Best Colleges Online - Most Affordable Degrees-01

In this article, we profile the top 50 most affordable online master’s in special education degree programs for 2019.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics and Occupational Outlook Handbook projects a favorable job outlook for special education teachers. In fact, a growth of eight percent is anticipated through the year 2026, as school enrollment and demand for special education services increases. To advance in this specialized field, a graduate degree is needed.

To be considered for our list of master’s in special education online programs, colleges and universities must be accredited and offer at least one online master’s in special education degree. We considered 105 colleges and universities around the country that offered this type of degree program. The top 50 schools on our list offer graduate programs for less than $21,000 per year. Also, most of the schools and programs on our list have received recognition from a major publication like U.S. News and World Report. The schools are listed in order of raw affordability.

Below is our list of the top 50 best most affordable online master’s in special education degree programs of 2019.

#50 – Pennsylvania State University

Online Master’s in Special Education

University Park, Pennsylvania

Website

Pennsylvania State University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
Pennsylvania State University’s online master’s in special education is a top ranked program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,974

Pennsylvania State University’s master’s in special education online degree program is designed for teachers and educational professionals who want to gain the knowledge and skills needed to support children with special needs. This 32-credit online master’s degree offers several emphasis areas, including academic and behavioral supports, applied behavior analysis (ABA), and autism. All courses can be completed online and include current issues in special education, evidence-based student behavior supports, introduction to research in special education, and teaching learners with disabilities in inclusive settings. GRE scores are not required for admission, though a bachelor’s and 3.0 undergraduate GPA are. U.S. News and World Report rank Penn State #52 among best national universities. Also, the graduate education school ranks #43 in the country.

#49 – Nova Southeastern University

Online Master’s in Exceptional Student Education

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Website

Nova Southeastern University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
Nova Southeastern University offers a master’s in special education online program open to teachers.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,419

Nova Southeastern University’s online special education master’s program is designed to prepare professionals to assume positions as teachers, administrators, and professors. The program is open to professionals who are certified teachers or are seeking certification, though the program does not result in certification. Required courses include assessment and diagnosis of exceptional learners, educational research for practitioners, and special education law. U.S. News and World Report ranks Nova #198 in best national universities. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #131 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree to be admitted to this online master’s program.

#48 – Southern New Hampshire University

Online Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction – Special Education

Manchester, New Hampshire

Website

Southern New Hampshire University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
SNHU offers affordable master’s in special education degrees online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,810

Southern New Hampshire University offers online master’s in special education programs that are designed to equip graduate students with the skills needed to work in special education. Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year, and all classes may be completed entirely online. These courses include curriculum design – assessment for student learning, evidence-based research for education, leadership in teaching and learning, and the educator as leader. No GMAT or GRE scores are required for admission, and the program takes approximately 15 months to complete. U.S. News and World Report ranks SNHU #86 in best regional universities in the North and #83 in best value schools.

#47 – Michigan State University

Online Master’s in Special Education

East Lansing, Michigan

Website

Michigan State University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
The master’s in special education online degree program at Michigan State University prepares students to work in disabilities in K-12 schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,436

The College of Education at Michigan State University offers a master’s in special education online degree program designed to prepare students to advance the quality of education for children with disabilities in K-12 schools. The program offers emphasis areas in autism spectrum disorders and learning disabilities. Students can also pursue certification in ABA while enrolled in the program. Classes are delivered online and include assessment and intervention, classroom and behavior management, collaboration and consultation in special education, and technology and literacy for students with mild disabilities. U.S. News and World Report ranks Michigan State #81 in best national universities and #143 in best value schools. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #31 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#46 – Eastern University

Online Master’s in Special Education

Saint Davids, Pennsylvania

Website

Eastern University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
Eastern University offers affordable options for master’s in special education online degrees.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,750

Eastern University offers an online special education degree that can be completed as a blended program or fully online. The M.Ed. in special education prepares both teachers and individuals who want to serve in administrative positions for special needs in pre-K through 12th grade. Admission requires a completed application and current resume, as well as official transcripts from all schools. Curriculum covers courses such as assessment and evaluation, emotional and behavioral disorders, foundations of education, research design, teaching techniques for low incidence students, and urban education. U.S. News and World Report ranks Eastern #78 in best regional universities in the North and #69 in best value schools.

