Online Master’s Degrees in Special Education

An online master’s degree in special education may provide aspiring teachers with enhanced special education instructional abilities. In this one to two-year program, individuals may learn how to teach students with mild to moderate disabilities, utilize instructional models to plan lessons, and manage a classroom for special needs students. Program coursework may include specialized elective courses as well as major-specific classes including assessment and planning, foundations of special education, and instruction for disabled students.

Upon graduation, students may either seek employment or pursue a doctoral degree in special education or related field. Master’s-level degree graduates may seek employment in public schools, state education programs, federal education departments, private schools, and district education departments.

Program Overview

  • Prerequisite: Bachelor’s Degree
  • Program Length: One to two years to complete
  • Post-Grad Options: Employment or Doctoral Program
  • Projected Employment Growth: 17% (2010-2020)*

Program Coursework

The coursework for master’s-level special education degree programs may include core special education courses alongside specialized electives. These courses may teach students how to modify lessons to accommodate special needs students, discuss student’s progress with parents, and assess students learning skills to determine their needs. Core special education classes may include the following:

  • Diagnostic Assessment
  • Inclusive Classroom Practices
  • Assessment and Planning for Special Education
  • Special Education Law and Policy
  • Foundations of Learning Disabilities
  • Instruction for Learning Disabled Students
  • Foundations of Special Education

Career Options

Master’s-level graduates may explore career opportunities in public school systems, private schools, charter school districts, state education departments, and federal education 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:

  • Elementary Special Education Teacher
  • Reading Diagnostician
  • High School Special Education Teacher
  • Special Education Director
  • Literacy Coach

Continuing Education

Students who successfully complete a master’s degree program may have the opportunity to further their education by enrolling in a doctoral degree program. A doctoral degree in special education may provide students with the opportunity to research and develop new and innovative learning programs specifically for students with special learning needs. Employers may require individuals to have a master’s degree and licensure for select teaching positions.

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

Recommended Schools

Matching School Ads

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.


  • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: The Inclusive Classroom (SPED)
  • M.Ed. in Advanced Study in Special Education
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Social Studies
  • And more...

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

A liberal arts institution with 16 colleges and schools, Liberty offers programs in fields such as medicine, religion, law, aviation, cinematic arts, psychology, business, and more. Part of the Big South Conference, Liberty fields 20 NCAA Division I athletic teams and 32 Club Sports teams, offering fans an unparalleled college sports experience.


  • M.Ed. - Program Specialist in Gifted Specialist
  • M.Ed. Teaching and Learning - Special Education
  • MA in Teaching - Special Education
  • And more...
Take a new step in your education with University of New England. We offer a Master of Public Health degree program that can be completed entirely online.


  • MS Education in Inclusion Education
  • University of New England Graduate Certificate in Education in Inclusion Education
  • University of New England Graduate Certificate in Education in Curriculum & Instruction Strategies