Online Masters in Special Education

Xavier creates leaders. Our graduates impact their communities, changing the outcomes for those with special needs whom they serve.

Xavier offers two distinct masters programs:

Master of Science in Special Education
Master of Education in Special Education


Master of Science in Special Education

The M.S. in Special Education program encourages students to take a scientific view of education and prepares students to advocate improvements in laws, regulations, and policies.

This program is designed for:

  • Professionals in fields such as social work, school nursing, and criminal justice, who have a bachelor’s degree and want to work with people with disabilities.
  • Community and health service providers who work with individuals with exceptionalities.
  • Current teachers who have an M.Ed.
  • Current teachers and school leaders who are pursuing multiple administration degrees.
  • If you are seeking an endorsement in addition to a master’s degree, you can complete the master’s core classes online and then complete the endorsement courses face to face.

Master of Education in Special Education

The M.Ed. in Special Education is designed for:

  • Special educators interested in completing a master’s degree.
  • General educators seeking to enhance their skillset with additional knowledge of special education.
  • Note: This online program does not provide licensure. If you hold a bachelor’s degree and are interested in seeking initial licensure to become a teacher you can complete the online program and receive the Master’s degree for half of the licensure program, then finish the license in a face-to-face program at Xavier University campus.

If you are not sure which degree is right for you, you can decide after you have started the program. The concentration courses are the same for either degree, but the core courses are different, so you can decide when you are ready to take your core courses.


Program features

Both programs combine key foundational knowledge with a breadth of elective choices that enable students to design their own degree. Students choose from courses related to understanding special education laws, following best practices in disability services, teaching gifted students, addressing behavior disorders, utilizing assistive technology, and facilitating the transition to work, among others. This flexibility allows students from various backgrounds and professional perspectives to study together, creating a rich and diverse environment that feeds both professional and personal goals.

Xavier University offers participants a unique opportunity to be part of a guided practice program led by faculty who are published and recognized in the field. Courses are conducted utilizing a Jesuit Catholic framework, creating a unique experience and mindset. Coursework is infused with consideration for the ethics involved in working with individuals who have special needs. Course assignments include applied work that brings about real change in students’ communities.

Other programs can prepare you for the next job, but this program will prepare you to be a leader and an advocate for individuals with special needs. We also provide the connections you need to be impactful and relevant.

NOTE: These programs will not provide licensure in any state.