Top 19 Online Schools for Bachelor’s in Special Education

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If you want to make a real difference in other people’s lives, a career in assisting children and young adults with special needs can sound like the best choice for you.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for special education teachers is projected to grow 3 percent from 2018 to 2028.

Specialists in special education will continue to be needed because disabilities are being identified earlier and special needs children are often enrolled in educational programs designed specifically for them.

An online Bachelor’s Degree program in the field of Special Education will teach you how to handle and assess a variety of situations that can arise when working with children with disabilities.

To help you choose the program that best meets your needs, we have selected a list of reputable schools that offer education in this field.

So, if you want a high-quality program that can be completed fully online, we invite you to take a look at the list below.


University of Georgia

The University of Georgia offers an online Bachelor of Science in Special Education that includes both certification and degree completion pathways.

The program is designed to equip teacher candidates with the skills to evaluate, structure, and oversee the progress of students with learning disabilities in grades preschool through 12th grade.

Students enrolled in this program take a variety of courses, including Contemporary Issues, Behavior Management, and Assistive and Learning Technologies.

Students need a total of 121 semester hours to earn this degree.

Tuition is $4,682 per semester for Georgia residents.

Student fees sum up to $597 per semester.

The University of Georgia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

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Liberty University

The fully online Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education provided by Liberty University is designed for students who want to pursue their vocational calling of working with elementary or secondary school students who are affected by mental or physical disabilities.

Students need 120 degrees to earn this degree.

The program is completed, on average, in 3.5 years.

The curriculum includes a variety of courses, including Principles of Education, Learning and Behavioral Problems, and Classroom Management for Teachers.

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

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Ball State University

Offering online courses and degrees since the 1990s, Ball State University provides the largest arrays of online educator programs of any university in the U.S.

The university’s catalog includes a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education with a built-in minor in early childhood special education.

Being designed for people who have an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education, the program aims to meet the needs of child care professionals who are already working full time.

The curriculum covers a variety of topics, including Early Emergent Literacy, Literature for Young Children, and Culture and Language in Teaching and Learning.

Graduates can start careers in a variety of educational settings, including Pre-K or preschool, Head Start program, Early Childhood, or home-based services.

Online Indiana students pay $334 per credit while out-of-state students pay $543 per credit.

Ball State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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University of West Alabama

The University of West Alabama offers a hybrid program that provides students with certification in Collaborative Teacher/Special Education K-6/6-12.

The online format is taught by leading trainers of education and is tailored for working teachers.

The curriculum covers topics on Measurement and Assessment, Technology Portfolio, Educational Psychology, and more.

Students must also complete an internship at an Alabama-approved school.

The 128-credit program can be completed in 3-4 years.

Tuition is $325 per credit hour.

The University of West Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

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East Carolina University

East Carolina University offers a fully online Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education through Partnership East.

The program prepares teachers to work with children from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Students enrolled in this program are placed in public school classrooms to observe and practice the methods they learn during classes.

An internship in a public school classroom is required in the senior year.

The curriculum covers topics on the NC Standard Course of Study and curriculum differentiation, academic, emotional, social and behavioral aspects of student development, and classroom structure and management.

East Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

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Nova Southeastern University

The Bachelor of Science in Exceptional Student Education/ESOL offered by Nova Southeastern University focuses on teaching the skills needed when working with students with multiple disabilities.

Students enrolled in this program also learn how to teach English as a second language (ESOL).

The curriculum covers topics on Principles of Instruction, Introduction to Language Development and Speech Disabilities, Foundations of Learning Disabilities, and more.

Graduates are ready to obtain the state certification and along with the degree, they will also receive an endorsement in ESOL and Reading.

Tuition is approximately $15,575 per semester.

Nova Southeastern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

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Northeastern State University

The B.S.Ed. Special Education offered by Northeastern State University is aligned with the Council for Exceptional Children and the Association for Childhood Education International content areas for PK-12th grade students with mild/moderate disabilities.

The program also includes elementary education certification; graduates are prepared as highly qualified special education teachers.

The curriculum covers topics such as Content Literacy K-8, Foundations, Future Trends, and Current Issues in Special Education, Instructional Strategies for Students with Disabilities, and more.

Northeastern State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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University of South Carolina Aiken

The fully online Bachelor of Arts in Special Education offered by the University of South Carolina Aiken is designed to prepare students for successful careers as teachers of special needs children in grades K-12.

The program is focused on values such as responsible citizenship, respect for diversity, and cross-cultural understanding.

Certified South Carolina teachers can add-on certification in Special Education by taking classes that are included in this program.

Students enrolled in this program take classes on a variety of topics, such as Assessment of Reading in Elementary Education, Methods and Materials for Teaching People with Learning Disabilities, Behavior Intervention and Management, just to name a few.

The University of South Carolina Aiken is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

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University of West Georgia

The University of West Georgia offers a Bachelor of Science in Special Education that includes two tracks: General Curriculum and Adapted Curriculum.

Students who complete this program and meet the additional requirements of the state certification agency are eligible for Georgia Level 4 certification.

After earning this certification, teachers are qualified to work with students with disabilities in grades P-12.

The coursework includes classes such as Mild Disabilities: Methods of Instruction, Collaboration in School Settings, and Integrating Technology into the Curriculum, among others.

The University of West Georgia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

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Saint Mary of the Woods College

Another great place where you can earn a degree in special education is Saint Mary of the Woods College.

The College offers two programs in the field, namely a Bachelor of Science with an emphasis on Preschool-Grade 3/ Mild Intervention and a program that emphasizes K- Grade 6/Mild Intervention.

The programs are designed for students who are interested in providing high-quality educational experiences for young students.

