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Master of Arts in Special Education Online

Answer the call for qualified special education teachers by earning your M.A. in Special Education online from UTPB.

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Program Overview

The UTPB Master of Arts in Special Education online program is designed to prepare you for rewarding opportunities to enrich the lives of students with developmental and learning disabilities. In this program, you will learn to incorporate research with practical application, demonstrate innovative teaching practices, and provide leadership to serve diverse student audiences. You don't need a teaching certificate to apply, and the GRE is waived for candidates with a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Plus, as a student in this program, you may qualify for the TEACH Grant for up to $3,764 toward tuition.*

UTPB is proud to be recognized regionally and beyond for equipping graduates with the skills to provide specially designed instruction and support and services to individuals with disabilities. Our comprehensive curriculum examines the importance of cultural diversity, theories of behavior, human ontological development, classroom best practices, research design, and current trends in special education programs and service.

Every online course is taught by the same respected UTPB faculty members who teach on campus. And unlike other online special education programs, UTPB's online M.A. in Special Education is accredited by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC), the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).



The College of Education at The University of Texas Permian Basin meets rigorous national standards for educator preparation set by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), formerly known as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Also Available:

Total Tuition

As few as 12 months



Credit Hours

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Call 877-588-3305 877-588-3305


The M.A. in Special Education online program features affordable, pay-by-the-course tuition. Financial aid is also available for those who qualify to help alleviate the costs associated with earning your degree.

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Application Fee: $40
Graduation Fee: $50

Tuition and fees are subject to change without notice by action of the Board of Trustees.

Financial Aid

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Explore financial aid options that can help you fund your online degree from UTPB.

Financial assistance is available to college students who qualify and are seeking a degree. Funds from a variety of sources assist students in achieving their responsibilities in paying for college. Costs associated with attending The University of Texas Permian Basin are comprised of tuition, fees, books and supplies. Federal, State, institutional and external sources can help pay some of the expenses related to the associated costs. No person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subject to discrimination under any program sponsored by UTPB on any basis prohibited by applicable law, including but not limited to race, color, national origin, religion, gender or disability.

To apply for financial aid:

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. Please include the UTPB Federal School Code: 009930.
  2. Complete the UTPB admission process for your Academic Partnerships program.
  3. Monitor your email for further instructions from the UTPB Financial Aid Office.

Please contact your Financial Aid Counselor if you have any questions.

The University of Texas Permian Basin
4901 East University
Odessa, Texas 79762

Voice: 432-552-2620
Fax: 432-552-2621

Tuition Breakdown:


Per Credit Hour

Total Tuition


Our M.A. in Special Education online program features 100% online courses and six start dates a year, so you can balance the demands of going to school with work and family. View the calendar below to find the most convenient start date for you and be sure to apply by the application due date.

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Start Date App Deadline Doc Deadline Registration Deadline Tuition Deadline
03/09/20 02/24/20 03/02/20 03/06/20 03/13/20
05/11/20 04/27/20 05/04/20 05/08/20 05/18/20
06/29/20 06/15/20 06/22/20 06/26/20 07/09/20
08/24/20 08/10/20 08/17/20 08/21/20 08/31/20
10/19/20 10/05/20 10/12/20 10/16/20 10/26/20
01/11/21 12/14/20 01/04/21 01/08/21 01/19/21
03/16/21 03/01/21 03/08/21 03/12/21 03/22/21
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Please review the admission guidelines for the M.A. in Special Education online program below. UTPB takes a holistic approach in the admission of applicants to graduate programs as authorized by section 51.842 of the Texas Education Code. This section authorizes graduate programs to consider certain academic, socioeconomic, family, geographic and other factors relating to an applicant's background in making an admission decision for admission into the graduate program.

Online Application

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Bachelor’s Degree

from an accredited institution

Minimum 3.0 GPA

in last 60 credit hours

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Regular Admission [ + ]

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
  • Must have a 3.0 grade point average or better on a 4.0 grading system in the last 60 credit hours of your undergraduate record
  • Submit an essay that is relevant to the prompt and demonstrates capacity for graduate studies in this area. All essays must be uploaded through your myUTPB student portal. Essay question for this graduate program is:
    • Why do you want to pursue a degree in special education?

