Master of Arts in Education/Special Education

It takes a special person to embrace the opportunity to teach students with special needs.

If you've always thought about teaching, but your work experience and bachelor's degree is in a completely different field, you can earn a Master of Arts in Education/Special Education degree to prepare educationally for licensure as a classroom teacher.* The demand for those with Special Education degree skills will increase 17% by 2018**.

Our Special Education degree program will help you develop the skill set you need to effectively address the challenges that special needs students face in the classroom. And through course work, field experiences and student teaching, you'll be prepared to competently lead your own classroom and develop the skill-set school administrators appreciate.

Master the Challenges

This graduate-level, initial degree program guides you through everything from learning state rules and regulations when caring for special needs children to setting up your entire class for success.

As a student in our Special Education degree program, you'll learn strategies to help all students succeed, by focusing on subjects such as:

  • The foundations and methodologies of exceptional learning needs
  • Diagnosis and assessment of exceptional learning needs
  • Content area instruction and inclusion strategies
  • Collaboration and resource management

Our Special Education teacher preparation degree program provides you with real-world experience through required field experiences and our student-teaching component. Both combine to help ensure that, when you graduate, you'll have the tools and hands-on experience to teach in your own classroom.

Get Started

Start your Master of Arts in Education/Special Education degree at University of Phoenix and prepare for the rewarding challenges of an in-demand teaching career.

More Master's in Education Degrees

Our Education degree programs are designed to serve the needs of initial and experienced P-12 teachers, and adult educators who want to enhance their knowledge and practice of adult learning theory.

What program is best for you?


(Prepare you to become a teacher)


(For experienced educators)

Non P-12

(For corporate trainers, adult educators)

* University of Phoenix initial degree programs lead to teaching certification (Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle Level, Secondary and Special Education) in certain states. The College of Education offers state-approved initial programs in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia. The College of Education offers state-approved advanced programs in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia. Individual programs vary by state, and not all programs are available at all locations or in both online and on-campus modalities.

Candidates may request an institutional recommendation upon successful completion of their program (academic and program requirements). Candidates should check with their state agency for any state-specific requirements, including the acceptability of the University's initial programs in any state in which they intend to seek licensure or certification. Program requirements are subject to change based on state certification requirements. Please speak to a campus representative for a listing of programs available at each campus location.

** Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition. "Teachers—Special Education".

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