#45 – Saint Joseph’s University

Online Master’s in Special Education

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Website

Saint Joseph's University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
The online special education master’s degree program at Saint Joseph’s takes two years to complete.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,401

Saint Joseph’s University offers online special education master’s degree programs that take two years to complete. The fully online graduate program is built on the foundation of the response to instruction and intervention platform, which is a research-based strategy for student achievement. Four optional certification and endorsement areas allow students to tailor their degree. These focus areas include applied behavior analysis, autism spectrum, special education, and Wilson Reading System. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.8 cumulative GPA to enter the program. U.S. News and World Report ranks Saint Joseph’s #11 in best regional universities in the North and #34 in best value schools. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #88 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#44 – University of Washington

Online M.Ed. in Special Education

Seattle, Washington

Website

University of Washington - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
UW offers an online M.Ed. in special education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,272

The online master’s in special education program at University of Washington is fully online and takes one to two years to complete on a part-time basis. Successful completion of the program offers both a master’s degree in special education and the BACB course sequence required to sit for the BCBA exam. Classes are delivered online and taught by university professors. These courses include becoming an ethical and professional behavior analyst, educating students with autism, special education and families, and special education and the law. Applicants must submit unofficial transcripts from all schools, official GRE scores, and two letters of recommendation. U.S. News and World Report ranks UW #56 in best national universities and #134 in best value schools.

#43 – University of Hawaii

Online M.Ed. in Special Education

Honolulu, Hawaii

Website

University of Hawaii - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
Fully online! University of Hawaii’s online special education master’s program is top ranked.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,190

University of Hawaii offers special education online degrees, including the MEd SPED program. This 30-credit master’s in education is a fully online degree designed for professionals who wish to increase their knowledge and skills in providing services to individuals with disabilities. Classes are delivered online and taught by university professors. These courses include research practicum in special education, seminar on applied research, seminar in issues in special education, and special education laws and compliance. University of Hawaii is ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school #159 in best national universities and #83 in top public schools.

#42 – Slippery Rock University

Online Master’s in Special Education

Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania

Website

Slippery Rock University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
Ranked and accredited – Slippery Rock University’s online master’s in special education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,907

Slippery Rock University offers an accredited online special education degree designed for individuals interested in master’s grades 7-12 special education. Successful completion of the program offers a master’s in education with certification in special education. To apply students must complete the online application, provide a copy of a teaching certification, and submit two reference forms. All classes are delivered with a convenient online platform. Courses include advanced study of emotional and behavioral disorders, advanced study of learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, and special education law. U.S. News and World Report ranks Slippery Rock #78 in best regional universities in the North and #23 in top public schools. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #224-#291 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#41 – Concordia University

Online Master’s in Special Education Leadership

River Forest, Illinois

Website

Concordia University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
Concordia University’s online master’s in special education is a 24-month program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,360

The online M.Ed. special education program at Concordia University is a Master of Arts in Special Education Leadership. This fully online degree program is designed for licensed professional educators working in the field of special education who desire to become special education leaders. The program requires the completion of 30 credit hours of course work with classes taught by university professors. These courses include differentiation and learning theory, instructional strategies for students with academic and physical disabilities, special education finance, and special education law and policy. The program takes 24 months to complete depending on student pace. U.S. News and World Report ranks Concordia #75 in best regional universities in the Midwest and #47 in best value schools. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #88 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#40 – West Chester University

Online M.Ed. in Special Education

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Website

West Chester University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
Affordable! West Chester University’s master’s in special education is fully online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,121

The master’s in special education online degree program at West Chester University offers several optional concentrations and dual enrollment for special education certification. This fully online education degree follows a model designed to increase student-to-student collaboration and provide social support for online learners. All classes are delivered online and taught by the same professors who instruct on campus. Courses include behavior management, contemporary issues and trends, family systems in special education, legal issues in special education, and methods and materials of research in education. To apply, students must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or better. U.S. News and World Report ranks West Chester #64 in best regional universities in the North.

