Online Special Education Masters – A Flexible Path to Professional Growth

A master’s degree in special education can be a powerful career tool. It opens up more teaching opportunities and can lead to higher salaries. Applicants for online particular education degrees typically need a bachelor’s degree, sometimes in a specific field. They also need to have a good GPA and submit letters of recommendation.


Whether you aim to become a teacher or work with children with disabilities in other capacities, online special education masters will help prepare you. Many programs include practicums and different in-person field experiences. Some of these will require you to travel and work with children in classrooms adapted for students with disabilities. Others are conducted at schools and non-traditional learning centers where you will observe experienced teachers in the classroom.

The minimum requirement for admission to most master’s programs in special education is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement are also often required.


A master’s degree in special education can help current teachers learn how to work with children with unique needs. This can help them to improve the outcomes of those students and make a positive impact on their lives.

Many online special education programs, like those offered at William Paterson University, are designed with committed teachers in mind. They allow students to skip some of the introductory courses usually required by a bachelor’s program. In addition, they can offer students the flexibility to complete their degree at a time and pace that fits with their existing careers.

Some of these programs are also accredited. While accreditation isn’t always a requirement, it can indicate quality and help students qualify for financial aid. This kind of accreditation can be institutional or programmatic, meaning that a specific program has been reviewed and meets certain quality standards. It is essential to check with a prospective graduate school to see what kind of accreditation they have.

Interaction with Faculty

Many online programs in special education are designed for teachers who want to enhance their teaching skills. Others offer graduate certificates in exceptional education leadership tailored for professionals working with extraordinary individuals. Some online special education master’s degrees require students to participate in practicums or other field-based experiences, which allow them to gain hands-on experience working with children and young adults with disabilities. This practical experience can be beneficial for teacher candidates seeking initial licensure. Other career options for graduates of an online exceptional education degree include working as a disability advocate, an advisor or consultant for school districts and other organizations that work with young people, or in government agencies that handle child services. Some graduates become parents and pursue careers in special education, helping their children overcome challenges.

Student Support

Many online special education master’s programs offer scholarships, which help students cover tuition and other costs. Some employers also reimburse employees for their degree-related expenses. Some students who pursue a master’s in special education want to expand their teaching opportunities, while others wish to change careers altogether. Whatever the motivation, earning this graduate degree can lead to rewarding careers in teaching, therapist positions, administrative roles, and more.

Most graduate special education programs include coursework in behavioral interventions, designing curricula for exceptional learners, and understanding current laws regarding disability. Some programs even prepare graduates for initial licensure, while others allow current teachers to add an endorsement in special education. Some master’s degrees may focus more on research and scholarship, emphasizing data analysis and statistics. A master’s degree in special education can also be a springboard for higher degrees like a doctorate, opening up additional career opportunities and earning potential.

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