any specializations that are offered so you can fine-tune your preferences.
Campus Doctorate Special Education Programs
Special Education doctorate programs may be offered as Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education or as Doctor of Education in Special Education, and as research intensive degrees, studying on campus may offer several potential benefits. For one thing, doctoral candidates are often paired with a faculty advisor who guides them in their research and dissertation writing. Additionally, some graduate schools offer assistantship or fellowship opportunities that may contribute a stipend for part time teaching or research while you earn your degree. These are variables, but things you might want to look for.
Another important quality to look for in special education graduate schools and programs is accreditation, and this can be at the institutional and programmatic level(s). Institutional accreditation is usually by one of the regional agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Programmatic accreditation is typically by the NCATE or CAEP[iii].
Take the Next Step
Join a cohort of students by initiating a search for possible residential special education graduate programs at one of our many sponsored graduate schools. You may find options such as campus Master of Arts in Special Education at Trinity Christian College; Doctor of Education in Learning and Instruction at University of San Francisco; Master of Education: Moderate Disabilities (Special Education) at Notre Dame de Namur University. The list goes on so use your filters (campus) graduate programs (certificates, masters, doctorate) and location (city, state, country) to narrow things down. Then request more information from your prospective schools to stay on top of enrollment deadlines as well as schedule a tour of their campus
- Belmont, CABelmont, CA
Notre Dame de Namur University
Notre Dame de Namur University's Special Education Program is designed to train teachers to alleviate the increasing shortage of special education teachers in the State of Californi...
- Denver, CODenver, CO
University of Northern Colorado - Extended Campus
The Masters of Arts program in Special Education Generalist is designed to prepare special educators to work with K-12 students across a range of abilities, from significant support needs to mild/moderate disabilities.
- Weston, MAWeston, MA
In an effort to address the universal need for special education teachers, this program strongly focuses on classroom inclusion. During this one-year accelerated program, students learn the skills to develop innovative methods and sound educationa...
- Pomona, NJPomona, NJ
The Master of Arts in Education Program helps certified professionals develop into master teachers by offering coursework leading to an array of graduate level instructional and educational services endorsements. ...
- Buffalo, NYBuffalo, NY
The Canisius College MS in Special Education program offers five different, NYS approved degree tracks in special education...
- San Luis Obispo, CASan Luis Obispo, CA
California State University, Cal Poly
The M.S. in Special Education enables students to succeed as special day class teachers, resource specialists, inclusion specialists, or autism specialists...
- Arkadelphia, ARArkadelphia, AR
Henderson State University
Plans of study in Special Education at the graduate level are designed to meet the needs of graduate students based on their prior educational experie...
- Bethlehem, PABethlehem, PA
The grad program is fully accredited by the Pennsylvania Dept of Ed and offers special ed certification at the Master's level.
- Riverdale, CARiverdale, CA
- Greenville, SCGreenville, SC
Bob Jones University
- Jackson, MSJackson, MS
Jackson State University
- Newburgh, NYNewburgh, NY
Mount Saint Mary College
The aim of the program is to provide advanced professional training in the field of special education.
- Pittsburg, KSPittsburg, KS
Pittsburg State University
The MS degree with a major in special education teaching is available in adaptive and functional level, K-6 and 6-12.
- Peoria, ILPeoria, IL
The goal of the curriculum and instruction master's program is to prepare pre-kindergarten through twelfth-grade teachers to accept greater responsibi...
- Dekalb, ILDekalb, IL
Northern Illinois University
- Moraga, CAMoraga, CA
St. Mary's College Of California
The Special Education Programs at Saint Mary's College offer graduate students a personalized, professional course of study in teaching individuals wi...
- Kennesaw, GAKennesaw, GA
Kennesaw State University
- Union, NJUnion, NJ
Developmental Disabilities Emotionally Disturbed and Socially MaladjustedLearning DisabilitiesPre-School Handicapped...