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Master of Science (MS) Degree in Special Education

Drexel University School of Education


Drexel's Master of Science degree (MS) in Special Education is designed to produce highly qualified professionals to expand educational horizons for all students in need. Delivered through a flexible online curriculum, Drexel provides students with the skills and knowledge to teach children with a variety of needs and lead special education programs in their schools and districts.


​​Schools are facing a severe and chronic shortage of certified special education teachers and administrators, and there has never been a better time to explore a career working with children with special needs. There is a desperate need for talented, qualified individuals who will work to create a fair and welcoming environment to provide education to all students.

With a master’s degree in special education from Drexel University, you will be prepared to teach in a variety of settings from grades K-12 throughout Pennsylvania. You may also be able to transfer your certification from PA to other states.

Drexel University’s School of Education graduate degree in special education is 100% online, giving you the flexibility you need to advance or accelerate your career in special education teaching.

Learning Outcomes for a MS in Special Education

The master’s program in special education equips professionals with the fundamental skills, knowledge, and competencies they need to meet the needs of students with disabilities. The courses address all required state and federal regulations as well as the Pennsylvania General Standards for Special Education and the competencies and standards outlined by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).

What​ ​Can​ ​You​ ​Do​ ​with​ ​a​ ​Master’s​ ​Degree​ ​in​ ​Special Education?

The need for those with a special education degree is projected to increase rapidly over the next decade due to rising populations, legislation that demands higher standards, and the need to meet the diverse needs of students in a variety of educational settings.

There are numerous career opportunities for those with a degree in special education, ​such​ ​as:

  • Department​ ​chair​ ​or​ ​an​ ​administrator​ ​overseeing​ ​special​ ​education​ ​programs
  • Educational​ ​advisor​ ​in​ ​a​ ​state​ ​or​ ​the​ ​national​ ​department​ ​of​ ​education
  • Special​ ​education​ ​advocate
  • Advisor​ ​in​ ​a​ ​professional​ ​organization
  • Expert​ ​advisor​ ​for​ ​product​ ​development

A master’s in special education prepares students to apply for Pennsylvania’s special education certification. Upon completion of the necessary special education degree requirements, Drexel University will recommend the student for the appropriate certification.

​Master’s ​Degree ​in Special​ ​Education​ ​- ​Program Options

The special education graduate program , which is delivered entirely online, was recently named one of the best online master's programs in education.

Drexel University has been offering online courses since 1996, bringing its recognized faculty and curricula to a worldwide student body. Drexel is a winner of the Sloan-C Award for Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Education and is committed to providing quality, accredited programs online. This is a flexible program with no fixed class hours - allowing you to pursue your master’s degree in special education on a schedule that works for you .

Graduate Special​ ​Education​ ​Program ​Eligibility

Admissions Criteria for an MS in Special Education

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution is required to apply for a masters degree in special education.
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (graduate GPA will be considered along with the undergraduate GPA)
    • If you do not meet this requirement, you’re still encouraged to apply and your file will be reviewed on an individual basis by the Program Director

Required Documents

With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting Drexel Online's Completing Your Application Guide.

  • A completed application
  • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
  • Two professional letters of recommendation
  • Resume 
  • Personal Essay that addresses the following:
    • Why you are interested in this field
    • Why you are interested in attending the program at Drexel University
    • What are your career goals and how will Drexel’s program help you achieve those goals?
    • How does this program relate to your previous education and/or work experience?
  • Additional requirements for International Students

Special​ ​Education​ ​Courses ​& ​Curriculum

Drexel’s Master of Science (MS) degree in Special Education relies a great deal on collaboration and experience. Our curriculum incorporates traditional coursework and cutting-edge instruction using current learning technologies, instructional design and comprehensive research. The program can be completed within 21 months and consists of 48 credits.

Capstone Courses

Students in the MS in Special Education program complete a research capstone course where they are introduced to various types of research designs and learn to be both consumers and producers of research. Following completion of the research course, students will complete a capstone experience. Capstone projects vary and can include design and completion of a program evaluation, and writing a grant proposal. For the MS in Special Education curriculum, please see the Drexel University Course Catalog.

Students​ ​have​ ​an​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​pursue​ one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​following​ ​concentrations when completing a MS in degree in Special Education:

For​ ​more​ ​details​ ​on​ ​required​ ​coursework​ ​for​ ​the​ ​MS​ ​in​ ​Special​ ​Education,​ ​please visit​ ​the​ Drexel​ ​University​ ​Online​ ​Course​ ​Catalog.

Special​ ​Education​ Field Experience

Drexel’s Master of Science degree (MS) in Special Education is a certification-driven program with the goal of preparing teachers with the skills and knowledge to advance learning for all students with disabilities. The special education graduate program is part of an experiential degree that provides in-depth theory regarding disabilities connected to actual educational practice.

A variety of field experience requirements is built into the special education degree core certification curriculum. These field experiences are a critical part of the coursework where students apply their academics in a real classroom setting and develop a model of teaching that will guide them throughout their professional career.

How ​to ​Apply ​to ​the ​Master ​of ​Science ​in Special Education​ ​Program

The Master's of Science in Special Education is offered 100% online. You can get started by filling out the Drexel Online application.

Program Questions

Jack Barnes Director of Student Recruitment Drexel University School of Education

For questions about School of Education academic programs, please contact Jack Barnes, Director of Recruitment:

CAEP Accredited Provider

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Drexel University's School of Education has earned national accreditation by demonstrating excellence in the areas of content and pedagogy, clinical experiences, selectivity, program impact, and capacity for continuous improvement from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.