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2022 Most Popular Master's Degree Colleges for Special Education

627 Colleges in the United States
19,550 Master's Degrees
Ranked #9 in popularity, special education is one of the most sought-after master's degree programs in the nation. So, there are lots of possibilities to explore when you're trying to determine where you want to get your degree.

College Factual looked at 627 colleges and universities when compiling its 2022 Most Popular Master's Degree Colleges for Special Education ranking. Combined, these schools handed out 19,550 master's degrees in special education to qualified students.

What's on this page:

Choosing a Great Special Education School for Your Master's Degree

Most Popular Master's Degree Colleges for Special Education The special ed master's degree program you select can have a big impact on your future. One of the reasons we created our Most Popular Master's Degree Colleges for Special Education ranking is to help you make that choice.

Being popular does not always equate to overall quality, but a school with a large number of special education students usually has them for a reason. Sometimes this is because the school offers a great educational experience, it is a good value, or it is highly focused on the program.

One Size Does Not Fit All

This ranking is just one of the many we have created. First of all, if you are interested in other degree levels, you may want to take a look at one of the rankings highlighted above. Also, if you are interested in attending school in a specific part of the country, see our rankings by location. Plus, you can view our other rankings for special education.

Below you'll see a list of the most popular colleges and universities for pursuing a master's degree in special education. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

25 Most Well Attended Schools for Special Ed Students Working on Their Master's

#1

Ball State University

Muncie, IN
1,214 Annual Master's Degrees
#1 Most Popular In IN
#1 Best Quality In IN

Any student pursuing a degree in a master's degree in special education needs to take a look at Ball State University. Located in the small city of Muncie, Ball State is a public university with a fairly large student population. This isn't the only ranking where the school placed. It's also #1 in quality for master's degrees in special education in Indiana.

There were approximately 1,214 special education students who graduated with this degree at Ball State in the most recent data year.

Master's students who receive their degree from the special ed program earn about $46,400 in their early career salary.

More information about a master’s in special education from Ball State University

#2

Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, AZ
1,202 Annual Master's Degrees
#1 Most Popular In AZ
#4 Best Quality In AZ

Grand Canyon University is a popular option for students interested in a master's degree in special education. Grand Canyon University is a fairly large private for-profit university located in the city of Phoenix. You also may be intersted to know that the school ranks #4 in quality for master's degrees in special education in Arizona.

There were approximately 1,202 special education students who graduated with this degree at Grand Canyon University in the most recent data year.

Students who graduate with their master's from the special ed program report average early career wages of $43,300.

More information about a master’s in special education from Grand Canyon University

#3

Touro College

New York, NY
571 Annual Master's Degrees
#1 Most Popular In NY
#13 Best Quality In NY

Touro College is a popular choice for individuals pursuing a master's degree in special education. Touro is a large private not-for-profit college located in the large city of New York.

There were approximately 571 special education individuals who graduated with this degree at Touro in the most recent year we have data available.

Master's recipients from the special education program at Touro College get $13,090 above the standard college grad in this field when they enter the workforce.

More information about a master’s in special education from Touro College

441 Annual Master's Degrees
#2 Most Popular In AZ
#1 Best Quality In AZ

Arizona State University - Skysong is one of the most popular schools in the country for getting a master's degree in special education. ASU - Skysong is a fairly large public university located in the large city of Scottsdale. Potential students might also be interested to know that the school ranks #1 in quality for master's degrees in special education in Arizona.

There were approximately 441 special education individuals who graduated with this degree at ASU - Skysong in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a master’s in special education from Arizona State University - Skysong

#5

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA
341 Annual Master's Degrees
#1 Most Popular In VA
#1 Best Quality In VA

Located in the suburb of Fairfax, GMU is a public university with a very large student population. You also may be intersted to know that the school ranks #1 in quality for master's degrees in special education in Virginia.

There were approximately 341 special education students who graduated with this degree at GMU in the most recent data year.

Master's recipients from the special education degree program at George Mason University get $8,090 more than the typical college graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

More information about a master’s in special education from George Mason University

#6

Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, UT
337 Annual Master's Degrees
#1 Most Popular In UT
#2 Best Quality In UT

Located in the suburb of Salt Lake City, WGU is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. You also may be intersted to know that the school ranks #2 in quality for master's degrees in special education in Utah.

There were about 337 special education individuals who graduated with this degree at WGU in the most recent data year.

Master's students who receive their degree from the special ed program earn an average of $47,300 in their early career salary.

