Special Education

2022 Best Special Education Schools in Illinois

32 Colleges in Illinois
906 Special Ed Degrees Awarded
$45,833 Avg Early-Career Salary
If you plan on majoring in special education, you won't be alone since the degree program is ranked #39 in the country in terms of popularity. This means you won't have too much trouble finding schools that offer the degree.

For its 2022 ranking, College Factual looked at 32 schools in Illinois to determine which ones were the best for special education students pursuing a degree. Combined, these schools handed out 906 degrees in special education to qualified students.

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Choosing a Great Special Education School

Best Special Education Schools in Illinois Your choice of special education school matters, so we have put together these rankings to help you make your decision. In order to come up with a best overall ranking for special education schools, we combine our degree-level rankings, weighting them by the number of degrees awarded at each level.

You may want to choose one of the degree levels below to find the schools of most interest to you.

Pick Your Special Education Degree Level

When choosing the right school for you, it's important to arm yourself with all the facts you can. To that end, we've created a number of major-specific rankings, including this Best Special Education Schools in Illinois list to help you make the college decision. You can also filter this list by location to find schools closer to you.

In addition to College Factual's rankings, you may want to take a look at College Combat, our unique tool that lets you pit your favorite schools head-to-head and compare how they rate on factors that most interest you. When you have some time, check it out - you may want to bookmark the link so you don't forget it.

More information on how we come up with our rankings can be found here: College Factual's Data Methodology.

Best Schools for Special Education in Illinois

If you aren't interested in a particular degree level and want to know which schools are the overall best at delivering an education for the special ed degrees they offer, see the list below.

10 Top Illinois Schools in Special Ed

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
177 Special Ed Degrees Awarded

Illinois State University is a wonderful choice for students interested in a degree in special education. Located in the suburb of Normal, Illinois State is a public university with a very large student population. A Best Schools rank of #230 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Illinois State is a great university overall.

There were roughly 177 special education students who graduated with this degree at Illinois State in the most recent data year. Students who graduate with their degree from the special ed program report average early career earnings of $42,600.

More information about a degree in special education from Illinois State University

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
39 Special Ed Degrees Awarded

Any student pursuing a degree in special education has to look into University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Located in the city of Champaign, UIUC is a public university with a fairly large student population. A Best Schools rank of #68 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means UIUC is a great university overall.

There were about 39 special education students who graduated with this degree at UIUC in the most recent data year. Soon after graduation, special ed degree recipients usually earn about $42,100 at the beginning of their careers.

More information about a degree in special education from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
74 Special Ed Degrees Awarded

University of Illinois at Chicago is one of the best schools in the United States for getting a degree in special education. UIC is a fairly large public university located in the city of Chicago. A Best Schools rank of #355 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means UIC is a great university overall.

There were approximately 74 special education students who graduated with this degree at UIC in the most recent data year. Those special education students who get their degree from University of Illinois at Chicago receive $14,367 more than the typical special ed student.

More information about a degree in special education from University of Illinois at Chicago

#4

Lewis University

Romeoville, IL
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
4th Most Popular In IL
67 Special Ed Degrees Awarded

It is difficult to beat Lewis University if you wish to pursue a degree in special education. Located in the suburb of Romeoville, Lewis is a private not-for-profit university with a medium-sized student population. A Best Schools rank of #559 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Lewis is a great university overall.

There were about 67 special education students who graduated with this degree at Lewis in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in special education from Lewis University

Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
19th Most Popular In IL

Located in the large city of Chicago, Loyola Chicago is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Schools rank of #391 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Loyola Chicago is a great university overall.

There were approximately 8 special education students who graduated with this degree at Loyola Chicago in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in special education from Loyola University Chicago

#6

Bradley University

Peoria, IL
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
$27,000 Median Student Debt

Located in the city of Peoria, Bradley is a private not-for-profit university with a moderately-sized student population. A Best Schools rank of #407 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Bradley is a great university overall.

There were about 9 special education students who graduated with this degree at Bradley in the most recent year we have data available. Students who graduate with their degree from the special ed program state that they receive average early career wages of $40,000.

More information about a degree in special education from Bradley University

Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
24th Most Popular In IL

Located in the large suburb of Joliet, University of Saint Francis is a private not-for-profit university with a small student population. A Best Schools rank of #490 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means University of Saint Francis is a great university overall.

There were about 4 special education students who graduated with this degree at University of Saint Francis in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in special education from University of St Francis

Master's Degree Highest Degree Type

Located in the city of Carbondale, SIUC is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 32nd out of 102 colleges for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

There were roughly 17 special education students who graduated with this degree at SIUC in the most recent year we have data available. Students who receive their degree from the special ed program make about $38,700 in their early career salary.

More information about a degree in special education from Southern Illinois University Carbondale

#9

DePaul University

Chicago, IL
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
8th Most Popular In IL
44 Special Ed Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Chicago, DePaul is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. A Best Schools rank of #593 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means DePaul is a great university overall.

There were about 44 special education students who graduated with this degree at DePaul in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in special education from DePaul University

#10

Elmhurst University

Elmhurst, IL
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
18th Most Popular In IL

Elmhurst is a small private not-for-profit university located in the suburb of Elmhurst. A Best Schools rank of #655 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Elmhurst is a great university overall.

There were roughly 17 special education students who graduated with this degree at Elmhurst in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in special education from Elmhurst University

Best Special Education Colleges in the Great Lakes Region

Explore all the Best Special Education Schools in the Great Lakes Area or other specific states within that region.

State Colleges Degrees Awarded
Michigan 305 642
Ohio 303 1,279
Indiana 283 1,390
Wisconsin 267 421

View All Rankings >

Special Education is one of 14 different types of Education programs to choose from.

Special Ed Concentrations

Major Annual Graduates
General Special Education 831
Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs 41
Education/Teaching of the Gifted & Talented 15
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Multiple Disabilities 11
Other Special Education & Teaching 6
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities 1
Education/Teaching of Individuals Who are Developmentally Delayed 1

View All Special Ed Concentrations >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Teacher Education Grade Specific 2,976
Teacher Education Subject Specific 1,712
Educational Administration 1,531
Curriculum & Instruction 967
General Education 402
Student Counseling 353
Instructional Media Design 189
Teaching English or French 128
Multilingual Education 82
Education Philosophy 76

View All Special Ed Related Majors >

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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