Master’s in Special Education Degree Programs in Indiana

Indiana has 1,000 lakes, is located in the Great Lakes region of the United States and is situated on Lake Michigan. Also known as the “Land of the Indians,” this Midwestern state has a history rich with diversity and native culture. Manufacturing makes up the largest percentage of Indiana’s economy followed by farming and education.

The first state-funded public school system in the United States was implemented in Indiana. The majority of students at all levels attend public schools, including half of all college-level undergraduates at four-year schools. In addition, Indiana has many graduate programs offering master’s degrees in education and other fields of study.

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

Ball State University

Teachers College

Teachers College at Ball State University was founded in 1918 and has a distinctive history for preparing outstanding classroom teachers, educational administrators and professional leaders through master’s and doctorate-level programs. U.S. News & World Report gives the school top ranking among “Up-and-Coming Colleges and Universities,” Best Universities in the Midwest” and “Best Online Education Programs for Veterans.”

Teachers College is committed to providing high-quality, traditional and distance-learning programs to assist all students in obtaining a degree. Flexible course scheduling allows students with work and family responsibilities to advance their education on their schedule. Master of Arts in Education degrees are available in the following specialties: Education Administration, School Psychology, Elementary Education and Special Education.

Master of Arts in Special Education: Director of Exceptional Needs (P-12)

The Master of Arts in Special Education is a combined degree and licensing program. The Director of Exceptional Needs in Special Education is one of seven focus areas and is available through online classes and in an accelerated, 18-month format. Specialized instruction for licensure includes visual impairment, early childhood special education, mild and severe or intense interventions and special educational leadership for children and youth (grades P-12).

The program is tailored for students seeking careers in special education administration in schools or government agencies. Learning outcomes include: Educational leadership, fiscal management, organization and administration skills in a special education setting, learning disability assessment, school counseling, educating children and youth with behavioral and learning disabilities, and computer technology for the exceptional learner.

Most classes are delivered through distance learning with a few on-campus requirements. Licensure to become a director of exceptional needs is available upon completion of the degree, specialized coursework and internship.


National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

Contact Information

2000 W. University Avenue
Room 1005
Muncie, IN 47306
(765) 285-5251

Online and Distance Education
David Letterman Communication and Media Building (LB),
Room 131
Muncie, IN 47306
(765) 285-1581

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Indiana State University, IN

Bayh College of Education

The Bayh College of Education at Indiana State University has established a vision of collaborative, state-of-the-art education to create influential teachers and administrators to serve a diversified community.

The College is divided into four departments:

-Educational Leadership.
-Elementary, Early and Special Education.
-Communication Disorders and Counseling – Educational Psychology.
-Curriculum, Instruction and Media Technology.

Master of Education degree programs are available in Early Childhood, Literacy, Primary and Intermediate concentrations. A Master of Science in Special Education is also offered. Bayh College of Education provides graduate-level courses in both online and campus-style formats for flexible adult learning.

Master of Science in Special Education – Advanced (M.S.) (P-12)

The Master of Science in Special Education degree prepares candidates for advanced positions as special education teachers or social service agents for children and youth (grades P-12.) Career opportunities available for graduates include schools, medical facilities, group homes, and child and family service organizations. This program can be customized to the student’s experience and add a special education endorsement to an existing teaching license with the completion of required coursework.

Teaching credentials qualify graduates of this program for instruction of special needs children and adolescents where mild interventions are required and include learning and behavior disabilities, high-functioning autism and high-incidence disorders. Assessment skills, curriculum development and implementation for special needs, testing and intervention techniques, collaboration with special needs professionals and families, and a field-experience practicum are all anticipated acquired competencies upon completion of the degree.


National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association
Indiana Department of Education

Contact Information

401 North 7th Street
Indiana State University
Terre Haute, IN 47809
(812) 237-2888

Indiana University South Bend, IN

School of Education

The School of Education at Indiana University South Bend provides exceptional educational opportunities for teachers and counselors. An experienced faculty and committed community partnerships give students a strong foundation for a career in education. The School of Education takes pride in offering small classroom settings to students for undergraduate and graduate programs in:

-Elementary Education.
-Secondary Education.
-Special Education.
-Counseling and Human Services.
-School Leadership.

Clinical-based classroom settings allow students to observe and apply learned techniques in actual kindergarten through grade 12 environments. All programs are fully accredited and many offer licensure opportunities.