#39 – George Mason University

Online M.Ed. in Special Education

Fairfax, Virginia

Website

George Mason University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
George Mason University’s online master’s in special education is a top rated program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,480

George Mason University offers an online special education degree designed for graduate students looking for a fully online master’s in special education program. Students enrolled in the online special ed degree may choose between two supporting graduate certificate tracks in autism spectrum disorders or applied behavior analysis. A total of 30 course credits are required, along with the completion of a capstone project. Some of the required special education courses include computer applications for special populations, introduction for special education, special education research, and universal design for learning. U.S. News and World Report ranks George Mason #140 in best national universities and #103 in best value schools. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #115 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#38 – University of Cincinnati

Online M.Ed. in Special Education

Cincinnati, Ohio

Website

University of Cincinnati - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
The master’s in special education online degree program at University of Cincinnati is a top ranked degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,468

University of Cincinnati’s online master’s in special education program is designed for special education teachers who want to improve learning outcomes along with the quality of life for children with special needs. Four concentrations are offered that allow students to tailor their degree in areas of interest or to meet career goals. These concentrations include advanced studies, autism spectrum disorder, behavior disorders, and transition to work. Courses are delivered online and include advanced strategies for individuals with disabilities, educational research for master’s degree students, and transition strategies for individuals with disabilities. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #133 in best national universities and #111 in best value institutions. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #62 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#37 – Webster University

Online Master’s in Special Education

Saint Louis, Missouri

Website

Webster University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
100% online – Webster University’s online master’s in special education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,140

One of the most affordable special education online degrees on our list is the master’s in special education online program at Webster University. The program is designed to provide practicing educators opportunities to study and research the special education needs of individuals. Courses are delivered online and taught by the same university instructors who teach on campus. Some of the required courses include advocating for persons with disabilities, assessment of learning and learning problems, legal issues in special education, and socio-emotional development. U.S. News and World Report ranks Webster #23 in best regional universities in the Midwest and #55 in best value schools. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #180 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#36 – Washington State University

Online Master’s in Special Education

Pullman, Washington

Website

Washington State University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
Washington State University offers an accredited online master’s in special education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,799

Washington State University offers an accredited online special education master’s degree designed to prepare educators with the competencies outlined in the Washington State Special Education Core Competencies. All courses are offered online and are designed to provide flexibility for working teachers and professionals. The master’s degree requires 37 credits, including courses like assessment and curriculum for students with disabilities, early childhood special education, professional skills in special education, and teaching students with disabilities. Admission requires official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and GRE scores. U.S. News and World Report ranks WSU #140 in best national universities and #87 in best value schools.

#35 – University of Arizona

Online Master’s in Special Education

Tucson, Arizona

Website

University of Arizona - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
University of Arizona offers a flexible online master’s in special education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,748

University of Arizona offers online M.Ed. special education degree programs with various concentration options. The programs are taught entirely online by university professors and are designed to provide flexible and convenient courses that can be tailored to suit personal and professional goals. Four concentrations are offered, including autism spectrum disorders, challenging behavior, gifted students, and sensory impairments. Some of the online courses include behavior principles and disability, cultural and linguistic diversity in exceptional learners, foundations of high incidence disabilities, and language development for the exceptional child. U.S. News and World Report ranks U of A #124 among best national universities and the online graduate education programs #180 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#34 – University of Florida

Online Master’s in Special Education

Gainesville, Florida

Website

University of Florida - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
University of Florida offers an online master’s in special education program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,737

University of Florida’s online special education degree is a web-based program designed to equip teachers to serve students with disabilities in inclusive settings. This fully online master’s in special education requires no on-campus visits and provides courses taught by UF professors. Some of the required courses include designing instruction for inclusive classrooms, families and transition for students with disabilities, and teaching learning strategies. The program is primarily for part-time students and can be completed in just two years. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #42 in best national universities and #93 in best value institutions. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #2 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#33 – University of Northern Colorado

Online Master’s in Special Education

Greeley, Colorado

Website

University of Northern Colorado - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
100% online – University of Northern Colorado’s master’s in special education online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,238

