Online Special Education Master's Degree

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| Heather Rau, Middle School Special Education Teacher, Program Graduate.

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This online Master of Arts degree in Special Education is offered by the College of Education and Human Services using a combination of live webinar (in real time) sessions and online assignments that can be completed on your own schedule. Field and practicum experiences are arranged in a qualified public school or agency in your home community with local supervision and online oversight.

The graduate degree is a 36-39 credit hours. Students taking Special Education graduate classes can be used to obtain the following educational goals:

  • Master of Arts Degree
  • Certification Only
  • Master’s Degree plus Certification
  • Initial Certification
  • Endorsement.

The online Special Education program offers the following areas of specialization:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education
  • Gifted Education
  • Low Vision/Blindness
  • Multicategorical Special Education
  • Severe/Multiple Disabilities.


The program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and meets professional standards of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). WVU is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Admission Requirements:

Students must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 for regular admissions and 2.75 for provisional admission. Students must have a passing scores on a nationally standardized test such as the Praxis Preprofessional Skills Test, Graduate Record Exam, or Miller Analogies Test. Some tests may be waived for students with master’s degree or other certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The Special Education Department can provide more details on requirements for those seeking certification or endorsement only. International students must take the TOEFL and be interviewed by phone or in person.


Students can enroll for fall or spring or summer. The application deadlines are: August 1 for fall; January 1 for spring; and May 1 for summer.

Financial Aid:

Financial aid is available to students in online graduate programs. Students must fill out the FAFSA. March 1 is the priority deadline but it can be submitted throughout the year.

Special Notes:

These programs meet State of West Virginia requirements for special education certification. Students from many other states have used these courses to meet their state requirements. Before enrolling in the program, students should consult with local or state agencies about certification requirements that apply specifically to them and confirm that the WVU program will satisfy those requirements.

International students will not be eligible for an I-20 student visa form from West Virginia University for this program.

State laws regarding distance education vary from state-to-state. Residents of other states can check the state authorization page to see if there are approvals for their enrollment at West Virginia University.