Special Education (MSEd)

Make a difference as a leader and as a special educator.

Old Dominion University's Master's degree in Special Education is designed to provide fully licensed special educators with an advanced professional degree and competencies beyond endorsement. This online master's degree includes a focus on scholarly research, advanced instructional strategies, and the foundations of special education leadership. 

Why ODU for Special Education?

The ODU Master's degree in Special Education features:

  • Interactive instructional technology
  • Participation in an online community
  • Professional development using the Council for Exceptional Children Advanced Program standards
  • Synchronous and asynchronous components

The advanced professional competencies also will serve as the prerequisite course work to the PhD concentration in special education, thereby facilitating entry into the PhD program for master educators seeking terminal degrees.


This graduate program is an online, interactive master’s degree that will include a focus on scholarly research, advanced instructional strategies, and the foundations of special education leadership. It will provide professional development using Council for Exceptional Children Advanced Program standards.

A list of required and elective courses is available on the department's web page.

Calculating Cost

Graduate Distance Learning Tuition Classification Cost per credit hour
Virginia residents (with Virginia domicile) $437
Students living outside of Virginia $456
* In Virginia but without Virginia domicile $1089

Rates are effective Fall 2014 and subject to change. Please visit ODU's main Admission & Financial Aid web site for complete tuition details, including fees and deadlines.

For questions about domicile or “in-state” status as it applies to tuition rates, please click here.

Special Education Careers

Graduates of this Master's degree in Special Education will be able to pursue career options as:

  • Master Teachers
  • Team Leaders
  • Instructional Specialists
  • Special Education Coordinators
  • Professional Development Trainers
  • Educational Consultants
  • Board Certified Behavior Analysts
  • Multiply-Certified Special Educators

Note for students in Washington State from the Student Achievement Council:

"Eligibility for initial education certification in Washington is based on completion of a state approved educator preparation program. This program is approved in Virginia and is authorized for field placements in Washington by the Professional Educators Standards Board. Even though you may be residing in Washington while in this program, your application for educator certification in Washington will be processed as an out-of-state application. Go to http://pathway.pesb.wa.gov/outofstate for more information. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for teacher advancement."

Learning Environment

Courses in this program may be offered in these technologies:

Online synchronous: Access course material online from any location and participate in live, regularly scheduled online class meetings.

Online Asynchronous: Access course materials online from any location using ODU's learning management system. These courses require little to no synchronous (same-time) scheduled class meetings, but assignments and exams are scheduled by the instructor. All courses follow ODU's regular academic calendar.

Admission Information

Admission to the graduate program in special education is granted by the department's graduate program director in conjunction with special education faculty. More information is on the program's web page.