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What Are The Best Undergrad Special Education Programs?

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Choosing special education as your undergrad major is smart because the National Coalition on Personnel Shortages (NCPS) found that 49 U.S. states have shortages. Special educators are in above-average demand for grades K-12, but Pre-K is experiencing the highest job growth at 7 percent because of an increased focus on early intervention. Special education degrees are ideal for flexible, even-tempered bachelor’s students who find enjoyment mentoring students with mild to severe disabilities. Majors in special education train undergraduates for pedagogical mastery tailoring curricula to each pupil’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). If you’re interested in joining America’s 28,100 teachers of exceptional children, the following undergrad special education programs represent the best of the best.

University of Wisconsin – Madison

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Affiliated with 21 Nobel laureates as a public, land-grant AAU member that’s enrolling 43,338 Badgers along Lake Monona, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is declared America’s third best education school on the U.S. News and World Report. Located atop Bascom Hill, the School of Education at UW-Madison confers a Bachelor of Science in Education for Special Education or Dual Elementary/Special Education. Approved by the Wisconsin DPI and CAEP, the 120-credit degrees provide cross-categorical certification for learning disabilities, emotional/behavioral disabilities, and intellectual/developmental disabilities. Other opportunities include working in the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, studying abroad in Argentina, and joining Best Buddies Club.

Learn more about Special Education Degree Programs at the University of Wisconsin – Madison here.

New York University

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Founded in 1831 by Albert Gallatin as a private, nonsectarian League of World Universities member that’s now endowed for $3.4 billion to enroll 50,027 Violets in Lower Manhattan, New York University is ranked America’s 13th best education school by the U.S. News and World Report. The CAEP-accredited Steinhardt School offers two 122-credit Bachelor of Science options for Childhood Special Education (1-6) or Early Childhood Special Education (Birth-2). The NYS Certification degree is directed by Dr. Audrey A. Trainor with courses like classroom assessment atop the liberal arts core. Known for its ASD Nest Support Project and Literacy Clinic, the field-based program immerses undergrads in New York City schools beginning the freshman year.

Learn more about Special Education Degree Programs at New York University here.

Michigan State University

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Ranked 21st among the best education schools by the U.S. News and World Report, Michigan State University is located in East Lansing with 50,543 Spartans studying in 17 research-intensive colleges. Reaffirmed by the CAEP in 2015, the MSU College of Education in Erickson Hall offers a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education that leads to K-12 endorsement in learning disabilities. Participating in the Teachers for a New Era (TNE) initiative, the 59-credit major integrates courses like behavior management, child psychology, and language development. Special education students also gain 1,000 hours of inclusive or self-contained classroom experience in internships and the Global Educators Cohort Program (GECP).

Learn more about Special Education Degree Programs at Michigan State University here.

University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign

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Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for America’s 24th top education school, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign operates a $2 billion annual budget as a public, Big Ten RU/VH powerhouse directed by Chancellor Robert J. Jones with 44,087 Fighting Illini. Boasting 100 percent job placement in 2014, the UIUC College of Education grants a Bachelor of Science in Special Education for Learning & Behavior Specialist (LBS I) credentialing. The 125-credit curriculum maps out concentrated coursework like assistive technology and weekly practicum in Chicago Public Schools with disabled youth aged 3-21. Students can also add Bilingual/ESL Endorsement at this CAEP-accredited university.

Learn more about the Special Education Degree Programs at the University of Illionis at Urbana = Champaign here.

University of Nebraska – Lincoln

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Endowed for $1.475 billion under Chancellor Ronnie Green as a land-grant RU/VH hub with 25,260 Cornhuskers in “Star City,” the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is named America’s 43rd best education school by the USNWR. At the Barkley Memorial Center, the UNL College of Education & Human Services awards a CAEP-accredited Special Education Major (B.S.) for K-6 or 7-12 endorsement. Requiring a 2.5 GPA, the 120-credit degree also offers specializations for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Visual Impairments, or Early Childhood Special Education. Skills are practiced on-site in the Schmoker Reading Center and during semester-long student teaching assignments.

Learn more about the Special Education Degree Programs at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln here.

University of Utah

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Named the 66th top teacher education school by the USNWR, the University of Utah is organized by President David W. Pershing with 3,421 academic staff and 31,860 Utes on its public, space-grant RU/VH campus in Salt Lake City. Holding CAEP accreditation, the College of Education has a 122-credit B.S. Degree in Special Education for undergrads who pass the PPST Praxis. Five state licensure tracks are offered: Mild/Moderate Disabilities, Severe Disabilities, Early Childhood, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, or Blind and Visually Impaired. Majors are immersed in teaching with 100+ practicum hours and senior internships at partnering schools like Valley View Elementary.

Learn more about the Special Education Degree Programs at the University of Utah here.

 

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Teacher preparation programs across the U.S. award 99,202 education degrees each year according to Niche. Picking the right one is important to avoid having to transfer later and perhaps sacrifice hard-earned credits. Bachelor’s degrees in special education should be earned at CAEP-accredited providers to ensure state certification. Other factors to consider for a good fit are affordability, academic quality, location, school size, special education practica, and class diversity. More top undergrad special education programs include Syracuse University, Vanderbilt University, University of Maryland-College Park, Ohio State University, and Boston College.

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The 12 Best Special Education Degree Programs

30 Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs

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Getting a master’s in special education online quickly while teaching is an excellent way to advance your education career. Graduate special education programs go beyond the basics of instructing PreK-12 students with disabilities to receive added endorsements. Taking the voluntary step to obtain a master’s can pay off with a 15-30 percent salary bump to the median annual wage of $57,910 in special education. The BLS predicts increased hiring of an additional 28,100 special ed teachers nationwide through 2024, but master’s graduates could also become educational diagnosticians, reading specialists, behavior analysts, ESL teachers, curriculum developers, and school administrators.

We’ve ranked the following 30 Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs to help teachers save time and avoid enormous debt. We began by searching for advanced special education degrees available by distance education in the NCES College Navigator. The 14 pages of results were narrowed based on length. Each degree had to be 36 credits or less with accelerated online courses, transfer availability, or minimal practicum. Preference was given for education schools recognized by the CAEP and Council for Exceptional Children. We then consulted with the U.S. News and Niche online rankings to arrange the fast programs by quality.

Here are our selections for the 30 Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs:

1. University of Florida

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What later would become the University of Florida was originally founded in 1853 as the East Florida Seminary, the first state-supported institution of higher learning in Florida. Since its inception, the school has become one of the leading universities in state, as well as a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), the only one in Florida. The Association of American Universities is an association of 62 leading comprehensive research universities – Of all the doctoral degrees awarded in the United States, almost half are awarded by members of the AAU, and 55% of those are in science and engineering.

The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, engineer, doctoral and professional degrees. In its 164 years, UF has grown from a school of under 200 students to having a student population of more than 50,000; 33,000 of whom are undergraduate. U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of Florida #1 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs, #14 for top Public Schools, and #50 for National Universities.

The University of Florida’s CAEP-accredited College of Education offers a 30-credit master’s degree through the Online Live Well Program. Special educators choose fast tracks like Dyslexia, Autism, and Disabilities in Society. Students in the Live Well program are required to take four courses designed to increase their knowledge and awareness of those with disabilities and the sociopolitical issues associated with them.  These courses also qualify students a Disabilities in Society Graduate Certificate in addition to their master’s degree.

Tuition: $448/hour (in-state) or $690/hour (out-of-state)

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at the University of Florida here.

2. Indiana Wesleyan University

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Founded in 1890 as Marion Normal College, the school was only incorporated in 1919 and began classes in 1920. Today, Indiana Wesleyan University is a private, evangelical Christian, liberal-arts university of The Wesleyan Church. Located on a 350-acre residential campus in Marion, Indiana; IWU is the largest private college in Indiana as well as being the largest member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) – a higher education association of 180 Christian institutions around the world. To better understand Indiana Wesleyan University, here is the CCCU’s Mission.

“To advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth.”

IWU has a student population of 14,730 (10,187 undergraduate) and a student-to-faculty ratio of 15 to 1. As of 2015, 93 percent of Full-time Beginning Undergraduate Students at IWU were receiving financial aid, the average amount being $9,948. As a whole, Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, while many of their programs are nationally accredited by the appropriate agencies. U.S. News and World Report ranks Indiana Wesleyan #27 for Regional Universities Midwest, and Niche ranks IWU as the third best online college in America.

Indiana Wesleyan University grants a quick, 33-credit M.Ed. in Special Education that’s approved by the CAEP and Council for Exceptional Children. The program was designed for teachers seeking initial licensure in special education for students with mild to moderate disabilities. Graduates qualify for Indiana’s Intervention Specialist Mild/Moderate licensure in under two years. Applicants to the program are required to have completed either a three-credit hour course in phonics (with grade requirements) or a passing score on one of four of Indiana’s CORE exams:

  • Early Childhood Generalist Subtest 1: Reading and English Language Arts
  • Elementary Education Generalist Subtest 1: Reading and English Language Arts
  • Reading
  • Exceptional Needs – Mild Intervention: Reading Instruction

Tuition: $462/credit

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at Indiana Wesleyan University here.

3. Capella University

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Founded in 1993 by former Tonka CEO Stephen Shank and Dr. Harold Abel, a former president of three universities, the Graduate School of America would go on to become Capella University in 1999. Capella University was established with the goal of bringing higher education to an underserved adult population. Today Capella University offers 52 different degree programs with 149 graduate and undergraduate specializations, and has (since 1993) awarded 68,750 degrees and certificates to over 63,000 alumni.

As of March 2017, Capella University has 38,802 learners enrolled, 89% of whom are part-time. In order to serve that many students, Capella has 1,583 faculty members and faculty administrators; of those, 85% have doctorates. Niche has ranked Capella University as the Seventh Best Online College in America. As a whole, Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), though many of their programs have earned additional accreditation from the appropriate agencies.

Capella’s CAEP-accredited Master of Science in Education in Special Education Teaching program was designed to help instructors learn to effectively teach children with a variety of learning disabilities. The program is part of Capella University’s Education Preparation Provider Unit, and is also accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Teachers take accelerated, 10-week courses and can transfer up to 12 credits for accelerating the 58-quarter credit curriculum. Thanks to Capella’s structure, all classes are offered entirely online, though students will still participate in field exercises, allowing them to put their newly-learned skills to the test in real-life situations.

Tuition: $444/credit

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at Capella University here.

4. Michigan State University

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The Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, the forerunner to Michigan State University, was established on February 15, 1855, just 18 years after Michigan became a state. At the time of its founding the college was the first institution of higher learning in the United States to teach scientific agriculture. Located in East Lansing, Michigan, MSU is today a leading research university and frequently ranks among the top 100 universities globally. Michigan State University offers over 200 programs of undergraduate, graduate, and professional study, as well as over 275 study abroad programs in more than 60 countries on all continents.

Michigan State University is home to some 50,538 students, 39,143 of them undergraduates, and has a student-to-faculty ratio of 17 to 1. MSU ranks very well both globally and here in the United States. U.S. News and World Report ranks MSU #78 for Best Global Universities, #82 for Best National Universities, #21 for Best Graduate Education Schools (specifically #1 for Secondary Teacher Education), and #8 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs. Michigan State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The Master of Arts in Special Education program from Michigan State University’s CAEP-accredited College of Education prepares teachers to advance the quality of education for students with disabilities in K-12 schools. The fully-online program is 30 credits long, though endorsements for Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Learning Disabilities require an additional six credits. While in the MA/ASD program, students can also pursue a graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).

Tuition: $698/credit (in-state) or $1,372/credit (out-of-state)

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at Michigan State University here.

5. Pennsylvania State University

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Originally chartered in 1855 as one of the nation’s first colleges of agricultural science, Pennsylvania State University has grown to become one of the nation’s top state universities, with 24 campuses spread across Pennsylvania. In 2000, Penn State and the Dickinson School of Law merged, which is why Penn State now has two law schools, Dickinson Law (in Carlisle, Pennsylvania) and Penn State Law (on University Park campus). While Penn State has been offering distance education since 1892, they firmly established their commitment to it in 1998 with the creation of their World Campus, which graduated its first students in 2000, and today serves over 12,000 students.

Across its 24 campuses Pennsylvania State University has an enrollment of over 99,000 students. The Main Campus with a student population of 47,307, has a student-to-faculty ratio of 17 to 1, while the World Campus and its student population of 12,242 has a student-to-faculty ratio of only 12 to 1. Penn State World Campus currently offers over 125 accredited graduate degrees, undergraduate degrees, certificates, and minors. Pennsylvania State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and many of their individual programs have additional accreditations from the appropriate.

Requiring just 32 credits, the CAEP-accredited Masters in Education in Special Education program from Penn State World Campus is one of the online programs for which Pennsylvania State University earned its U.S. News and World Report ranking of #9 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs. The program heavily focuses on current issues and topics in the field of special education, and allows students to customize their experience by choosing an emphasis in Academic and Behavioral Supports; Applied Behavior Analysis; or Autism. The emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis includes an 18-credit BACB-approved course sequence and can prepare you to sit for the Behavior Analysis Certification Board certification exam.

