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Most Popular Special Education Schools

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2021 Most Popular Special Education Schools

994 Colleges
$43,879 Avg Salary
$28,500 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Special Education School for You

Special Education is one of the most popular majors in the nation, ranking 5th of all the majors we analyze. In 2018-2019, 30,639 degrees and certificates were awarded to students with this major.

There are lots of options to pick from today when trying to decide which teaching program is right for you. You can choose a traditional brick and mortar school, or with the growth of online education, you can attend a school half-way across the country without even leaving your house. Also there are many trade schools that offer short-term programs that open up more career options.

To help you arm yourself with the information you need to make your decision, Teaching Degree Search has developed this Most Popular Special Education Schools ranking. Our analysis looked at 994 schools in the United States to see which programs were the most popular for teaching students. To create this ranking we looked at how many students graduated from the Special Education program at each school on the list.

The colleges and universities below are the most popular for special ed majors pursuing a .

#1

Ball State University

Muncie, IN

Our 2021 rankings named Ball State University the most popular school in the United States for special education students. Ball State is a very large public school located in the city of Muncie.

After completing their degree, special ed graduates from Ball State carry an average student debt load of $28,045. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $315, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#2

Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, AZ

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Grand Canyon University. The school came in at #2 on this year’s Most Popular Special Education Schools list. Located in the city of Phoenix, Grand Canyon University is a private for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

Special Ed majors at Grand Canyon University take out an average of $38,322 in student loans while working on their egree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $419, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#3

Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, UT

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Western Governors University. The school came in at #3 on this year’s Most Popular Special Education Schools list. Located in the large suburb of Salt Lake City, WGU is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

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#4

Touro College

New York, NY

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Touro College. It ranked #4 on our 2021 Most Popular Special Education Schools list. Touro is a large private not-for-profit school located in the city of New York.

While working on their degree, special ed majors at Touro accumulate an average of around $21,760 in student debt. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $254, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#5

Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Liberty University. The school came in at #5 on this year’s Most Popular Special Education Schools list. Located in the small city of Lynchburg, Liberty University is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population.

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#6

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA

George Mason University landed the #6 spot in the 2021 rankings for the most popular special education programs. Located in the large suburb of Fairfax, GMU is a public college with a fairly large student population.

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#7

National University

La Jolla, CA

With a ranking of #7, National University did quite well on this year’s most popular schools for special education students. Located in the city of La Jolla, National University is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population.

While working on their degree, special ed majors at National University accumulate an average of around $51,290 in student debt. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $598, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#8

Hunter College

New York, NY

With a ranking of #8, Hunter College did quite well on this year’s most popular schools for special education students. Hunter is a fairly large public school located in the large city of New York.

After completing their degree, special ed graduates from Hunter carry an average student debt load of $22,496. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $262, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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With a ranking of #9, Arkansas State University - Main Campus did quite well on this year’s most popular schools for special education students. Located in the small city of Jonesboro, A-State is a public college with a fairly large student population.

While working on their degree, special ed majors at A-State accumulate an average of around $19,866 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $231.

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With a ranking of #10, St. Joseph’s College - Long Island did quite well on this year’s most popular schools for special education students. St. Joseph's College - Long Island is a small private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Patchogue.

While working on their degree, special ed majors at St. Joseph's College - Long Island accumulate an average of around $24,958 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $276.

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Bowling Green State University - Main Campus came in at #11 in this year’s edition of the Most Popular Special Education Schools ranking. Located in the fringe town of Bowling Green, BGSU is a public college with a fairly large student population.

Special Ed majors at BGSU take out an average of $27,000 in student loans while working on their egree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $280, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#12

LIU Post

Brookville, NY

LIU Post landed the #12 spot in the 2021 rankings for the most popular special education programs. LIU Post is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Brookville.

After completing their degree, special ed graduates from LIU Post carry an average student debt load of $41,289. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $481, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Illinois State University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the most popular schools for special education students. It came in at #13 on the list. Located in the midsize suburb of Normal, Illinois State is a public college with a very large student population.

On average, special ed graduates from Illinois State take out $21,500 in student loans while working on their degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $223.

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West Chester University of Pennsylvania did quite well in this year’s ranking of the most popular schools for special education students. It came in at #14 on the list. Located in the large suburb of West Chester, WCUPA is a public school with a large student population.

On average, special ed graduates from WCUPA take out $24,145 in student loans while working on their degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $264.

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Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania did quite well in this year’s ranking of the most popular schools for special education students. It came in at #15 on the list. SRU is a medium-sized public school located in the town of Slippery Rock.

While working on their degree, special ed majors at SRU accumulate an average of around $25,722 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $282.

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#16

Northern Arizona University

Flagstaff, AZ

Northern Arizona University landed the #16 spot in the 2021 rankings for the most popular special education programs. Located in the city of Flagstaff, NAU is a public school with a very large student population.

