Online
Schedule an appointment Call 877-308-9954

Online Master of Arts Degree in Special Education

 

"The program has further developed me as a teacher. It's given me a larger toolkit. I'm able to think on my feet, create lesson plans that are relevant to my classroom and the community of learners that I'm involved with." – Sarah, Student

  • 36–65 credits
  • Personalize your learning to match your career goals
  • Start your program in the fall, spring, or summer
  • Total estimated cost of $19,080–$34,450 depending on program options (just $530 per credit)

Special education is vital to the success of learners with disabilities, yet 46 states across the country report a shortage of teachers with necessary skills.1 Help meet the needs of learners with a wide range of abilities and advance your teaching career with Saint Mary's online Master of Arts in Special Education.

This program prepares you to work with learners who receive special education services for specific learning disabilities, children on the autism spectrum, and/or those with emotional or behavioral disorders. Learn to create an inclusive learning environment in a mainstream classroom, explore ways to remove barriers for students with special needs, develop Individualized Learning Programs, and help all kinds of learners reach their full potential.

Three Learning Options to Match Your Career Goals

Our online master's in special education can be customized to meet your needs, and the needs of your students. The length of time it takes to complete your degree depends on the program option you choose. Times to completion listed below are based on a recommended course schedule of two online classes per consecutive semester.

Looking for licensure preparation in Minnesota? This program prepares you to work in Minnesota with learners who receive special education services for specific learning disabilities, children on the autism spectrum, and/or those with emotional or behavioral disorders in preschool, elementary, middle, and high school settings.

Are you in Wisconsin? Please take a look at our options for Wisconsin educators.

Please note: All licensure recommendations are contingent upon successfully completing all Minnesota state licensure requirements.

Option 1: Special Education – M.A. Degree Without Licensure

  • Total credits: 36
  • Time to completion: 2 years
  • 100% Online

This degree option is intended for individuals seeking a full understanding of special education issues and approaches, but does not include the additional requirements to obtain a Minnesota license in special education.

You'll complete:

  • Special education core courses (18 credits)
  • Elective courses (12 credits)
  • Master's degree completion courses (6 credits)

Option 2: Special Education – M.A. Degree With Additional Licensure

  • Total credits: 42
  • Time to completion: 2.5 years
  • 100% online coursework

This degree option is for already licensed classroom teachers in Minnesota who want to add licensure in one or more of the following special education areas: emotional behavioral disorders (EBD), learning disabilities (LD), and/or autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

You'll complete:

  • Special education core courses (18 credits)
  • Specialization courses (15 credits)
  • Practicum courses (3 credits)
  • Master's degree completion courses (6 credits)

Students are required to complete practicum experiences in elementary, middle school, and high school settings in Minnesota. Completion of appropriate Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations are required prior to recommendation for licensure.

Students should be aware that this program is not designed to lead to a special education licensure, endorsement, or certification outside of Minnesota. If you are interested in becoming licensed in another state, it is your responsibility to check with the licensing body in your state for specific licensure preparation requirements.

You will also take part in practicum experiences in elementary, middle school, and high school settings in Minnesota, and complete a Minnesota state licensing exam.

Option 3: Special Education – M.A. Degree With Initial Licensure

  • Total credits: 65
  • Time to completion: 3.5 years
  • Blended and online coursework*

This degree option is for those without a Minnesota classroom teacher licensure who want to be licensed to teach special education in Minnesota.

You'll complete:

  • Education foundation courses (18 credits)*
  • Special education core courses (18 credits)
  • Specialization courses (15 credits)
  • Student teaching (6 credits)
  • Capstone (2 credits)
  • Master's degree completion courses (6 credits)

*Education foundation courses are delivered at the Twin Cities Campus and precede online coursework. Students are required to complete practicum experiences in elementary, middle school, and high school settings in Minnesota plus the Student Teaching course at the Twin Cities Campus. Completion of the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations are required prior to recommendation for licensure.

Students should be aware that this program is not designed to lead to a special education licensure, endorsement, or certification outside of Minnesota. If you are interested in becoming licensed in another state, it is your responsibility to check with the licensing body in your state for specific licensure preparation requirements.

Benefits of the Program

  • Master intercultural communication skills and strategies to effectively support the diverse needs of special education students and their families
  • Become an authority on special education strategies and research at your school
  • Create a positive school and classroom culture to effectively teach all students
  • Use the latest mobile technology and methods to give students receiving special education a new voice
  • Design an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that helps provide students with access to their learning environment through multiple means, including assistive technology
  • Develop intercultural competence to relate to students of all backgrounds

Discover additional benefits of our Master of Arts in Special Education degree on the Program Outcomes page.

Sample Coursework

Innovation and up-to-date research are at the heart of our online master's in special education program's coursework, helping you succeed in the ever-changing education field. No matter which option you choose, you'll gain a deep understanding of special education, inclusive learning, and behavioral theories:

COURSE CODE

COURSE TITLE (3 credits per course)

EDSE631

Foundations of Special Education

ESDE639

Social Emotional Learning and Well-Being

EDSE607

Literacy Development & Interventions

EDSE637

The Individual Education Process

SPECIALIZATION COURSES

 

EDSE657

Advanced Instruction and Methods: Learning Disabilities

EDSE642

Strategies and Assessment: Emotional/Behavioral Disorders

EDSE667

Introduction to Behavioral Theories: Autism Spectrum Disorders

Special Education Career Outlook

Enhance your teaching, get your license, or explore other special education careers. For more details, visit our Career Outlook page. Note: Additional education and field experience may be required for Director of Special Education or Special Education Coordinator positions.

JOB TITLE

MEDIAN SALARY

Preschool Special Education Teacher

This profession requires professional licensure. Check with your state for teaching licensure requirements.

$53,640

Kindergarten and Elementary School Special Education Teacher

This profession requires professional licensure. Check with your state for teaching licensure requirements.

$53,640

Middle School Special Education Teacher

This profession requires professional licensure. Check with your state for teaching licensure requirements.

$59,510

Secondary School Special Education Teacher

This profession requires professional licensure. Check with your state for teaching licensure requirements.

$60,180

Special Education Director

Master's degree typically required for entry. This profession requires professional licensure. Check with your state for administrative licensure requirements.

$74,1592

Educational Consultant

$62,9933

Special Education Coordinator

Master's degree typically required for entry. This profession requires professional licensure. Check with your state for administrative licensure requirements.

$58,4084

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics unless otherwise noted.

Students should be aware that this program is not designed to lead to a special education licensure, endorsement, or certification outside of Minnesota. If you are interested in becoming licensed in a state other than Minnesota or Wisconsin, it is your responsibility to check with the licensing body in your state for specific licensure preparation requirements.

You should be aware that this is not a licensure preparation program for K-12 administrative licensure such as Director of Special Education or Special Education Coordinator positions. If you are looking to become a Director of Special Education in Minnesota the completion of an education-related master’s program allows you to enter the Saint Mary’s Ed.S. in Educational Administration to complete coursework and field experience in preparation for administrative licensure. If you are looking to become a K-12 public school administrator in another state, it is your responsibility to check with the administrative licensing body in your state for specific licensure preparation requirements.

Opportunity in Your Hands

Every student enrolled in the online coursework for the Master of Arts in Special Education program at Saint Mary's receives an iPad® that makes it possible to access your coursework wherever you wish. See how your new iPad can help you learn.

Take the First Step

Request more information or call 877-308-9954 to speak with an enrollment counselor today about pursuing an online Master's in Special Education from Saint Mary's.