The demand for individuals with a master’s degree in special education – autism will only grow as awareness and understanding of the condition continue to spread. This master’s degree can be completed online in about two years, depending on your rate of study. These schools are all highly touted programs that are 100% online or mostly online with a brief residency component. For simplicity’s sake, we ranked the schools on this list of the top 20 best online special education master’s degrees by hourly tuition so that you could make a decision based on finance and also, find a program that suits your particular calling.
#1 – Minnesota State University Moorhead
MS in Special Education Online
Applicants to the online master of science in special education at Minnesota State University Moorhead are accepted three times a year and expected to provide a personal initiative statement and two letters of professional recommendation with their application packet. This 31-37 hour program includes one or two practicums depending on the student’s current licensure status. An affordable $388.90 per credit is the tuition rate for the online MS in special education at Minnesota State University Moorhead.
#2 – University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Online MS in Special Education – Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialization
Appropriate for certified teacher and those from other backgrounds, the online master of science in special education – autism spectrum disorder at the University of North Dakota is meant to emphasize academic application and is a good fit for those going on to pursue the EdD. The 32+ credit degree can be completed in less than two years. The online graduate tuition rate is $418 per credit for all students, no matter where they live. Admission to the program requires three letters of recommendation, and a statement of goals with the application packet.
#3 – University of Missouri
MEd in Special Education with an Emphasis in Autism Online
The University of Missouri has an online master of education in special education with an emphasis in autism that is a 30 credit hour 100% online degree. All University of Missouri online students are eligible for the in-state graduate tuition rate of just $433.47 per hour. Transfer of up to nine hours of graduate credit can be transferred into the online MEd in special education with an emphasis in autism at the University of Missouri.
#4 – Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, Ohio
MEd in Special Education – Autism Spectrum Disorders Online
The master of education in special education – autism spectrum disorders that Bowling Green State University offers is a 34 credit hour program that can be finished in as little as 18 months. $445.50 is the online hourly tuition rate. Utilizing a seven week course structure, the residency free program includes course titles like, behavior and classroom management, and nature and characteristics of students with ASD. The program requires submission of Praxis, GRE, or OAE (Ohio Assessment for Educators) scores from within the last five years for consideration for admission.
#5 – Mary Baldwin University
Online MEd in Autism Spectrum Disorder
The master of education online in autism spectrum disorder at Mary Baldwin University is a 34 unit degree that includes a comprehensive certificate in ASD. The practicum experience for this degree includes 70 hours in the field. This program charges an online tuition rate of $460 per instructional unit. Designed for education professionals, coursework in this program includes leadership in education and an inquiry research project. Mary Baldwin University’s online MEd in autism spectrum disorders is accredited by the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges. Commission on Colleges.
#6 – UMass Lowell
Online MEd in Curriculum and Instruction: Autism Studies Option
The 30 credit master of education in curriculum and instruction: autism studies option at the University of Massachusetts Lowell does not lead to teacher licensure. This program is not open to residents of Kansas, Minnesota, or Arkansas. Tuition for the program is $470 per instructional hour. Applicants to the online MEd in curriculum and instruction: autism studies option at the University of Massachusetts Lowell should be ready to provide letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose and an official test score.
#7 – California University of Pennsylvania
Online MEd in Applied Behavior Analysis – Autism
The online master of education in applied behavior analysis – autism at California University of Pennsylvania is a 33-39 credit program that varies depending on the student’s participation in intensive practical training or not. Tuition for the program is $526 per credit for online out of state students. The program is looking for applicants with a GPA of 2.8-3.0 over the last 48 hours of previous academic study. They also offer conditional acceptance for those with less impressive academic records for applicants to the online MEd in applied behavior analysis – autism at California University of Pennsylvania.
#8 – Gwynedd Mercy University
Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania
MSE in Special Education Online
The 42 credit master of science in pre-K–8 special education with autism endorsement at Gwynedd Mercy University is a two year program for practicing teachers with existing Level I or Level II certification. A current resume and a writing sample should be included with the application packet. Tuition for the program is $550 per instructional hour. Scientific research-based instruction and foundations of autism spectrum disorders are two classes offered in the online MSE in special education at Gwynedd Mercy University.
#9 – Northern Arizona University
Online MEd in Special Education
A 30 credit hour program, the online master of education in special education at Northern Arizona University features a graduate certificate in autism spectrum disorders as part of the program. This degree is not appropriate for individuals who are seeking licensure in special education. Coursework in the program includes action research and introduction to statistics. $575 per credit hour is the tuition rate for the MEd in special education online at Northern Arizona University. Applicants should have a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
#10 – West Virginia University
Morgantown, West Virginia
Online MA in Special Education
The master of arts in special education online at West Virginia University offers a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis. Tuition for the program is $594 per instructional hour for residents and non-residents alike, and the degree is a 36 credit affair. You are given eight calendar years to complete the program. Admission requirements for the online MA in special education with an ABA specialization at West Virginia University include an accredited bachelor’s degree and a recent GRE or MAT score.
