Masters in Special Education Program Rankings

A masters in special education allows you to serve as a teacher for students dealing with physical, mental, or learning disabilities. Most programs prepare you to deal with a wide range of challenging students, though some master’s degree programs allow you specialize to work with a specific type of disability.

Special Education Program Classes

Along with general education classes that any graduate program in education would cover, such as leadership, learning psychology, educational theory, and curriculum development, you’ll also take classes to help you specifically learn about teaching students with special needs. Master’s degree programs in special education also include a hands-on learning component, where you’ll serve as a student teacher in a real life classroom.

U.S. News and World Report Top Programs

Are you looking for the top program in special education? A number of publications rank colleges, but one of the most well-respected college rankings is done annually by U.S. News and World Report. As of 2010, the top ranked school for special education teachers was Vanderbilt University, and others that are considered top schools are the University of Kansas, the University of Oregon, and the University of Florida.

Other Top Programs

Of course, there are a number of other high-rated schools that you can also consider if you’re interested in a masters in special education. Many have online programs available, which allows you to go to school from the comfort of your own home or on a flexible schedule. In addition to the schools above that you should consider, here are some other top special education schools: Ashford University, Saint Joseph’s University, Liberty University, University of Phoenix, University of Michigan, National University, New York University, and Edgewood College.

Paying for College

If you want to go to one of the nation’s top programs to earn your master’s degree in special education, you might need to find funds to pay for your education. Scholarships and grants are both readily available through the government and other sources, and if you’re willing to work for at least five years as a special education teacher in a high-need area, you may also qualify for over $17,000 in student loan forgiveness. Most of the top special education schools also offer both scholarships and grants directly to their students to help attract the best and brightest, so if you look for these opportunities, you could go to school completely for free.

Top Online Masters in Special Education Degrees

Teaching students with special needs requires a master's degree in special education. Degree programs focusing on special ed. will equip teachers with the tools and knowledge necessary to take on the challenges of educating students with learning, emotional, behavioral, and/or physical disabilities. Below are the top online colleges that offer masters degrees in special education.

Xavier University
Special education programs at Xavier University are committed to the educational and professional preservice preparation of students to be ethically, morally, intellectually and socially competent teachers of students with disabilities. The Master of Education degree will provide training for teachers of children requiring specialized and individualized educational programs.
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Western Governors University
The M.S. in Special Education (K 12) is for licensed teachers with bachelor's degrees who are interested in moving into special education instruction. This competency-based program is NCATE accredited and equips graduates to teach students with mild to moderate cross-categorical disabilities.
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Walden University
An MS in Special Education (K-12) from Walden University will prepare you to increase the success rate of student in primary education. An MS in Special Education for Behavioral Disorders teaches candidates how to create prescribed individual behavioral and instructional plans based on the learning strengths of a child. An MA in Special Education for Learning Disabilities builds teaching skills required to make a significant impact on children with learning disabilities. The PhD in Special Education programs provides graduates with a thorough examination of the theories and principles behind human learning.
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Grand Canyon University
The M.Ed. in Special Education with Certification from Grand Canyon University is designed for people interested in becoming certified in special education. Through this program you will learn how to use behavioral techniques to ensure a strong education of children with special needs. The M.Ed. in Special Education will give you an in-depth education on the various topics affecting special education students including the laws that govern the students and their families. Separate programs are available for individuals with or without teaching certification.
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Northcentral University
Northcentral’s online Master of Education – Special Education program is designed for educators to gain a thorough understanding of the characteristics and needs of children who fall under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA/IDEIA). Candidates of this program will be exposed to a range of topics ranging from how disabilities affect individuals and families to classroom modifications to suit special need students. Upon graduation, educators will be prepared to lead and design the special education curriculums in K-12 educational settings.
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