Tuition: $821/credit

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at Pennsylvania State University here.

6. George Washington University

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George Washington University began its life as Columbian College, which was established by an act of congress on February 9, 1821. The school’s name was changed to Columbian University in 1873 and to George Washington University in 1904. With three campuses and 10 schools, the university is not only the largest institution of higher education in Washington DC, it is also one of the largest private employers in D.C. as well. GW has a unique connection to the Peace Corps – For 11 years in a row, GW has been recognized as a top-5 provider of Peace Corps volunteers among medium-size universities. Since the Peace Corps’ founding, over 1200 GW graduates have served.

George Washington University has a student population of 26,212, 11,157 of whom are undergraduates, and a student-to-faculty ratio of 13 to 1. GW is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. U.S. News and World Report ranks George Washington University #56 for Best National Universities, #38 for Best Graduate Education Schools, and #16 (tied) for Best Online Graduate Education Programs. The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD) currently offers 58 programs, 20 of which are online. The GSEHD has a total enrollment of 1,405 students, and 72 full-time faculty members.

The M.A. in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners program from George Washington University’s GSEHD is CAEP-accredited and offered online. The 33-credit program emphasizes theory-to-practice, and employs cutting edge research and practical experience to instill in teachers the skill necessary to ensure the success of students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds as well as those with social or learning disabilities. The program takes just 1.5 years complete and in the end graduates will find themselves qualified for the SPED PRAXIS and ESOL PRAXIS exams.

Tuition: $1,035/credit

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at George Washington University here.

7. Ball State University

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When the Indiana Normal Institute was foreclosed less than 20 years since its founding in 1899, the land and buildings were acquired by Frank C. Ball and his brothers, young New York industrialists who then donated them to the state of Indiana. The new Indiana State Normal School Eastern Division was opened in 1918. In light of the Ball family’s generosity the school was renamed the Ball Teachers College in 1922, and again in 1929 to Ball State Teachers College. It was only in 1965 that the school finally become Ball State University, an acknowledgment of its growth in both size and quality of education.

Since its final name change Ball State has continued its phenomenal trend of growth, now serving a student population of 21,196 and offering seven associate’s, 178 bachelor’s, 99 master’s, 2 specialist, and 16 doctoral degrees in seven academic colleges. Ball State University reaffirmed their accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) on January 14, 2014, and are now accredited through 2023–24. U.S. News and World Report ranks Ball State University #176 for Best National Universities, #101 for Best Graduate Education Schools, #93 for Best Public Schools, and #16 (tied) for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

The Master of Arts in Special Education program from Ball State is recognized by both the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). The 30-credit program can be completed in five semesters, and offers a total of eight focus areas – three blended programs, and five that are fully-online: Applied Behavior Analysis, Autism, Director of Special Education/Exceptional Needs, Response to Interventions, and Severe Interventions.

Tuition: $394/credit (in-state) or $590/credit (out-of-state)

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at Ball State University here.

8. University of North Texas

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The Texas Normal College and Teacher Training Institute would eventually grow to become the University of North Texas, one of the nation’s largest public universities and the largest in the North Texas region. Founded in 1890 by Joshua C. Chilton, the school originally had only 70 students and was housed in a rented space above a hardware store in downtown Denton. For over 125 years the university has striven to live up to the words Chilton spoke upon the school’s founding:

“It will be our aim to become leaders in the education of the young men and women of Texas, fitting them to creditably fill the most important positions in business and professional circles. We desire the cooperation of all who believe in higher education and who want to see our state in the very front of intellectual as well as material progress.”

Today, the University of North Texas is home to more than 37,299 students and 1,578 faculty members, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1. UNT has 13 colleges and schools and offers over 200 degree choices. The University of North Texas is accredited to award bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, while many individual programs are accredited through the appropriate agencies.  U.S. News and World Report ranks UNT #130 for Best Graduate Education Schools, #16 (tied) for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

The online M.Ed. in Special Education program from the University of North Texas allows students to choose between concentrations in Autism Intervention (AI) or Educational Diagnostician (EdDiag) depending on their preference in working with individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or working as an Educational Diagnostician. The CAEP-accredited, 33-credit program can be completed in as little as 15 months. You could begin one summer and graduate the next.

Tuition: $1,400/course

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at the University of North Texas here.

9. Central Michigan University

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Central Michigan University was founded in 1892, and was originally known as the Central Michigan Normal School and Business Institute. The 31 original students attended classes in teaching, business, and stenography, all of which were held in second-floor rooms over an office in downtown Mount Pleasant. From its humble origins, the school has grown to become one of the largest universities in Michigan, and is one of the 100 largest public universities in the United States. Today, Central Michigan University offers over 200 academic programs, and has 150 study abroad programs in more than 40 countries, as well as having more than 220,000 alumni around the world.

CMU has a student population of 26,825, and a student-to-faculty ratio of 20 to 1. Central Michigan University distributes more than $361 million in financial aid annually; in fact 74% of all undergraduate students at CMU receive some sort of grant or scholarship aid. CMU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). U.S. News and World Report ranks Central Michigan University #202 for National Universities, #110 for Top Public Schools, and #29 (tied) for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

CMU’s online Master of Arts in Special Education program is only available to Michigan educators with a valid Michigan Teaching Certificate and a Special Education Endorsement. The CAEP-accredited program begins with a base of 18 credit-hours’ worth of core courses, students then take additional classes to qualify for endorsements in Autism Spectrum Disorder (SV endorsement) or Learning Disabilities (SM endorsement).

Tuition: $548/credit

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at Central Michigan University here.

10. Western Governors University

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Western Governors University was originally incorporated in 1997, but only began accepting students in 1999. Founded with the intention of maximizing the potential for distance learning, five primary themes went into the initial design of the school: Responsiveness to employment and societal needs, a focus on competency-based education, expanding access, cost-effectiveness, and development of a technology infrastructure. A unique aspect of WGU is that as a competency-based school, students have the ability to accelerate and complete their degrees faster, since progress is based on performance rather than time spent in a class.

As an online university, Western Governors University has a student population of 70,504 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 40 to 1. Luckily, each student is assigned a student mentor, someone to serve as a guide and help motivate their mentee during their time in the program. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Niche ranks Western Governors University the 33rd Best Online College in America.

Western Governors University’s Master of Science in Special Education (K-12) program is entirely online and is nationally recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). WGU Teachers College is the first exclusively online university to receive National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accreditation for its degree programs that lead to teacher licensure. The 31-unit, competency-based program can be completed in as little as 12 months.

Tuition: $2,890/term

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at Western Governors University here.

11. Purdue University

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Following Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Morrill Land Grant Act in 1862, the Indiana General Assembly voted to participate in the plan. Purdue University was established in 1869, following a donation of $150,000 from John Purdue, $50,000 from Tippecanoe County and 100 acres from local residents. Located in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University is a public research university and is the main campus in the Purdue University System. Purdue University is sometimes referred to as the “Cradle of Astronauts” as 24 Purdue alumni have been selected for space travel, including Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. In all, Purdue alumni have flown on more than one-third of all U.S. manned flights.

Purdue University has a student population of 40,472, and a student-to-faculty ratio of 12 to 1. Purdue has been accredited continually since 1913, and is currently accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Purdue has more than 400 research laboratories and 116 university-approved research centers and institutes, all in the name of expanding the frontiers of knowledge. U.S. News and World Report ranks Purdue University #90 for Best Global Universities, #60 for Best National Universities, #20 for Top Public Schools, and #35 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

Purdue University currently offers an online Master of Science in Education, in a special education program that can be completed in as little as 20 months. The core of the program focuses on mild intervention, and develops the skills necessary to help assist students with learning disabilities, mild developmental disabilities, emotional behavioral disorders, and high functioning autism. The 31-credit master’s only track is designed for those only seeking knowledge in the field of special education. Students intending to pursue licensure have three additional programs available to them.

Tuition: $329/credit (in-state) or $650/credit (out-of-state)

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at Purdue University here.

12. University of Cincinnati

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The University of Cincinnati can trace its origins back to 1819, with the foundation of Cincinnati College and the Medical College of Ohio. When the University of Cincinnati was established in 1870, it absorbed Cincinnati College and the Medical College of Ohio. In 1906 the university created the first cooperative education program in the world – Cooperative Education is essentially a structured combination of both in-class education and practical work experience. Today, UC is classified as a Research University (Very High Research Activity) by the Carnegie Commission, and offers hundreds of academic programs for students to choose from.

The University of Cincinnati has a student population of 36,042; 25,009 of whom are undergraduates, and a student-to-faculty ratio of 18 to 1. As a whole, UC is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), though many of its individual programs have earned accreditation through their appropriate agencies and organizations. UC is ranked as one of America’s top 25 public research universities by the National Science Foundation. U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of Cincinnati #135 for Best National Universities, #64 for Top Public Schools, #89 for Best Graduate Education Schools, and #43 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

The Master of Education in Special Education program from UC can be completed in six semesters/two years. The CAEP-accredited online program consists of 30 semester credits, and aims to give teachers the necessary skills to not only aid special needs students in learning, but to also help improve their quality of life. Students are free to choose from one of four concentrations: Advanced Studies, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Transition to Work, or Behavior Disorders.

Tuition: $724/hour

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at the University of Cincinnati here.

13. Concordia University – St. Paul

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Founded in 1893, Concordia University, St. Paul was established to provide a Christian learning environment for young men preparing to enter the professional ministries of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Located in St. Paul, Minnesota, the school is part of the Concordia University System. Operated by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Concordia University System is an organization of ten colleges and universities – each of which is named Concordia.

Concordia University, St. Paul is one of the smallest schools on the list, and has a student population of only 4,380, and a student-to-teacher ratio of 16 to 1. Concordia University has been continually accredited since 1967, its most recent reaccreditation occurring in 2008 through the Higher Learning Commission. Niche ranked Concordia, St. Paul the 59th Best Online College in America. U.S. News and World Report ranks Concordia University, St. Paul #103 for Regional Universities Midwest, #81 for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, and #113 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

Master of Arts in Education – Special Education program from Concordia University holds accreditation for its accelerated, seven-week courses. Students will engage in courses such as: Ethical Issues for Professional Educators, Collaboration in Inclusive Settings, and Collaborative Consult. SPED. The 36 credit-hour program was designed so that students would complete one three credit course every seven weeks. There’s also a 30-credit Master of Arts in Differentiated Instruction online for PK-12 teachers.

Tuition: $395/credit

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at Concordia University – St. Paul here.

14. University of Missouri

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The University of Missouri actually has a rather interesting origin. The University came to be when in 1939, 900 citizens of Boone County came together and pledged $117,921 in cash and land to win the bid to locate the new state university in Columbia. Its establishment made it the first public university west of the Mississippi River, and the first in Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase Territory. Today, the University of Missouri awards 25 percent of the bachelor’s degrees from Missouri public universities. MU currently offers over 300 undergraduate degree programs through 19 colleges and schools, as well as 100 master’s degree programs, over 70 doctoral degree programs.

MU has an overall student population of 35,424 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 20 to 1. Amazingly, 92 percent of percent of full-time, ranked faculty at Mizzou hold doctorates or the highest degree in their field. The University of Missouri is a member of the Association of American Universities, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). U.S. News and World Report ranks Mizzou #111 for Best National Universities, #51 for Top Public Schools, #43 for Best Graduate Education Schools, and #61 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

The University of Missouri’s CAEP-accredited College of Education offers a 30-credit Master of Education in Special Education with an emphasis on Early Childhood Special Education. The program is delivered completely online, with no required campus visits. Students typically finish the program within two-years, during which time they learn from the program’s specific emphasis on:

  • Assessment methods
  • Creating inclusive classrooms
  • Curriculum development and implementation
  • Language and early literacy development
  • Research-based intervention strategies
  • Problem behavior and positive behavioral supports

Tuition: $12,225 total

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at the University of Missouri here.

15. Florida International University

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Founded in 1965, Florida International University only truly began its life in 1969, as an abandoned airfield. FIU founding president Chuck Perry gathered three men to help him forge his vision into a reality, Butler Waugh, Donald McDowell and Nick Sileo. Set in an abandoned air traffic controller’ tower, which had no phones, no drinkable water and no furniture, it was decided that the tower should never be destroyed. From an abandoned airfield, Florida International University has grown into one of the largest universities in the United States, and at the heart of the campus there still sits an air traffic controller tower, FIU’s Ivory Tower.

Today, Florida International University belongs to the State University System of Florida and has a student population of 49,702, and a student-to-faculty ratio of 25 to 1. To date, FIU has collectively graduated almost 200,000 alumni, and currently offers over 200 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs, as well as a plethora of fully-online programs. U.S. News and World Report ranks FIU #161 for Best Graduate Education Schools, and #66 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs. Florida International University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), in addition, FIU’s College of Education is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

The CAEP-accredited Online Master of Science in Special Education: Autism Endorsement program from Florida International University focuses on providing teachers with the knowledge and skills to support and educate learners on the autism spectrum. The 36-credit hour program includes courses like: Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Learners, Instructional Technology, and Working with Families of Students with Disabilities through Collaborative Approaches. The program is designed for students to enroll in four courses (12 credits) per semester, completing two courses each eight-week term in the semester.

