• Course Delivery
    100% Online
  • Total Credits
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  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit

Special Education, MSEd

Master of Science in Education

Special education is a broad term used by the law to describe specially designed instruction that meets the unique needs of a child who has a disability. Special educators often focus on teaching the student life skills, literacy, and other basic functions.

The IU Online MSEd in Special Education prepares you for the challenges of special education in the diverse and changing landscapes of today's classroom. The courses in this program are based on special education professional standards established by the Council for Exceptional Children and the State of Indiana, and focus on research and teaching methods that are proven to be effective in preparing individuals to address high-incidence disabilities (mild intervention). As a student in the program, you also pursue an individualized track of four courses based on your area of interest, such as autism, behavior specialists, early childhood, instructional strategies, or intense interventions. Finally, you complete a capstone project/thesis.

This program incorporates an ongoing field-based experience so you can practice skills in real-life settings. Finding a mentor and affiliating with this person throughout the program is a cornerstone of its design. Courses are designed to be completed in a practicum setting with the support of an experienced teacher. Students will spend the first semester of the program finding a mentor and practicum site. Many teachers working towards certification already teach children with disabilities on an emergency license. Teachers already in a teaching assignment may use their current classroom as a practicum site and identify a mentor in this setting.

Your IU Online MSEd in Special Education prepares you for such careers as:

  • Early childhood special educator  
  • Emotional disabilities teacher 
  • Hearing-impaired itinerant teacher  
  • Learning support teacher 
  • Resource program teacher 
  • Severe emotional disorders elementary teacher  
  • Severe/profound mental handicaps special education teacher 
  • Special education inclusion teacher 
  • Special education resource teacher 
  • Special education teacher 

Degree Requirements

To graduate with the MSEd in Special Education, you must complete 36 credit hours.

Requirements are broken down as follows:

  • Prerequisite course (3 credit hours) 
  • Special education core courses (20 credit hours) 
  • Emphasis area courses (12 credit hours) 
  • Capstone project OR thesis (4 credit hours) 


  • K 500Topical Workshop in Special Education (Culminating Seminar)1 Credits
  • K 535Assessment and Remediation of the Mildly Handicapped I 3 Credits
  • K 536Assessment and Remediation of the Mildly Handicapped II 3 Credits
  • K 548Families, School and Society3 Credits
  • K 553Classroom Management and Behavior Support 3 Credits
  • K 565Collaboration and Service Delivery 3 Credits
  • K 590Independent Study or Research in Special Education3 Credits
  • K 599Masters Thesis in Special Education3 Credits
  • S 500Field-Based Seminar in Teacher Education: Orientation to SPEDFIST 2 Credits
  • Y 510 Action Research I3 Credits
  • Y 520Inquiry in Education 3 Credits

Tuition & Fees

Cost for Indiana Residents
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $425.06
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1275.18
Cost for Out of State Residents
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $510.07
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1530.21
Note:  Additional fees will apply.

What's it like to take a program online?

  • Earn a quality education

    With more than 120 online degree programs to choose from, Indiana University gives you the opportunity to receive a top-quality education when you want it, where you want it. The faculty who teach our online courses are the same exceptional faculty who teach those courses on our campuses. Whether you're looking for an undergraduate education or want to continue advancing your career with a graduate degree, IU Online’s degree program options have something for everyone.

  • Flexibility

    Online learning gives you the flexibility and freedom to attend your classes whenever and wherever is most convenient for you. You can save time and money by being able to continue to work and by avoiding relocation or travel costs. You will be required to complete assignments in a certain timeframe, but in most instances, you can log in and complete coursework during the time of day that works best for you. Classes aren't tied to a certain time or day.

  • Service you expect from a leading University

    Online learners at Indiana University have access to the same student services available to on-campus students. We're committed to providing you with the quality educational experience students have come to expect and desire from Indiana University, without needing to make sacrifices to the other commitments in your life.