Skip to main content
Marti Ilg with text Marti Ilg '14

Master's in Special Education Online MEd Degree Concentration

Clock Icon
Register By: July 27 Classes Start: July 29

Earn Your Master's in Special Education Online

  • $637/credit (36 credits total)
  • Transfer up to 12 graduate credits
  • Complete in as few as 15 months
  • No GRE/GMAT required
  • Learn to build inclusive classrooms
  • Advance your career as an education leader

Online Master's in Special Education Concentration Overview

Help meet the needs of a diverse cross-section of students in the online Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Special Education program. Designed to align with 21st century learning, this online special education master's degree program provides you with a deep understanding of the issues related to teaching and learning conditions for children with mild to moderate disabilities.

With a special education master's concentration, you'll learn traditional, innovative and research-based approaches that support the instructional and transitional needs of children in inclusive classrooms from preschool through high school. The history and legislation of special education at the federal and state levels as they relate to the Education and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) also are examined.

The online special education degree prepares educators in all settings to be leaders in their field, with a global awareness across cultures and geographies. You'll explore the role of "educational leader" and what that means in both a traditional and non-traditional learning setting.

By the end of your program, you'll emerge with a ready-to-implement curriculum, along with a professional portfolio that showcases your abilities as a leader in education.

The online MEd in Curriculum and Instruction program with a Special Education master's concentration includes nine core education courses and three courses specific to special education.

Licensure Information

The online MEd in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Special Education degree program does not lead to licensure. SNHU also offers online post-licensure Master of Education (MEd) programs for currently licensed individuals who are interested in furthering their professional development and enhancing their credentials.

However, since state requirements for adding endorsements vary greatly, SNHU does not guarantee that the completion of those programs will result in rank, endorsements and/or salary increases and strongly encourages interested individuals to contact their state licensure board prior to enrolling.

SNHU provides additional information for education programs on our Licensure and Certification Disclosures page. View disclosure information.

What You'll Learn

  • Theory-informed curriculum design that addresses learning complexities
  • Unique needs of learners with different backgrounds, abilities and experiences
  • Analysis of learner assessment data to guide teaching decisions
  • Applications of technology in curricular design to aid students in problem-solving
  • Leadership skills that promote ethical, reflective and inclusive education

How You'll Learn

At SNHU, you'll get support from day 1 to graduation and beyond. And with no set class times, 24/7 access to the online classroom and helpful learning resources along the way, you'll have everything you need to reach your goals.

Career Outlook

The last century has seen major advances in the area of special education. From the emergence of advocacy groups in the 1930s to groundbreaking legislation in the Civil Rights-era, the nation has taken significant strides toward inclusive classrooms and learning.

According to the National Education Association (NEA), enrollment in special education programs has grown by 30% in the last decade.1 Recent numbers suggest even greater advancements to come. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also projects that about 33,500 jobs could be added for special education teachers through 2032.2 

In addition, jobs for training and development specialists are projected to grow 6% and instructional coordinators 2% in the same time period.

The message is clear: the world needs education leaders – especially those who can advocate for all learners.

Job Growth

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for instructional coordinators is set to grow 2% through 2032.2


The median annual salary for instructional coordinators was $66,490 in May 2022.²

Understanding the Numbers
When reviewing job growth and salary information, it’s important to remember that actual numbers can vary due to many different factors — like years of experience in the role, industry of employment, geographic location, worker skill and economic conditions. Cited projections do not guarantee actual salary or job growth.

Patrice Pilgrim-Wright '19, understands the power of education.

In 2015, she moved to the U.S., determined to make a better life for herself, her kids and ultimately, her students.

That determination helped her earn two degrees – including an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Special Education – within 5 years.

"This degree has helped open doors for me," Pilgrim-Wright said. "It helped showcase to my administrator and principal that I have the technical knowledge I need to hold the SST Chair position at my school."

Beyond that, the program helped her "build in the supports and scaffolds necessary to support all learners in the classroom."

Now, Pilgrim-Wright is working toward a world where all children – regardless of their differences – can unlock their full potential.