After completing their degree, special ed graduates from NAU carry an average student debt load of $25,260. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $281.

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#17

Utah State University

Logan, UT

Utah State University ranked #17 on this year’s Most Popular Special Education Schools list. USU is a very large public school located in the small city of Logan.

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University of Northern Colorado did quite well in this year’s ranking of the most popular schools for special education students. It came in at #18 on the list. University of Northern Colorado is a large public school located in the midsize city of Greeley.

After completing their degree, special ed graduates from University of Northern Colorado carry an average student debt load of $29,382. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $326.

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#19

Concordia College - New York

Bronxville, NY

Concordia College - New York landed the #19 spot in the 2021 rankings for the most popular special education programs. Concordia College - New York is a small private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Bronxville.

The average amount in student loans that special ed majors at Concordia College - New York take out is $46,125. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $537, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#20

American International College

Springfield, MA

With a ranking of #20, American International College did quite well on this year’s most popular schools for special education students. AIC is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Springfield.

After completing their degree, special ed graduates from AIC carry an average student debt load of $21,077. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $246, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#21

Ashford University

San Diego, CA

Ashford University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the most popular schools for special education students. It came in at #21 on the list. Located in the large city of San Diego, Ashford University is a private for-profit school with a very large student population.

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Alliant International University ranked #22 on this year’s Most Popular Special Education Schools list. Alliant is a small private for-profit school located in the city of San Diego.

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#23

Kean University

Union, NJ

Kean University landed the #23 spot in the 2021 rankings for the most popular special education programs. Kean is a fairly large public school located in the large suburb of Union.

Special Ed majors at Kean take out an average of $33,365 in student loans while working on their egree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $372, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#24

University of Kansas

Lawrence, KS

With a ranking of #24, University of Kansas did quite well on this year’s most popular schools for special education students. Located in the city of Lawrence, KU is a public school with a fairly large student population.

Special Ed majors at KU take out an average of $22,167 in student loans while working on their egree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $258.

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#25

Brooklyn College

Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn College came in at #25 in this year’s edition of the Most Popular Special Education Schools ranking. Located in the city of Brooklyn, Brooklyn College is a public school with a large student population.

The average amount in student loans that special ed majors at Brooklyn College take out is $15,000. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $175, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#26

Towson University

Towson, MD
#26

Endicott College

Beverly, MA
#26

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX
#30

Daemen College

Amherst, NY
#31

William Carey University

Hattiesburg, MS
#33

Pace University - New York

New York, NY
#35

University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, ND
#36

University of West Alabama

Livingston, AL
#39

Bridgewater State University

Bridgewater, MA
#40

Eastern Michigan University

Ypsilanti, MI
#42

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ
#43

East Los Angeles College

Monterey Park, CA
#44

University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg, KY
#46

Saint Joseph's University

Philadelphia, PA
#47

University of Toledo

Toledo, OH
#48

Auburn University

Auburn, AL
#49

Fitchburg State University

Fitchburg, MA

Additional Award Winners

This list shows the rest of the colleges awarded a Most Popular Special Education Schools badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 994 different United States special education schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 Kent State University at Kent Kent, OH
52 Southern Connecticut State University New Haven, CT
53 St John’s University - New York Queens, NY
54 Minnesota State University - Mankato Mankato, MN
55 Cambridge College Boston, MA
56 Saint Cloud State University Saint Cloud, MN
57 University of Georgia Athens, GA
58 Northern Illinois University Dekalb, IL
58 Morningside College Sioux City, IA
60 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
60 Miami Dade College Miami, FL
62 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
62 George Washington University Washington, DC
64 Manhattanville College Purchase, NY
64 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
66 Molloy College Rockville Centre, NY
67 Lamar University Beaumont, TX
67 Simmons University Boston, MA
69 Lehman College Bronx, NY
69 Queens College Queens, NY
69 City College of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
69 Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Bloomsburg, PA
73 San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA
74 Arizona State University - Tempe Tempe, AZ
74 Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, MI
74 Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT
77 Concordia University, Saint Paul Saint Paul, MN
77 Western Washington University Bellingham, WA
77 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
80 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE
80 University of Massachusetts - Boston Boston, MA
80 Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
80 Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, KY
84 University of Saint Joseph West Hartford, CT
85 Miami University - Oxford Oxford, OH
86 Georgia State University Atlanta, GA
86 Wilmington University New Castle, DE
86 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
89 Hofstra University Hempstead, NY
90 Emporia State University Emporia, KS
90 University of Oklahoma Norman Campus Norman, OK
90 Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI
93 University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu, HI
93 The University of Texas of the Permian Basin Odessa, TX
95 University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Oshkosh, WI
96 Georgia College & State University Milledgeville, GA
96 University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, NE
96 Indiana University of Pennsylvania - Main Campus Indiana, PA
96 Lesley University Cambridge, MA
96 Georgetown College Georgetown, KY
101 New Jersey City University Jersey City, NJ
101 Millersville University of Pennsylvania Millersville, PA
103 University of Wisconsin - Whitewater Whitewater, WI
103 University of Oregon Eugene, OR
103 New Mexico State University - Main Campus Las Cruces, NM
106 University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, NE
106 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
108 Portland State University Portland, OR
109 Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Kutztown, PA
110 University of North Texas Denton, TX
110 Ashland University Ashland, OH
110 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
110 University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Eau Claire, WI
110 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
115 National Louis University Chicago, IL
115 University of Missouri - Columbia Columbia, MO
115 Buffalo State Buffalo, NY
118 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
118 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
120 Southeastern University Lakeland, FL
120 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
122 Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Winona, MN
123 University of Puerto Rico - Bayamon Bayamon, PR
123 Adelphi University Garden City, NY
123 SUNY Plattsburgh Plattsburgh, NY
123 SUNY Cortland Cortland, NY
123 Providence College Providence, RI
123 Rhode Island College Providence, RI
129 Florida International University Miami, FL
129 Merrimack College North Andover, MA
131 Teachers College at Columbia University New York, NY
131 SUNY Geneseo Geneseo, NY
131 The University of Texas at San Antonio San Antonio, TX
134 California State University - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
134 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
134 East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania East Stroudsburg, PA
134 University of Memphis Memphis, TN
134 Holy Family University Philadelphia, PA
134 University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD
134 Mississippi College Clinton, MS
141 Niagara University Niagara University, NY
142 Boise State University Boise, ID
143 West Virginia University Morgantown, WV
143 Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, KY
143 Lewis University Romeoville, IL
146 Fontbonne University Saint Louis, MO
146 Brigham Young University - Provo Provo, UT
146 University of West Georgia Carrollton, GA
146 Brandman University Irvine, CA

