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Bachelor's Degree in Special Education

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Bachelor’s Degrees in Special Education

9,071 Yearly Graduations
$36,400 Median Salary
$26,000 Median Debt
There are 539 schools in the United States where you can get your bachelor's degree in special ed. In recent years, the majority of the students getting degrees in this area were female, and 18% were from an underrepresented racial-ethnic group. Also, 0.5% of special ed graduates were international students.

Education Levels of Special Ed Majors

In 2019-2020, 9,071 earned their bachelor's degree in special ed. This earns it the #3 spot on the list of the most popular bachelor's degree programs in the nation.

The following table shows the number of diplomas awarded in special ed at each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 19,550
Bachelor’s Degree 9,071
Graduate Certificate 2,832
Associate Degree 692
Basic Certificate 563
Doctor’s Degree 278
Undergraduate Certificate 263

Earnings of Special Ed Majors With Bachelor’s Degrees

The median salary for graduates holding a bachelor's degree in special ed is $36,400. However, this can depend on a number of factors, such as where you live and the number of years experience you have. To get a better picture, earnings for this category of people can range from a low of $32,875 to a high of $39,025.


Student Debt

The median student debt for graduates holding a bachelor's degree in special ed is $26,000. The length of time it takes you to graduate and what college you attend can affect this number quite a bit. The chart below shows the range of accumulated debt loads. On the high side of the range, $27,000 is the debt load, and the debt load on the low side is $22,488.


The median monthly payment of a special ed graduate with a 10-year repayment plan is $270.

Student Diversity

More women than men pursue their bachelor's degree in special ed. About 90.1% of graduates with this degree are female.

Gender Number of Grads
Men 894
Women 8,177

The racial-ethnic distribution of special ed bachelor’s degree students is as follows:

Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 94
Black or African American 347
Hispanic or Latino 908
White 7,217
International Students 46
Other Races/Ethnicities 459

There are 539 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in special ed. Learn more about the most popular 20 below:

Special Ed Focus Areas

Major Annual Degrees Awarded
General Special Education 6,588
Early Childhood Special Education 768
Elementary Special Education 484
Other Special Education & Teaching 385
Teaching for Learning Disabilities 192

Below are some popular majors that are similar to special ed that offer bachelor’s degrees.

Major Annual Degrees Awarded
Teacher Education Grade Specific 51,113
Teacher Education Subject Specific 21,282
General Education 4,798
Other Education 1,776
Educational Assessment 728


*The racial-ethnic minority student count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the percentage of racial-ethnic minorities.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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