(866) 758-7670


(866) 758-7670

(866) 758-7670

Master's in Special Education – 100% Online

You can enable every student's full potential.

Now Accepting Applications for May

Empower your special education students with specialized teaching ability. The only program of its kind offered completely online, the online Master of Science in Education - Special Education from Saint Joseph’s University prepares you to effectively identify and help overcome learning disabilities for K-12 students. The program offers three concentrations and provides eligibility for special education certification in Pennsylvania, a credential that is recognized in most other states.

One of only sixteen programs recognized by the International Dyslexia Association.

Multiple In-Demand Tracks Offered

  1. Applied Behavior Analysis Concentration
    Prepares individuals to address the demands of challenging behaviors seen in Special Education settings. The courses are intended to prepare students for the BCBA certification exam.
  2. Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement
    Focuses on proper diagnosis and ongoing lesson delivery across the entire autism spectrum, with emphasis on skill development and behavioral modification.
  3. Special Education Certification
    Prepares you to help meet the needs of students with learning disabilities and other special needs.
  4. Wilson Reading System® Certification
    Teaches multi-sensory reading education for students in a variety of settings. One of the only online programs trusted to teach the Wilson Reading System®.

Other Graduate Education Degrees Offered:

  • MS in Instructional Technology

  • MS in Instructional Technology + Instructional Technology Specialist Certification

Other Standalone Certifications Offered:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement

  • Autism Studies Certificate (Post-baccalaureate)

  • Behavior Analysis Certificate (Post-master's)

  • Certificate of Proficiency in Autism Studies

  • Instructional Technology Specialist Certification

  • Pennsylvania PK-12 Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Certification

  • Special Education Certification

  • Wilson Reading System® Certification

Courses: Special Education Core

  • SPE 600 Current Issues in Special Education: Theoretical Practice and Procedures*
  • SPE 608 Families, Schools, and Communities: Communication and Collaboration*
  • SPE 602 Diagnostic Assessment and Progress Monitoring*
  • SPE 603 Theory and Instructional Practice: Students with High Incidence Disabilities*
  • SPE 604 Research-based Models and Procedures: Literacy, Written and Oral Language, and Reading in the Content Areas*
  • SPE 605 Research-based Models and Procedures: Mathematics and Science Procedures*
  • SPE 612 Inclusive Classroom Practices (not for Certification students)* – SPE 638/639 has replaced SPE 612 for Certification students
  • SPE 606 Theory and Instructional Practice: Students with Emotional/Social and Behavioral Disorders
  • SPE 607 Theory and Instructional Practice: Students with Low Incidence Disabilities*

Courses: Applied Behavior Analysis

Core Courses
  • SPE 630: Design and Technology for Differentiated Instruction
  • SPE 700: Special Education School Law and Policy
  • SPE 701: Cognitive Processes: Research-based Brain Studies for the Educator
  • SPE 702: Culturally Responsive Teaching
ABA Concentration Courses
  • ABA 622 Basic Principles of Behavior Analysis
  • ABA 623 Applied Behavior Analysis
  • ABA 624 Behavior Analysis and Consultation
  • ABA 625 Behavioral Development
  • ABA 626 Clinical Behavior Analysis
  • ABA 657 Ethics in Behavior Analysis

Elective Courses: Choose any two graduate Special Education elective courses to complete the 36 credit hour program. (Electives must be approved by graduate director)

Courses: Special Education Advanced Electives

  • SPE 601 Technology and Instructional Design for Differentiated Instruction
  • SPE 700 Special Education School Law and Policy
  • SPE 701 Cognitive Processes: Research-based Brain Studies for the Educator
  • SPE 702 Culturally Responsive Teaching Structured Language Instruction

Courses: WILSON Reading System® Level 1

  • SPE 710 Wilson Reading Program: Introduction to Multisensory Structured Language Instruction (1 credit)
  • SPE 711 Wilson Reading Program: Intensive Instruction for the Non-Responsive Reader (Basic Word Study 1-3) (3 credits)
  • SPE 712 Wilson Reading Program: Intensive Instruction for the Non-Responsive Reader (Basic Word Study 4-6) (3 credits)
  • SPE 713 Wilson Reading Program: Clinical Intensive Instruction for the Non-Responsive Reader (Practicum) (3 credits)

Courses: Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialist

  • SPE 720 Introduction to ASD: Overview of Causality, Diagnosis and Advocacy (3 credits)
    *Please note: SPE 720 must be taken as the first Autism Spectrum Disorder Concentration course.
  • SPE 721 Augmentative and Alternative Communication and Socialization Strategies (3 credits)
  • SPE 722 Evidenced-Based Practices: Assessment, Interventions, and Instructional Methodologies (3 credits)
  • SPE 723 Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis: Behavior Management Approaches (3 credits)

Accreditation & Rankings

Our accreditation has been awarded by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.


Saint Joseph's University is a member of the Alpha Epsilon Lambda honor society, the nation's only graduate interdisciplinary honor society.


The "America's Best Colleges" 2015 edition of U.S. News & World Report has ranked Saint Joseph's University #11 best Regional University in the North and #2 Best Colleges for Veterans.

SJU Rankings

No. 11 College in the North U.S. News & World Report

A Best in the Northeast The Princeton Review


No GRE. Reciprocity with other state departments of education.

The program is competitively priced and financial aid may be available to those who qualify.

Request Information to Speak with a Program Manager

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The Behavior Analyst Certification Board®, Inc. (BACB®) has approved our ABA course sequence as meeting the requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Exam