The curriculum combines developmental courses with special education courses and gives candidates the possibility of becoming dually licensed in preschool to grade 3 in early childhood special education.

Students enrolled in this program take classes in a variety of topics, such as Music, Movement, the Arts, Philosophical and Ethical Foundations of Education, and Education in Global Society.

Saint Mary of the Woods College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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Stephen F. Austin State University

The Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies offered by Stephen F. Austin State University includes a concentration in special education and EC-12 special education teacher certification.

The degree is designed for students who want to earn a special education degree online.

The program includes a variety of classes, such as Functional Living Skills for People with Disabilities, Assistive Technology for Persons with Disabilities, and a Practicum in Special Education, just to name a few.

The program modeled after the EC-6 online completer program developed by the Department of Elementary Education at SFASU received the Star Award from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in 2008.

Stephen F. Austin State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

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Mayville State University

The online Bachelor of Science in Education offered by Mayville State University is designed for currently licensed teachers and gives them the opportunity of earning a four-year degree while remaining at home, near their work and family.

Students enrolled in this program also have the option of earning a double-major in early childhood education, elementary education, or secondary education.

The program includes classes such as Instructional Practice, Home, School, Community Relations, Remedial Reading, and more.

Tuition and fees at Mayville State online and distance courses cost $305 per credit hour, regardless of the student’s residency.

Mayville State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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Old Dominion University

The bachelor’s degree program in Special Education (Interdisciplinary Studies: Teacher Preparation) offered by Old Dominion University is available online only in Virginia and Washington State.

Students can access course materials from any location and classes can be attended online on a regular schedule.

The curriculum covers classes in Reading and Writing in Content Areas, Oral Communication, Language Acquisition and Reading for Students with Diverse Learning Needs, and more.

The program also requires a practicum or internship.

Students who graduate from this program are prepared for a teaching career in primary, elementary, and secondary levels.

Those who have additional training and experience may also qualify for positions in school administration.

Old Dominion University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

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University of Maine

Special education certification can also be earned by attending the Special Education Teaching Certification and the bachelor’s degree program offered by the University of Maine.

While taking special education courses students also earn a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies.

The program also includes 15 hours of student teaching at a school district near the student’s home.

The curriculum includes classes in Instructional Strategies, Communication and Management Skills, Best Practices, Teaching Learning Theories, and Technology Uses.

Students who complete the UMM/UMA Special Education Certification program are qualified to submit applications to the Maine Department of Education and have access to the opportunities available to those who hold a bachelor’s degree in Special Education.

The University of Maine is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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University of Wisconsin-Stout

The Bachelor of Science in Special Education offered by the University of Wisconsin-Stout is designed for teachers who want to educate students with learning, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral disabilities.

Students enrolled in this program take a variety of classes, including General Psychology, Foundations of Education, Inclusion of Students with Special Needs, and more.

Graduates are qualified to work with students ages 5 through 21, giving students a great employment potential.

The University of Wisconsin-Stout is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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Touro University Worldwide

The fully online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology offered by Touro University Worldwide includes a Concentration in Special Education.

Students who attend this program learn the skills to apply psychological principles in the field of special education.

The curriculum includes courses in Education Psychology, Theories of Reading, Issues in Learning Disabilities, and more.

Tuition for the 120-credit program is $400 per credit hour.

Graduates are ready to work in school or counseling settings or to pursue graduate programs in educational psychology or special education.

Touro University Worldwide is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission.

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Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University offers a Bachelor of Science that is available online in evening cohorts or on the traditional campus in Phoenix.

The program is a dual degree in Elementary Education and Special Education.

Core courses focus on pedagogy, classroom management, and special education.

Students enrolled in this program learn how to adapt learning and teaching techniques for students with disabilities.

The curriculum includes courses such as Research-Based Methods and Strategies of Teaching Mathematics, Foundational Literacy Skills and Phonics, and Collaborations and Communications in Special Education.

The degree is regionally accredited and approved by the Arizona State Board of Education.

Grand Canyon University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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Fontbonne University

Located in Saint Louis, Missouri, Fontbonne University provides a Special Education Major – Paraprofessional Pathways program that leads to certification and a bachelor’s degree.

Graduates earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education and a certification in K-12 mild/moderate cross-categorial.

Fontbonne University’s faculty members are professionals with experience in their field.

Students may continue working while completing this program.

The curriculum includes classes in Methods of Teaching Literacy, Analysis, and Correction of Reading Disabilities, and Introduction to Learner Diversities, just to name a few.

Fontbonne University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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Colorado Christian University

Colorado Christian University offers a Bachelor of Liberal Arts with Special Education Generalist Licensing designed specifically for adult students.

Students who complete this program earn a Bachelor of Arts degree as well as a teaching license that qualifies them for teaching K-12 special education in public, private, international, and public charter schools.

After completing this program, graduates can apply for the Colorado teaching license offered by the Colorado Department of Education.

Out-of-state students may then use their Colorado license to apply for licensure in their home state.

The curriculum covers a variety of topics, including Secondary and Transitional Issues in Special Education, Intervention for Emotional/Behavioral Needs, and Language Development and Reading Disabilities.

The tuition rate for Major and General Education courses at Colorado Christian University is $469 per credit hour.

Colorado Christian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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Final Thoughts

If you want to become a teacher or you’re already an experienced educator who wants to work with special-needs students, a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education can equip you with the skills needed for a career in this field.

If you want to finish your education while keeping a full-time job, there are many schools that offer online programs for busy students just like you.

Now that you have read our list, it’s your turn to continue the research and choose the program that best meets your needs.

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