University of Northern Colorado offers special education online degrees, including the special education master’s with early childhood special education emphasis. This 33-credit program can be completed fully online and takes approximately two years. Flexible online courses make the program ideal for working teachers and professionals who have limited time for attending traditional on-campus classes. Some of the online courses include assessment and planning in early childhood special education, foundations of special education, family and professional partnerships, and typical and atypical early child development. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a 3.0 undergraduate GPA. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #231-#300 in best national universities. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #150 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#32 – Brandman University

Online Master’s in Special Education, Behavior Analysis

Irvine, California

Website

Brandman University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
Brandman University’s online master’s in special education offers both online and hybrid classes.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,880

Brandman University’s master’s in special education online degree program is designed to prepare students to become advocates for those with disabilities. The program is offered in a hybrid format (both online and on-campus) or in a fully online format. To be admitted to the program, applicants must hold a current special education teaching credential and meet GPA requirements. Classes are offered entirely online for those interested in the distance-learning option and are taught by university professors. These classes include advanced assessment and program evaluation in special education, collaboration in special education, leadership and policy in special education, and research and evaluation methods. Brandman is ranked by U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the online graduate education programs rank #115 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#31 – James Madison University

Online Master’s in Special Education

Harrisonburg, Virginia

Website

James Madison University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
James Madison University’s master’s in special education online program is for professional teachers.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,352

James Madison University’s online M.Ed. special education program is designed to prepare individuals who already hold a professional teaching license and want to work with individuals with exceptionalities in areas of education. The online M.Ed. special education degree consists of 30 credit hours with 13-16 core credit hours. Three available concentration areas include autism, behavior specialist, and K-12 gifted education. The concentrations lead to an endorsement or certificate. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank James Madison as a top institution. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school #7 in best regional universities in the South and #55 in best value institutions.

#30 – Mississippi College

Online M.Ed. in Special Education

Clinton, Mississippi

Website

Mississippi College - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
Mississippi College’s master’s in special education online degree program is one of the most affordable on our list.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,222

Mississippi College offers a 30-credit online special education degree for graduate students that can be completed in just ten months. With multiple start dates and convenient online coursework, the program prepares students for careers inside or beyond the classroom as a special education resource teacher in less than one year. Courses are taught by the same professors who instruct on campus and include current education and psychological testing procedures, diagnostic and prescriptive reading, organizational procedures for special education, and psychology of exceptional children. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #32 in best regional universities in the South and #12 in best value schools. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #224-#291 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#29 – Xavier University

Online Master’s in Special Education

Cincinnati, Ohio

Website

Xavier University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
Xavier University’s master’s in special education online program requires the GRE for admission.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,082

Xavier University’s online master’s in special education can be completed along two different pathways – the Master of Science in Special Education or the Master of Education in Special Education. Both programs may be completed online, though the M.Ed. is considered a fully online degree. Applicants must provide official transcripts from accredited colleges and universities and satisfactory test scores on the MAT or GRE. Courses seen in the program include advanced human development and learning, foundations in early childhood special education, introduction to emotionally disturbed children, and social skills and behavior management. U.S. News and World Report ranks Xavier #5 in best regional universities in the Midwest and #22 in best value schools.

#28 – North Carolina State University

Online Master’s in Teaching – Special Education

Raleigh, North Carolina

Website

North Carolina State University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
NC State University offers a 100% online master’s in special education designed for working teachers.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,027

The online special education master’s degree program at North Carolina State University prepares candidates to teach in K-12 schools. The program is designed for those who hold a bachelor’s degree but do not have a valid NC teaching license. The program consists of 33 credit hours and includes courses like classroom action research, exploring diversity in the classroom and community, intervention for behavior problems of students with disabilities, and teaching functional and life skills to students with disabilities. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank NC State #81 in best national universities. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #15 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#27 – The University of Alabama

Online Master’s in Special Education

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Website

The University of Alabama - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
The University of Alabama is a top pick for master’s in special education online degrees.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,780

The University of Alabama offers online special education master’s degrees to help prepare students for professional roles as special educators and multiple abilities faculty members. The program utilizes a variety of delivery formats that include online, weekend, and web-assisted courses. All courses are led by faculty members from the College of Education. Courses include advanced behavior management for special education, diagnosis and assessment of exceptional children and youth, introduction to severe disabilities, and methods and severe disabilities. The institution is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school #110 in best national universities and #76 in best value institutions.

