Online Master - Special Education


Overview of the Special Education Online Master's Program

Indiana Licensure

The Master of Science (M.S.) degree with a major in Special Education is designed for practicing classroom teachers with an existing teaching license seeking an additional license in special education for students with mild disabilities. Candidates will complete a 33-credit hour M.S. program, which aligns to the initial licensure standards established by the Council for Exceptional Children, state licensure requirements for Indiana, and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation's advanced-level program standards. Courses are designed to provide participants with methods and materials to serve students with exceptionalities through mild intervention.

Ohio Licensure

The Master of Science (M.S.) degree with a major in Special Education is offered in an online format. The program is designed for practicing classroom teachers with an existing teaching license seeking an additional license in special education for students with mild to moderate disabilities. Candidates will complete a 33-credit hour M.S. program, which aligns to the initial licensure standards established by the Council for Exceptional Children, state licensure requirements for Ohio, and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation's advanced-level program standards. Courses are designed to provide participants with methods and materials to serve students with exceptionalities through mild to moderate intervention.


Indiana Wesleyan University's Master of Science with a major in Special Education (Non-licensure) (MSSE-NL) is a master's degree, non-licensure program. This program is open to candidates seeking advanced knowledge and skills in the field of special education for P-12 learners with mild to moderate exceptional learning needs.

Candidates will complete a 33-credit hour program which includes a 15-credit-hour Core and an 18-credit-hour major in Special Education, which aligns to the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) standards. The 15 credit hours of Core courses in Education are designed to provide participants with methods and materials to deepen their teaching ability and help their own students learn, including culturally responsive teaching, ethics and faith, and research and technology tools. Course instruction is designed to model best practices and procedures in the classroom.

This program is open to candidates from all states and countries, and is not tied to state licensure. Candidates could include teachers or professionals in the following settings: International schools, ACSI schools both stateside and overseas, Charter Schools, Private schools, and residential programs and settings. This program may also appeal to traditional public-school teachers who are seeking a master’s degree or continuing education, but are not interested in special education licensure.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Identify diverse cultural and linguistic needs and utilize available technologies to develop culturally responsive learning plans.
  • Use knowledge of general and specialized curricular content to individualize learning for students with exceptionalities.
  • Select and administer appropriate assessments and analyze data from multiple sources to make data-driven decisions for students with exceptionalities. 
  • Select evidence-based instructional strategies and resources and implement them effectively to meet exceptional learning needs.
  • Demonstrate the ability to create safe, inclusive learning environments by implementing evidence-based behavioral interventions for students with exceptionalities.
  • Collaborate with families, colleagues, related service providers, and other stakeholders to provide appropriate learning experiences for students with exceptionalities.
  • Use foundational knowledge of the field and the professional Ethical Principles and Practice Standards to develop ethical, legally compliant communications and learning plans for students with exceptionalities.
  • Demonstrate ethical, Christ-like attitudes, values, and biblical worldview in their professional behaviors with colleagues and students with exceptionalities.
  • Demonstrate strength in the following School of Educational Leadership's dispositional domains: Communication, Critical Thinking, Human Interaction, Leadership, and Professionalism.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use research with an understanding of qualitative, quantitative and/or mixed methods research methodologies.
  • Demonstrate ethical, Christ-like attitudes, values, and biblical worldview that encompass professional dispositions, laws and policies, codes of ethics and professional standards appropriate to classroom teaching in their professional behaviors.
  • Apply advanced knowledge of student learning suitable for any student.
  • Apply data literacy to develop or sustain supportive school environments.
  • Apply self-reflection and data analysis to improve their own teaching.
  • Demonstrate the ability to lead and participate in collaborative activities with others, such as peers, colleagues, teachers, administrators, community organizations, and parents.
  • Apply technology appropriate for their field of specialization.
  • Demonstrate cultural knowledge and culturally responsive teaching that promotes student and school success.
  • Apply content knowledge and skills that the courses and other experiences of this advanced preparation emphasize.
  • Integrate global philosophies into their own educational practices.


Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC),, 312-263-0456. Other accreditations and associations of Indiana Wesleyan University are available at

Education programs at Indiana Wesleyan University are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), 1140 19th Street, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20036, 202-223-0077.


