Special Education Degrees and Certificates: Online Programs

Fully online degree programs aren't typically available in the special education field, but many parts may be completed online. Learn more about the format and coursework in online certificate and degree programs in special education, and check the prerequisites for enrollment. Explore your job options with a background in special education. Schools offering Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Are There Any Prerequisites for Special Education Degrees and Certificates?

Online special education degrees and certificates are offered at many accredited colleges and universities. The courses found in online programs are often very similar to on-campus programs. Prerequisites are also typically the same or similar. Students pursuing a bachelor's degree in special education usually have no prerequisites, other than a high school diploma and copy of their high school transcript.

If you're pursuing a master's degree in special education, you'll need a current teacher's license and a bachelor's degree in teaching or another approved field. Depending on the school, you may also be required to prepare an essay and commit to a background check. Prerequisites and program requirements may vary by state, so research the state you plan to teach in upon graduation.

Degree Prerequisites High school diploma and transcripts for bachelor's degree, current teacher's license and bachelor's degree for master's degree
Online Availability Online programs are available, but may include some on-site requirements
Licensing Requirements Bachelor's degree, supervised teaching hours, approved teacher training program, assessment test
Job Outlook 6% increase between 2014-2024 (for special education teachers)*

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Do I Participate in Online Programs?

Earning an online degree or certificate in special education may be the perfect solution if your current schedule doesn't allow you to attend school full time or on campus. Online courses are offered through e-mail or course management systems, such as Blackboard. While some schools may require you to complete programs within a certain time frame, others allow you to work at your own pace. Special education degree programs may be fully online, Web-enhanced, Web-assisted or hybrid. As an online student, you may also be eligible for financial aid and other student assistance. In many cases, you'll be invited to attend graduation in person.

How Do I Become Licensed?

Upon successful completion of a special education degree or certificate program, you'll be able to apply for your teaching license the same as you would if you attended school on campus. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), every state in the U.S. requires licensing for special education teachers (www.bls.gov). Licensing requirements vary by state, but at minimum include a bachelor's degree, supervised teaching hours, the completion of an approved teacher training program and the passing of an assessment test. Some states also require a master's degree in special education for licensing.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

Special education degrees offer career opportunities helping students with mild to moderate disabilities. You'll be prepared to work in various settings, including private and state institutions, schools, hospitals and human service agencies. The type of degree you choose will be determined by your career goals; however, you'll find there are job opportunities for special education teachers with all age groups, from preschool through high school.

The BLS states that employment for special education teachers is expected to see an average increase - up to 6% - between 2014 and 2024. The highest level of employment for special education teachers is in elementary and secondary schools. The BLS also states that due to the need to replace teachers who leave the profession, job prospects should be good.

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

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • 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

    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

  • Brenau University

    Brenau University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Brenau University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

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