#26 – University of Kansas

Online Master’s in Secondary Special Education

Lawrence, Kansas

Website

The University of Kansas - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
University of Kansas offers online master’s in special education degrees.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,704

University of Kansas offers special education online degrees designed to prepare educators as secondary special education specialists. There is no GRE requirement for admission into this program. Online courses provide a convenient instructional format designed for working students. Some of the courses offered include blending academics and transition, career development for youth, student engagement in school and community, and understanding research in education. A total of ten courses, each running eight weeks in length, are required for graduation. There is no practicum or residency requirement for this degree. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #115 in best national universities and #28 for best online graduate education programs.

#25 – Grand Canyon University

Online Master’s in Special Education

Phoenix, Arizona

Website

Grand Canyon University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
Grand Canyon University’s master’s in special education online degree is top ranked.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,555

One of the most affordable online special education degree programs on our list is at Grand Canyon University. Approved by the Arizona State Board of Education, the master’s in special education is designed to prepare students for initial teaching licensure through online coursework and instruction. Some of the required courses include assessment and eligibility in special education, foundations in special education graduate studies, learning environments for students with mild to moderate disabilities, and survey of special education. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank Grand Canyon #231-#300 in best national universities.

#24 – Indiana University

Online Master’s in Special Education

Bloomington, Indiana

Website

Indiana University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
The master’s in special education at Indiana University is for working professionals.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,279

The School of Education at Indiana University offers a master’s in special education online degree program focused on supporting advanced competencies in teaching students with mild to moderate disabilities. Courses are delivered online or in a hybrid format and cover topics such as classroom management and behavior support, collaboration and service delivery, and inquiry in education. Students choose to complete either a capstone project or thesis in special education near the end of the program. All classes are taught by university professors. U.S. News and World Report ranks Indiana University #90 in best national universities. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #46 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#23 – Purdue University

Online Master’s in Special Education

West Lafayette, Indiana

Website

Purdue University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
Purdue’s online master’s in special education is a top ranked program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,992

Purdue University offers online M.Ed. special education degree programs that can be completed in as little as 20 months. The special education master’s degree focuses on mild intervention, with the option to add a focus in intense intervention. Four tracks of study are available and designed to meet different career needs. Some of the required courses include applied behavior analysis for teachers, foundations of online learning, introduction to educational research, and social and legal issues in special education. All applicants must submit a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, three professional letters of recommendation, and official transcripts. GRE scores are also required. U.S. News and World Report ranks Purdue #56 in best national universities. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #21 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#22 – Jacksonville State University

Online Master’s in Early Childhood Special Education

Jacksonville, Alabama

Website

Jacksonville State University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
The online master’s in special education at Jacksonville State University emphasizes early childhood ed.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,918

Jacksonville State University offers an accredited online master’s in special education designed for those interested in early childhood special education in the PK-3 setting. The program is fully online and offers specialty courses that include trends in early childhood special education and early childhood methods. Some of the courses include assessment in early childhood special education, collaborative methods in special education, early identification, and intervention in special education. U.S. News and World Report ranks Jacksonville State #89 in best regional universities in the South and #34 in top public schools. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #224 – #291 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#21 – Frostburg State University

Online M.Ed. in Special Education

Frostburg, Maryland

Website

Frostburg State University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
Frostburg State University’s online M.Ed. in special education is NCATE-accredited.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,882

The online special education master’s program at Frostburg State University is designed to equip certified classroom teachers with additional skills required to meet the learning needs of children facing challenges in school. The program is open to individuals who hold, or are eligible for, certification as a public school teacher. The program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and offers fully online courses. Some of the required classes include characteristics of exceptional children, instructional content and practices for exceptional children, and planning and managing the teaching and learning environment. Frostburg is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 120th best regional university in the North. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #168 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#20 – West Virginia University

Online Master’s in Special Education

Morgantown, West Virginia

Website

West Virginia University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
West Virginia University’s online master’s in special education requires GRE or MAT scores for admission.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,450

