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Special Education

Special education teachers have been prepared to be leaders in the field by the College of Education and Human Ecology for more than 50 years.

Our high-ranking programs attract students from across the nation who learn how to improve the lives of those with disabilities while earning their accredited teaching credentials in special education.

You can choose from eight degree-granting programs and four licensure- and endorsement-only programs that specialize in teaching students with mild to moderate, moderate to intensive, early childhood or applied behavior analysis.

Each special education licensure program at The Ohio State University is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Council for Exceptional Children. The graduate programs in applied behavior analysis are accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis International.

Ohio State academic programs are designed to prepare students for licensure or certification in Ohio. If you plan to pursue licensure or certification in a state other than Ohio, please review state educational requirements for licensure and certification at

Degree Programs

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Studies, Special Education
The doctoral program in special education trains you to become a leader in the field and help improve the lives of children, teens and adults with disabilities. You'll develop research skills and advanced knowledge of special education and applied behavior analysis while working closely with faculty on important disability-related issues.

Master of Arts in Educational Studies, Special Education
The special education degree program at the master's level prepares you with advanced learning principles in educating students with disabilities. The master's program also provides the opportunity to become a board-certified behavior analyst or earn an additional teaching license.

Bachelor of Science in Education, Special Education
This special education teacher degree will prepare you with the knowledge and skills needed to successfully teach children who are at risk for a learning disability or are already diagnosed. Specialize your studies in early childhood, mild to moderate or moderate to intensive intervention.

Other Programs

Board Certified Behavior Analyst certification
Perfect for graduate students with a background in education, psychology, social work, administration, or any helping profession, the special education program offers an Association for Behavior Analysis International verified course sequence required for Board Certified Behavior Analyst certification. The seven-course sequence is delivered completely online.

Special Education Licensure-only Programs
This licensure-only program allows licensed teachers to add a second license to become specialized in early childhood, mild to moderate or moderate to intensive intervention. These programs train teachers to work to develop curriculum that maximizes learning for special education students.

Pre-Kindergarten Special Needs Endorsement
Teachers who already hold a K-12 intervention specialist or K-3 early childhood teaching license can enroll in this endorsement program. Upon completion of this program, students will be endorsed to teach children with special needs in pre-kindergarten settings.