Tuition & Financial Aid

Credit Hours Onsite Tuition Online Tuition
33 Total $470 / credit hour $470 / credit hour

The total cost of the program, including tuition, books, and fees, will be determined prior to your enrollment. The cost will be divided into several payments spread over the course of the program. Course textbooks will be shipped to you before each course begins. The cost of books increases for shipments outside of the 48 contiguous United States.

The total credit hours and per-credit-hour costs listed above are effective for the core program with specialization courses. For prerequisite or other required courses if applicable, students will need to pay for appropriate tuition, books, and any additional fees. Costs may change if you withdraw from the program and restart in a future program at a later date.

Payment Process

Deposit: Once you are accepted, your program representative will contact you in regards to payment of the required $100.00 deposit. This deposit reserves your place on the class roster. Payment can be made by check, money order, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express. Service fee may apply.

Payment Options: Your program representative will work closely with you to choose a payment option that best fits your needs. Your options may include Federal financial aid, company reimbursement tuition deferral, company direct-bill, self-pay, military benefits, etc.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available in the form of grants, loans, scholarships, veterans benefits, and even employer reimbursement.

For information about financial aid, call 800-621-8667, ext. 2516, visit our financial aid website, or email


Below is the list of courses required to complete the program. Courses are generally taken sequentially, one at a time, until the program is complete. Course descriptions may be viewed by clicking on the course titles below.


Core Courses


15 Credit Hours


Major - Special Education



Total Credit Hours 33

*EDSE 520, 530, 540 and 550 are courses with embedded clinical experience.


Field and Clinical Experience Requirements

All candidates must complete field and clinical experiences embedded within the special education courses.


Applicants to any program within the School of Educational Leadership will be required to sign a disclosure of information waiver giving any prior institutions the applicant may have attended permission to supply IWU representatives all information relevant to the applicant's fitness for teacher training or licensure recommendation, including but not limited to his/her conduct, standing, or reputation while attending said institutions. Any information obtained may be considered by IWU in its decision whether or not to admit an applicant, to permit his or her continuance in a program, or to recommend him/her for licensure.

Admission Requirements

  • Submit a signed School of Educational Leadership FERPA Release form.
  • A baccalaureate or graduate degree from a college or university that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by both the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) verified on original transcripts sent by the institution directly to Indiana Wesleyan University. Transcripts from foreign institutions may need to be sent to an outside agency for evaluation and determination of transferable credits, degrees, and GPA. If this outside review is necessary, students are responsible for the initiation of this evaluation and for any fees incurred during the process.
  • An undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher from the baccalaureate degree granting institution at which at least of minimum of 30 hours was completed.
  • Indiana and Ohio Licensure: 
    • A valid (but not necessarily current) state teacher’s license.
    • At least one year of teaching experience from an approved and accredited public, private, or parochial P-12 school in the United States or abroad.
    • Supporting documentation demonstrating access to a P-12 classroom.
  • Non-Licensure:
    • Be currently employed in or have access to a P-12 public or non-public school or international school.

Minimum Computer Requirements

Students are expected to possess a computer throughout the duration of their program. Student computers must be able to run a supported browser and handle additional plug-ins as identified by the Learning Management System (LMS) company. Students should be able to produce, send, and receive documents that are compatible within the two most recent offerings of Microsoft Office to complete most of the assignments. IWU will offer support to students on only these two offerings of office software. Computer and Internet connection may need to be fast enough in some courses to watch streaming videos, participate in live meetings, upload large files, install software, and listen to audio lectures. In addition to these minimum expectations, participation in a CAPS course or program may entail additional computing and/or technology requirements.

Graduation Requirements

  • Successful completion of the M.S. curriculum.
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above in all graduate work and a minimum grade of “B-” in each course.
  • Payment of all tuition and fees is required to receive a diploma.
  • Indiana Licensure:
    • Provide evidence of passing scores for the Indiana licensure exam(s).
  • Ohio Licensure:
    • Successful completion of twelve credit hours (undergraduate or graduate level) of teaching of reading courses – including at least one, 3-credit hour course in phonics.
    • Provide evidence of passing scores for the Ohio licensure exam(s).

Start Dates

Below are the program locations, upcoming dates, and meeting times for the IWU Master's of Science in Special Education. This list is updated regularly as new classes are added.