Conditional Admission [ + ]

  • Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university
  • GPA below 3.0-2.5 in the last 60 hours
  • Essay submitted and reviewed. Essay question for this graduate program is:
    • Why do you want to pursue a degree in special education?
  • Must meet at least one of the following:
    • Minimum GRE score of 282 (verbal and quantitative combined)
  • OR
    • Other evidence may include, but not limited to, Resume, Letter of Recommendation or Essay. All essays must be uploaded through your myUTPB student portal.
    • Special Education applicants must provide the following:
      • Statement related to the circumstances surrounding your lower GPA and why you believe you are ready for graduate studies (at least one page in length) AND two professional letters of recommendation, both should be from school administrators who have supervised your work in the classroom. If you can only secure one from such a person, the second must be a professional letter from someone who can speak to your capacity to be a special education teacher.


To earn your M.A. in Special Education online, you must complete 12 courses for a total of 36 credit hours.

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Students must complete the following courses.

EDUC 6302: Cultural Diversity in Education and the Social Sciences

Duration: 8 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course gives candidates the opportunity to develop cultural diversity competence in order to face challenges in education and the social sciences. Research and reflection are emphasized.

EDUC 6304: Educational Psychology

Duration: 8 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Review of theories of behavior, learning and instruction, research on human ontological development, and consideration of applications of such theory and research to classroom practices, including issues related to their measurement and evaluation.

EDUC 6305: Research Design in Education and the Social Sciences

Duration: 8 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course is designed to acquaint students with how research is conducted in the fields of education and the social sciences. Students will select and evaluate research findings within their fields and learn how to design their own research studies. Must be taken prior to third term of enrollment.

EDSP 6339: Foundations of Special Education

Duration: 8 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course is designed to provide the historical and legal foundations of special education and the educational implications for the teacher and exceptional child.

EDSP 6341: Behavior Management and Social Skills

Duration: 8 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course will cover strategies for behavior management, functional behavioral assessment, positive behavioral supports and social skills training for exceptional learners.

EDSP 6343: Programs and Practices for Exceptional Learners

Duration: 8 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This introductory course will examine the unique needs of students with cognitive and behavioral needs. Typical characteristics, identification, referral procedures and effective educational practices will be examined.

EDSP 6344: Methods for Teaching Exceptional Learners

Duration: 8 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Learning strategies and methods for delivery of instruction for students with cognitive and/ or emotional problems will be examined. Emphasis will be on developing strategic environments, curriculum, and models for inclusive settings.

EDSP 6345: Transition Programming for Exceptional Learners

Duration: 8 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Models for transition to the community, work and post-secondary setting will be explored. Students will spend a portion of class time as school and community sites.

EDSP 6346: Foundation and Legal Aspects of Special Education

Duration: 8 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Legislation and litigation that form the foundations and present basis for special education practices will be presented and investigated.

EDSP 6347: Characteristics of ASD and Developmental Disorders

Duration: 8 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course focuses on the typical characteristics associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other developmental disorders, identification procedures used, and the development of appropriate intervention programs.

EDSP 6352: Technology and School Change

Duration: 8 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course is intended to help students develop a deep understanding of the impact of technology on education, particularly as it relates to students with disabilities. The purpose of the class is to understand not only what the impact has been, but what it can be, and consider how educators could use technology across all setting to positively impact the learning environment for students with and without disabilities.

EDSP 6397: Research in Special Education

Duration: 8 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

A culminating project for the Master of Arts in Education: Special Education, which involves researching a question related to the field of special education.


Qualified applicants in this program may qualify for the TEACH Grant of up to $3,764 for the 2019-20 award year!*

*The maximum grant amount can vary by year. TEACH Grants are available to qualified applicants and require approved recipients to sign a service agreement for certain teaching service obligations for four academic years. If obligations are not met within eight years after graduation, the grant will turn into a Direct Unsubsidized Loan that must be repaid with all accrued interest from the date of disbursement. For more information, please visit: or contact the University of Texas Permian Basin Financial Aid Office.

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