Coronavirus information

Visit the UA coronavirus information website to learn how the University of Alaska is responding to the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 situation and find links to communications, policy guidance and resources.

Special education M.Ed.

  • Students sitting in class

    Special education M.Ed.

    Earn your master’s degree in special education in a flexible, online program that features extensive field experiences and a high graduate employment rate.

Explore the special education master’s degree program at the University of Alaska Anchorage

UAA’s master’s degree in special education prepares you to provide quality education for K-12 students with exceptional learning needs. The program encompasses theory, research and practice with a focus on culturally responsive pedagogy, Universal Design for Learning and educational technology. The master’s degree offers courses online and includes internships and service learning experiences in schools.

Concentrations in the special education program
UAA offers two areas of concentration for the master’s program: elementary special education and secondary special education. Both concentrations include advanced internships and field experiences based on your area of study.

Special education endorsement
The special education endorsement is designed for currently certificated teachers who would like to add a special education endorsement to an existing teaching certificate.

Special education graduate certificate
The special education graduate certificate is offered for students with bachelor’s degrees who do not have teaching certificates but have professional experience working with children with disabilities.

Special education scholarships and financial aid
Get help with tuition and education costs. You can apply for a variety of scholarships and other types of financial assistance through UAA and the School of Education. Learn more about financial aid opportunities at UAA.

Special education M.Ed.

Degree Type:

  • Master

Concentration: Elementary K-8, Secondary 7-12

Program Length: Two years

Availability:Anchorage campus

Accredited by: The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

Other program options: Special education graduate certificate, special education endorsement, minor in special education

Did you know..

With a state waiver, you can teach in a special education classroom using your general education teaching certificate while obtaining your special education endorsement. Contact your district’s Human Resources Department for more information.

What can you do with a special education degree from UAA?

UAA’s special education alumni are prepared to work with children from kindergarten through age 22. The program boasts a very high job placement rate for students who seek professional positions upon the completion of their degree.

Special education careers

Most special education alumni go on to work as teachers in school settings. However, program graduates can also work for nonprofit organizations and community service agencies providing services to children and adolescents with disabilities.

Special education master’s degree program highlights

The special education program offers opportunities to apply assessment and intervention strategies that support the learning of children with exceptional needs, and prepares scholarly practitioners grounded in purpose and research. The following are some of the top reasons to choose UAA for your master’s degree program.

  • Take classes online. UAA’s special education program offers courses online via Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing in order to serve the entire state of Alaska. These courses meet weekly on a specific day and time in a virtual classroom. Anyone with access to reliable internet access and a computer with a microphone can participate in online courses.
  • Get hands-on experience. Field placement opportunities allow you to observe, apply and connect course content to real-life settings with children, families and schools. Field placements are held in special education classrooms across the state.
  • Work with top faculty. UAA faculty are recognized across the state as special education leaders. All faculty members are involved in research projects and community-engagement activities and they serve on numerous special education community, state and national boards.
  • Join professional clubs and organizations. Opportunities include Kappa Delta Pi honor society, Club Ed and Indigenous Studies through the College of Education.
  • Create an ePortfolio based on your course work. A number of special education courses require you to create an ePortfolio to document your learning and growth. You are also encouraged to take part in placements across the state that expose you to a variety of special education facilities.
A student looking at their cellphone

Dr. Harvey works closely with the Anchorage School District preschool programs to provide ongoing consultation and professional development opportunities for preschool teachers. She was recently featured in Child Care and Early Research Connections for her work.

Hattie Harvey, Assistant Professor, Early Childhood Special Education

Special education master’s degree program curriculum

Special education coursework is grounded in research and covers a broad range of essential skills to support the learning of children with exceptional needs from kindergarten to 12th grade. Field placement opportunities are integrated throughout the course sequence and provide diverse learning experiences as well as hands-on teaching preparation. Topics covered through the special education curriculum include: assessment tools; collaboration with teachers, parents and administrators; inclusiveness; and research relating to special education teaching.

Top classes for special education majors

  • Fundamentals of Research in Education
  • Language and Literacy: Best Practices in Assessment and Intervention
  • Advanced Internship in Special Education (Elementary or Secondary)