Tuition: $18,300 total

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at Florida International University here.

16. Walden University

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Walden University was founded in 1970 by teachers Bernie and Rita Turner, under the shared vision of a new kind of institution for higher education; an institution that allowed professionals to continue working while earning a degree. In 1979 the Minnesota Higher Education Coordinating board approved Walden for licensure, allowing them to grant PhDs and EdDs in the state of Minnesota. Today, Walden University consists of five colleges: The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership, the College of Management and Technology, the College of Health Sciences, the Barbara Solomon School of social work and human services, and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, which between them offers 167 programs for students to select from.

Walden University has a student population of 52,799 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 18 to 1. Niche ranks Walden as the 73rd Best Online College in America. Walden University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1990, with its most recent reaccreditation occurring in 2013. Many of Walden’s individual programs are further accredited by the appropriate agencies for the field.

For those interested in pursuing a special education major, Walden currently offers a Master of Science in Education – Special Education (Non-Licensure) (Grades K-12) program. The program spans 30 credit hours and is offered through the CAEP-accredited Riley College of Education. Teachers develop their ePortfolio with courses like behavior intervention and adapted curriculum in only 12 months.

Tuition: $570/hour

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at Walden University here.

17. Old Dominion University

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Located in Norfolk, Virginia, Old Dominion was originally founded in 1930 by the College of William and Mary. Established as an extension William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, Virginia, Old Dominion began as a two-year school for teachers and engineers. Following continued growth, the school was awarded its independence in 1962 and became Old Dominion College, and later Old Dominion University. Today, Old Dominion University has six colleges: Arts and Letters, Business and Public Administration, Education, Engineering and Technology, Health Sciences and Sciences; and offers 73 bachelor’s, 43 master’s, 22 doctoral, and two education specialist programs, including 100 online programs that are offered through ODU Online.

Old Dominion has a student population of 24,672 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 19 to 1. ODU has more than 140,000 alumni in all 50 states and 69 countries; additionally Old Dominion has the second largest percentage of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and health (STEM-H) graduates in Virginia. Old Dominion is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the Special Education program is further accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). US News and World Report ranks Old Dominion University #210 for National Universities, #118 for Top Public Schools, #112 for Best Graduate Education Schools, and #77 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

The Master of Science in Education – Special Education program from Old Dominion University is online and is offered through the CAEP-accredited Darden College of Education. The 30-credit program focuses on research, advanced instructional strategies, and the foundations of special education leadership. Aligned to CEC standards, the accelerated program suits fully licensed teachers in Virginia or Washington. Furthermore, the advanced competencies can qualify as prerequisite course work to the PhD concentration in special education.

Tuition: $496/credit (in-state) or $538/credit (out-of-state)

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at Old Dominion University here.

18. Lamar University

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Founded in 1923 as South Park Junior College, the school would enroll 125 students in its first fall semester. The school’s name was changed to Lamar College in 1932, in honor of Mirabeau B. Lamar, second president of the Republic of Texas and the “Father of Education” in Texas. In 1951 Lamar became the first junior college in Texas to make the transition to a state-supported four-year institution, its name altered to Lamar State College of Technology to reflect the change. Following the introduction of its first doctoral program in 1970, Lamar became Lamar University in 1971, and later joined the Texas State University System in 1995.

Today, Lamar University offers 96 undergraduate, 50 master’s, and eight doctoral degree programs across 7 colleges: The College of Arts and Sciences Majors, the College of Engineering, the College of Fine Arts and Communication, the College of Business Majors, the College of Education and Human Development Majors, the College of Graduate Studies, and the Reaud Honors College. LU has a student population of 14,965 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 19 to 1. Lamar University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctorate degrees. U.S. News and World Report ranks Lamar University #77 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

The Online Master of Education in Special Education program from Lamar University is offered through the CAEP-accredited College of Education & Human Development. The 36-credit hour course can be completed in as few as 18 months. The five-week courses span from psychoeducational evaluation to school law for advanced SPED endorsements.

Tuition: $275/credit

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at Lamar University here.

19. Ashford University

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Ashford University was originally founded in 1918 as Mount St. Clare College, a junior college for women. Established by the Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, Iowa, the school was first accredited in 1950 by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and was awarded approval to award baccalaureate degrees in 1979. In 2002, Mount St. Clare College became The Franciscan University, and conferred its first master’s degrees in 2004. The university was acquired by the Higher education organization Bridgepoint Education, Inc. in 2005, and the school was renamed Ashford University.

Ashford University has a student population of 42,452 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 13 to 1. Niche ranks Ashford University as the 90th Best Test Optional University College in America, and the 77th Best Online College in America. Today, Ashford University consists of four colleges: The Forbes School of Business & Technology, the College of Education, the College of Health, Human Services, and Science, and the College of Liberal Arts – and offers over 60 degree programs between them. Ashford University is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

The online Master of Arts in Special Education program from Ashford University is not CAEP-accredited. The 30-credit program combines theory and application through rigorous and coursework and practice. The six-week courses have 24/7 tech support, and instill the skills necessary for teachers to better develop learning and behavioral interventions, and ways to provide special education students with the means to reach their utmost potential.

Tuition: $452/credit

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at Ashford University here.

20. Eastern Kentucky University

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In 1906, the Kentucky General Assembly enacted legislation that would establish the Eastern Kentucky State Normal School. In 1922 the school became a four-year institution, promptly changing its name to the Eastern Kentucky State Normal School and Teachers College. While the school conferred its first degrees in 1925, it wouldn’t be until 1928 that the school would be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. Following another two name-changes in 1930 and again in 1948, the Eastern finally came to be known as Eastern Kentucky University in 1966; to go along with this final change the university was given permission to award graduate degrees in academic fields other than education.

Today, Eastern Kentucky University has a student population of 16,844 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 16 to 1. EKU maintains six campuses between three regions, with Hazard and Manchester in the EKU East Region, Danville and Lancaster in the EKU Central Region, and Corbin and Somerset in the EKU South Region. Eastern Kentucky University is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). U.S. World and News Report ranks EKU #29 for Top Public Schools, #79 for Regional Universities South, and #92 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

Eastern Kentucky University’s, CAEP-accredited Master of Arts in Special Education program comes in a variety of manners. Whichever specialization you decide to pursue: Early Childhood, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, or Learning and Behavior Disorders, each program has specific options that can affect both credit requirements and certification upon completion. While a master’s advanced study course consists of only 30 credit hours, the master’s, plus certification, adds between six and 12 extra credit hours.

Tuition: $500/hour

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at Eastern Kentucky University here.

21. California Baptist University

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Founded in 1950 as the California Baptist College, the school began with 42 students in fall 1950; 120 were enrolled during the 1950-51 academic year. In 1954, eight students became the first to earn undergraduate degrees from California Baptist College. By 1955 the school’s continued growth necessitated a move to larger facilities in Riverside, California. Today, California Baptist University stands as a private, Christian, liberal arts university with 11 schools and colleges that offer 75 bachelor programs, including 159 concentrations and 50 minors; 30 master’s degree programs, with 46 concentrations; and two doctoral programs.

California Baptist University has a student population of 8,541 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 18 to 1. As a whole, CBU is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), though many of the CBU’s various schools and programs hold accreditation or membership with organizations related to their particular disciplines. Likely in reference to their style of Spanish architecture, Niche has ranked California Baptist University 6th for Best College Campuses in America. U.S. News and World Report ranks CBU #37 for Regional Universities West, #21 for Best Colleges for Veterans, and #101 (tied) for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

Approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC), California Baptist University’s Dr. Bonnie G. Metcalf School of Education currently offers an online Master of Science in Education with a Specialization in Disability Studies Program. Designed for professionals with an interest in serving those with disabilities, the 30-credit program can be completed in as little as 12 months, and should prepare graduates to provide leadership in disability ministries as well as helping to integrate of persons with disabilities into local churches.

Tuition: $615/unit

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at Calfornia Baptist University here.

22. Boise State University

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Founded in 1932 by the Episcopal Church, Boise Junior College went on to earn its independence a mere two years after its establishment. With their introduction of baccalaureate degrees, the school became a four-year college in 1965, and entered the state system of higher education in 1969, resulting in a name change to Boise State College. In 1974, BSC was officially awarded university status, and its named changed one final time to Boise State University. Today, Boise State is designated as a doctoral research institution by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

Boise State University has a student population of 22,086 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 17 to 1; 7,380 (33 percent) of those students are taking at least one online course. BSU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), and many of its academic programs have special accreditation from organizations related to those fields.  U.S. News and World Report ranks Boise State University #57 for Best Graduate Education Schools, and #101 (tied) for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

Boise State University’s CAEP-accredited College of Education grants a fully online Master’s in Teaching for Special Education or Early Childhood Intervention. Admitting cohorts each July, these 36-credit online degrees take just four semesters to complete, and focus on collaboration and teamwork in classroom and clinical settings.Completion of the program enables you for initial licensure in special education K-12 (SPED) or Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education (ECE/ECSE) with the Idaho State Department of Education.

Tuition: $305/credit (in-state) or $600/credit (out-of-state)

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at Boise State University here.

23. Brandman University

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Established in 1958 by Chapman University, the Chapman University College was created to provide quality education to the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station. Though now a separate university, Brandman has maintained its military-friendly attitude while having expanded to encompass adult learners as well. Still part of the Chapman University System, Brandman University stands today as a private, non-profit university that seeks to provide higher education to working adults.

Brandman University has a student population of 8,004 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 16 to 1. With 26 locations across California and Washington, Brandman University and its more than 50 accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees are readily available to those looking to expand their education. Brandman University is accredited by the WSCUC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).  U.S. News and World Report ranks Brandman #101 (tied) for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

Brandman University’s CAEP-accredited School of Education currently offers a fully online Master of Arts in Special Education program with five unique concentrations: Emphasis in Teaching and Learning, Advanced Methodology, Autism, Behavior Analysis, or Early Childhood. Whichever concentration you decide upon, the program is divided into two sections, an 18-credit core block that includes courses like: Advanced Assessment and Program Evaluation in Special Education, Research and Evaluation Methods, and Collaborative and Cooperative Teaching – and a concentration block that varies in length, from 12 to 18 credits.

Tuition: $620/credit

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at Brandman University here.

24. Indiana State University

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The Indiana State Normal School was established in 1865 with the goal of providing education to elementary and high school teachers. Indiana State University still celebrates January 6th as Founders Day, the day in which 23 students presented themselves to a faculty of three on the first day of classes at the Indiana State Normal School. The school awarded its first baccalaureate degrees in 1908, and its first master’s degrees in 1928, which precipitated a change of name to Indiana State Teachers College. As the school continued to grow and expand its focus it was renamed twice more, once in 1961 to Indiana State College, and finally to Indiana State University in 1965.

ISU has a student population of 13,584 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 20 to 1. Today, Indiana State University offers more than 100 undergraduate majors, over 75 graduate programs, including master’s, educational specialist, and doctoral degrees, as well as more than 30 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs offered entirely online. Indiana State University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1915; in addition, many of its programs are accredited by specialized agencies and organizations. U.S. News and World Report ranks ISU #156 for Best Graduate Education Schools, and #113 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

Indiana State University’s Bayh College of Education currently offers an online Master of Science in Special Education program. The CAEP-accredited program allows for tailoring depending on a student’s prior licensure, and experience. Those looking to add a special education teaching license to an existing teaching license are required to only complete 30 credits of coursework, and can complete the program in as little as 12 months. Alternatively, there is a 39-credit hour program that can be completed in 14 months of full-time study.

Tuition: $396/credit (in-state) and $499/credit (out-of-state)

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at Indiana State University here.

25. George Mason University

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Founded in 1949 as a branch of the University of Virginia, the Northern Virginia University Center of the University of Virginia obtained its independence in 1972 and was summarily renamed George Mason University.  Today, George Mason University has three campuses: in Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William Counties in Virginia and an international campus in Songdo, Korea. Mason is the largest public research university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Fairfax campus alone consists of over 677 wooded acres and its residential areas are home to more than 6,000 students.

Mason has a total student population of 33,929; 23,066 are undergraduates. The school also has a student-to-faculty ratio of only 16 to 1. George Mason University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Mason ranks very well among various institutions, Forbes ranks Mason #64 in Public Colleges and #111 in Best Value Colleges. Niche has ranked it 94th for Best Colleges for Education in America, 85th for Top Public Universities in America, and #76 for Best Big Colleges in America. U.S. News and World Report ranks Mason #143 for National Universities, #14 for Most Innovative Schools, #62 for Best Graduate Education Schools, and #123 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

George Mason University’s College of Education currently offers a Masters of Education in Special Education with Emphasis on Applied Behavior Analysis program. The program consists of three credit requirements, totaling between 30 and 42 credits: 18 credits ABA courses, 12 credits MEd courses, 15 credits optional practicum. Since practicum is optional, the 30-credit degree leads to BACB certification in one year.

