Master of Arts – Special Education (License/Non license)

Special education teachers are champions for the common good. And when it comes to teaching students with disabilities, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. Every student has unique abilities. That’s why you need the knowledge and skills to assess their capabilities and needs, then develop relevant, individualized goals and instructional plans for attaining them. We'll prepare you to help every student succeed. That's what it means to be all for the common good.

If you are interested in on-campus or off-campus special education programs instead of our fully online programs, view information on all six of our special education license and MA programs (and more!) on our College of Education, Leadership and Counseling site. Also, if you don't know yet which format best meets your needs, please sign up to attend a Virtual (Online) Information Session.

Format: Online, includes asynchronous and synchronous methods, multi-media, and ADA accessible

Start-Up Dates Vary by Program

Licenses6 special education license options; first MN teaching license option or add-on license option

Faculty: Full-time and adjunct faculty; subject matter experts who are committed to online pedagogy

Class Length: 8 weeks with 6 sessions a year

Application Deadlines: Vary by Program

Financial AidAlumni discount and financial aid for those who qualify.

Accreditation: HLC (Higher Learning Commission) and NCATE (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education). Our special education license programs address teacher licensure requirements established by the state of Minnesota and approved by the Board of Teaching.

Equipment Requirements: In addition to the requirements in the Online Learning Checklist document, this program also requires you to have a webcam (built-in or external) and a headset with microphone.

Tech Support: Tutorials, orientations and support 7 days a week


Field Experience Assignments: Although class time is all online, many courses have applied assignments to be completed in schools or community settings. Applicants need to either work in a school or have connections with several schools.

Clinical Practice: License candidates complete a 1-3 credit clinical practice/student teaching. Clinical practice can be done on the job if the setting meets the license criteria. Both a mentor teacher and university supervisor are on your team.


The College of Education, Leadership & Counseling offers 6 special education Minnesota license options:

Master of Arts in Special Education

The Master of Arts in Special Education preparation involves 4 additional credits (CIED 500 and SPED 799) beyond the courses and credits required for licensure, and includes a final project that is professionally relevant, challenging and useful.

Current Teachers

Our online program is a great fit for those who already have at least one Minnesota teaching license. License credits, if you already have at least one Minnesota teaching license, range from 26-33.

New Teachers

Our online program is a great fit if you're pursuing your very first Minnesota teaching license. New teachers add on an additional 13 credits of Standards of Effective Practice coursework (4 courses plus two 30-hour general education field experiences).

M.A. Non-license Option

The M.A. non-license option is for those who are already licensed but want an M.A., or for those in a different field who would like the M.A. expertise. There are no clinical practice or state license requirements for the M.A. non-license option.