Best masters in special education

Special education professionals work with children and adults who are atypically developing. A graduate degree in special education enhances their ability to work with special needs students by advancing their knowledge about the field. Check out the best special education graduate programs below. Read more about our ranking methodology here

Our master’s in special education rankings cover 210 of the 424 universities available, accounting for 71% of total student conferrals. Three years after completing their degree, graduates earn a weighted average salary of $53,501.

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#1 in Special Education

Morningside University

Sioux City, Iowa

Economic score: 0.11

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $54,748

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $1,731

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $6,300

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.12

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#2 in Special Education

California State University, Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

Economic score: 0.20

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $80,425

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $17,890

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $20,500

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.25

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#3 in Special Education | #193 in Education

Rhode Island College

Providence, Rhode Island

Economic score: 0.20

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $60,044

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $985

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $12,318

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.21

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#4 in Special Education | #283 in Education

College of Staten Island CUNY

Staten Island, New York

Economic score: 0.22

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $69,110

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $6,510

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $17,000

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.25

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#5 in Special Education

Manhattan College

Riverdale, New York

Economic score: 0.23

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $67,981

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $7,200

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $17,368

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.26

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#6 in Special Education | #86 in Education

Northeastern Illinois University

Chicago, Illinois

Economic score: 0.23

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $57,180

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $3,049

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $13,905

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.24

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#7 in Special Education

California Lutheran University

Thousand Oaks, California

Economic score: 0.23

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $62,012

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $999

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $14,600

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.24

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#8 in Special Education

California State University, Long Beach

Long Beach, California

Economic score: 0.23

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $71,575

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $9,175

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $19,250

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.27

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#9 in Special Education | #49 in Education

CUNY City College

New York, New York

Economic score: 0.26

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $70,644

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $8,100

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $20,500

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.29

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#10 in Special Education | #13 in Education

CUNY Queens College

Queens, New York

Economic score: 0.26

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $69,855

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $7,889

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $20,500

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.29

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#11 in Special Education | #35 in Education

Concordia University, Chicago

River Forest, Illinois

Economic score: 0.27

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $60,306

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $6,362

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $18,000

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.30

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#12 in Special Education

St. Thomas Aquinas College

Sparkill, New York

Economic score: 0.29

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $67,801

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $7,009

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $22,062

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.33

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#13 in Special Education | #23 in Education

Towson University

Towson, Maryland

Economic score: 0.30

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $56,997

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $1,889

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $17,426

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.31

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#14 in Special Education

California State University, Northridge

Northridge, California

Economic score: 0.30

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $66,882

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $7,805

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $22,414

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.34

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#15 in Special Education

Grand Valley State University

Allendale, Michigan

Economic score: 0.30

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $56,510

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $6,537

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $19,356

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.34

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#16 in Special Education | #27 in Education

CUNY Brooklyn College

Brooklyn, New York

Economic score: 0.30

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $75,285

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $12,375

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $27,292

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.36

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#17 in Special Education | #91 in Education

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Edinburg, Texas

Economic score: 0.31

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $49,930

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: - $1,553

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $15,000

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.30

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#18 in Special Education

Notre Dame de Namur University

Belmont, California

Economic score: 0.32

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $68,592

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $15,001

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $27,887

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.41

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#19 in Special Education | #57 in Education

Fitchburg State University

Fitchburg, Massachusetts

Economic score: 0.32

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $54,097

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: - $1,939

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $16,655

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.31

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

#20 in Special Education

Touro College

New York, New York

Economic score: 0.32

The economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Earnings: $68,785

Median earnings of all students 3 years after graduation.

EarningsPlus: + $6,713

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark of all students with the same graduate degree, adjusting for the in-state / out-of-state composition of the student body.

Debt: $24,450

The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

Debt to earnings: 0.36

The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

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How long does it take to pay down debt in special education?

Years

Under a year

The average debt accrued from a master's degree in special education is covered by average graduate earnings in under a year.

How much do graduates with master's degree in special education earn?

Salary

$51,745

The median master's degree in special education graduate earns $51,745 3 years after graduating.

How much does a master's degree in special education cost?

Net cost

$18,218

The average annual cost of a master's degree in special education is $18,218. This is the net cost and considers only students that have received Title IV funds.