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Special Education, MEd

No matter where you’re located, you can earn your master’s degree and prepare to educate learners in grades K–12. Remote coursework allows you to earn a top-ranked master’s degree in as few as three semesters.


Program description

The MEd program in special education prepares students to further their knowledge of special education for learners in grades K–12 with mild-moderate disabilities. It is designed for individuals who do not need to obtain teacher certification. The program builds on connections between educational design and decision-making and is designed to foster strong professional growth and leadership development.

All courses are offered remotely, and students select one of two modalities: 

  • MLFTC offers students in Arizona the option to take classes in real time, remotely via ASU Sync. Regularly scheduled evening classes take place via Zoom, usually two nights per week. Classes are designed to foster active collaboration and discussion with top-tier faculty members and peers throughout Arizona.

    Teaching residencies and internships will be completed at a school near you. Our Office of Professional Experiences will work with you to identify a placement at a school in your local area where a certified teacher will mentor you.

    If you are currently working as a paraprofessional or classroom aide, you may be able to complete your professional experience at your school — pending access to a class and program alignment.

    All placements must be approved by MLFTC’s Office of Professional Experience.

  • ASU Online offers classes via asynchronous instruction. Instructors and students are not in the same physical space and do not meet at the same time, allowing students to complete coursework on their own schedules. Students completing their program through ASU Online must apply and be admitted to the Online campus. 

This program can be taken in three continuous semesters allowing students to complete the program in one year. Students can also enroll part-time over additional semesters.

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College faculty actively engage in the educational research community, bringing new and relevant knowledge into the program. Students engage in their own research through applied project coursework, deepening their knowledge and improving their practice through research, critical evaluation and application of education concepts. The program culminates in an applied action research project in which students apply what they’ve learned to address a challenge in special education. 

The master's degree does not lead to teacher certification. Students interested in certification should enroll in the MEd Special Education (Teacher Certification) program.

View program handbook

At a glance: locations and start dates

*Students completing their program through ASU Sync must still apply and be admitted to the ASU Tempe campus.

Next steps to attend ASU

Career outlook

Graduates are prepared to start or advance in educational careers working with diverse learners in grades K-12 in roles that do not require certification. Students gain skills in instruction, assessment, educational research and collaborating in teams --- all of which prepare them to successfully work in schools and other community-serving organizations. Roles may include noncertified educators in charter or private schools or educators in non-school settings

This program also may be suitable for certified teachers who do not have an undergraduate or graduate degree in education.

Program contact information

If you have questions related to admission, please fill out the request information form and an admission specialist will contact you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.

Cost and aid

Admission requirements

You must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

You must also have earned a bachelor's degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution. Minimum GPA: 3.0 (in the last 60 hours of your first bachelor's program). If you don't meet the GPA requirement, you may be eligible for provisional admittance or a non-degree pathway.