Special Education, M.A.

Graduate Degree
Graduate Degrees
Special Education, M.A.
The Special Education, M.A. degree program has an online option. Learn more about the Special Education, M.A. online degree program and Online Learning at Marshall University.

Professional educators, are you interested in adding to your credentials in Special Education? It’s a rewarding and challenging area that allows you to help those students who may need it most. Here is your opportunity to earn a Master of Arts in Special Education from Marshall University in West Virginia, with available endorsements in Autism, Multicategorical Disabilities, Preschool Special Education, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and Vision Impaired.

Why Study Special Education with Marshall?

Our programs offer comprehensive experiences in special education with online and face-to-face options in the most in-demand areas of special education. Our faculty are highly credentialed, yet all possess actual classroom experience which makes them approachable and student-friendly. They offer a wealth of pedagogical and application-based learning experiences to produce special educators who are well-prepared for the demands of teaching in today’s classroom.

Here is an overview of endorsement coursework:

Autism – Includes an introductory course, a course in the instructional characteristics of Autism, and a practicum
Multicategorical Disabilities – Includes courses that cover the ways to work with those with intellectual disabilities, specific learning disabilities and emotional disturbances
Preschool Special Education – Includes courses in general education and early childhood education topics, plus specific special education courses in areas such as exceptional children, physically handicapped, working with families, developmental issues and assessment
Deaf and Hard of Hearing – Includes courses that teach American Sign Language, math strategies, applications software, and curriculum and methods for this population
Vision Impaired – Includes courses on reading and writing strategies, braille, math methods, and orientation and mobility skills

The autism and multicategorical endorsements also include a special education core consisting of an introduction to exceptional children, reading and math strategies, content area literacy and diagnostic clinical practices in special education.

All of the endorsements require two semesters of special education research, a course in trends and issues in special education and a seminar.

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), a member of Specialized Professional Associations (SPA), has accredited the multicategorical special education, preschool special education, and deaf and hard of hearing specializations. The Vision Impaired specialization has been submitted for this accreditation.

Career Outlook in Special Education

Special education is an in-demand field nationally. Our teacher candidates are generally offered teaching positions while in their field experiences, or often they have obtained the position and are going back to school to fulfill additional educational requirements.

Our graduates have been hired by the Cabell County, Kanawha County, Putnam County, and Wayne County school districts in West Virginia.

Overall, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to increase 3% from 2018 to 2028. The median salary is $59,780 per year.


Special education graduate students may pursue their studies on the Huntington or South Charleston campus, as well as online. Some coursework is offered in a “hybrid” format that combines online and face-to-face learning.

Teacher candidates participate in action research projects as a part of their research capstone projects. These projects are usually based in the school setting or around practical research applications.

Graduate students also participate in a variety of informal and formal clinical field experiences in the schools. This helps acclimate them into the field more successfully.

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