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Help Diverse Learners Succeed and Achieve

If you want to take your teaching to the next level or move into a leadership role in your district, a Master of Education in Special Education degree at City University of Seattle can help position you for success. This online special education degree program is one of our most hands-on, personalized programs at CityU. We offer a multitude of resources as well as professional collaboration and detailed faculty feedback, so you can track your progress and make the most of each opportunity as you learn.

For those who do seek an endorsement, they complete one practicum that may or may not be in their own classroom. Beyond this in-person element, you can complete your assignments, write-ups, assessments, and projects almost exclusively online.

Our faculty is made up of educational leaders with a range of expertise, so you can benefit from the best of current research, diversity, and global educational practices.

The CityU special education master’s degree was designed to provide educators with current, research-based methodologies that will allow you to gain and enhance your skills in order to work successfully in a variety of special education settings.

Your current teaching certificate and accredited bachelor’s degree is all you need to apply to our MEd in Special Education program. Candidates typically graduate in nine quarters; however, you can set your own pace and graduate in as few as seven quarters or up to four years.

M.Ed. Special Education Plan: In the courses, you will explore the most current research and practices in the field. Students will explore behavioral analysis, autism, student assessment for Special Education, the IEP process, and teaming and collaboration to name a few.

M.Ed. Special Education Endorsement: Wish to add a WA state Special Education endorsement? Complete the courses for the master's degree then complete an in-classroom practicum for 100 hours to earn your endorsement. Note: Prerequisites in both reading and math are required. Talk with an advisor about these courses. 

WEST-E® preparation: The program will help you prepare for passing the Washington Educator Skills Test for those seeking their endorsement.

Learning Outcomes

Throughout the Master of Education in Special Education program, you’ll learn:

  • Critical application and value of current research processes
  • Global, theoretical, and practical issues affecting education
  • Improvement of the school community and profession
  • Unique attributes of individuals with classic autism and high-functioning autism
  • Inclusion and specialist paradigms in special education
  • Foundations, strategies, and understanding to perform assessments and evaluations
  • Writing and implementing an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP)
  • Basic types of student behavior, motivation, prevention strategies, intervention strategies, and behavior change plans
  • Disabilities identified with low-incidence disabilities
  • Pedagogical foundations, strategies, and understanding to modify curriculum

Total Required Credits (37 Credits)

For full course descriptions please visit the 2020–2021 Course Catalog. 

Foundational Core (12 Credits)

ECU 504 Graduate Research and Methodology (4)

ECU 506 Practice of Diversity and Global Education (4)

ECU 508 School and Community Engagement (4)

Special Education Core (22 Credits)

ESP 555 Classic Autism/High Functioning (3)

ESP 670 Exceptionality (3)

ESP 673 Behavior Analysis (3)

ESP 674 Low Incidence (3)

ESP 675 Curriculum Modifications and Collaboration (3)

ETC 608 Practicum (1)

Master Thesis Project (3 Credits)

ECU 601 Master of Education Capstone Project (3)

A master’s in special education from CityU will give you the skills and abilities to best support students with special needs. Individuals with the right credentials, as well as the passion and heart to give all students the best chance at a quality education, are in demand.

Upon completion of this program, you will be well positioned for a career as a:

  • Special education teacher
  • Special education specialist
  • Educational diagnostician
  • Rehabilitation counselor
  • Special education diagnostic tester

Networking Opportunities

At CityU, you’ll have the opportunity to expand your professional network by connecting with faculty working in your field, students from around the globe, and alumni employed at Seattle’s top companies. Plus, you’ll be part of a supportive community that’s dedicated to helping you reach your career goals.

Tuition Cost

Learn more about tuition and fees for our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs.

Financial Aid Opportunities

At CityU, we’re committed to helping students achieve their academic goals no matter their economic situations. Our financial aid counselors are here to find the resources you need to pay for your education, including grants, loans, work study, and scholarships.

Learn more about financial aid opportunities at CityU, or contact our Financial Aid Team at 800.426.5596, 206.239.4540, or finaid@cityu.edu.

Military Tuition Benefits

As a Yellow Ribbon school, CityU is proud to serve those who have served in the military. We offer military tuition discounts for active-duty servicemembers and their spouses and accept military benefits such as the Post 9/11 GI Bill® and Tuition Assistance.

Learn more about military tuition benefits, VA benefits, and military partnership programs designed to help you reach your military and career goals.


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Founded in 1973, City University of Seattle offers over 60 on-site and online programs designed for busy working adults like you. When you enroll at CityU, you’ll have the support of a community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni who are dedicated to helping you finish your degree and reach your goals.


CityU is recognized as a Top 10 educator of adults nationwide.1 In fact, students complete their degrees at twice the national rate.2


Develop marketable, real-world skills in courses taught by faculty who are practitioners working in your field.


Expand your expertise and your global perspectives in on-site and online courses with students from around the world.


Network with alumni employed at Seattle’s top companies, including Boeing, Starbucks, Amazon, and Microsoft.