More information about a master’s in special education from Western Governors University

#7

National University

La Jolla, CA
315 Annual Master's Degrees
#1 Most Popular In CA
#5 Best Quality In CA

National University is a large private not-for-profit university located in the city of La Jolla. You also may be intersted to know that the school ranks #5 in quality for master's degrees in special education in California.

There were roughly 315 special education individuals who graduated with this degree at National University in the most recent year we have data available.

Special Education master's degree recipients from National University get an earnings boost of about $11,490 over the average earnings of special education graduates.

More information about a master’s in special education from National University

#7

Hunter College

New York, NY
315 Annual Master's Degrees
#2 Most Popular In NY
#3 Best Quality In NY

Hunter is a fairly large public college located in the large city of New York. This isn't the only ranking where the school placed. It's also #3 in quality for master's degrees in special education in New York.

There were approximately 315 special education students who graduated with this degree at Hunter in the most recent year we have data available.

Special Education master's degree recipients from Hunter College get an earnings boost of around $14,990 above the typical earnings of special education majors.

More information about a master’s in special education from Hunter College

#9

Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA
290 Annual Master's Degrees
#2 Most Popular In VA
#9 Best Quality In VA

Liberty University is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Lynchburg. Potential students might also be interested to know that the school ranks #9 in quality for master's degrees in special education in Virginia.

There were roughly 290 special education students who graduated with this degree at Liberty University in the most recent data year.

Master's students who receive their degree from the special ed program make an average of $41,900 in their early career salary.

More information about a master’s in special education from Liberty University

#10

Concordia College - New York

Bronxville, NY
238 Annual Master's Degrees
#3 Most Popular In NY
#16 Best Quality In NY

Located in the suburb of Bronxville, Concordia College - New York is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

There were approximately 238 special education students who graduated with this degree at Concordia College - New York in the most recent data year.

More information about a master’s in special education from Concordia College - New York

#11

Pace University - New York

New York, NY
176 Annual Master's Degrees
#4 Most Popular In NY
#7 Best Quality In NY

Pace University is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of New York. Potential students might also be interested to know that the school ranks #7 in quality for master's degrees in special education in New York.

There were approximately 176 special education individuals who graduated with this degree at Pace University in the most recent data year.

Master's recipients from the special education program at Pace University - New York earn $15,990 more than the typical college grad with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a master’s in special education from Pace University - New York

#12

Brooklyn College

Brooklyn, NY
171 Annual Master's Degrees
#5 Most Popular In NY
#9 Best Quality In NY

Located in the large city of Brooklyn, Brooklyn College is a public college with a large student population. This isn't the only ranking where the school placed. It's also #9 in quality for master's degrees in special education in New York.

There were approximately 171 special education individuals who graduated with this degree at Brooklyn College in the most recent data year.

Master's recipients from the special education degree program at Brooklyn College get $18,390 above the average graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

More information about a master’s in special education from Brooklyn College

#13

Daemen College

Amherst, NY
165 Annual Master's Degrees
#6 Most Popular In NY
#32 Best Quality In NY

Located in the suburb of Amherst, Daemen College is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

There were roughly 165 special education individuals who graduated with this degree at Daemen College in the most recent data year.

More information about a master’s in special education from Daemen College

#14

Endicott College

Beverly, MA
162 Annual Master's Degrees
#1 Most Popular In MA
#2 Best Quality In MA

Located in the suburb of Beverly, Endicott is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This isn't the only ranking where the school placed. It's also #2 in quality for master's degrees in special education in Massachusetts.

There were roughly 162 special education individuals who graduated with this degree at Endicott in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a master’s in special education from Endicott College

#15

University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, ND
156 Annual Master's Degrees
#1 Most Popular In ND
#1 Best Quality In ND

UND is a fairly large public university located in the small city of Grand Forks. This isn't the only ranking where the school placed. It's also #1 in quality for master's degrees in special education in North Dakota.

There were about 156 special education individuals who graduated with this degree at UND in the most recent year we have data available.

Master's graduates who receive their degree from the special ed program earn around $46,000 in the first couple years of their career.

More information about a master’s in special education from University of North Dakota

152 Annual Master's Degrees
#1 Most Popular In AR
#3 Best Quality In AR

Located in the small city of Jonesboro, A-State is a public university with a large student population. Potential students might also be interested to know that the school ranks #3 in quality for master's degrees in special education in Arkansas.