West Virginia University offers an accredited online M.Ed. special education degree program with five available concentrations. Specialization options include applied behavioral analyst, early childhood education, gifted education, multi-categorical special education, and severe and multiple disabilities. To be admitted to the program, students must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. GRE or MAT scores are also required. Courses are delivered online and taught by university professors. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank WVU #187 in best national universities and #99 in top public schools. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #190 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#19 – Graceland University

Online M.Ed. in Special Education

Lamoni, Iowa

Website

Graceland University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
Earning a master’s in special education online degree from Graceland University prepares students for work in K-12 schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,387

Graceland University offers special education online degrees designed to enhance the teaching strategies of K-12 special education teachers or teachers who assist students with disabilities. Courses are delivered online, and an accelerated completion option is available. Some of the required courses include autism spectrum disorders, developing and facilitating effective special education professional development experiences, introduction to choice theory, remedial math methods, and special education methods. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the school as a top regional university in the Midwest. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #88 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#18 – University of Nebraska

Online Master’s in Special Education

Lincoln, Nebraska

Website

University of Nebraska - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
University of Nebraska’s master’s in special education online has thesis and non-thesis completion options.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,371

University of Nebraska offers an online special education degree program with optional specialization in early childhood special education, education of the deaf and hard of hearing, or visual impairment. Thesis and non-thesis options are also available. The program is fully accredited and offers online courses taught by university professors. There are also two graduate certificate options in early childhood special education and sensory disabilities. U.S. News and World Report ranks the university #124 among the best national institutions and #96 in best value schools. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #12 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#17 – Ball State University

Online Master’s in Special Education

Muncie, Indiana

Website

Ball State University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
Ball State’s online master’s in special education is 100% online!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,216

Ball State University’s online M.Ed. special education degree program requires no GRE scores for admission and can be completed entirely online. The 100% online master’s degree in special education can be used toward various licensing programs, though does not provide an initial teaching license. Some of the specialization and certificate options include applied behavior analysis, autism, disabilities for post-secondary settings, emotional and behavioral disorders, and response to intervention. A total of 30 credits of graduate course work is required. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank Ball State #187 in best national universities and #99 in top public schools. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #36 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#16 – University of North Dakota

Online M.Ed. in Special Education

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Website

University of North Dakota - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,189

University of North Dakota offers an online master’s in special education degree program designed to prepare students for careers as special educators. The M.Ed. degree emphasizes teaching and is an approved teacher certification program in special education. The 32-credit hour program is fully online and takes approximately 1.5 years to complete. Courses are taught by university professors and include behavior management, identification and assessment, inclusive methods, and legal and ethical practices. Admission to the program requires an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank UND #192 in best national universities and #25 in most innovative schools. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #70 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#15 – Liberty University

Online M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction – Special Education

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Liberty University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
NCATE-accredited – Liberty University’s master’s in special education online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,723

The master’s in special education online degree at Liberty University is a 36-credit program that can be completed in 1.5 years. Up to 50 percent of credits may be transferred to the NCATE-accredited program. Classes are delivered entirely online and designed to run eight weeks in length. Some of these classes include collaborating for successful inclusive classrooms, foundations of education, foundations of exceptionality, and technology and diversity. To be admitted, applicants must hold a regionally or nationally accredited bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 undergraduate GPA. U.S. News and World Report ranks Liberty as a top 300 national university. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #190 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#14 – University of Oklahoma

Online Master of Special Education

Norman, Oklahoma

Website

University of Oklahoma - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
University of Oklahoma’s online master’s in special education is ranked and accredited.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,577

University of Oklahoma offers online special education masters degrees comprised of online coursework, field experiences, and independent study. Individuals who successfully complete the program assume professional roles such as behavior analysts, special education teachers, and transition specialists. Admission requires an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better. Required courses include applied behavior analysis in school settings, contemporary issues and research, introduction to research and evaluation in education, and special education instructional methods and programs. U.S. News and World Report ranks University of Oklahoma #97 in best national universities and #128 in best value schools. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #125 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#13 – University of Arkansas

Online M.Ed. in Special Education

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Website

University of Arkansas - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
University of Arkansas offers online special education master’s degrees designed for working teachers.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,571

