Special Education Certification and Degree Programs

A special education degree program will prepare you to work with children who might not thrive in a regular classroom. Earning a degree also helps you earn certification in special education. Online learning opportunities are available in this field. Keep reading for more information on degree programs and curriculum in special education. Schools offering Emotional & Behavioral Disorders degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Special Education Certification and Degree Programs Are Available?

You can earn bachelor's and master's degrees in special education through universities around the U.S. These programs will prepare you to earn teacher certification in special education. You can find master's degree programs for special education teachers whether you're new to the field or you're a teacher who wants to move into special education. These programs teach you how to develop individualized plans tailored to each student's disability. Some programs allow you to choose a specialty, such as early childhood, elementary or secondary special education.

Online master's and bachelor's degree programs are available if you'd like to earn your special education training on your own schedule. Also available are online special education programs that train you to work as an intermediary between school administrators and special education teachers. Whether you're learning online or on campus, you'll have to complete supervised in-person teacher training that brings what you've learned into practice in a real classroom.

Degree LevelBachelor's, graduate certificate, and master's
Course TopicsChildhood literacy, small group teaching, special education reading, teaching methods
Certification and LicensingVaries by state

What Courses Will I Take?

As a special education teaching student, you'll take many of the courses that other teaching students take, including human development, childhood literacy and classroom management. Much of your education curriculum will teach you about particular disabilities, specialized teaching techniques and behavior intervention methods. You'll learn about teaching small groups, developing individual education plans and adapting curricula to each student.

Depending on your program, you might take courses that deal with teaching specific subjects in a special education classroom. Many programs include courses in special education reading. You might also take courses that discuss teaching science, math or the arts to special needs students. English and social studies teaching methods are also available in some special education degree programs.

How Do I Get Certified or Licensed?

All states require you to be licensed or certified (nomenclature varies by state) before working unsupervised in a special education classroom, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Some states require you to have a master's degree. In some states, you might earn a special education endorsement, which is offered as an additional credential to those who already have general teacher certification or licensure. To earn any type of state education credential, you might also have to pass state exams, and supervised classroom experiences are required. You may qualify for an alternative licensure program in some states.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

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    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado State University Global

    Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Northcentral University

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  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Master

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