There were roughly 152 special education individuals who graduated with this degree at A-State in the most recent data year.

Students who graduate with their master's from the special ed program state that they receive average early career wages of $43,700.

More information about a master’s in special education from Arkansas State University - Main Campus

#17

Brandman University

Irvine, CA
143 Annual Master's Degrees
#2 Most Popular In CA
#1 Best Quality In CA

Brandman is a large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Irvine. You also may be intersted to know that the school ranks #1 in quality for master's degrees in special education in California.

There were roughly 143 special education individuals who graduated with this degree at Brandman in the most recent data year.

More information about a master’s in special education from Brandman University

#18

American International College

Springfield, MA
141 Annual Master's Degrees
#2 Most Popular In MA
#11 Best Quality In MA

AIC is a small private not-for-profit college located in the midsize city of Springfield.

There were roughly 141 special education students who graduated with this degree at AIC in the most recent year we have data available.

Master's students who receive their degree from the special ed program make about $49,200 in the first couple years of working.

More information about a master’s in special education from American International College

#19

LIU Post

Brookville, NY
139 Annual Master's Degrees
#7 Most Popular In NY
#14 Best Quality In NY

Located in the large suburb of Brookville, LIU Post is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

There were roughly 139 special education students who graduated with this degree at LIU Post in the most recent year we have data available.

Those special education students who get their master's degree from LIU Post earn $14,490 more than the typical special ed student.

More information about a master’s in special education from LIU Post

137 Annual Master's Degrees
#1 Most Popular In FL
#3 Best Quality In FL

UWF is a fairly large public university located in the city of Pensacola. This isn't the only ranking where the school placed. It's also #3 in quality for master's degrees in special education in Florida.

There were roughly 137 special education individuals who graduated with this degree at UWF in the most recent year we have data available.

After graduation, special ed master's recipients generally earn about $47,400 in the first five years of their career.

More information about a master’s in special education from The University of West Florida

#21

Lamar University

Beaumont, TX
134 Annual Master's Degrees
#1 Most Popular In TX
#15 Best Quality In TX

Located in the midsize city of Beaumont, Lamar University is a public university with a fairly large student population.

There were approximately 134 special education students who graduated with this degree at Lamar University in the most recent data year.

Master's graduates who receive their degree from the special ed program earn an average of $49,800 in the first couple years of their career.

More information about a master’s in special education from Lamar University

#21

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX
134 Annual Master's Degrees
#1 Most Popular In TX
#5 Best Quality In TX

Located in the city of Lubbock, Texas Tech is a public university with a fairly large student population. This isn't the only ranking where the school placed. It's also #5 in quality for master's degrees in special education in Texas.

There were about 134 special education individuals who graduated with this degree at Texas Tech in the most recent year we have data available.

After graduating, special ed master's recipients typically make an average of $46,800 at the beginning of their careers.

More information about a master’s in special education from Texas Tech University

128 Annual Master's Degrees
#3 Most Popular In CA
#30 Best Quality In CA

Located in the city of San Diego, UAGC is a private for-profit university with a fairly large student population.

There were about 128 special education students who graduated with this degree at UAGC in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a master’s in special education from The University of Arizona Global Campus

#24

University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg, KY
126 Annual Master's Degrees
#1 Most Popular In KY
#3 Best Quality In KY

Located in the remote town of Williamsburg, Cumberlands is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. This isn't the only ranking where the school placed. It's also #3 in quality for master's degrees in special education in Kentucky.

There were roughly 126 special education students who graduated with this degree at Cumberlands in the most recent year we have data available.

After graduating, special ed master's recipients typically make an average of $37,200 at the beginning of their careers.

More information about a master’s in special education from University of the Cumberlands

121 Annual Master's Degrees
#1 Most Popular In NV
#1 Best Quality In NV

Located in the city of Las Vegas, UNLV is a public university with a fairly large student population. This isn't the only ranking where the school placed. It's also #1 in quality for master's degrees in special education in Nevada.

There were about 121 special education students who graduated with this degree at UNLV in the most recent data year.

Master's graduates who receive their degree from the special ed program earn an average of $50,300 in their early career salary.