"My hope for the future is to become an even bigger advocate and champion for the students in my district," she said. "Having a learning disability does not make them less than their fellow students, it just means that they need to be supported differently."

Please note: Instructional coordinators in public schools may be required to have a teaching license or an education administrator license.

Where Could You Work?

Common industries that employ special education teachers, according to the BLS¹, include:

Elementary Schools

Assess the skills of young students and adapt curriculum to meet their unique needs. Plan activities specific to each student's skillset.

Middle Schools

Aid students and parents with transitions between grades. Discuss student progress with parents, teachers and school administrators as needed.

High Schools

Develop Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) tailored to each student. Assess student performance and make changes to ensure their success.

In the Home

Work 1:1 with students — typically toddler or preschool-age — in their home environment. Assist with early learning, sensory processing, behavior and other skills.

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Master's in Special Education

A headshot of Patrice Pilgrim-Wright smiling.

What SNHU Students Are Saying

Patrice Pilgrim-Wright '19

"SNHU provides the support needed at every level and at every stage to ensure student success."

Courses & Curriculum

The online curriculum and instruction master's degree in special education is designed for K-12 educators who are leading in the area of curriculum and instruction. The program includes 12 courses, three of which are focused on special education.

The online MEd in Curriculum and Instruction can help prepare educators to support various student populations in all settings, including elementary and secondary public and private schools, charter schools and home schools.

Courses may include:

  • Assessment of Student Performance. Get an overview of practical performance assessments that can be used to measure student progress in the general education setting. Explore a repertoire of authentic assessments and progress monitoring tools including formative and summative assessments, diagnostic tools, performance tasks, criteria checklists, rubrics, student portfolios and the use of multiple sources of data in measuring student performance.
  • Expressive Language-Skill and Writing. Focus on strategies to help support expressive language skills for students with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities, primarily for writing. Learn how to scaffold the writing process, build appropriate foundational skills and understand the hidden demands of writing for students with language-based learning disabilities. Draw from relevant research on expressive language arts to develop practical teaching strategies for your own learning environments.
  • Executive Function & Study Skills. Learn how to aid students with language-based learning disabilities, many of whom struggle with the cognitive and self-regulating tasks associated with executive function. Assist with tasks including organizing time, materials and information, preparing for work, managing frustration, accessing memory and self-monitoring one's progress. Identify research-based strategies that increase and improve executive function through the use of effective study skills. While this course will explore relevant research on language-based learning disabilities and executive function, the emphasis will be placed on the practical teaching skills drawn from Landmark's Six Teaching Principles. These principles, which will be integrated throughout the course, will encourage you to provide structured opportunities for students to achieve success, use multiple instructional modalities, create skill-based micro unit tasks, ensure student skill automatization through practice and review, provide models and include the student in the learning process.

It's important to note that earning your MEd in Special Education at SNHU will not result in licensure. For specific rules and regulations regarding teaching licensure in your area, please consult your local state laws.

University Accreditation

New England Commission of Higher Education Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Online Graduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 15 credits 
Degree/Certificates $1,911 $637 $9,555 
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*
$1,410 $470 $7,050 

Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
*Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs:
Course Materials ($ varies by course). Foundational courses may be required based on your undergraduate course history, which may result in additional cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

Related Articles

A man with a light blue shirt and glasses looking up how to stay motivated in college on a laptop.

How to Stay Motivated in College: 5 Tips for Student Success

Looking for extra motivation to do well in college? Discover 5 tips from SNHU academic advisors to help you persevere and succeed as you earn your degree. The tips include pursuing your passions, staying organized, leaning on your support system, celebrating every win and embracing the journey.
A person with a laptop and notebook, considering the difference between a bachelor's degree and a master's degree.

What is the Difference Between Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees?

Bachelor’s degree and master’s degree programs differ in the number of credit hours required and in their depth of content focus. A master's degree can build upon the skills you learned in your bachelor's degree and help you advance your career in many fields.
A woman sitting in on a meeting with two other people discussing what an MS degree is

What is an MS Degree?

Earning your bachelor's degree is an essential first step to becoming educated in your desired field, but you can take it further. An MS degree is a graduate degree that contains different programs that fall under the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.