Why earn a master's degree in special education?

Application Deadlines
June 15
Oct. 15
March 15

The special education online program is designed for educators and other professionals interested in the study of children, adolescents and/or adults with diverse learning abilities. This fully online graduate special education degree is appropriate for certified teachers and those with a bachelor's degree in a field other than education. The M.S. in special education emphasizes scholarly application for practitioners, and students may continue their education and pursue a Doctor of Education. For individuals without an undergraduate education degree, earn a master's of education in special education.

Special Education Specializations

Customize your online graduate degree in special education by choosing from nine specializations:

  • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), verified by the Association of Behavior Analysis International
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)
  • General Special Education (GSE)
  • Emotional Behavioral Disorders (EBD)
  • Intellectual Disabilities (ID)
  • Learning Disabilities (LD)
  • Special Education Strategist (SES)
  • Visual Impairment (VI) - Only 100% online VI program in the nation

M.S. in Special Education at UND

  • The M.S. program is entirely online with no on-campus travel requirement.

  • Responsive faculty, one-on-one advising and customized program of study with nine specialization. Master's project applicable to field.

  • No entry exams. Consistent course offerings for timely graduation. Flexible completion of structured lessons, coursework tied to practical experiences. Option of on-the-job fieldwork.

  • The Special Education Program within the Department of Teaching, Learning, & Professional Practice is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and approved by Educational Standards and Practices Board (ESPB).

  • The Special Education Teacher Program allows Resident Teachers (RTs) to earn a master's degree in special education through online coursework and on-the-job experience in a school district/special education unit.

Special Education Careers


Median annual wage for special education teachers.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Projected job growth for special education teachers through 2026. Teachers with master's degrees fall on the high end of the scale or earn a premium income.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job prospects for special education teachers are excellent due to the rising enrollments of students receiving special education and shortages of qualified teachers. Job openings are expected as a result of teacher retirements or career changes. Additionally, the demand for behavior analyst positions has more than doubled with the national trend increasing in almost every state.

A Special Education degree gives you the strategic skills you need, including:

  • Curriculum Development
  • Lesson Planning
  • Event Planning
  • Autism Therapies
  • Strategic Planning

Our graduates work in schools, hospitals, human services agencies, state and private institutions and in private practice. Special Education alumni have gone on to a variety of successful careers with:

  • West Fargo School District
  • University of North Dakota
  • Anne Carlsen Center
  • Grand Forks Public Schools
  • Blake High School
  • Family Support Services of North Idaho, LLC

Watch a Q&A with UND Special Education faculty.

Special Education Courses You Could Take

 Top Online Special Education Degree in the Nation

UND is consistently recognized as a best online special education degree program.

Our online master's in special education program is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a top online education program for quality, affordability and career outcomes. You will learn from an interdisciplinary group of faculty members with extensive experience as teachers, professors and researchers. We offer an approved teacher certification program for North Dakota that is transferable to most states.

U.S. News Ranking

Leader in Action

Den Bolda earned an online master's degree in special education from UND.

Read Den's Story