Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Special Education

An online bachelor’s degree in special education may provide students with the skills needed to instruct children with special needs. In this four-year program, students may learn how to assess a student’s learning ability, provide specialized instruction to students, and develop individual education programs for each child. Program coursework may include both general education requirements and specialized education courses including education assessment, behavioral management, and reasoning and problem solving.

Those who successfully complete the program and state certification process may seek entry-level employment, or they may further their education by enrolling in a graduate degree program. Baccalaureate-level graduates may pursue employment in public schools, private schools, state education departments, district special education programs, and charter school districts.

Program Overview

  • Prerequisite: High School Diploma or GED
  • Program Length: Four years to complete
  • Post-Grad Options: Entry-Level Employment or Master’s / Doctoral Program
  • Projected Employment Growth: 17% (2010-2020)*

Program Coursework

The curriculum for baccalaureate-level special education programs may include general education requirements as well as core special education coursework. These classes may teach students how to manage a classroom, create and implement lesson plans, and instruct students with special needs. Core special education classes may include the following:

  • Educational Psychology
  • Cultural Studies and Diversity
  • Reasoning and Problem Solving
  • Classroom Management
  • Educational Assessment
  • Behavioral Management and Collaboration
  • Instructional Planning and Presentation

Career Options

Baccalaureate-level graduates may seek career opportunities in elementary schools, secondary schools, district special education departments, private tutoring, and government programs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities in special education are expected to increase by 17% from 2010-2020.*

Possible careers include:

  • High School Special Education Teacher
  • Special Education Consultant
  • Early Intervention Teacher
  • Director of Special Education Services
  • Elementary Special Education Teacher

Continuing Education

Students who complete a baccalaureate degree in special education may wish to further their education by enrolling in a graduate degree program. A graduate degree in special education may prepare students for leadership roles in special education departments. Employers may require both a bachelor’s degree as well as state certification to be eligible for select entry-level special education positions.

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

Recommended Schools

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Concordia University - Portland offers several fully online 14-month Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs and a fully online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program. You'll learn new strategies and techniques for your classroom while expanding your knowledge and skills as an educator.


  • Special Education (Middle Level/High School)