Tuition: $563/credit (in-state) or $763/credit (out-of-state)

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at George Mason University here.

26. University of Minnesota

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Originally founded as a preparatory school in 1851, seven years before the territory of Minnesota became a state, the school was forced to close its doors during the Civil War due to financial difficulties. Thankfully, John Sargent Pillsbury, University regent, state senator, and governor, used what pull he had to establish the school as the recipient of the Morrill Land-Grant Act. As the state’s land-grant institution, the University of Minnesota soon began to flourish, awarding its first bachelor of arts degrees in 1873, and its first doctor of philosophy degree in 1888. Over the years the University of Minnesota has added four new campuses: the Duluth campus in 1947; the Morris campus in 1960; the Crookston campus in 1966; and the Rochester campus in 2006.

Today, the University of Minnesota consists of 19 colleges and schools, and has a total student population of 50,678 – with a student-to-faculty ratio of 17 to 1. While the Twin Cities campus has been continually accredited since 1913, all campuses of the University of Minnesota operate with the accreditation of the Higher Learning Commission. Each campus is accredited to award bachelor’s degrees, while only the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses are accredited to offer master’s degrees, and only the Twin Cities campus is accredited to grant doctoral and professional degrees. U.S. News and World Report ranks UMN #38 for Best Global Universities, #71 for National Universities, #26 (tied) for Top Public Schools, #21 for Best Graduate Education Schools, and #123 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

The College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota currently offers an online Master of Education in Special Education program and teacher licensures. The CAEP-accredited program teaches students to use the IDEAL Problem-Solving Model in special education. A minimum of 30 credits are required for completion of the M.Ed. degree. The program has numerous options, allowing students to choose between various single or dual programs. Depending on the licensure you choose, an additional 12.5 – 31 credits may be required.

Tuition: $676/credit (in-state) or $1,046/credit (out-of-state)

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at the University of Minnesota here.

27. University of Kansas

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The University of Kansas was founded on March 21, 1865. Located in Lawrence, Kansas, the university is one of 62 members of the Association of American Universities. Since its founding, the University of Kansas has grown to encompass five campuses: the Lawrence Campus, the Medical Center Campus in Kansas City, The Wichita Campus, the Salina Campus, and the Edwards campus. Between the five campuses KU has a total of 13 schools, including the only schools of pharmacy and medicine in the state, and offers more than 370 degree programs.

Today, the University of Kansas is a major public research and teaching institution, and has a total student population of 27,259 with a student-to-faculty ratio of 16 to 1. The University of Kansas has been continuously accredited since 1913, and is currently accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Forbes ranks the KU #71 for Top Public Colleges. U.S. News and World Report ranks Kansas #118 for National Universities, #56 for Top Public Schools, #17 for Best Graduate Education Schools, and #136 (tied) for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

The University of Kansas School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Standards through the CAEP Accreditation System. With their most recent reaccreditation, as of 2015, the school is accredited through 2021. The Master’s in Education – Special Education program from the University of Kansas features accelerated, eight-week courses in two concentrations: Autism or Secondary Special Ed and Transition.

Tuition: $575/hour

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at the University of Kansas here.

28. University of Texas of the Permian Basin

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Authorized by the Texas Legislature in 1969, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin was officially founded in 1973. Between 1973 and 1991 UT Permian Basin only offered junior, senior, and graduate-level courses, though this changed to a more traditional curriculum in 1991 when Permian Basin became a four-year university. The change from an upper-level institution to a four-year campus allowed students to complete their education requirements without having to leave Permian Basin. An interesting fact is that the majority of Permian Basin students work part-time or full-time, and as a result many upper-level and graduate courses now are offered with scheduling options like evening hours, distance education, or weekend programs.

UT Permian Basin has a relatively small student population of only 6,077, and a student-to-faculty ratio of 20 to 1. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate and master’s degrees. Many of the university’s programs and schools are accredited by specialized organizations, such as the Educator Certification Program and its accreditation through the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). U.S. News and World Report ranks UT Permian Basin #93 for Regional Universities West, #37 for Top Public Schools, and #136 (tied) for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

The Master of Arts in Special Education program from University of Texas Permian Basin is offered entirely online. The 33-credit hour program is accredited by the CAEP, the CEC, and the SBEC and can allow you to earn your Master’s degree in just 12 months with eight-week, online courses. Every course taught in the online program is taught by the same teachers that instruct on campus, and the flexible curriculum can be tailored towards specialization in Autism or Developmental Disabilities.

Tuition: $261/credit

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin here.

29. Liberty University

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Founded in 1971 as Lynchburg Baptist College, the school came about due to a challenge from Pastor Jerry Falwell Sr. Falwell challenged his congregation at Thomas Road Baptist Church to establish a Christian college whose students would “go out in all walks of life to impact this world for God.” The name of the school was changed to Liberty Baptist College in 1976. By 1985 the school was fully accredited and had changed its name to Liberty University when it obtained university status in 1984. Following the death of Jerry Falwell Sr. in 2007, his son Jerry Falwell Jr. took over as president of the university.

In its 46 years in operation, Liberty University has grown to become the fifth largest university in the United States, and the world’s largest Christian university. Today, Liberty University has a student population of 80,494; 49,863 are undergraduates, and they can boast of a student-to-faculty ratio of only 18 to 1. Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees. Niche ranks Liberty University 1st for Most Conservative University in America, and 3rd for Best College Campuses in America. U.S. News and World Report ranks Liberty University #174 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

The Master of Arts in Teaching – Special Education program from Liberty University’s CAEP-accredited School of Education is delivered in a format that requires students to be on campus from time to time. Note that the program cannot be completed entirely online. The 36-credit Online M.A.T. in Special Education is designed specifically for those who have no prior teaching experience, and are interested in initial teaching licensure in special education. The program welcomes up to 13 transfer credits for acceleration toward the inclusive student teaching internship.

Tuition: $565/credit

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at Liberty University here.

30. Florida Atlantic University

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In order to meet the growing educational demands in South Florida, the state legislature authorized the establishment of a new university in Boca Raton. From its earliest stages, Florida Atlantic University was envisioned as the herald of a new generation of universities, institutions that would eschew the traditional trappings of established universities and invent new and better ways of making higher education available to any who sought it. FAU officially opened in 1964, in fact it was Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th President of the United States, who declared the university open. President Johnson firmly believed in the idea of FAU as a revolutionary force in the world of academia; in his dedication he said that America had entered an era “when education is no longer only for the sons of the rich, but for all who can qualify.”

Today, Florida Atlantic University offers over 180 degree programs through its 10 colleges. FAU has over 149,412 living alumni, and a current student population of 30,380, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23A to 1. As a whole FAU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), though many of its colleges and academic programs within those colleges are colleges are also accredited by field-specific organizations and associations. Forbes ranks Florida Atlantic University #196 in Public Colleges, and #208 in Research Universities. U.S. News and World Report ranks FAU #193 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

The Master’s in Education in Exceptional Student Education from Florida Atlantic University is offered with several areas of concentration: Instructional Practices in ESE, Gifted Education, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Early Childhood, Reading, Applied Behavior Analysis, or Professional Development. FAU’s CAEP-accredited program has a 36-credit hour minimum requirement, this includes College and Department Core, as well as the student’s choice of a concentration area.

Tuition: $369/hour (in-state) or $1,024/hour (out-of-state)

Learn more about the Fastest Online Special Education Master’s Degree Programs at Florida Atlantic University here.

All schools shown here have been contacted and informed of their inclusion on this list. Schools that do not wish to be featured are immediately removed. School names are the registered trademarks of their original owners. The use of any trade name or trademark does not imply any association with the school.

The Top 20 Online PhD in Special Education Degree Programs

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The Census Bureau reports that only 1.68 percent of U.S. adults over age 25 have finished a terminal doctorate degree. Attending graduate school for a PhD in Special Education can set you apart in the teaching field with top-level knowledge of childhood disabilities. Doctoral programs in special education develop the research and pedagogical skills required to adapt Common Core curriculum. Earning a doctorate in education leads to mean lifetime earnings at $2.80 million, which is significantly higher than the master’s-level average of $2.26 million. Advanced training can unlock jobs like special education administrator, educational diagnostician, applied behavior analyst, assistive technology specialist, and early intervention director. Some PhD graduates become tenured college faculty to train tomorrow’s special educators.

Thanks to digital technology, finishing your doctorate can happen wholly online too. We’ve devoted the following article to the Top 20 Online PhD in Special Education Degree Programs nationwide. We aligned our order with the U.S. News and World Report rankings for the best graduate online education offerings. Next, we narrowed down the list to universities offering doctoral concentrations for special education teachers primarily online. Strong preference was given to programs recognized by the Council on Accreditation of Teacher Preparation (CAEP) and/or Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). Other factors we considered were post-grad enrollment, curriculum model, academic rigor, teacher licensing, financial aid, dissertation support, and flexibility.

Here are our selections for the Top 20 Online PhD in Special Education Degree Programs:

1. University of Buffalo-SUNY

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Endowed for $619.3 million, the University of Buffalo-SUNY is a flagship public, sea-grant and space-grant RU/VH doctoral institution with over 9,800 post-grad Bulls studying in New York’s Southern Tier and online. The U.S. News recognized UB for the10th best online graduate education programs nationwide. With CAEP approval, the Graduate School of Education confers a 72-credit PhD in Curriculum, Instruction and the Science of Learning online with research clusters like Spatial Literacy and Special Education.

Learn more about the Online PhD In Special Education Program at the University of Buffalo – SUNY here.

2. St. John’s University

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Headquartered on Utopia Parkway in Queens, St. John’s University is a private, nonprofit Catholic NAICU member endowed for $644 million that’s upholding Vincentian values to educate over 5,600 post-graduates on-site and online. The U.S. News distinguished SJU for America’s 22nd best online graduate education degrees. Special educators with current NYSED certification could enter the CAEP-accredited School of Education to pursue the 42-credit PhD in Literacy for Diverse and At-Risk Learners online.

Learn more about the Online PhD In Special Education Program at St. John’s University here.

3. University of Colorado – Denver

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Attracting over 18,000 students and $375 million in research funding, the University of Colorado-Denver is a public, land-grant RU/H institution created in 1912 that’s offering courses at the Auraria Campus, Anschutz Medical Campus, and online. According to the U.S. News, UC-Denver houses the country’s 47th best online graduate education programs. The CAEP-accredited School of Education grants its 75-credit PhD in Education and Human Development in seven concentrations, including Early Childhood Special Education, online.

Learn more about the Online PhD In Special Education Program at the University of Colorado – Denver here.

4. University of Pittsburgh

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Classified as a public, doctoral-granting RU/VH institution with a community impact of $1.7 billion, the University of Pittsburgh has grown since 1787 to enroll more than 9,800 post-grad Panthers on its 132-acre urban campus in Oakland and online. The U.S. News honored Pitt for awarding the United States’ 47th best online graduate education degrees. Aligned to CAEP guidelines, the three-year, part-time EdD in Special Education offers hybrid online courses with specializations like Autism and Early Intervention.

Learn more about the Online PhD In Special Education Program at the University of Pittsburgh here.

5. Regent University

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Affiliated with five Fulbright Scholars, Regent University is a private, nonprofit evangelical Christian institution led by Chancellor Pat Robertson with a $186 million endowment that’s serving 3,900 post-grads in Virginia Beach and online. The U.S. News applauded Regent for America’s 56th best online graduate education degrees. Maintaining CAEP accreditation, the Graduate School of Education awards a 66-credit EdD or 75-credit Online PhD in Special Education with only one four-day campus residency each year.

Learn more about the Online PhD In Special Education Program at Regent University here.

6. Concordia University Chicago

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Established by Lutheran followers of Johann Konrad Wilhelm Lohe in 1864, Concordia University Chicago transformed from a private teacher’s seminary into a liberal arts institution with over 3,600 post-grad Cougars studying in River Forest and online. The U.S. News lauded CUC for the 66th best online graduate education degrees nationwide. The CAEP-accredited College of Education confers a 61-credit EdD or 67-credit PhD in Special Education Leadership online for master’s-level teachers with LBS1 Endorsement.

Learn more about the Online PhD in Special Education Program at Concordia University Chicago here.

7. Drexel University

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Opened in 1891, Drexel University is a private, nonprofit RU/H institution that’s enrolling over 10,900 post-grad Dragons in the AITU both online and on-site in Philadelphia’s Powelton Village. As a USDLA Best Practices Award winner, Drexel grants America’s 84th best online graduate education degrees according to the U.S. News. Within the CAEP-accredited School of Education, online cohorts can enter the three-year, part-time EdD in Educational Leadership and Management with a 15-credit Special Education Leadership Concentration.

Learn more about the Online PhD in Special Education Program at Drexel University here.