University of Arkansas offers an online M.Ed. special education program that can be completed entirely via distance learning. All classes are taught and delivered online by nationally recognized faculty. Courses include content area reading in elementary grades, disciplinary and interdisciplinary literacies in education, social and emotional components of gifted and talented students, and theory and research in arts integration. To be admitted to the program, applicants must have an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better. GRE scores and three letters of recommendation are also required. U.S. News and World Report ranks the online graduate education programs #56 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#12 – Emporia State University

Online Master’s in Special Education

Emporia, Kansas

Website

Emporia State University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
Emporia State University’s online master’s in special education program is open to licensed teachers.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,027

Emporia State University offers an online special education degree designed for teachers with a current teaching license and undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. Classes are delivered online and taught by the same university professors who lead on-campus courses. Some of the required classes include assessment in schools, consultation and collaboration, promoting literacy for students with high incidence disabilities, and strategies for students with high incidence disabilities. U.S. News and World Report ranks Emporia #122 in best regional universities in the Midwest and #37 in top public schools. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #99 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#11 – Appalachian State University

Online Master’s in Special Education

Boone, North Carolina

Website

Appalachian State University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
Appalachian State University’s online master’s in special education requires some face-to-face meetings.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,899

Appalachian State University’s special education online degrees include the hybrid master’s in special education. This 36-credit hour program combines face-to-face and online courses while preparing students to work with individuals with intellectual disabilities and/or emotional and behavioral disorders. Students take two classes per semester with evening or online meeting times. The program design follows a two-year course. Required courses include classroom management for effective instruction, product of learning, research informing practice in special education, and special education law and leadership. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank Appalachian State #9 in best regional universities in the South. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #36 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#10 – Texas Tech University

Online M.Ed. in Special Education

Lubbock, Texas

Website

Texas Tech University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
Texas Tech offers master’s in special education online degree programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,849

Texas Tech University’s online master’s in special education is a 36-credit hour program that requires applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. While GRE scores are not required for admission, students are strongly encouraged to submit GRE scores to the department as a supplement to the application. The program offers various areas of emphasis that allow students to tailor their degree toward specific career goals. These emphasis areas include applied behavior analysis, autism, deaf education, educational diagnostician, generic special education, orientation and mobility, transition, and visual impairment. U.S. News and World Report ranks Texas Tech #176 in best national universities and #95 in top public schools. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #150 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#9 – University of North Carolina

Online M.Ed. in Special Education

Charlotte, North Carolina

Website

University of North Carolina - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
UNC offers accredited master’s in special education online degree programs for working teachers.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,357

University of North Carolina Charlotte offers online special education master’s degrees that can be completed entirely online. The M.Ed. in special education is offered along with an emphasis in the academically or intellectually gifted. The program is open to experienced K-12 teachers who hold a minimum of a Standard Professional 1 (SP1) or initial teaching license and have the desire to tailor their special ed degree in the area of gifted and talented students. Classes are delivered 100% online and taught by the same university professors who instruct on campus. The program is accredited and has received rankings from major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the online graduate education programs rank #21 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#8 – Georgia College & State University

Online M.Ed. in Special Education

Milledgeville, Georgia

Website

Georgia College & State University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
Affordable and accredited! Georgia College’s online master’s in special education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,206

The online special education master’s degree program at Georgia College and State University is open to teachers who hold a level four teaching certificate from the State of Georgia. Admission requires verification of the Georgia T4 certification, verification of immunization, and a satisfactory undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or better. Classes are delivered online and include advanced classroom management, applied behavioral analysis, introduction to school improvement, legal issues in special education, models of inquiry, and research in behavioral issues. U.S. News and World Report ranks Georgia College #31 in best regional universities in the South. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #115 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#7 – University of West Alabama

Online M.Ed. in Special Education

Livingston, Alabama

Website

University of West Alabama - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
University of West Alabama’s online master’s in special education is top ranked.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,868

The accredited online master’s in special education program at the University of West Alabama is designed to prepare students to become effective special education teachers. The program is open to educators seeking a master’s level degree and career advancement in classroom and specialty roles. Courses are delivered online to provide convenience for working educators. These courses include advanced educational psychology, foundations of education, introduction to special education, techniques of educational research, and technology and education. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the school #114-#142 in best regional universities in the South. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #224-#291 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#6 – Kennesaw State University