More information about a master’s in special education from University of Nevada - Las Vegas

#28

Fitchburg State University

Fitchburg, MA
#29

Morningside College

Sioux City, IA
#31

University of Kansas

Lawrence, KS

#32

Saint Joseph's University

Philadelphia, PA

#33

University of Saint Joseph

West Hartford, CT
#34

University of West Alabama

Livingston, AL
#35

Bridgewater State University

Bridgewater, MA
#37

Georgetown College

Georgetown, KY
#38

Cambridge College

Boston, MA
#40

William Carey University

Hattiesburg, MS

#45

Wilmington University

New Castle, DE
#45

Eastern Michigan University

Ypsilanti, MI
#47

Portland State University

Portland, OR
#48

Georgia State University

Atlanta, GA

Additional Award Winners

This section represents the rest of the schools awarded a Most Popular Master's Degree Colleges for Special Education badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 627 different United States special education schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
49 Western Oregon University Monmouth, OR
51 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
52 Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Winona, MN
53 Simmons University Boston, MA
54 Manhattanville College Purchase, NY
54 Teachers College at Columbia University New York, NY
54 Lesley University Cambridge, MA
57 University of Toledo Toledo, OH
57 Towson University Towson, MD
59 California University of Pennsylvania California, PA
59 Florida International University Miami, FL
61 University of St Thomas Minnesota Saint Paul, MN
61 Holy Family University Philadelphia, PA
63 Mississippi College Clinton, MS
63 The College of New Jersey Ewing, NJ
65 California State University - San Bernardino San Bernardino, CA
65 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
65 Merrimack College North Andover, MA
65 Queens College Queens, NY
69 Southern Connecticut State University New Haven, CT
69 Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, KY
71 Kean University Union, NJ
72 University of North Texas Denton, TX
72 San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA
74 Concordia University, Saint Paul Saint Paul, MN
75 New Jersey City University Jersey City, NJ
76 Molloy College Rockville Centre, NY
76 Rowan University Glassboro, NJ
78 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
78 Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
78 University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu, HI
78 University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, NE
78 National Louis University Chicago, IL
83 Oakland University Rochester Hills, MI
83 The City College of New York New York, NY
83 Central Connecticut State University New Britain, CT
86 Elms College Chicopee, MA
86 Northern Illinois University Dekalb, IL
86 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ
86 Arizona State University - Tempe Tempe, AZ
90 Niagara University Niagara University, NY
90 University of Maine Orono, ME
92 Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA
93 Miami University - Oxford Oxford, OH
94 Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, MI
94 SUNY Plattsburgh Plattsburgh, NY
94 West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester, PA
94 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT

Honorable Mentions

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Most Popular Master's Degree Colleges for Special Education award.

Rank College Location
98 University of Wisconsin - Superior Superior, WI
98 Lehman College Bronx, NY
100 Emporia State University Emporia, KS
100 University of Missouri - Columbia Columbia, MO
102 Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT
102 College of Staten Island CUNY Staten Island, NY
102 Capella University Minneapolis, MN
102 West Virginia University Morgantown, WV
102 Hofstra University Hempstead, NY
102 Cardinal Stritch University Milwaukee, WI
108 Northwest Missouri State University Maryville, MO
108 Boston University Boston, MA
108 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
108 Cleveland State University Cleveland, OH
112 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
112 University of Massachusetts - Boston Boston, MA
112 Radford University Radford, VA
112 Notre Dame of Maryland University Baltimore, MD
116 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
117 Texas State University San Marcos, TX
117 Concordia University, Chicago River Forest, IL
117 Francis Marion University Florence, SC
117 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ
121 Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA
121 Buffalo State Buffalo, NY
121 Monmouth University West Long Branch, NJ
121 University of St. Thomas Houston, TX
121 George Washington University Washington, DC
121 Fordham University Bronx, NY

Special Education by Region

View the Most Popular Master's Degree Colleges for Special Education for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

View All Rankings >

One of 14 majors within the Education area of study, Special Education has other similar majors worth exploring.

Special Ed Focus Areas

Major Annual Graduates
General Special Education 13,712
Other Special Education & Teaching 1,705
Elementary Special Education 884
Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs 780
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Autism 418
Education/Teaching of Individuals in Secondary Special Education Programs 406
Education/Teaching of the Gifted & Talented 325
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Multiple Disabilities 319
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Speech or Language Impairments 227
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities 220

Related Major Annual Graduates
Educational Administration 28,194
Teacher Education Grade Specific 26,246
General Education 18,793
Teacher Education Subject Specific 16,775
Curriculum & Instruction 15,283
Student Counseling 12,643
Instructional Media Design 6,191
Teaching English or French 3,473
Other Education 2,066
Multilingual Education 746

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to woodleywonderworks. More about our data sources and methodologies.

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