8. University of West Georgia

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Originally called the Fourth District A&M School in 1906, the University of West Georgia has evolved into a public, doctoral-granting RU/H institution with a $20.49 million endowment and around 2,000 post-grad Wolves studying from Carrollton to Dalton and online. The U.S. News tied UWG for America’s 84th best online graduate education programs. With CAEP approval, the three-year, 60-credit Online EdD in School Improvement degree confers an Area of Concentration in Special Education.

Learn more about the Online PhD in Special Education Program at the University of West Georgia here.

9. Nova Southeastern University

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Sprawling across 480 acres in the Sunshine State’s eighth-largest city, Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University is a private, nonprofit RU/H distance learning hub endowed for $102.7 million to educate nearly 20,100 post-grad Sharks yearly. The U.S. News designated NSU as America’s 84th best online provider of graduate education degrees. The CAEP-accredited Fischler College of Education awards a 54-credit Doctor of Education concentrated in Special Education online with an optional BACB-approved Applied Behavior Analysis track.

Learn more about the Online PhD in Special Education Program at Nova Southeastern University here.

10. University of the Cumberlands

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Nestled in Williamsburg, Kentucky, around 70 miles north of Knoxville, the University of the Cumberlands is a private, nonprofit Baptist institution that’s holding a $73.3 million endowment to educate around 3,150 post-grad Patriots on-site and online. According to the U.S. News, UC delivers the country’s 92nd best online graduate education offerings with CAEP accreditation. Tracing back to 1888, the School of Education began a 60-credit Doctorate in Educational Leadership with specialty areas like Special Education.

Learn more about the Online PhD in Special Education Program at the University of the Cumberlands here.

11. Texas Tech University

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Belonging to the ORAU, Texas Tech University is the Longhorn State’s sixth-largest public, doctoral-granting research hub educating over 6,050 post-grad Red Raiders within the Big 12 Conference in Lubbock, Abilene, Dallas, and online. The U.S. News ranked TTU 108th nationally for the best online graduate education degrees. Adhering to CAEP and CEC standards, the College of Education offers a 90-credit Special Education PhD online for master’s-level teachers with optional Educational Diagnostician Certification.

Learn more about the Online PhD in Special Education Program at Texas Tech University here.

12. Portland State University

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Occupying a 50-acre, LEED-certified campus in Oregon’s “Rose City,” Portland State University is a public, co-educational APLU research center endowed for $58.4 million that’s welcoming around 5,600 post-grad Vikings on-site and online. The U.S. News recognized PDX as America’s 101st best graduate education school and ninth most innovative college. The CAEP-accredited Graduate School of Education offers an Educational Leadership Doctoral (EdD) in Special Education with hybrid, 11-week sessions with online D2L components.

Learn more about the Online PhD in Special Education Program at Portland State University here.

13. West Virginia University

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Enrolling around 6,600 post-grad Mountaineers, West Virginia University is a public, land-grant and space-grant RU/VH institution carrying a $515 million endowment for online and on-site teaching in Morgantown. The U.S. News congratulated WVU for America’s 123rd best online graduate education degrees. Approved by the CAEP and CEC, the College of Education and Human Services awards a 42-credit, post-master’s Doctoral Program in Special Education online for PreK-12 certified teachers with two full years of classroom experience.

Learn more about the Online PhD in Special Education Program at West Virginia University here.

14. New Mexico State University

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Featuring nearly 121,000 living alumni like Alvy Ray Smith and Paul W. Klipsch, New Mexico State University is a public, space-grant Hispanic-serving RU/H institution endowed for $214.8 million to teach 3,700 post-grad Aggies in Las Cruces and online. The U.S. News ranked NMSU the 101st top graduate education school countrywide. The CAEP-accredited College of Education offers a hybrid, tech-based PhD in Educational Leadership for 78 credits with cognates like Child Development and Special Education.

Learn more about the Online PhD in Special Education Program at New Mexico State University here.

15. University of Northern Colorado

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Established as the Colorado State Normal School in 1890, the University of Northern Colorado is a public, doctoral-granting institution located in Greeley to educate over 2,800 post-grad Bears online and on-campus. According to the U.S. News, UNCO houses the nation’s 123rd best online graduate education degrees. Through the Bresnahan-Halstead Center, the 72-credit Special Education PhD is conducted online with CAEP-accredited categorical emphases like Autism, Visual Impairment, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and Behavioral Disorders.

Learn more about the Online PhD in Special Education Program at the University of Northern Colorado here.

16. Slippery Rock University

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Positioned 52 miles north of Pittsburgh on western Pennsylvania’s largest campus, Slippery Rock University is a public, co-educational PASSHE member that’s endowed for $16.5 million to educate around 700 post-grads on-site and online. The U.S. News placed SRU as the North’s 75th best college and 23rd top public school. Maintaining CAEP accreditation, the College of Education offers a three-year, part-time Doctor in Special Education program primarily online with weekend face-to-face teaching during summers.

Learn more about the Online PhD in Special Education Program at Slippery Rock University here.

17. Liberty University

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Started by Southern Baptist televangelist Jerry Falwell of Thomas Road Baptist Church in 1971, Liberty University is a private, nonprofit faith-based NAICU institution endowed for $1.05 billion to educate over 12,500 online post-grads from Lynchburg, Virginia. The U.S. News crowned Liberty the 174th best online college nationwide for graduate education. Charging $595 per credit full-time, the CAEP-accredited School of Education grants a 60-credit EdD in Curriculum & Instruction for Special Education online.

Learn more about the Online PhD in Special Education Program at Liberty University here.

18. Gwynedd Mercy University

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Founded in 1948 on Willowbrook Farm in 1948, Gwynedd Mercy University is a private, nonprofit CIC member rooted in the Sisters of Mercy’s Catholic tradition to educate around 650 post-grad Griffins from eastern Pennsylvania and online. According to the U.S. News, GMU is the North’s 137th best regional college with a 10:1 student-faculty ratio. Online master’s-level cohorts finish the CAEP-accredited, 54-credit Accelerated Executive PhD in Educational Leadership in Special Education in just three years.

Learn more about the Online PhD in Special Education at Gwynedd Mercy University here.

19. Capella University

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Given the CHEA Award for Outstanding Practice, Capella University is a publicly traded, for-profit online learning system established by Tonka CEO Stephen Shank in 1993 that’s headquartered in Minneapolis and attracting over 35,800 scholars from 61 countries. On Niche, Capella was graded “A” for value as America’s seventh best online college. Recognized by the CAEP and CEC, the 92-credit PhD in Special Education Leadership program offers flexible, 10-week online courses and in-person residency at seven locations.

Learn more about the Online PhD in Special Education at Capella University here.

20. Walden University

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Owned by Laureate Education, Walden University is a global publicly traded, for-profit network led by President Jonathan A. Kaplan that’s enrolling over 48,900 online students in 50 states and 29 countries from Minneapolis-St. Paul. Niche ranked Walden as America’s 73rd best online college and Minnesota’s 22nd top value. Featuring two in-person and two virtual residencies, the CAEP-accredited Riley College of Education’s 86-unit PhD in Education grants nine specializations, including the NAEYC-sponsored Early Childhood Special Education track.

Learn more about the Online PhD in Special Education at Walden University here.

Related

The Top 20 PhD Programs in Special Education
The Top 15 Accredited Online Special Education Doctoral Degree Programs
The Top 15 Accredited Schools Online Offering Doctoral Degrees in Special Education

All schools shown here have been contacted and informed of their inclusion on this list. Schools that do not wish to be featured are immediately removed. School names are the registered trademarks of their original owners. The use of any trade name or trademark does not imply any association with the school.

Top 20 PhD Programs in Special Education

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Heading to graduate school for a Doctor of Philosophy is an option worth considering for special educators seeking career advancement. The PhD in Special Education is a terminal degree that provides the highest level of research-based methods for studying and developing new pedagogical tools that improve outcomes for exceptional children. Many PhD graduates enter faculty positions in higher education to teach tomorrow’s teachers. The BLS predicts faster-than-average job growth in academia at 13 percent through 2024. University-level education professors report a mean annual wage of $70,260. Education PhD holders could also become special education directors, school principals, curriculum developers, superintendents, and childcare administrators.

Therefore, we’ve constructed the following list of the Top 20 Ph.D. Special Education Programs in the United States. We consulted with the U.S. News and World Report rankings to narrow down the best campus-based colleges for graduate teaching degrees. We visited the website for each high-ranking school to find Ph.D. programs, which are more scientific and lab-oriented than Ed.D. degrees. Our ranking favored programs offering several degree specializations. Special priority was given to teacher programs accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) or similar entities. Other conditions considered were doctoral tuition support, graduate assistantships, student-faculty ratio, admission selectivity, academic rigor, and dissertation opportunities.

1. University of Wisconsin – Madison

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As a “Public Ivy,” land-grant institution with RU/VH status, the University of Wisconsin-Madison stands upon 936 urban acres along Lake Monona to educate over 13,800 post-graduates. The U.S. News applauded UW-Madison for the third best graduate education school nationally. Within the NCATE-accredited School of Education, advanced cohorts of four to eight students pursue the 56-credit Special Education Ph.D. program yearly. Over $50 million in extramural funding supports dissertations in the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER).

Doctoral Tuition: $791 (in-state) or $1,623 (out-of-state) per credit

Learn more about the Top PhD Programs in Special Education at the University of Wisconsin – Madison here.

2. Columbia University

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Endowed for $9.04 billion, Columbia University is a private, Ivy League AAU member founded in 1754 before the Declaration of Independence that’s now enrolling around 19,500 post-grads on 299 urban acres in Upper Manhattan. The U.S. News ranked Columbia’s Teachers College seventh nationally for best graduate education. Special educators have several doctoral options, including a Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis, Ph.D. in Intellectual Disability/Autism & Severe/Multiple Disabilities, or Ph.D. in Deaf and Hard of Hearing, with CAEP approval.

Doctoral Tuition: $9,072 (half-time) or $18,144 (full-time) per semester

Learn more about the Top PhD Programs in Special Education at Columbia University here.

3. Vanderbilt University

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Attracting 5,800 post-grads from 90 foreign countries, Vanderbilt University is a private, nonprofit RU/VH institution in the 568 Group that’s located on a 330-acre urban campus in Middle Tennessee near midtown Nashville. According to the U.S. News, the Peabody College is tied for America’s seventh best graduate education school. The NCATE-accredited Ph.D. in Special Education provides four tracks: Early Childhood, High Incidence, Severe Disabilities, and Visual Impairments. Doctoral candidates also contribute to Vanderbilt’s premier Kennedy Center Research on Human Development.

Doctoral Tuition: $1,854 per credit hour

Learn more about the Top PhD Programs in Special Education at Vanderbilt University here.

4. University of Washington

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Affiliated with seven Nobel Prize laureates, the University of Washington is a public, land-grant APRU institution in the Pac-12 Conference that’s endowed for $2.9 billion and serving over 14,600 post-grad Huskies from 703 acres in Seattle. The U.S. News placed the UW College of Education ninth nationally for graduate teaching programs. Offering tuition waivers and $1,700 monthly stipends, the Ph.D. in Special Education degree has three specializations: High- and Low-Incidence Disabilities, Secondary Education, and Applied Behavior Analysis.

Doctoral Tuition: $5,992 (in-state) or $10,404 (out-of-state) per quarter

Learn more about the Top PhD Programs in Special Education at the University of Washington here.

5. University of Texas at Austin

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Led by president Gregory L. Fenves, the University of Texas at Austin occupies 434 urban acres as a flagship public, space-grant RU/VH institution with 11,350 post-graduates. UT-Austin has America’s 11th best graduate education according to the USNWR. Linked to the Texas Center for Disability Studies, the Ph.D. in Special Education program lets Longhorns choose from four concentrations: Autism & Developmental Disabilities, Early Childhood Special Education, Learning Disabilities & Behavioral Disorders, or Multicultural Special Education.

Doctoral Tuition: $5,062 (in-state) or $9,232 (out-of-state) each semester

Learn more about the Top PhD Programs in Special Education at the University of Texas at Austin here.

6. New York University

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New York University is a private, nonprofit RU/VH institution with an $8.04 billion budget to educate over 24,300 post-grad Violets from a 230-acre urban campus in Greenwich Village. Founded in 1890, NYU’s Steinhardt School was ranked 13th nationally for best graduate education by the U.S. News. Holding CAEP accreditation, the 60-credit Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning program offers a Special Education emphasis. Students work with poverty-impacted children at 25 partnering schools in East Harlem and South Bronx.

Doctoral Tuition: $10,390 (half-time) or $20,368 (full-time) per year

Learn more about the Top PhD Programs in Special Education at New York University here.

7. University of Oregon

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Boasting over 195,000 living alumni, including Columbia’s President Lee Bollinger, the University of Oregon is a flagship public, Pac-12 RU/VH institution endowed for $758 million on a 295-acre urban campus in Eugene along the Willamette. The U.S. News ranked the UO College of Education 14th nationally. Linked with the award-winning Pearl Duck Autism Center, the Ph.D. in Special Education offers five emphases in Positive Behavior Support, Low-Incidence Disabilities, Early Intervention, Prevention & Academic Intervention, and Secondary/Transition Services.