Master of Arts in Teaching – Special Education: Initial (MAT) (K-12)

Offering an initial or first licensure in pre-school to grade 12 special education, the Master of Arts in Teaching degree at Indiana University South Bend provides students with all the skills needed for a career as a special education teacher. The program requires 36 credit hours of coursework that can be completed during weekday evening hours for the convenience of working adults. The degree and licensure can also be completed simultaneously or on an accelerated track.

This specialization prepares students to teach children and young with mild/moderate disabilities including developmental delay, learning disabilities, behavior disorders and mild/moderate mental retardation. With an increase in early childhood special needs diagnoses, career opportunities in this field are also growing. The master’s degree emphasizes inclusion techniques in general education classrooms where possible and provides skills to accomplish this goal – applying behavior and instruction interventions, crisis intervention, positive socialization support and classroom management.


National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
Indiana Department of Education

Contact Information

1700 Mishawaka Avenue
P.O. Box 7111
South Bend, IN 46634-7111
(574) 520-IUSB

Indiana University Southeast, IN

School of Education

Indiana University Southeast’s School of Education inspires today’s teaching students to be the educational leaders of tomorrow. Their mission is to develop caring professional who provide high-quality education to a diverse society.

Undergraduate and graduate programs are offered in Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Special Education and Counseling. Non-degree licensing programs are also available in Computer Education, Educational Leadership, Gifted and Talented Education and License Renewal. All students and faculty should be committed to a philosophy that all children can learn and be prepared to treat all individuals with respect and fairness.

Post-Baccalaureate License: Special Education (K-12)

The Post-Baccalaureate License in Special Education is designed for students holding a Bachelor of Arts degree and would like an endorsement in special education. The program will lead to an Indiana Mild Intervention teaching license. Graduates of the program are qualified to teach children and youth (grades K-12) with special needs such as learning disabilities, mild or moderate mental disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, emotional disabilities, or traumatic brain injury.

Learning outcomes include: design and modify instruction for special needs children and youth, collaboration with teachers, families and agencies, assessment and progress measurement, curriculum development and adaptation for students with exceptionalities. Special education teachers are in high demand as the diagnoses of special needs students appears to be growing. Graduates will not be eligible for general education teaching with this certification.


National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

Contact Information

Hillside Hall Room 0020
New Albany, IN 47150
(812) 941-2385

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Purdue University Calumet, IN

College of Education

The College of Education at Purdue University Calumet is dedicated to creating influential teachers who inspire students to strive for life-long learning. The College of Education is accredited through the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and offers master’s-level programs in Administration, Counseling, Special Education and Instructional Technology.

Several methods of course delivery are available for graduate programs including traditional campus, online, fast-track and personal pace formats. This allows adult students to maintain career and family obligations while pursuing their advanced degree.

Master of Science in Special Education Mild/Moderate (M.S.) (K-12)

The Master of Science in Special Education allows students to complete dual licensure in mild/moderate intervention and elementary education. This unique program prepares candidates to teach elementary general education and special needs children and adolescents (grades K-12) who have mild emotional, learning or intellectual disabilities.

Students will acquire skills in developing Individualized Education Programs, curriculum preparation, assistive technology for use with diverse learners and inclusion methods. Prior to graduation, students must complete coursework, a field experience or internship and complete an electronic portfolio. Licensure for both disciplines – special education and elementary general education is available.

Master of Science in Special Education Severe Disabilities (M.S.) (K-12)

The Master of Science in Special Education Severe/Intense Intervention degree program requires candidates to hold a valid teaching license and also be licensed in Mild Interventions (grades K-12). This program targets severe/intense intervention techniques for children and youth (grades K-12) with low-incidence disabilities such as traumatic brain injuries, autism, intellectual disabilities, multiple disabilities and other health impairments. Graduates will be qualified to work in a self-contained classroom setting or inclusive program where appropriate.

Skills acquired include: Special Needs identification, evaluation and assessment, behavior analysis, curriculum development and implementation for maximum academic potential, progress measurement, collaboration with families, medical personnel and other education professionals. All students are required to perform an internship in Special Education – Intense Intervention and complete a digital portfolio for graduation. Graduates are eligible for licensure with a Special Education Severe Disabilities endorsement.


National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
Indiana Department of Education

Contact Information

Gyte Annex, Room 138
2200 169th Street
Hammond, Indiana 46323-2094
[email protected]
(765) 494-7962