Honorable Mentions

Here are some additional popular schools for Special Education students that almost earned our Most Popular Special Education Schools award.

Rank College Location
150 University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte, NC
150 Moorpark College Moorpark, CA
152 Elms College Chicopee, MA
152 Broward College Fort Lauderdale, FL
152 Youngstown State University Youngstown, OH
155 Northeastern Illinois University Chicago, IL
155 Southeast Missouri State University Cape Girardeau, MO
155 Oakland University Rochester Hills, MI
155 Los Angeles Valley College Valley Glen, CA
159 Boston University Boston, MA
159 Morehead State University Morehead, KY
159 Northwest Missouri State University Maryville, MO
159 University of Phoenix - Arizona Tempe, AZ
159 Fordham University Bronx, NY
159 Bank Street College of Education New York, NY
165 Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania Shippensburg, PA
165 Regent University Virginia Beach, VA
165 University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, NC
168 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
168 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
170 University of Dayton Dayton, OH
170 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
170 Saginaw Valley State University University Center, MI
173 College of Staten Island CUNY Staten Island, NY
173 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
173 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI
173 Winona State University Winona, MN
173 The City College of New York New York, NY
178 Valdosta State University Valdosta, GA
178 University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Milwaukee, WI
178 University of Missouri - St Louis Saint Louis, MO
178 New Mexico Highlands University Las Vegas, NM
182 Pittsburg State University Pittsburg, KS
182 Appalachian State University Boone, NC
182 Chemeketa Community College Salem, OR
182 University of Hartford West Hartford, CT
186 Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA
186 Murray State University Murray, KY
186 Central Connecticut State University New Britain, CT
186 Cardinal Stritch University Milwaukee, WI
186 University of Kentucky Lexington, KY
186 Columbus State University Columbus, GA
186 University of New Mexico - Main Campus Albuquerque, NM
186 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
194 California State University - San Bernardino San Bernardino, CA
194 Salem State University Salem, MA
194 Clarion University of Pennsylvania Clarion, PA
194 Granite State College Concord, NH
194 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL

Special Education by Region

View the Most Popular Special Education Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 14 majors within the teaching area of study, special education has other similar majors worth exploring.

Special Ed Focus Areas

Major Annual Graduates
General Special Education 20,414
Other Special Education & Teaching 2,242
Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs 2,193
Elementary Special Education 1,313
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Autism 924
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Multiple Disabilities 532
Education/Teaching of Individuals in Secondary Special Education Programs 500
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities 476
Education/Teaching of the Gifted & Talented 458
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Speech or Language Impairments 434
Education of the Deaf 358
Education/Teaching of Individuals Who are Developmentally Delayed 240
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Vision Impairments Including Blindness 160
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Mental Retardation 152
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Emotional Disturbances 115
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Orthopedic & Other Physical Health Impairments 63
Education/Teaching of Individuals in Junior High/Middle School Special Education Programs 56
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injuries 9

Related Major Annual Graduates
Teacher Education Grade Specific 100,925
Educational Administration 44,381
Teacher Education Subject Specific 43,516
General Education 31,066
Curriculum & Instruction 18,767

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to woodleywonderworks.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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