Doctoral Tuition: $16,602 (in-state) or $27,591 (out-of-state) each year

Learn more about the Top PhD Programs in Special Education at the University of Oregon here.

8. University of Kansas

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Chartered in 1864 after “Bleeding Kansas” ended, the University of Kansas is a flagship public, land-grant AAU member with a $1.86 billion endowment and 28,100 Jayhawks enrolled on its spacious 1,100-acre urban campus on Mount Oread. Kansas placed 17th for best graduate education school according to the U.S. News. Taking a scientific-practitioner model, the Ph.D. in Special Education maintains CAEP accreditation for six specializations, such as Early Childhood Unified, Instruction Design and Technology, and Special Education Policy.

Doctoral Tuition: $402 (in-state) or $909 (out-of-state) per credit

Learn more about the Top PhD Programs in Special Education at the University of Kansas here.

9. Ohio State University

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Reporting $652 million in research expenditures, Ohio State University is a public, sea-grant RU/VH institution contributing to the Big Ten Academic Alliance with over 13,500 post-grad Buckeyes studying on its 1,765-acre headquarters in Columbus. The U.S. News ranked the NCATE-accredited College of Education and Human Ecology 18th nationwide. In Ramseyer Hall, students begin the 63-credit Ph.D. in Educational Studies, Special Education program every Autumn with self-designed specializations like Applied Behavior Analysis or Urban Issues in Special Education.

Doctoral Tuition: $12,888 (in-state) or $33,334 (out-of-state) each year

Learn more about the Top PhD Programs in Special Education at Ohio State University here.

10. University of California – Berkeley

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Created under the Dwinelle Bill of 1868, the University of California-Berkeley is a public, land-grant IARU member noted for the Free Speech Movement that’s teaching 10,800 post-grad Golden Bears across its 1,232 urban acres in Alameda County. The Berkeley Graduate School of Education was tied for 18th nationally by the U.S. News. Partnering with San Francisco State University, the Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education offers a Ph.D. and access to the UC SPEDDR Center for Research.

Doctoral Tuition: $11,220 (in-state) or $26,322 (out-of-state) per year

Learn more about the Top PhD Programs in Special Education at the University of California – Berkeley here.

11. University of Virginia

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Since becoming the South’s first AAU member in 1904, the University of Virginia has grown its $5.85 billion endowment as a flagship public, land-grant RU/VH institution to engage over 6,500 post-grad Cavaliers upon its 1,682-acre historic campus in Charlottesville. UVA’s Curry School of Education holds CAEP accreditation as the 18th best teacher educator nationwide according to the U.S. News. Advanced cohorts can enter the 72-credit Ph.D. in Special Education program specialized in High-Incidence Disabilities or Gifted/Talented Education.

Doctoral Tuition: $15,224 (in-state) or $25,174 (out-of-state) per year

Learn more about the Top PhD Programs in Special Education at the University of Virginia here.

12. Michigan State University

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Split into 17 colleges with 11,400 post-grad Spartans total, Michigan State University is a public, land-grant and sea-grant RU/VH powerhouse with a $2.25 billion endowment that occupies 5,200 acres on the Red Cedar River in East Lansing. The U.S. News applauded MSU for America’s 21st best graduate education degrees. Within the CAEP-accredited College of Education, there’s a 67-credit Special Education Ph.D. program available. Doctoral students conduct dissertations in state-of-the-art labs like the Research on Teaching and Learning Institute.

Doctoral Tuition: $698 (in-state) or $1,372 (out-of-state) per credit

Learn more about the Top PhD Programs in Special Education at Michigan State University here.

13. University of Minnesota Twin Cities

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Sitting atop a 2,730-acre urban campus in Minneapolis-St. Paul overlooking the Mississippi River, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities is a public, land-grant and space-grant BTAA member with nearly 15,900 post-grad Golden Gophers enrolled. Minnesota’s CAEP-accredited College of Education & Human Development is ranked 21st nationally by the U.S. News. Teachers could earn the 69-credit Special Education Ph.D. degree on-campus. Several are recruited for the National Center for Leadership in Intensive Intervention (NCLii) Fellowships.

Doctoral Tuition: $8,120 (in-state) or $12,560 (out-of-state) per semester

Learn more about the Top PhD Programs in Special Education at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities here.

14. University of Illinois – Chicago

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Easily accessed from the UIC-Halsted Blue Line, the University of Illinois-Chicago is a public, state-funded GCU Coalition member that will “Teach, Research, Serve” with 11,400 post-grad Flames yearly from 244 urban acres on Chicago’s Near West Side. Illinois was ranked 24th for best graduate education by the U.S. News. Adhering to NCATE standards, the 96-hour Ph.D. in Special Education offers practice in the UIC Educational Assessment Clinic and research in the Center for Urban Education Leadership.

Doctoral Tuition: $5,740 (in-state) or $11,860 (out-of-state) each semester

Learn more about the Top PhD Programs in Special Education at the University of Illinois – Chicago here.

15. Utah State University

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Established in 1888 from Anthon H. Lund’s vision, Utah State University is a public, land-grant and space-grant RU/VH institution drawing over 3,900 post-grad Aggies from the “Beehive State” and beyond to its 400-acre suburban campus in Logan. According to the U.S. News, USU’s Emma Eccles Jones College is the 26th best graduate education school. Special educators could pursue the 70-credit Disability Disciplines Doctoral Program for seven Ph.D. specializations, including Applied Behavior Analysis, Rehabilitation Counseling, and Special Education.

Doctoral Tuition: $3,138 (in-state) or $9,793 (out-of-state) per term

Learn more about the Top PhD Programs in Special Education at Utah State University here.

16. University of Connecticut

Learn more about the Top PhD Programs in Special Education at the University of Connecticut here.

Belonging to Universitas 21 Global with Ohio State, the University of Connecticut is a public, land-grant, space-grant RU/VH hub located on 4,400 rural acres in Storrs to educate 8,300 post-grad Huskies in New England’s Knowledge Corridor. The NCATE-accredited Neag School of Education has America’s 27th best graduate degrees according to the U.S. News. Full-time students could earn full-tuition coverage for the Ph.D. in Special Education tracks for Literacy Supports, Positive Behavior Supports, Postsecondary Transition, or Early Childhood.

Doctoral Tuition: $7,998 (in-state) or $18,516 (out-of-state) each semester

Learn more about the Top PhD Programs in Special Education at the University of Connecticut University here.

17. University of Pittsburgh

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Positioned on 132 urban acres in Western Pennsylvania’s Schenley Farms Historic District, the University of Pittsburgh is a public, land-grant RU/VH center tracing back to 1787 that’s endowed for $3.52 billion and educating 9,800 post-grad Panthers. The NCATE-accredited School of Education is tied for 27th place according to the U.S. News. Special educators have three doctoral options: the Ph.D. in Early Intervention, Ph.D. in Education of Students with Mental & Physical Disabilities, or Ph.D. in Vision Studies.

Doctoral Tuition: $21,260 (in-state) or $34,944 (out-of-state) per year

Learn more about the Top PhD Programs in Special Education at the University of Pittsburgh here.

18. University of Florida

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Continuously operating in Gainesville since 1906, the University of Florida is a public, land-grant and sea-grant RU/VH superpower with a $1.46 billion endowment and more than 16,200 post-grad Gators gobbling knowledge on its 2,000-acre suburban campus. The U.S. News ranked UF 29th for best graduate education programs. With NCATE accreditation, the 90-hour Ph.D. in Special Education gives research-oriented training in cutting-edge institutes like the CEEDAR Center. Doctoral candidates could add the Graduate Certificate in Dyslexia or Disabilities in Society.

Doctoral Tuition: $12,740 (in-state) or $30,134 (out-of-state) per year

Learn more about the Top PhD Programs in Special Education at the University of Florida here.

19. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

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Under Chancellor Carol Folt’s leadership, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill educates more than 10,600 post-grad Tar Heels as a public, land-grant SURA member with a $2.89 billion endowment and sprawling 729-acre urban campus near Raleigh. The CAEP-accredited School of Education stood out for America’s 31st best graduate degrees on the U.S. News survey. The 64-credit Ph.D. in Education program offers an Applied Developmental Sciences and Special Education track with emphases like Autism and Early Childhood.

Doctoral Tuition: $11,940 (in-state) or $29,150 (out-of-state) each year

Learn more about the Top PhD Programs in Special Education at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill here.

20. Indiana University – Bloomington

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Occupying a 1,937-acre urban campus atop Salem Limestone near Giffy Lake Nature Preserve, Indiana University-Bloomington is a public, land-grant URA research institution endowed for $1.98 billion that’s training 10,150 post-grad Hoosiers. According to the U.S. News, the NCATE-accredited W.W. Wright School of Education has the 32nd best graduate teaching degrees. Admitting each January, the Ph.D. in Special Education program grants seven unique specializations, such as Family Supportive Practices, Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities, and Autism Spectrum Disorders Intervention.

Doctoral Tuition: $4,002 (in-state) or $12,161 (out-of-state) per semester

Learn more about the Top PhD Programs in Special Education at Indiana University – Bloomington here.

All schools shown here have been contacted and informed of their inclusion on this list. Schools that do not wish to be featured are immediately removed. School names are the registered trademarks of their original owners. The use of any trade name or trademark does not imply any association with the school.

Top 20 Colleges For Students With Special Needs

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Finding the ideal college match is considerably harder for individuals with physical, learning, psychological, and cognitive disabilities. Although the American Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 protects students with special needs from discrimination on any campus, some universities aren’t as disability-friendly as others. One survey found that just 86 percent of U.S. institutions enroll learners with diagnosed impairments. Attending a college with a track record of accommodating exceptional students is beneficial because nearly two-thirds of young adults with disabilities don’t finish their degree. That’s problematic since bachelor’s degrees provide an average lifetime advantage of $1 million over high school grads. Luckily, students with disabilities can beat the odds and maximize their career potential by choosing the right school.

We’ve created the following article the Top 20 Colleges for Students With Special Education Needs. Forming our ranking began with an online search of universities with strong, effective programming for disabled learners. We looked beyond minimum ADA accessibility requirements to find colleges paving the way for equal opportunity. Each prospective school had to include a fully-equipped disability center offering free accommodations, even if extras were available for added tuition. Being regionally accredited for high-quality, transferrable education was mandatory. Preference was given to disability-friendly colleges with top rankings in the U.S. News and World Report, especially for student support. Other factors included financial aid, academic choice, graduation rate, technology, faculty credentials, and personalized attention.

Here are our selections for the Top 20 Colleges For Students With Special Education Needs:

1. University of Iowa

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Endowed for $1.25 billion, the University of Iowa is a public, space-grant RU/VH institution in the Big Ten Academic Alliance that’s educating over 33,300 Hawkeyes in Iowa City. The U.S. News ranked Iowa the 82nd best university and 33rd top public college nationally. Students with disabilities can be empowered with a two-year, transitional certificate from the UI REACH Program. The Student Disability Services (SDS) Center also offers accommodations within Iowa’s 200+ majors, such as the Music B.A. and Geoscience B.S.

Learn more about the University of Iowa’s College For Students With Special Education Needs here.

2. University of Michigan

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Classified as a public, sea-grant RU/VH institution, the University of Michigan educates over 44,700 Wolverines of various ability levels in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, and Dearborn. According to the U.S. News, UMich is America’s 27th best university and ninth most innovative school. The 14 undergraduate schools offer 265+ majors from Judaic Studies to Drama. In Haven Hall, the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) offers free accommodations, including Modern Language Aptitude Testing. Dyslexic students could obtain the Karine Eide Memorial Scholarship.

Learn more about the University of Michigan’s College For Students With Special Education Needs here.

3. Gallaudet University

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Officially bilingual with English and ASL used, Gallaudet University is a private, federally-chartered institution serving over 2,200 deaf and hard-of-hearing students in Washington, DC. The USNWR recognized Gallaudet as the North’s 16th best school and top value. Hearing impaired students can choose from 30 bachelor’s, including the Government B.A. and Interpretation B.A. The Office for Students with Disabilities (OSWD) provides various accommodations from Braille textbooks to guide dogs and wheelchair repair service.

Learn more about Gallaudet University’s College For Students With Special Education Needs here.

4. University of Southern California

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Enrolling over 42,400 Trojans, the University of Southern California is a private, sea-grant AAU member endowed for $4.6 billion in Los Angeles’ University Park district. USC was ranked America’s 23rd best university and 56th top value by the U.S. News. The Office of Disability Services and Programs (DSP) accommodates special needs with note taking, extra testing time, assistive technology, and more. These help finish USC’s 95+ majors, such as the Astronomy B.S. and Political Economy B.A.

Learn more about the University of Southern California’s College For Students With Special Education Needs here.

