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SPECIAL EDUCATION M.A.

May 13, 2024

Next Start Date

10

Courses Required

$673

Cost Per Credit Hour

30

Total Credit Hours

Online Courses

Learning Format

Provide Educational Programs and Services for Children with Special Education Needs including Autism

Would you like a career helping young people with disabilities? The Master of Arts in Special Education is designed to prepare professional educators to work with children and adolescents with mild/moderate disabilities including learning disabilities, emotional/behavior disorders, autism, and intellectual disabilities.

This program prepares special education teachers and other professionals to engage in current research-based practices to provide high quality educational programs and services to promote academic achievement and post-school outcomes in inclusive elementary or secondary schools.

Graduates of the program will demonstrate knowledge and application of current evidence-based practices as exemplified by reputable research and professional standards to deliver individualized instruction to develop academic and social skills.

The Special Education M.A. program prepares individuals to be eligible to apply for certification through the West Virginia Department of Education Alternative Certification Program.


Teddy bear holding a chalkboard that reads "Special Education."

The program is offered entirely online throughout the United States and in approved international locations. The online courses are taught by faculty who are nationally and internationally recognized leaders in their fields.

Kelly Legg, Personal Online Admissions Coach

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Kelly Legg, Your Personal Online Admissions Coach

As a graduate of the WVU with a degree in business administration, Kelly understands your needs and is here to support and simplify the enrollment process for you. You can have open and honest discussions with her about how your passion in life can become your career. Contact Kelly today!

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Online Special Education M.A. Admission Requirements

Applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and complete the following.

  • Complete the WVU Graduate Application
  • Personal statement: A short 1-page essay on professional goals and reasons for seeking admission.
  • Applicants may upload an unofficial copy of their transcript with their application (WVU graduates are exempt.) Upon acceptance applicants will then need to send their official transcripts to WVU’s Office of Admissions. If your undergraduate school offers "e-script" (an official electronic copy of transcripts), email the transcripts to GraduateAdmissions@mail.wvu.edu. This will help expedite the admissions process. If they do not offer this service, please have your official transcripts mailed to: West Virginia University Office of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment, PO Box 651 Morgantown, WV 26506-6510
  • International Students are required to submit a TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo score. Applicants must have the following English Proficiency Scores.

The Special Education M.A. program prepares individuals to be eligible to apply for certification through the West Virginia Department of Education Alternative Certification Program.

NOTE: School systems may require criminal background checks and formal board approval prior to placement.

Application Deadlines

We offer 3 terms of enrollment, spring, summer, and fall. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with deadline dates of May 1 for a summer term start, August 1 for a fall term start, and January 1 for a spring term start.

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Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

Financial aid is available. Students are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine their eligibility for federal and state funds as well as scholarships. WVU’s FAFSA Code is 003827. Please contact the WVU Financial Aid Office at (304) 293-5242 or financialaid.wvu.edu for additional information.


The Special Education M.A. degree requires 30 credit hours to complete. Cost per credit hour is $673.
$20,190 – Residents and Non-Residents

Credits Cost
1 $673
3 $2,019
6 $4,038
9 $6,057

Tuition and fees are usually not the only educational expenses you may have while pursuing a degree. You may have other costs such as books, supplies and living expenses. Please see the Estimate Costs and Aid webpage for how to estimate and plan for other potential expenses.

Courses and Curriculum


Online Special Education M.A. Requirements

A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required.
A grade of B or higher is required in all graduate coursework.

Course Title Credit Hours
SPED 500 Legal/Educational Foundations: Special Education 3
SPED 601 Academic Interventions for Special Needs 3
SPED 609 Technology Applications for Special Needs 3
SPED 650 Learning Characteristics: Autism 3
SPED 652 Educational Interventions: Autism 3
SPED 665 Mathematics for Special Needs 3
SPED 666 Reading for Special Needs 3
C&I 602 Classroom Organization and Management 3
C&I 688 Curriculum & Teaching Principles 3
LE 622 Disciplinary Literacy 3

Total Hours: 30

Your future in Special Education

The Special Education M.A. degree from the College of Applied Human Sciences will prepare you to work with children and adolescents with mild/moderate disabilities including learning disabilities, emotional/behavior disorders, autism, and intellectual disabilities. The Special Education M.A. program prepares individuals to take the Praxis and to apply for certification through the West Virginia Department of Education Alternative Certification Program.

The Benefits to Choosing Our Program

The Master of Arts in Special Education offered by the College of Applied Human Sciences is designed to prepare you to be a leader in the field of special education and to positively affect the lives of today’s youth, helping them to reach their full potential.

This graduate-level program prepares special education teachers to engage in current research-based practices and to provide high quality educational programs and services.

This program has been designed so that program graduates can accomplish the following learning outcomes:

  • Provide high-quality educational services to children and adolescents with mild to moderate disabilities in inclusive classrooms and resource rooms in elementary and secondary schools;
  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of current evidence-practices as exemplified by reputable research and professional standards to deliver individualized instruction to develop academic and social skills;
  • Collaborate with other professionals and agencies in delivery of services and engage in individual and systems advocacy for individuals and their families, and empower individuals and families to participate in program planning and decision making; and
  • Reflect in and on practice and respond responsibly to the legal, ethical, social, and cultural issues encountered when working with individuals with mild to moderate disabilities and their families in today’s world.

Career Outlook for Special Education

Students who graduate from WVU Online with a Special Education M.A. degree will prepare themselves for the following careers. These are only a few examples of some of the many opportunities open to you with this degree.

Self-Enrichment Education Teacher
Projected Growth: 11% or higher *Bright Outlook

Special Education Teacher - Kindergarten Elementary School
Projected Growth: 2-3%

Special Education Teacher - Middle School
Projected Growth: 2-3%

Special Education Teacher - Secondary School
Projected Growth: 2-3%

Special Education Teacher - All Other
Projected Growth: 7-10% Bright Outlook


Information about careers on this list comes from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to complete an Online Master's Degree In Special Education

The minimum time to complete most certification or degree programs in special education is:

  • 5 semesters or 1.5 calendar years at the rate of six (6) credits per semester (part-time study) – recommended for students who are working full time and/or have extensive family responsibilities.
  • 3 semesters (or 1 year) at the rate of 12 credit hours in the fall and spring, and 6 credit hours in the summer (full-time study recommended for students who are not employed and/or have minimal family responsibilities).

What kind of jobs can I get with a Special Education Master's degree?

There are many career paths a student could take with a Special Education Master’s Degree, including:

  • Self-Enrichment Education Teacher
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Special Education Consultant
  • School Counselor
  • Reading Specialist
  • Special Education Advocate
  • Education Writer
  • Tutor

What jobs are the highest paid in Special Education

  • Special Education Teacher - $58,829 according to Salary.com
  • Education Consultant - $104,528 according to Salary.com
  • School Counselor - $78,780 according to ONET.org
  • Self-Enrichment Teacher - $43,580 according to ONET.org
WVU Online

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WVU Online
West Virginia University
PO Box 6800
Morgantown, WV 26506-6800


Phone: (800) 253-2762
Email: WVUOnlineInquiry@mail.wvu.edu

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