Master’s in Special Education Degree Programs in Alaska

Alaska, the 49th state of the United States, is situated in the farthest northwest point of North America. It is the largest state in land area, has nearly 34,000 miles of tidal shoreline, more than three million lakes, 100,000 glaciers, countless islands, and more than a dozen colleges and universities.

Although Alaska has the dubious honor of being the only state without a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division program, the universities below have accredited graduate programs that offer a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education, Special Education Graduate Certificate and a Master of Education in Special Education. Alaska’s universities have met the unique challenges of a remote environment by offering these programs via teleconference and online resources.

Note: Those interested in distance learning programs should consult our recommendations for Online Master’s in Special Education.

Purdue University’s online MSEd in Special Education offers separate tracks for initial teacher licensure, and for licensed teachers looking to add advanced endorsements.

The online MSEd in Special Education from Saint Joseph’s University online MSEd in Special Education from Saint Joseph’s University offers concentrations in ASD, Hearing Impairment and the Wilson Reading System®.

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University of Alaska Anchorage, AK
College of Education

The University of Alaska Anchorage College of Education offers graduate programs to prepare the student for a career as a professional educator. Areas of specialty include: Speech Language Pathology, Counselor Education, Educational Leadership, Master of Education in Teaching and Learning, Master of Arts in Teaching, Early Childhood Special Education and Special Education Graduate Certification. Preparation programs are Alaska Department of Education and Early Development approved and based on National Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation standards.

Master of Education in Early Childhood Special Education (M.Ed.)

The Master of Early Childhood Special Education program instructs students to be early interventionists and early childhood special educators for infants, toddlers and preschoolers with disabilities. The focus is to ultimately provide support and services from professionals for improved quality of life for disabled children and their families.

This master’s degree requires 36 credit hours including 6 credits of advanced internship. The Early Childhood Special Education program is tailored for special needs children from birth through five years old. Applicants must meet admission requirements through both the University of Alaska Anchorage and the College of Education to enter the program.

An Institutional Recommendation for an Alaskan teaching certificate with endorsement in Special Education birth to 5 can be attained upon completion of this program, two additional State-required course and internship/field experience in a preschool special education setting.

Special Education (Graduate Certificate)

This program provides a special education endorsement to an existing teaching certificate. Academics of this program utilize the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC) standards. The Special Education certification program is structured for grades Kindergarten through 12.

Special Education Graduate Certificate Program projected student outcomes include:

-Assessment of student strengths and weaknesses for guided instruction.
-Private disabled student instruction to coincide with inclusive classroom settings.
-Adhere to equality standards for all cultures and ethnicities.
-Maintain legal and ethical principals related to special education.
-Encourage a positive social atmosphere for all students including those with emotional or behavioral disorders.
-Establish a collaborative environment for interaction between teachers, parents, administrators and paraprofessionals.
-Examine and apply solid research techniques.
-Exhibit a keen perspective toward human development and learning.


The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
Council of Exceptional Children (CEC)
Alaska Department of Education and Early Development

Contact Information

3211 Providence Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
(907) 786-4401

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University of Alaska Southeast, AK
School of Education

The School of Education provides training for students preparing to enter teaching or those who want to enhance their current skills. Advanced programs focus on expanding and developing classroom aptitudes for teachers. A Bachelor of Education degree or teaching Certificate is a prerequisite to any master’s degree program.

Programs are developed to meet the unique needs of Alaska. The use of technology is a critical component to support learning and provide accessibility to quality education for all residents of remote communities. Challenging courses, performance-based assessments and extensive field experience represent concepts taught in action.

Master of Education in Special Education (M.Ed.)

The Master of Education in Special Education program prepares students to provide skilled responses and services for the unique needs of children with disabilities. Comprehensive instruction is given for special needs children for ages P to 12 with specialized attention given to children from Alaska’s diverse ethnicities, cultures, and rural communities.

The program is intended for practicing teachers, paraeducators and school-based professionals with a beginning teaching certificate. The M.Ed. in Special Education program is available through an e-Learning format delivered via teleconference and supplementary online resources. Afternoon, evening, and summer courses are also available for greater flexibility. This web-based format allows Alaska’s rural residents to complete their graduate studies without leaving their own communities.


The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
Alaska Department of Education and Early Development
Council for Higher Education Accreditation
U.S. Department of Education

Contact Information

School of Education
Hendrickson Annex
11120 Glacier Highway
Juneau, AK 99801
(866) 465-6424
Email: [email protected]