#11 – University of Kansas
MSE in Special Education with an emphasis in Autism Spectrum Disorder Online
Ranked the #1 special education department in the country by US News and World Report, the University of Kansas offers a 36 credit hour master of science in education in special education with an emphasis in autism spectrum disorder online. This two-year program offers three tracks: behavior, leadership, and secondary/transition. $605 is the hourly tuition rate for the online MSE in special education with an emphasis in autism spectrum disorder at the University of Kansas. The school employs admissions advisors to answer any questions you might have about the process of being admitted.
#12 – Ball State University
Online MA in Applied Behavior Analysis With An Emphasis In Autism
Ball State University features an online master of arts in applied behavior analysis with an emphasis in autism that is 100% online with no residential component. The 30 credit program involves studies in behavioral consultation and research methods for behavior analysis. The online hourly out of state tuition rate is $616. The course sequence of the MA in applied behavior analysis with an emphasis in autism at Ball State University has been approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.
#13 – University of North Texas
M.Ed. in Special Education – Online Concentration in Autism Intervention
33 hours in length, the master of education with an online concentration in autism intervention at the University of North Texas can be completed in a year and a summer. A teacher certification is offered separately from this program. Accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, this degree is 100% online and open to individuals with two letters of recommendation, a current resume, personal statement and recent GRE scores. Tuition for this degree is $642.79 per unit of instruction.
#14 – Arizona State University
MEd in Curriculum and Instruction – Autism Spectrum Disorders Online
Arizona State University’s online master of education in curriculum and instruction – autism spectrum disorders has 10 classes on an accelerated 7.5 week term schedule. This makes a 30 credit program that charges an out of state tuition rate of $649 per credit unit. The school is looking for applicants who can provide three letters of recommendation and a current resume with the application packet. Coursework in the MEd in curriculum and instruction – autism spectrum disorders online includes verbal behavior and an applied project.
#15 – Nova Southeastern University
Online MS in Developmental Disabilities – Applied Behavior Analysis Concentration
The online master of science in developmental disabilities – applied behavior analysis concentration at Nova Southeastern University has an optional 9 hour practicum for those who need to meet the supervision requirements for BCBA or BCABA certification. The otherwise 30 hour program can be completed in two years of full time study. Applications are accepted three times a year and should include two current letters of recommendation, a 300 word personal statement explaining your interest in the program and your professional goals, and a GPA of at least 3.0 over the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework. $755 is the online graduate tuition rate for Nova Southeastern University’s master of science in developmental disabilities – applied behavior analysis.
#16 – St. Joseph’s University
MEd in Special Education – Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement Online
The online master of education in special education with an autism spectrum disorder endorsement at St Joseph’s University is a 39 credit program that includes 12 hours of coursework in ASD studies. Tuition for the program comes in at $765 a credit hour. The program is designed for practicing teachers who wish to become special education teachers. The degree can be completed in two years and you must provide proof of a minimum 2.8 GPA on a 4.0 scale and an earned bachelor’s degree to be admitted to the MEd in special education with an autism spectrum disorders endorsement online program at St Joseph’s University.
#17 – George Mason University
Online MEd in Special Education
George Mason University’s online master of education in special education offers a 15-18 credit hour graduate certificate in autism spectrum disorders or applied behavior analysis. The 30 total credit program accepts applications on a rolling basis, year round. $775 per unit of instruction is the tuition rate. Coursework in the online MEd in special education at George Mason University includes computer applications for special populations, special education research and universal design for learning. This part-time program is open to individuals from diverse academic backgrounds.
#18 – Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania
MEd in Special Education – Autism Emphasis
Pennsylvania State University features an online master of education in special education – autism emphasis that is 32 hours in length. Each hour of instruction in the program is billed at $886. With full time study, the degree can be completed in one calendar year. At a slower, part-time rate, two years is the average to finish. The online master of education in special education – autism emphasis at Pennsylvania State University is best suited for education or human services professionals who are interested in pursuing work with young people.
#19 – Drexel University
MS in Applied Behavior Analysis Online
Drexel University runs their online master of science in applied behavior analysis out of the AJ Drexel Center for Autism. The year is divided into four ten week quarters at this school. The 45-46.5 credit program has a concentration in practicum and one in autism spectrum disorder. The tuition in this program clocks in at $949 per quarter credit hour for the online MS in applied behavior analysis online at Drexel University. Admissions criteria for the degree include an earned bachelor’s degree and a personal essay.
#20 – University of Cincinnati
Online MEd in Special Education – Autism Spectrum Disorders
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, the University of Cincinnati offers a master of education in special education – autism spectrum disorders that is a 100 percent online 30-33 credit hour program. They offer three start dates a year. The University of Cincinnati provides applicants with an enrollment advisor to streamline the applications process, and, after acceptance, a program manager will step in to guide you to graduation. $1,098 is the hourly tuition rate for the MEd online in special education – autism spectrum disorders.