MA in Special Education / Teaching – Sp. Ed.
If you have an interest in special education, there are a number of educational paths you could pursue. A master of arts (MA) in special education is a good choice for students interested in a special education research career.
An MA in special education allows you to pursue study in a specific area of special education. While this degree won’t prepare you for a teaching career, you will be able to work in special education research, allowing you to have an impact on educational policy and law. This degree also allows you to pursue further education through a PhD program.
As a graduate with an MA in special education, you could work in administration, curriculum development, educational psychology research, and more. Some programs also allow you to go through student teaching so you can work as a practicing teacher in special education. Typically, if you’re getting an MA in special education, you come from a non-teaching background, so you’ll qualify for entry-level special education teaching jobs at both public and private schools. (If you’re a teacher already, you may want to instead consider an MEd program, which focuses more on education and qualifies you for advanced teaching or education administration positions.) The average starting salary with a master’s degree in special education is $40,000 to $50,000 annually for teachers, and you can generally expect to make more as a researcher in this field, depending on your employer.
In order to enter an MA degree program in this field, you must first complete a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as special education or psychology. Some programs also require you to have experience working in the field, and most require you to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. The classes you’ll take as part of an MA in special education program will focus more on research than learning to teach, and most colleges require MA students to complete and present a thesis paper on a special education topic of interest.