5. Northeastern University

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Established in 1898, Northeastern University is a private, non-sectarian RU/VH institution rooted in cooperative education to teach over 24,900 Huskies in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood. The U.S. News ranked NEU as the 39th best national university and seventh most innovative school. Located in Dodge Hall, the Disability Resource Center is well-known for its comprehensive Learning Disabilities Program (LDP), which costs $2,750 per semester. Basic accommodations are free within Northeastern’s 150+ majors from the B.S. in Psychology to B.S. in Physics.

Learn more about Northeastern University’s College For Students With Special Education Needs here.

6. American University

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Chartered by Congress under President Harrison in 1893, American University is a private, nonprofit Methodist institution enrolling over 12,100 Eagles in Washington, DC. The U.S. News applauded American as the country’s 74th top university and 66th best value. Undergrads with disabilities benefit from free accommodations in AU’s 100+ majors from Economics to Spanish Studies. For a one-time $4,500 fee, there’s also the Learning Services Program (LSP) for freshmen with weekly meetings, peer mentoring, course advising, and writing assistance.

Learn more about American University’s College For Students With Special Education Needs here.

7. Southern Illinois University

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Based on 1,133 rural acres in Carbondale, Southern Illinois University is a flagship public, research hub endowed for $111.6 million with more than 15,900 Salukis. The U.S. News placed SIU as America’s 214th best university and 122th top public college. Southern Illinois’ 10 schools hold HLC-NCA accreditation for 300+ programs, including a Dental Hygiene B.S. and Theater B.A. The Disability Support Services (DSS) provides free programmatic help for hearing, visual, learning, psychological, and mobility impairments.

Learn more about Southern Illinois University’s College For Students With Special Education Needs here.

8. University of Arizona

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Belonging to the Pac-12 Conference, the University of Arizona is a public, co-educational RU/VH institution with over 43,000 Wildcats studying in Tucson. According to the USNWR, Arizona is the 124th top university and 60th best public college nationwide. The Disability Resource Center supports special needs in UA’s 334 fields of study like the B.A. in Education and B.S. in Animal Science. There’s also the SALT Program for $2,800 per semester for tutoring and life skills workshops with strategic learning specialists.

Learn more about the University of Arizona’s College For Students With Special Education Needs here.

9. Rochester Institute of Technology

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Featuring the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, the Rochester Institute of Technology is a private, doctoral-granting research powerhouse with 16,800 Tigers studying in western New York. The U.S. News crowned RIT the 107th best national university and 33th top value. The Academic Support Center offers various special needs services for RIT’s 200+ programs, such as the Accounting B.S. or Bioinformatics B.S. Extra, weekly support is available for $660 per semester via the highly esteemed EMPOWER Program too.

Learn more about the Rochester Institute of Technology’s College For Students With Special Education Needs here.

10. University of Connecticut

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Named a “Public Ivy,” land-grant RU/VH institution, the University of Connecticut enrolls over 32,000 Huskies on its campuses in Storrs, Mansfield, and Stamford. The USNWR congratulated Connecticut as America’s 60th best university and 20th top public school. Accommodations for UConn’s 100+ majors, such as the Geography B.A. and Marketing B.S., are offered freely by the Center for Students with Disabilities. Learning disabled students can also join the Beyond Access Program for $1,800 per semester for social skills training, career preparation, and more.

Learn more about the University of Connecticut’s College For Students With Special Education Needs here.

11. DePaul University

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Noted for recruiting first-generation, disadvantaged students, DePaul University is a private, Catholic liberal arts institution with enrollment over 22,900 in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. The U.S. News ranked DePaul as America’s 124th best university and 70th top value. The Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) offers individualized accommodations for DePaul’s 130+ majors like the Animation B.A. and Neuroscience B.S. Students with learning disabilities, including ADHD, also benefit from the year-round Productive Learning Strategies (PLuS) program.

Learn more about DePaul University’s College For Students With Special Education Needs here.

12. Hofstra University

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As Long Island’s largest private, non-sectarian institution, Hofstra University utilizes a $411.7 million endowment to educate 10,800 diverse students in Hempstead. According to the USNWR, Hofstra is America’s 133rd best college and 89th most veteran-friendly school, including those disabled in combat. Hofstra’s 10 divisions offer 120+ degrees like the B.A. in Urban Ecology and B.A. in Japanese. In the Mack Student Center, Student Access Services offers several accommodations and the fee-based Program for Academic Learning Skills (PALS).

Learn more about Hofstra University’s College For Students With Special Education Needs here.

13. University of the Ozarks

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Affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA), the University of the Ozarks enrolls 680 Eagles as a private, Christian nonprofit located in Clarksville, Arkansas. The U.S. News ranked Ozarks the South’s third best university and top value. With a 100 percent referral rate, the Jones Learning Center (JLC) fulfills special needs with ASD support, peer tutoring, assistive, technology, and academic skills workshops. Ozarks’ close-knit community assists disabled learners through 31 programs of study, including Biology and International Business.

Learn more about the University of the Ozarks’ College For Students With Special Education Needs here.

14. Creighton University

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Opened in 1878, Creighton University is a private, co-educational Jesuit institution enlightening over 8,400 faithful Bluejays from its 140 urban acres in Omaha, Nebraska. The USNWR placed Creighton as the Midwest’s best regional university and third most innovative school. Across Creighton’s nine colleges, 72 percent of applicants are accepted into 50+ majors like the Mathematics B.S. and Theology B.A. Special education, accessible housing, and counseling needs are readily fulfilled by the Office of Disability Accommodations (ODA).

Learn more about Creighton University’s College For Students with Special Education Needs here.

15. Gonzaga University

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Occupying 152 acres on the Spokane River in eastern Washington, Gonzaga University is a private, co-educational Catholic AJCU member enrolling over 7,300 Bulldogs. The U.S. News honored Gonzaga as the West’s fourth best university and 13th top value. In Foley Center Library, the Disability Access Office offers auxiliary academic and housing aids, including class note takers. Students with special education needs can feel confident entering Gonzaga’s 92 programs like BBA in Entrepreneurship and B.A. in Sociology.

Learn more about Gonzaga University’s College For Students With Special Education Needs here.

16. Fairleigh Dickinson University

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Attracting over 12,200 Knights, Fairleigh Dickinson University stands in Teaneck and Madison as New Jersey’s largest private, non-sectarian institution. According to the U.S. News, FDU is the North’s 67th best university with a 14:1 student-faculty ratio. The Regional Center for Learning Disabilities (RCLD) in Hennessy Hall offers free accommodations, such as tech support and priority registration. A two-semester Course for Success could improve students’ ability to finish FDU’s 140+ degrees like the Chemistry B.S. and Humanities B.A. too.

Learn more about Fairleigh Dickinson University’s College For Students With Special Education Needs here.

17. Marshall University

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Regionally accredited by the HLC-NCA, Marshall University is a public, co-educational research institution located in Huntington, West Virginia, with a Thundering Herd of over 13,600. The U.S. News distinguished Marshall as the South’s 47th best college and 16th top public school. Free accommodations in the Office of Disability Services are available for Marshall’s 57 bachelor’s programs, including the Forensic Chemistry B.S. and Nursing B.S. The Higher Education for Learning Problems Center also offers extra, fee-based support like skills development.

Learn more about Marshall University’s College For Students With Special Education Needs here.

18. Abilene Christian University

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Nestled in West Texas just 150 miles from Fort Worth, Abilene Christian University is a private, nonprofit CCCU member affiliated with the Churches of Christ and serving over 4,400 Wildcats. The U.S. News ranked Abilene Christian as the West’s 18th top college and 12th best value. With a 90 percent graduation rate, the Alpha Scholars Program offers coaching, tutoring, and disability accommodations. Upward Bound could prepare students for ACU’s 70+ SACS-accredited majors from the B.S. in Agribusiness to B.S. in Nutrition.

Learn more about Abilene Christian University’s College For Students With Special Education Needs here.

19. Mercyhurst University

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Founded by Mother Eagan in 1926, Mercyhurst University is a private, Catholic liberal arts institution serving more than 4,400 Lakers in Erie, Pennsylvania. The U.S. News recognized Mercyhurst as the North’s 61st best college and 37th top value. For 30 years, the Learning Differences Program (LDP) has provided free academic adjustments and in-depth support for $2,450 annually. The Summer PASS can help stay on track for Mercyhurst’s 50+ majors, such as the B.A. in Intelligence Studies and B.A. in Social Work.

Learn more about Mercyhurst University’s College For Students With Special Education Needs here.

20. West Virginia Wesleyan College

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Endowed for $42.4 million, West Virginia Wesleyan College is a private, Methodist liberal arts institution attracting over 1,450 Bobcats from 26 countries to Buckhannon. WVWC stands as the South’s 47th best university and fifth top value according to the U.S. News. The Learning Center grants free disability support 12.5 hours daily for West Virginia Wesleyan’s 43 majors, including Political Science and English. There’s also a fee-based Mentor Advantage option with advisers applying the Lindamood-Bell approach.

Learn more about West Virginia Wesleyan College’s For Students With Special Education Needs here.

All schools shown here have been contacted and informed of their inclusion on this list. Schools that do not wish to be featured are immediately removed. School names are the registered trademarks of their original owners. The use of any trade name or trademark does not imply any association with the school.

12 Best Special Education Degree Programs for 2017

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Special education classrooms demand highly trained teachers with the pedagogical know-how to develop and implement IEPs that maximize children’s academic potential. Since the inception of the Individuals with Disablities Education Act (IDEA), the United States provides adapted curriculum to suit the exceptional learning needs of approximately 6.5 million students with disabilities. Whether in inclusive or self-contained K-12 classrooms, special education teachers are positive role models who advocate for the fair treatment of physical, mental, learning, and sensory difficulties. The BLS estimates that America’s 491,100 special educators earn a median pay of $56,800. Above-average job growth through 2024 will also increase hiring in special education by 6 percent. Qualifying for these positions requires becoming state certified after a high-quality teacher preparation program.

To help potential and current special education professionals, we’ve created the following article to distinguish the 12 Best Special Education Degree Programs for 2017. We began by consulting with the U.S. News and World Report’s teaching school rankings. The publication’s methodology involved weighing student selectivity, faculty resources, research activity, and peer assessment scores. Next, we double checked that each university was regionally and professionally accredited by the NCATE, TEAC, or CAEP for excellence. Preference was given to schools with multiple degree levels in special education. We then used the NCES College Navigator tool to record each college’s average net price with financial aid. Other factors we deemed important were retention, job placement, PRAXIS exam pass rates, class size, and experiential training.

Here are our selections for the 12 Best Special Education Degree Programs for 2017:

1. University of Kansas

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Noted for the Beach Center on Disability, the University of Kansas is a flagship public, co-ed RU/VH institution established in 1865 that’s educating over 28,000 Jayhawks from 1,100 urban acres in downtown Lawrence. Ranked America’s 45th “Top Public University” on Niche, the University of Kansas is recognized for the #1 Best Special Education Department by the U.S. News and World Report. The NCATE-accredited School of Education offers a Unified Early Childhood B.S., High-Incidence Disabilities M.S.Ed., Low-Incidence Disabilities M.S.Ed., Secondary Special Education & Transition M.S.Ed., and Autism Spectrum Disorders M.S.Ed. There’s also a Special & Inclusive Education Leadership Graduate Certificate. Teachers practice their skills through on-campus initiatives like the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project and field practicum in Douglas County school districts.

Average Net Price: $18,485

Learn more about the Special Education Degree Programs at the University of Kansas here.

2. Vanderbilt University

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Endowed for $4.13 billion, Vanderbilt University is a private, nonsectarian 568 Group member with “very high research activity” and over 12,600 Commodores engaging on its 330-acre urban campus in Tennessee’s capital. Placed #4 for “Great Financial Aid” on The Princeton Review, Vanderbilt is acclaimed for the second Best Special Education Programs by the U.S. News. Holding NCATE accreditation, the Peabody College of Education and Human Development offers a B.S., M.Ed., or Ph.D. in Special Education to master innovative practices with disabled youth. Each major graduates with at least 500 hours of classroom experience in Nashville and the Cumberland Valley. Students also serve young children with developmentally disabilities in the on-campus Susan Gray School.

Average Net Price: $22,937

Learn more about the Special Education Degree Programs at Vanderbilt University here.

3. University of Oregon

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Following the motto “Mind moves the mass,” the University of Oregon educates over 23,600 Ducks as a flagship public, research hub endowed for $753 million with 295 urban acres in Eugene along the Willamette River’s shoreline. Deemed the West’s 40th Best University on Forbes, Oregon claims the #3 spot for Best Special Needs Education by the U.S. News. The CAEP-accredited College of Education has respect for their M.Ed. in Special Education (K-12), M.Ed. in Early Intervention, and Ph.D. in Special Education. There’s a SPED Undergraduate Minor and ESOL Endorsement for undergrads too. Oregon students benefit from gaining experience in the HEDCO Clinic and 17 research units, such as the Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

Average Net Price: $15,128

Learn more about the Special Education Degree Programs at the University of Oregon here.