Online M.Ed. in Special Education

Kennesaw, Georgia

Website

Kennesaw State University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
100% online – Kennesaw State’s online master’s in special education degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,857

Kennesaw State University offers a master’s in special education online degree program designed to prepare educators to be teacher-leaders in special education. The program is fully accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and takes approximately 18-24 months to complete. Courses are taught online by university professors and consist of a total of 36 credits. These courses include assessment for diverse learners, collaborative practices, data based inquiry, foundations of special education, and positive behavior intervention supports. U.S. News and World Report ranks Kennesaw as a top national university. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #219 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#5 – Western Governors University

Online Master’s in Special Education

Salt Lake City, Utah

Website

Western Governors University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
WGU’s master’s in special education online program is 100% online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,790

Western Governors University offers special education online degrees, including the master’s in special education (K-12). The program is designed for certified teachers who want to earn additional credentials in special education. Online courses and a practicum of 240 hours of in-class supervised teaching with exceptional learners are required. A series of 12 courses can be taken entirely online. These courses include behavioral management and intervention, instructional models and design – supervision and culturally responsive teaching, introduction to special education and law and legal issues, and psychoeducational assessment practices and IEP development. U.S. News and World Report ranks Western Governors as a top regional university in the West.

#4 – The University of Texas

Online M.Ed. in Special Education

Tyler, Texas

Website

The University of Texas - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
University of Texas offers an accredited online master’s in special education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,700

The School of Education at the University of Texas Tyler offers a master’s in special education online degree program designed for currently employed full-time, K-12 teachers. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and teacher certification in the state of Texas. Applicants must also pass a criminal background check. Courses are delivered online and include assessment of individual mental ability, behavioral disorders, developmental testing, learning theory as applied to individuals with disabilities, and a practicum in special education. U.S. News and World Report ranks UT Tyler #90 in best regional universities in the West and #34 in top public schools.

#3 – Arkansas State University

Online Master’s in Special Education

Jonesboro, Arkansas

Website

Arkansas State University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
100% online – Arkansas State University’s master’s in special education online degree takes 16 months to complete.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,121

One of the most affordable online M.Ed. special education programs on our list is the Master of Science in Education (MSE) for Special Education – Instructional Specialist (K-12) program at Arkansas State University. This fully online master’s degree can be earned in as little as 16 months by taking online classes taught by university professors. Courses include characteristics of individuals with disabilities, contemporary issues in special education, educational diagnosis and assessment in special education, philosophies of education, and positive behavior interventions and supports. U.S. News and World Report ranks Arkansas State #68 in best regional universities in the South and #25 in top public schools. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #180 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#2 – Fort Hays State University

Online Master’s in High-Incidence Special Education

Hays, Kansas

Website

Fort Hays State University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
Fort Hays State’s master’s in special education online focuses on high-incidence special education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $4,162

One of the most affordable choices for an online master’s in special education is the master’s in high-incidence special education online degree from Fort Hays State University. This 36-credit hour program infuses technology through the online curriculum and provides coursework designed to promote critical thinking and reflection. Students typically earn their degree in just 18-24 months. To be admitted to the program, applicants must provide a copy of a teaching license, two outside personal recommendations, and hold an undergraduate degree. Classes include behavior management in schools, methods and materials for exceptional students, and technology in special education. U.S. News and World Report ranks Fort Hays State’s online graduate education programs #62 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#1 – Fitchburg State University

Online M.Ed. in Special Education

Fitchburg, Massachusetts

Website

Fitchburg State University - Top 50 Best Most Affordable Master’s in Special Education Degrees Online 2018
The #1 most affordable master’s in special education online program on our list is offered by Fitchburg State University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $3,828

The master’s in special education online program at Fitchburg State University combines hybrid learning (both online and on-campus) and is designed to meet the needs of students not seeking a teaching license. Rolling admission adds to the convenience and flexibility of the program. To be admitted, students must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and provide three letters of recommendation. While the program is designed to complete in just two years, students may work at their own pace and take up to six years to earn their degree. Fitchburg State University ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 137th best regional university in the North and the 46th top public school. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #224-#291 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

BCO Staff
October 2018

This concludes our list of the top 50 most affordable online master’s in special education degree programs of 2019.