4. University of Texas – Austin

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Belonging to the AAU, the University of Texas-Austin is a flagship public, space-grant RU/VH institution teaching over 50,900 Longhorns from 434 urban acres near the nation’s sixth tallest state capitol. Named the fifth “Best Big College in America” on Niche, UT-Austin houses the fourth top special education programs according to the USNWR. Within the NCATE-accredited College of Education, undergraduates can pursue the All-Level Special Education (K-12) Certification. Advanced specialist training is available with M.Ed. and Ed.D. concentrations for Autism & Developmental Disabilities, Early Childhood Special Education, High-Incidence Disabilities, or Learning Disabilities & Behavioral Disorders. UT-Austin also conducts cutting-edge research in the Texas Center for Disability Studies and Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk.

Average Net Price: $17,366

Learn more about the Special Education Degree Programs at the University of Texas – Austin here.

5. University of Florida

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Enrolling over 52,500 Gators, the University of Florida is a preeminent public, land-grant RU/VH institution contributing $8.76 to the “Sunshine State’s” economy from a massive 2,000-acre suburban campus outside Gainesville in Alachua County. Noted for the #17 “Best Alumni Network” on The Princeton Review, UF maintains the fifth best special education department according to the U.S. News. Meeting CAEP standards, the College of Education offers a five-year Bachelor’s/Master’s ProTeach program for Dual Early Childhood or Elementary and Special Education. The Teach Well Online Academy confers a 36-credit M.Ed. in Autism, Disabilities in Society, and Dyslexia or Ph.D. in Special Education. Florida is highly regarded for its P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School.

Average Net Price: $14,610

Learn more about the Special Education Degree Programs at the University of Florida here.

6. University of Virginia

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Established by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University of Virginia occupies 1,682 urban acres of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Charlottesville to educate over 22,300 Cavaliers as a flagship public, co-educational RU/VH research institution. Tied for the fifth best special needs education by the U.S. News, UVA claimed #14 in The Princeton Review’s “Colleges That Pay You Back.” The Curry School of Education is TEAC-accredited to provide a Master of Teaching (MT) in Special Education with endorsement in Gifted Education, English as a Second Language, Elementary Education, or Secondary Education. There’s a five-year B/MT for undergraduates with a Communication Sciences Disorders major. Aspiring teachers also gain experience with the America Reads program and Children’s Learning Clinic.

Average Net Price: $14,539

Learn more about the Special Education Degree Programs at the University of Virginia here.

7. University of Washington

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Applauded for its DO-IT Scholars Program, the University of Washington is a flagship public, co-educational RU/VH institution endowed for $3.07 billion to inclusively teach over 45,200 Huskies from a main 703-acre urban campus in Seattle at Mount Rainier’s foothills. Graded A+ for America’s 32nd “Best College Location” on Niche, UW is ranked seventh nationally for special education programs by the U.S. News. The College of Education offers a cohort-based Special Education Preparation Program for B.A./B.S. students. For post-baccalaureate study, consider the M.Ed. in Applied Behavior Analysis, M.Ed. in High-Incidence Disabilities, M.Ed. in Low-Incidence Disabilities, or M.Ed. in Early Childhood Special Education. UW student teachers total more than 383,000 practice hours in 300+ Washington State schools.

Average Net Price: $9,744

Learn more about the Special Education Degree Programs at University of Washington here.

8. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

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Within the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA), the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is a public, land-grant research powerhouse located on 2,730 urban acres in the Falcon Heights neighborhood of Saint Paul to enlighten over 48,200 Golden Gophers. Ranked the 21st “Top Public University in America” on Niche, UM is distinguished for the eighth best special needs education by the U.S. News. The NCATE-accredited College of Education and Human Development attracts diverse students from 58 countries. Degree options include the Special Education B.S., Special Education M.Ed., and English as a Second Language M.A. There’s also a Certificate in Disability Policy & Services. More than $51 million in grant funding supports initiatives like the ITR for Children’s Mental Health.

Average Net Price: $15,371

Learn more about the Special Education Degree Programs at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities here.

9. University of Wisconsin – Madison

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Deemed a “Public Ivy,” sea-grant RU/VH institution with a $2.46 billion endowment, the University of Wisconsin-Madison educates over 43,300 Badgers from a 936-acre urban campus on the Madison isthmus between Lakes Mendota and Monona. Placed #13 for “Best College Library” on The Princeton Review, UW-Madison is distinguished for the ninth top special education department by the U.S. News. Holding NCATE accreditation, the School of Education’s iconic red doors welcome undergrads into the B.S.Ed. in Special Education. It’s also possible to obtain a M.S. and Ph.D. in Special Education with an optional TESOL Endorsement. UW-Madison helps empower schools with Culturally Responsive Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (CRPBIS). Future teachers also benefit from institutional partnerships in Australia, Brazil, and Singapore.

Average Net Price: $16,060

Learn more about the Special Education Degree Programs at the University of Wisconsin – Madison here.

10. University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign

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Known for innovating the first PLATO computer-assisted instruction system in 1960, the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign is a public, space-grant RU/VH AAU member serving over 44,000 Fighting Illini from 4,552 urban acres in the twin cities. Crowned America’s #7 Best Value on Forbes, UIUC is recognized for the 10th best special needs education by the U.S. News. The CAEP-accredited College of Education offers a B.S. in Learning and Education Studies concentrated in Special Education. Graduates could sharpen their skills with the M.S. in Learning & Behavior Specialist, M.S. in Infancy & Early Childhood Special Education, or Ph.D. in Special Education programs. Students benefit from studying the Pyramid Model Consortium, participating in the Goldstick Family Lecture Series, and joining Kappa Delta Pi.

Average Net Price: $16,841

Learn more about the Special Education Degree Programs at the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign here.

11. Ohio State University

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Having produced academia icons like Nancy L. Zimpher and Arthur M. Schlesinger Sr., Ohio State University is a prestigious public, land-grant RU/VH institution with over 101,200 total Buckeyes studying across 16,132 acres in Columbus, Lima, Mansfield, Marion, and Wooster. Noted as America’s 14th “Best Big College” on Niche, OSU is recognized for the 11th best special education degrees by the U.S. News. The NCATE-accredited College of Education and Human Ecology offers a B.S.Ed. in Special Education with optional Pre-Kindergarten Special Needs Endorsement. Licensed teachers could attain the M.A. in Education Studies for Special Education or Ph.D. in Special Education also. Programs have intensive clinical requirement with partnering schools, including Columbus City Schools and Southwestern City School District.

Average Net Price: $18,502

Learn more about the Special Education Degree Programs at Ohio State University here.

12. University of San Diego

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Chartered in 1949 by Reverend Charles F. Buddy, D.D., the University of San Diego is a private, nonprofit Catholic institution endowed for $450 million that’s enlightening over 7,400 Toreros from 108 urban acres overlooking California’s Mission Bay. Distinguished for the #12 “Most Beautiful Campus” on The Princeton Review, USD houses America’s 12th best special needs education according to the U.S. News. The School of Leadership and Education Sciences has several NCATE-accredited programs, including the Preliminary Education Specialist Credential for Mild to Moderate Disabilities. Graduate cohorts pursue the M.A.T. in Special Education, M.Ed. in Inclusive Learning with Special Education and Universal Design Specialization, and M.Ed. in TESOL Education. San Diego also manages the state-of-the-art Manchester Family Child Development Center.

Average Net Price: $35,950

Learn more about the Special Education Degree Programs at the University of San Diego here.

Related Links:

The Top 10 Special Education Degree Programs
The Top 15 Accredited Online Special Education Bachelors Degree Programs
The Top 15 Accredited Special Education Doctoral Degree Programs of 2016

All schools shown here have been contacted and informed of their inclusion on this list. Schools that do not wish to be featured are immediately removed. School names are the registered trademarks of their original owners. The use of any trade name or trademark does not imply any association with the school.

Top 12 Websites For Children With Learning Disabilities

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As many educators, parents, and families know, having a learning disability doesn’t make a child any less smart than his or her peers. In fact, it often means that the child is as smart or smarter but their brain just works differently because it’s neurological process. People with learning disabilities have a biological brain make up which counterintuitively functions to typical memory, reasoning, planning, organizational, and attention tasks. These disabilities are often lifelong and create a divide between intellectual abilities and actual success, especially when the learning disability is unidentified. That’s why it’s supremely important to evaluate the possibility of the presence of a learning disbaility while a child is young. That way they can gain the tools they need to function, thrive, and learn as individuals.

Parents and special education teachers often have difficulty finding new tactics to provoke a love for learning in children with learning disabilities. Fast-advancing technology has made the Internet one of the best resources for discovering entertaining activities that teach as well as excite children. Educational websites assist children with learning disabilities master basic skills in reading and math or advanced concepts like calculus. To help with that process, the following are 12 Websites For Children with Learning Disabilities, including dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, and visual motor deficit.

1. IXL Worldwide


Aligned with Common Core Standards, IXL Worldwide is a dynamic, immersive website offering adaptive learning for students with disabilities. From Pre-K through senior year, IXL will provide fun exercises for mathematics, language arts, science, and social studies. Children remain motivated by earning awards like stickers and balloon animals for each lesson mastered.

2. FunBrain


Featuring the kidSAFE Seal, FunBrain is an educational website managed by Sandbox Networks since 1997 with exciting arcade games. Children with learning disabilities in grades K-8 can watch lesson videos and practice their skills in attention-grabbing games like Penguin Drop. Game directions are conveniently illustrated to assist struggling readers too.

3. AAA Math


Children diagnosed with dyscalculia will particularly benefit from AAA Math, a website filled with free, easy-to-understand K-8 mathematics lessons. Interactive pages help remove frustration from tough concepts like division, ratios, exponents, and graphing. Practice questions and fun games like Countdown give students’ instant feedback to prevent learning incorrect methods.

4. Storyline Online


Published by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, Storyline Online is an excellent resource for children with learning disabilities like dyslexia. This website records free videos of narrators, and sometimes well-known actors like Eva Longoria, reading children’s books aloud. Students develop their literacy skills by following along with text as the literature comes alive.

5. Into the Book!


The Wisconsin Media Lab created the Into the Book! website to provide engaging reading comprehension activities in English and Spanish. Elementary children with learning disabilities will benefit from dissecting books, such as The Wolf Who Cried Boy and A Pirate’s Life. Short, 15-minute videos are included to teach important reading strategies like visualization and summarizing.

6. Starfall


Launched in 2002 by the Polis-Schutz family, Starfall is a free educational website with an optional low-cost membership program that teaches phonics. Young children diagnosed with learning disabilities will load fun activity lessons from letter recognition to reading full-length books. Students can also download swinging sing-alongs, including “Wheels on the Bus,” for fine-motor coordination.

7. The Exploratorium


Children with learning disabilities and a knack for science will enjoy The Exploratorium, a website that brings the San Francisco museum to your desktop. Youth can scroll through 55 pages of educational videos to illustrate key topics like climate change, electricity, and human anatomy. Also download the Total Solar Eclipse app to prepare for the upcoming astronomical event on August 21, 2017.

8. Do2Learn


Attracting over 11 million views monthly, Do2Learn is an unparalleled special needs resource website started in 1996 through a NIH Small Business Innovation Research grant. Learning disabled youth access thousands of free elementary-level worksheets for literacy, math, visual discrimination, behavior management, and more. There are also printable picture cards available to promote functional communication in children with Autism.

9. Reading Rockets


Featured on PBS, Reading Rockets is a David M. Rubenstein Prize-winning website devoted to providing research-based activities that help struggling readers. There is an extensive library of lessons centered on fluency, oral language, phonemic awareness, reading comprehension, and other literacy skills. Children can also incite their passion for reading with themed booklists, such “Young Detectives.”

10. AdaptedMind


Trusted by over 150,000 teachers, AdaptedMind was established by Stanford graduates for exercises that adapt to exceptional children’s needs. From first through eighth grade, students will discover hundreds of amusing reading and math activities illustrated by goofy monsters. Children will start with a quick pretest before engaging in video lessons and taking a confidence-boosting progress assessment.

11. Arcademic Skill Builders


Arcademic Skill Builders is an online educational video games hub that won an EdTech Magazine 2016 Cool Tool Award. Free, multi-player games are available for engaging students in tricky K-6 content from spelling to algebra and geography. Children with learning disabilities can compete for top scores while boosting their fact fluency. Plus, teachers or parents can access data tracking reports.

12. Learning Ally


For nearly 70 years, Learning Ally has been a leading nonprofit devoted to helping people with print disabilities, especially dyslexia. From kindergarten to college, learning disabled youth can access the website’s library of over 80,000 audiobooks with VOICEtext. Award-winning books, such as Little Red Riding Hood and Alice in Wonderland, are human narrated in clear voices to boost students’ comprehension.

It’s important that children with learning disabilities don’t lag behind. After all, the NCLD reports that 19 percent of learning disabled youth drop out before high school graduation. Keep your child or student progressing academically with these any of the above listed Top 12 Websites For Children With Learning Disabilities.

Related Links

The Best Websites For Parents of Special Needs Children

Top 10 Special Education Reading Certificate Programs